38 Indispensable Pieces of Chinese Wisdom to Help You Grow

Here are some of the best proverbs and sayings that passed down through generations among the incredible Chinese nation. Take the time to read them, and you’ll be convinced — the wisdom of China is as rich and refreshing as a cup of freshly-brewed tea.

  1. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
  2. An invisible, red thread connects those who are destined to one day meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.
  3. One who points out your flaws is not necessarily your enemy; the one who always compliments you is not necessarily your friend.
  4. The temptation to give in is always strongest just before victory.
  5. The goal of life is to die young, but as late as possible.
  6. Times past cannot be called back again.
  7. Do not be afraid of going slowly. Only be afraid of standing still.
  8. Experience is like a comb which nature gives us only after we have lost all our hair.
  9. Don’t speak unless you can improve on the silence.
  10. A strong person will overcome an obstacle; a wise person will traverse the whole path.
  11. A small cottage wherein laughter lives is worth more than a palace full of tears.
  12. Always safeguard peace and quiet. When the time is right, the flowers will bloom.
  13. Even idiots have a their own foolish form of happiness.
  14. If you trip and fall, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are going in the wrong direction.
  15. If you wait by the river long enough, the bodies of your enemies will float by.
  16. Always look on the bright side of things. If you can’t comprehend this, polish that which has dulled until it begins to shine.
  17. Whatever happens always happens on time.
  18. The wind does not help anyone who is not sailing anywhere.
  19. Don’t be afraid that you do not know something. Be afraid of not learning about it.
  20. A good teacher opens the door for you, but you must enter the room by yourself.
  21. The wind howls, but the mountain remains.
  22. If you tell me something, I’ll believe you. If you repeat it, I’ll begin to doubt what you said. When you start to insist, I realise you are lying.
  23. If you are truly talented, don’t fear a spell of bad luck.
  24. There’s no such thing as a friend who doesn’t have any flaws. But if you try to look for all their flaws, you will remain with no friends.
  25. A person who doesn’t know how to have a good rest is not capable of doing good work.
  26. One who has the best intentions always knows how to blush.
  27. Unhappiness enters a door that is already open.
  28. What took one hundred years to create can be destroyed in one hour.
  29. Sleeping on the same pillow doesn’t mean having the same dreams.
  30. It’s better be a person for a day than to be a shadow for a 1,000 days.
  31. The great rivers flow quietly; a wise man doesn’t raise his voice.
  32. He who returns from a journey is not the same person who first left.
  33. The greatest battle is the one that did not happen.
  34. If you cannot handle small things then all your grander schemes will come to nothing.
  35. The man who moved the mountain was the one who began carrying away the smallest stones.
  36. There are no hopeless situations, only incorrect solutions.
  37. Once you’ve made a mistake, the only thing you can do is laugh at it.
  38. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.
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