Chinese Sayings: Insightful Chinese Proverbs
Chinese sayings have been used for centuries by parents and teachers in China to teach children lessons about life and the proper way of doing things.
Therefore, understanding these Chinese proverbs are a wonderful way for you to garner encouragement and insight into your own character and the way that you live your life on a daily basis.
Let them be your guide while you pursue your own endeavors to discarding the things that you don't like in your life, while pursuing the things that you do want to change.
The Chinese sayings found here have been chosen to help you develop a positive frame of mind and to understand that success comes with the amount of effort you choose to put into "doing" rather than waiting and praying for something better to come along.
Understand the Meanings Behind These Chinese Sayings
Limitations are but boundaries created inside our minds.
Meaning: The only limits that you have are the ones you enforce on yourself through your beliefs. Change your beliefs, expand your boundaries, and there won't be any limits on how far you can go!
Better to bend in the wind than to break.
Meaning: Be flexible not rigid. It's better to understand and grow in knowledge than to think that your way is always the only way.
Do not bring kindling to put out a fire.
Meaning: Look for a solution rather than focusing on and berating the problem. In other words, seek out a solution (water) to smother the fire, don't add even more fuel to it. That will solve nothing.
Adversity is a mirror that reveals one's true self.
Meaning: How you handle adversity and conflict is a measure of your character and integrity.
Unless there is opposing wind, a kit cannot rise.
Meaning: Dealing with opposition and competition can allow you to find new and better solutions and ideas. Rising to new heights takes effort and ingenuity. A smooth road leads to mediocrity.
Be slow to promise but quick to perform.
Meaning: Don't say "yes" to everything because you will stretch yourself too thin and accomplish nothing. Pick and choose carefully those things that you'll commit to... but when you do commit, make sure you follow through on your promise. You will then be regarded as trustworthy and dependable.
The following Chinese sayings are variations on the same meaning:
A single tree cannot make a forest.
A single beam cannot support a great house.
A beautiful flower is incomplete without its leaves.
A cloth is not woven from a single thread.
Each person equals a grain of sand, but a crowd is like a block of gold.
A bridge is not built from one piece of wood.
Meaning: If you want to become highly successful in any area of your life, you will need help from others. Seek out and accept any help offered that will move you toward your goals.
Follow the good and learn their ways.
Meaning: You are always judged (whether right or wrong) by the company you keep. Choose to be around people who have integrity, empathy for others, a bright and optimistic outlook on life, are fun to be with, strive to be the best person they can be, and other such important character traits. You will not only be viewed in the same light, you will begin to develop these vary same traits.
Defeat is never a bitter brew until one agrees to swallow it.
Meaning: Don't give in to failures. Learn from them and keep moving on toward your goal or vision. When you give in to defeat, you've lost the battle.
To be unhappy over what one lacks is to waste what one already possesses.
Meaning: Although it's good to keep striving for a better life, you also need to be happy with what you already have. If you can't be happy with what you already have, you'll quickly become dissatisfied with anything new that you acquire, creating a vicious circle of constant unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
Constancy of purpose achieves the impossible.
Meaning: Have a strong purpose for whatever you do and consistently work toward your goal. You can accomplish the seemingly impossible when you stay focused.
Do not hope to reach a destination without leaving the shore.
Meaning: By sitting around doing nothing you will never reach new heights. You must take action. Change comes with putting yourself out there and taking risks. Columbus would never have discovered the "new world" if he had never set sail!
To chop a tree quickly spend twice the time sharpening your ax.
Meaning: Don't do things blindly. Assess your options and prepare a solid foundation. You will make less mistakes and more forward more quickly. This Chinese saying is equivalent to the carpenter's adage of "measure twice, cut once".
A great fire may follow a tiny spark.
Meaning: Some of the greatest inventions and changes to the world came from a tiny spark of an idea. Your idea may ignite into a roaring fire, so don't necessarily discount your thoughts as silly.
Weaving a net is better than praying for fish at the edge of the water.
Meaning: Praying and waiting for things to happen won't make it so. You need to throw that net out and begin fishing. Who knows what fabulous things you may catch.
You'll also enjoy reading these proverbs from the Orient...
Check out this collection of ancient Asian proverbs that focus on interesting moral lessons and give meaning on the experience of life and human nature.
And when it comes to ancient Chinese sayings, come read our collection of inspirational Confucius sayings - from one of the most influential and famous philosophers in Chinese history.
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