Ancient Chinese Proverbs To Live By

cherry blossom

Anyone out there a fan of Chinese proverbs? If you love fortune cookies as much as I do, you will understand the feelings of excitement you get when you open the sweet biscuit shell to reveal those wonderful words of wisdom. Sayings like ‘The fortune you seek is in another cookie’ or ‘You will be hungry again in one hour’. This post isn’t about those ones though. It’s about Chinese wisdom and the proverbs we can all live by. These words of guidance may be thousands of years old but they never expire and can still help us in the modern age. Here are a few of my favourite ones.

“The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now”

This must be one of my all-time favourite Chinese proverbs. For so long I have berated myself for not doing things sooner but there is nothing you can do about the time that has gone. You can however, do something now. Whatever it is you want to do, it’s never too late.

“Every smile makes you a day younger”

Forget the Botox and the extortionately priced anti-ageing creams. Smiling is the best way to reverse the signs of ageing. The ancient sages say so.

“With true friends, even water drunk together is sweet enough”

Just being together with good friends is enough. You don’t need anything else. Just each other.

“If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help someone else”

I love this saying and it’s so true. Helping others really is the key to happiness. But naps are also good and can bring lasting happiness 😊

“What you cannot avoid, welcome”

What we resist persists. Just go with the flow and let that thing you’re avoiding or dreading happen organically and see what happens. Beautiful things may occur.

“Dig the well before you are thirsty.”

There are many modern-day equivalents to this Chinese proverb. Fail to plan, plan to fail. Prior planning prevents poor performance. The message? Plan ahead.

Do you have any favourite  proverbs? I would love the hear them.


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