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70 Best Lao Tzu Quotes and Experiences of His Life Events
Aren’t you fascinated with Lao Tzu quotes? Lao Tzu is traditionally regarded as the founder of Taoism, an ancient Chinese philosophical and spiritual tradition. According to traditional accounts, he was born in 604 BCE in what is now modern-day China and lived for around 100 years.
He is most well known for writing the widely influential Tao Te Ching, an ancient text containing teachings on how to live in harmony with the natural flow of life. His core philosophy centered around living in accordance with the Tao, or the “Way”, by cultivating a sense of inner peace and balance with nature.
Laozi never established a formal school, yet his wisdom attracted a sizable following of devoted followers and pupils. His enduring wisdom can impart a wealth of life lessons to us. We advise reading ‘Tao Te Ching‘ if you want to learn more about Lao Tzu’s writings and teachings.
70 Quotes by Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu’s Quotes have been collected here to provide insight into this intellectual man and his beliefs. Here we compile his life experiences as quotes. Check out 60+ Top Quotes by Lao Tzu.
15 Lao Tzu Quotes
1. “Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”
2. “A journey of a thousand li starts beneath one’s feet.”
3. “If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. If you are not afraid of dying, there is nothing you cannot achieve.”
4. “The highest virtue is to act without a sense of self. The highest kindness is to give without condition. The highest justice is to see without preference.”
5. “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize nothing is lacking, the whole world belongs to you.”
6. “Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.”
7. “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”
8. “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.”
9. “Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.”
10. “Make your heart like a lake with a calm still surface and great depths of kindness.”
11. “Whether you’re a gem in the royal court or a stone on the common path if you accept your part with humility the glory of the universe will be yours.”
12. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
13. “Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don’t see the self as self, what do we have to fear?”
14. “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, and compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”
15. “He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.”
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16. “The truth is not always beautiful, nor are beautiful words the truth.”
17. “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”
18. “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.”
19. “Begin your task before it becomes a burden. Put things in order before they get out of hand.”
20. “Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
21. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”
22. “By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try, the world is beyond winning.”
23. “All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which are small.”
24. “If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”
25. “Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.”
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26. “The soft overcomes the hard, and the weak the strong.”
27. “The difficult problems in life always start off being simple. Great affairs always start off being small.”
28. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
29. “If I had just a little bit of wisdom I should walk the great path and fear only straying from it.”
30. “To avoid disappointment, know what is sufficient. To avoid trouble, know when to stop. If you are able to do this, you will last a long time.”
31. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them—that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
32. “People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure.”
33. “To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go.”
34. “To understand the limitations of things, desire them.”
35. “Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.”
36. “Act without expectation.”
37. “The best fighter is never angry.”
38. “Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.”
39. “The words of truth are always paradoxical.”
40. “Silence is a source of great strength.”
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41. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
42. “He who is contented is rich.”
43. “Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will be blunt.”
44. “The hard and mighty lie beneath the ground. While the tender and weak dance on the breeze above.”
45. “A violent wind does not last for a whole morning; a sudden rain does not last for the whole day.”
46. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.”
47. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”
48. “The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.”
49. “If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold.”
50. “The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.”
51. “In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. At work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.”
52. “Love is a decision. Not an emotion.”
53. “He who defends with love will be secure; heaven will save him, and protect him with love.”
54. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
55. “Love is of all the passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.”
56. “Because of a great love, one is courageous.”
57. “Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.”
58. “If you wind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”
59. “Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.”
60. “Who acts in stillness finds stillness in his life.”
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61. “When life begins we are tender and weak. When life ends we are stiff and rigid. All things, including the grass and trees, are soft and pliable in life, dry and brittle in death.”
62. “Be content, rest in your own fullness—you will not suffer from loss, you’ll avoid the snare of this world, you’ll have a long life and endless blessings.”
63. “To the giver comes the fullness of life. To the taker just an empty hand.”
64. “Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.”
65. “Allow your life to unfold naturally. Know that it too is a vessel of perfection. Just as you breathe in and breathe out. Sometimes you’re ahead and other times behind. Sometimes you’re strong and other times weak. Sometimes you’re with people and other times alone.”
66. “One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things. He moves in harmony with the present moment always knowing the truth of just what to do.”
67. “The master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. He prefers what is within to what is without.”
68. “Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.”
69. “If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.”
70. “It is better to do one’s duty, however defective it may be than to follow the duty of another, however well one may perform it. He who does his duty as his nature reveals it never sins.”
Teachings from Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu believed that people should live in harmony with nature and each other. He taught people to be humble, patient, mindful of their actions, let go of attachments and seek simplicity in all things. He also encouraged people to accept the natural order of things and not try to control or change them.
Lastly, he believed in the power of “non-action,” meaning that true accomplishment comes from aligning oneself with the natural flow of life, rather than attempting to force a particular outcome.
Here are his 5 famous teachings:
1. Respect the natural order of things.
2. Be humble and patient.
3. Be mindful of your actions.
4. Let go of attachments.
5. Seek simplicity in all things.