This is an ultimate collection of the 200+ best Lao Tzu quotes.

Lao Tzu or Laozi was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.

Below are some of Lao Tzu Quotes that will enlighten you about the way of life.

Best Lao Tzu Quotes

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” – Lao Tzu

“He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.” – Lao Tzu

“He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.” – Lao Tzu

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” – Lao Tzu

“A leader is best when people barely know he exists when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves.” – Lao Tzu

“Make your heart like a lake, with calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness.” – Lao Tzu

“An integral being knows without going, sees without looking, and accomplishes without doing.” – Lao Tzu

“Face the simple fact before it comes involved. Solve the small problem before it becomes big.” – Lao Tzu

“Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Motivational Quotes

“Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.– Lao Tzu

“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become a habit.– Lao Tzu

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.– Lao Tzu

“Conquering others requires force. Conquering oneself requires strength.– Lao Tzu

“When you let go of what you are, you become what you might be.– Lao Tzu

“To attain knowledge, add things every day To attain wisdom, remove things every day.– Lao Tzu

“That which is achieved the most, still has the whole of its future yet to be achieved.– Lao Tzu

“Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.– Lao Tzu

“An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.– Lao Tzu

“The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.– Lao Tzu

“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.– Lao Tzu

“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.– Lao Tzu

“He who knows enough is enough will always have enough.– Lao Tzu

“Great acts are made up of small deeds.

“The True Person avoids extremes, self-indulgence, and extravagance.– Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Inspirational Quotes

“If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold.” – Lao Tzu

“When there is silence one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself.” – Lao Tzu

“The soft overcomes the hard; the weak the strong.” – Lao Tzu

“Simplicity has no name and is free of desires. Being free of desires it is tranquil. And the world will be at peace of its own accord.” – Lao Tzu

“The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.” – Lao Tzu

“Wasting energy to obtain rare objects only impedes one’s growth.” – Lao Tzu

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless.” – Lao Tzu

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” – Lao Tzu

“If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.” – Lao Tzu

“Stop leaving and you will arrive, Stop searching and you will see, Stop running away and you will be found.” – Lao Tzu

“The best fighter is never angry.” – Lao Tzu

“Let your workings remain a mystery. Just show people the results.” – Lao Tzu

“The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas. Tolerant like the sky, all-pervading like sunlight, firm like a mountain, supple like a tree in the wind, he has no destination in view and makes use of anything life happens to bring his way.” – Lao Tzu

“The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes on War

“Only fools seek power, and the greatest fools seek it through force.” – Lao Tzu

“Use justice to rule a country. Use surprise to wage war. Use non-action to govern the world.” – Lao Tzu

“When many people are killed, they should be mourned and lamented. Those who are victorious in war should follow the rites of funerals.” – Lao Tzu

“When the Way governs the world, the proud stallions drag dung carriages. When the Way is lost to the world, war horses are bred outside the city.” – Lao Tzu

“How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?” – Lao Tzu

“When great armies go to war, Sorrow is the sole winner.” – Lao Tzu

“There is no calamity greater than lightly engaging in war.” – Lao Tzu

“Violence, even well-intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.” – Lao Tzu

“Arms are instruments of ill omen… When one is compelled to use them, it is best to do so without relish. There is no glory in victory, and to glorify it despite this is to exult in the killing of men… When great numbers of people are killed, one should weep over them with sorrow. When victorious in war, one should observe mourning rites.” – Lao Tzu

“The most powerful weapon known is the weapon of blessing. Therefore, a clever person relies on it. He wins with peace, not with war.” – Lao Tzu

“The slaying of multitudes should be mourned with sorrow. A victory should be celebrated with the funeral rite.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Peace

“With virtue and quietness, one may conquer the world.” – Lao Tzu

“If you close your mind in judgments and traffic with desires, your heart will be troubled. If you keep your mind from judging and aren’t led by the senses, your heart will find peace.” – Lao Tzu

“Empty your mind of all thoughts. Let your heart be at peace. Watch the turmoil of beings, but contemplate their return.” – Lao Tzu

“One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.” – Lao Tzu

“Freedom from desire leads to inner peace.” – Lao Tzu

“The best soldier does not attack. The superior fighter succeeds without violence. The greatest conqueror wins without struggle. The most successful manager leads without dictating. This is an intelligent non-aggressiveness.” – Lao Tzu

“Weapons are the tools of violence; all decent men detest them. Weapons are the tools of fear; a decent man will avoid them except in the direst necessity and, if compelled, will use them only with the utmost restraint. Peace is his highest value. If the peace has been shattered, how can he be content? His enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself. He doesn’t wish them personal harm. Nor does he rejoice in victory. How could he rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men? He enters a battle gravely, with sorrow and with great compassion, as if he were attending a funeral” – Lao Tzu

“If there is to be peace in the home, There must be peace in the heart.” – Lao Tzu

“Without law or compulsion, men would dwell in harmony.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Leadership

“The best of all leaders is the one who helps people so that eventually they don’t need him.” – Lao Tzu

“The ruler attains wholeness in the correct governance of the people.” – Lao Tzu

“Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” – Lao Tzu

“Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking. Center your country in the Tao and evil will have no power. Not that it isn’t there, but you’ll be able to step out of its way. Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.” – Lao Tzu

“The leader is a teacher who succeeds without taking credit. And, because credit is not taken, credit is received.” – Lao Tzu

“True words aren’t eloquent; eloquent words aren’t true. Wise men don’t need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren’t wise. The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is. The Tao nourishes by not forcing. By not dominating, the Master leads.” – Lao Tzu

“Leadership is your ability to hide your panic from others.” – Lao Tzu

“A good manager is best when people barely know that he exists. Not so good when people obey and acclaim him. Worse when they despise him.” – Lao Tzu

“[The Master] doesn’t glitter like a jewel… [but is] as rugged and common as a stone.” – Lao Tzu

“To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!” – Lao Tzu

“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.” – Lao Tzu

“Superior leaders get things done with very little motion. They impart instruction not through many words, but through a few deeds. They keep informed about everything but interfere hardly at all. They are catalysts, and though things would not get done as well if they were not there, when they succeed they take no credit. And, because they take no credit, credit never leaves them.” – Lao Tzu

“All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power. If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them. The Master is above the people, and no one feels oppressed. She goes ahead of the people, and no one feels manipulated. The whole world is grateful to her. Because she competes with no one, no one can compete with her.” – Lao Tzu

“One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.” – Lao Tzu

“Rule a kingdom as though you were cooking a small fish – don’t overdo it.” – Lao Tzu

“To lead people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tzu

“When the effective leader is finished with his work, the people say it happened naturally.” – Lao Tzu

“Be the chief but never the lord.” – Lao Tzu

“If you fail to honor your people, They will fail to honor you; It is said of a good leader that When the work is done, the aim fulfilled, The people will say, “We did this ourselves.”” – Lao Tzu

“Go to the people. Learn from them. Live with them. Start with what they know. Build with what they have. The best of leaders when the job is done, when the task is accomplished, the people will say we have done it ourselves.” – Lao Tzu

“The wise leader settles for good work and then lets others have the floor.” – Lao Tzu

“The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’” – Lao Tzu

“To lead, one must follow.” – Lao Tzu

“The group will not prosper if the leader grabs the lion’s share of the credit for the good work that has been done.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Desire

“Free from desire, you realize the mystery, caught in the desire, you see only the manifestations.” – Lao Tzu

“All men desire to free themselves solely from death; they do not know how to free themselves from life.” – Lao Tzu

“Peacefulness is an inner sense of calm – it comes from becoming still – in order to reflect and meditate on our inner wisdom and receive answers. A peaceful heart is one that is free from worry and trouble. It’s becoming quiet so we can look at things quietly so we can more clearly understand them and thus come up with creative solutions. It is learning to live in the present. Freedom from desire leads to inner peace.” – Lao Tzu

“Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.” – Lao Tzu

“To understand the limitations of things, desire them.” – Lao Tzu

“If one desires to receive one must first give. This is called profound understanding.” – Lao Tzu

“Who is unhappy with little, won’t be with much; who doesn’t appreciate the small won’t be able to take care of the large; who doesn’t have enough with enough is at the margin or virtue, for the physical body lives from one day to another and if it gets what it really needs, there will be time for meditation, as long as if we try to give it everything it desires, endless will be the task.” – Lao Tzu

“Lessen selfishness and restrain desires.” – Lao Tzu

“Without desire there is stillness, and the world settles by itself.” – Lao Tzu

“There is no greater crime than desire.” – Lao Tzu

“I have no desire to desire, and people become like the uncarved wood by themselves.” – Lao Tzu

“The sage desires no desire does not value rare treasures, learn without learning, recover what people have left behind.” – Lao Tzu

“The True Person benefits yet expects no reward, does the work, and moves on. There is no desire to be considered better than others.” – Lao Tzu

“There is no greater offense than harboring desires. There is no greater disaster than discontent. There is no greater misfortune than wanting more.” – Lao Tzu

“Embrace simplicity. Put others first. Desire little.” – Lao Tzu

“I let go of all desire for the common good, and the good becomes as common as the grass.” – Lao Tzu

“The Master’s power is like this. He lets all things come and go effortlessly, without desire. He never expects results; thus he is never disappointed. He is never disappointed; thus his spirit never grows old.” – Lao Tzu

“Through a return to simple living comes control of desires. In control of desires, stillness is attained. In the stillness, the world is restored.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Death

“When you realize where you come from, you naturally become tolerant, amused, kindhearted as a grandmother, and dignified as a king. Immersed in wonder, you can deal with whatever life brings you, and when death comes, you are ready.” – Lao Tzu

“Men are born soft and supple; dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life. The hard and stiff will be broken. The soft and supple will prevail.” – Lao Tzu

“Life is going forth; death is returning home.” – Lao Tzu

“Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.” – Lao Tzu

“Love is the greatest link that we have with those who have temporarily left us.” – Lao Tzu

“There is one appointed supreme executioner. Truly, trying to take the place of the supreme executioner is like trying to carve wood like a master carpenter. Of those who try to carve wood like a master carpenter, there are few who do not injure their hands.” – Lao Tzu

“People take death lightly. They expect too much of life. That is why people take death lightly.” – Lao Tzu

“Truly, only acting without thought of one’s life is superior to valuing one’s life.” – Lao Tzu

“People are born soft and weak. They die hard and stiff.” – Lao Tzu

“All things such as grass and trees are soft and supple in life. At their death, they are withered and dry.” – Lao Tzu

“The hard and stiff are death’s companions. The soft and weak are life’s companions.” – Lao Tzu

“Let people take death seriously, and not travel far.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Happiness

“As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.” – Lao Tzu

“Pain and happiness are simply conditions of the ego. Forget the ego.” – Lao Tzu

“Seek not happiness too greedily and be not fearful of happiness.” – Lao Tzu

“Fame or integrity: which is more important? Money or happiness: which is more valuable? Success or failure: which is more destructive? If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled. If your happiness depends on money, you will never be happy with yourself. Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

“He who is contented is rich.” – Lao Tzu

“To produce things and to rear them, To produce, but not to take possession of them, To act, but not to rely on one’s own ability, To lead them, but not to master them – This is called profound and secret virtue.” – Lao Tzu

“To attain the human form must always be a source of joy. And then to undergo continuous transitions, with only the infinite to look forward to what incomparable bliss is that!” – Lao Tzu

“To joy in conquest is to joy in the loss of human life.” – Lao Tzu

“The superior student listens to the Way and follows it closely. The average student listens to the Way and follows some and some not. The lesser student listens to the Way and laughs out loud. If there were no laughter it would not be the Way.” – Lao Tzu

“When superior people hear of the Way, they carry it out with diligence. When middling people hear of the Way, it sometimes seems to be there, sometimes not. When lesser people hear of the Way, they ridicule it greatly. If they didn’t laugh at it, it wouldn’t be the Way.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Journey

“Every journey begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu

“A journey of a thousand leagues begins beneath one’s feet.” – Lao Tzu

“A tree that can fill the span of a man’s arms grows from a downy tip; A terrace nine stories high rises from level earth; A journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath one’s feet.” – Lao Tzu

“Meandering leads to perfection.” – Lao Tzu

“Good walking leaves no track behind it.” – Lao Tzu

“The tree which needs two arms to span its girth sprang from the tiniest shoot. Yon tower, nine stories high, rose from a little mound of earth. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and if that step is the right step, it becomes the last step.” – Lao Tzu

“Even the longest journey must begin where you stand.” – Lao Tzu

“The journey of a thousand miles starts from beneath your feet.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Education

“Those who know do not talk. Those who talk do not know.” – Lao Tzu

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” – Lao Tzu

“Much knowledge will corrupt the heart When partly understood, And so the people grow too smart But neither wise nor good.” – Lao Tzu

“If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” – Lao Tzu

“To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.” – Lao Tzu

“The good man is the teacher of the bad, And the bad is the material from which the good may learn. He who does not value the teacher, Or greatly care for the material, Is greatly deluded although he may be learned. Such is the essential mystery.” – Lao Tzu

“Learn to value what is important today in the subtle realm rather than what appears desirable tomorrow in the worldly realm.” – Lao Tzu

“To know yet to think that one does not know is best; Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.” – Lao Tzu

“He who knows much about others may be learned, but he who understands himself is more intelligent. He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” – Lao Tzu

“The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.” – Lao Tzu

“The wise are not learned, the learned are not wise.” – Lao Tzu

“In the pursuit of learning, every day something is acquired. In the pursuit of Tao, every day something is dropped.” – Lao Tzu

“A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.” – Lao Tzu

“Abandon learning and there will be no sorrow.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Nature

“Empty yourself of everything. Let the mind become still. The ten thousand things rise and fall while the Self watches their return. They grow and flourish and then return to the source. Returning to the source is stillness, which is the way of nature.” – Lao Tzu

“Be empty. Be still. Just watch everything come and go. This is the way of Nature.” – Lao Tzu

“He who knows how to be aggressive, and yet remains patient, becomes a receptacle for all of Nature’s lessons.” – Lao Tzu

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu

“Man, when living, is soft and tender; when dead, he is hard and tough. All animals and plants when living are tender and delicate; when dead they become withered and dry. Therefore it is said: the hard and tough are parts of death; the soft and tender are parts of life.” – Lao Tzu

“It is better to do one’s own 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 own nature reveals it, never sins.” – Lao Tzu

“To see things in the seed, that is genius.” – Lao Tzu

“All things in nature work silently. They come into being and possess nothing. They fulfill their function and make no claim. All things alike do their work, and then we see them subside. When they have reached their bloom, each returns to its origin. . . . This reversion is an eternal law. To know that law is wisdom.” – Lao Tzu

“Nature doesn’t make long speeches.” – Lao Tzu

“The fourth (of the four cardinal virtues) is supportiveness: this manifests as service to others without expectation of reward. (Paraphrased: Such service is not a mere conforming to some external rule of behavior, but instead a manifestation of your original nature).” – Lao Tzu

“Because clarity and enlightenment are within your own nature, they are regained without moving an inch.” – Lao Tzu

“Remember: if you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear.” – Lao Tzu

“Nature is not human hearted.” – Lao Tzu

“Eliminate mental muddiness and obscurity; keep your mind crystal clear. Allow your pure original insight to emerge. Quiet your emotions and abide in serenity. Don’t go crazy with the worship of idols, images, and ideas; this is like putting a new head on top of the head you already have. Remember: if you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Time

“Take time to listen to what is said without words, to obey the law too subtle to be written, to worship the unnameable, and to embrace the unformed.” – Lao Tzu

“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to.’” – Lao Tzu

“To practice virtue is to selflessly offer assistance to others, giving without limitation one’s time, abilities, and possessions in service, whenever and wherever needed, without prejudice concerning the identity of those in need.” – Lao Tzu

“A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth.” – Lao Tzu

“The Master keeps her mind always at one with the Tao; that is what gives her her radiance. The Tao is ungraspable. How can her mind be at one with it? Because she doesn’t cling to ideas. The Tao is dark and unfathomable. How can it make her radiant? Because she lets it. Since before time and space were, the Tao is. It is beyond is and is not. How do I know this is true? I look inside myself and see.” – Lao Tzu

“Worlds and particles, bodies and beings, time and space: All are transient expressions of the Tao.” – Lao Tzu

“By following this simple path, you become extraordinary, unfathomable, a being of profound cosmic subtlety. You outlive time and space by realizing the subtle truth of the universe.” – Lao Tzu

“There is a time to live and a time to die but never to reject the moment.” – Lao Tzu

“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.” – Lao Tzu

“Make the earth a dwelling place. Cultivate the heart and mind. Practice benevolence. Stand by your word. Govern with equity. Serve skillfully. Act in a timely way, without contentiousness, free of blame.” – Lao Tzu

“But I have heard that he who is skillful in managing the life entrusted to him for a time travels on the land without having to shun rhinoceros or tiger, and enters a host without having to avoid buff coat or sharp weapon.” – Lao Tzu

“If you know when to stop, you’ll suffer no harm. And in this way you can last a very long time.” – Lao Tzu

“Live in a good place. Keep your mind deep. Treat others well. Stand by your word. Make fair rules. Do the right thing. Work when it’s time.” – Lao Tzu

“Stop trying to imitate what the sages have done. That’s past, and though it might have been appropriate at the time, that time is over. The present is alive. Don’t use what’s dead as a guide to what’s alive.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Change

“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.” – Lao Tzu

“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.” – Lao Tzu

“All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.” – Lao Tzu

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu

“Can you deal with the most vital matters by letting events take their course? Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things? Giving birth and nourishing, having without possessing, acting with no expectations, leading, and not trying to control: this is the supreme virtue.” – Lao Tzu

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent upon arriving. A good artist lets his intuition lead him wherever it wants. A good scientist has freed himself of concepts and keeps his mind open to what is.” – Lao Tzu

“Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” – Lao Tzu

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” – Lao Tzu

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” – Lao Tzu

“If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Water

“Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness.” – Lao Tzu

“Have patience. Wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Remain unmoving until right action arises by itself.” – Lao Tzu

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” – Lao Tzu

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.” – Lao Tzu

“In this world, there is nothing softer or thinner than water. But to compel the hard and unyielding, it has no equal. That the weak overcomes the strong, that the hard gives way to the gentle – this everyone knows. Yet no one asks accordingly.” – Lao Tzu

“Nothing in the world is more flexible and yielding than water. Yet when it attacks the firm and the strong, none can withstand it, because they have no way to change it. So the flexible overcome the adamant, the yielding overcome the forceful. Everyone knows this, but no one can do it.” – Lao Tzu

“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.” – Lao Tzu

“Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Be still and allow the mud to settle.” – Lao Tzu

“The best people are like water, which benefits all things and does not compete with them. It stays in lowly places that others reject. This is why it is so similar to the Way.” – Lao Tzu

“The fish cannot leave the deep waters. The state’s weaponry should not be displayed.” – Lao Tzu

“Obscure, like muddy waters.” – Lao Tzu

“Supreme good is like water. Water greatly benefits all things, without conflict. It flows through places that people loathe. Thereby it is close to the Way.” – Lao Tzu

“Nothing on earth is so weak and yielding as water, but for breaking down the firm and strong it has no equal.” – Lao Tzu

“Highest good is like water. Because water excels in benefiting the myriad creatures without contending with them and settles where none would like to be, it comes closest to the way.” – Lao Tzu

“Only by working within the laws that govern the flow of water will happiness be achieved.” – Lao Tzu

“Nothing is weaker than water, Yet for overcoming what is hard and strong, Nothing surpasses it.” – Lao Tzu

“Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.” – Lao Tzu

“Who is there who can make muddy waters clear? But if allowed to remain still, it will gradually clear itself.” – Lao Tzu

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” – Lao Tzu

“Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it. The soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid. Everyone knows this is true, but few can put it into practice. Therefore the Master remains serene in the midst of sorrow. Evil cannot enter his heart. Because he has given up helping, he is people’s greatest help. True words seem paradoxical.” – Lao Tzu

“A man’s excellence is like that of water; It benefits all things without striving; It takes to the low places shunned by men. Water is akin to Tao. . . . In all the earth nothing weaker than water, Yet in attacking the hard, nothing superior, Nothing so certain in wearing down strength: There is no “way to resist it. Note then: The weak conquer the strong, The yielding outlast the aggressors.” – Lao Tzu

“Water benefits the ten thousand things and does not oppose them.” – Lao Tzu

“Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Love

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” – Lao Tzu

“Because of a great love, one is courageous.” – Lao Tzu

“Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.” – Lao Tzu

“Accept disgrace willingly… Accept being unimportant… Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things. Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.” – Lao Tzu

“In the Way of Heaven, there is no partiality of love; it is always on the side of the good man.” – Lao Tzu

“Love the whole world as if it were your self; then you will truly care for all things.” – Lao Tzu

“The sage wears clothes of coarse cloth but carries jewels in his bosom; He knows himself but does not display himself; He loves himself but does not hold himself in high esteem.” – Lao Tzu

“By the accident of fortune a man may rule the world for a time, but by virtue of love and kindness he may rule the world forever.” – Lao Tzu

“Whatever is flexible and living will tend to grow; whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die.” – Lao Tzu

“Every being in the universe is an expression of the Tao. It springs into existence, unconscious, perfect, free, takes on a physical body, lets circumstances complete it. That is why every being spontaneously honors the Tao. The Tao gives birth to all beings, nourishes them, maintains them, cares for them, comforts them, protects them, takes them back to itself, creating without possessing, acting without expecting, guiding without interfering. That is why love of the Tao is in the very nature of things.” – Lao Tzu

“In the Golden Age, Rulers were unknown. In the following age, Rulers were loved and praised. Next came the age When rulers were feared. Finally, the age When rulers are hated.” – Lao Tzu

“He who loves does not dispute: He who disputes does not love.” – Lao Tzu

“When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people’s hearts.” – Lao Tzu

“If the Great Way perishes there will be morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants.” – Lao Tzu

“Give up your relentless moralizing, the continual pinpricks which pierce the skin of your fellows. The distinction between good and evil is the sickness of the mind. Give up your morals, and the people will regain the love of their fellows.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes about Life

“He who overcomes others has force; he who overcomes himself is strong.” – Lao Tzu

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” – Lao Tzu

“Don’t think you can attain total awareness and whole enlightenment without proper discipline and practice. This is egomania. Appropriate rituals channel your emotions and life energy toward the light. Without the discipline to practice them, you will tumble constantly backward into darkness.” – Lao Tzu

“Most of the world’s religions serve only to strengthen think you can attain total awareness such as self and other, life and death, heaven and earth, and so on. Those who become entangled in these false ideas are prevented from perceiving the Integral Oneness.” – Lao Tzu

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” – Lao Tzu

“A good traveler leaves no tracks. Good speech lacks fault-finding.” – Lao Tzu

“Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.” – Lao Tzu

“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 and dry in brittle in death So the soft and supple are the companion of life While the stiff and unyielding are the companions of death An army that cannot yield will be defeated A tree that cannot bend will crack in the wind Thus by Nature’s own decree the hard and strong are defeated while the soft and gentle are triumphant.” – Lao Tzu

“To have little is to possess.” – Lao Tzu

“Hold on to the center and make up your mind to rejoice in this paradise called life.” – Lao Tzu

“The way to use life is to do nothing through acting, The way to use life is to do everything through being.” – Lao Tzu

“The Master gives himself up to whatever the moment brings. He knows that he is going to die, and she has nothing left to hold on to: no illusions in his mind, no resistances in his body. He doesn’t think about his actions; they flow from the core of his being. He holds nothing back from life; therefore he is ready for death, as a man is ready for sleep after a good day’s work.” – Lao Tzu

“The new life created by the final integration is self-aware yet without ego, capable of inhabiting a body yet not attached to it, and guided by wisdom rather than emotion. Whole and virtuous, it can never die.” – Lao Tzu

“Why do the people think so little of death? Because the rulers demand too much of life. Therefore the people take death lightly.” – Lao Tzu

Famous Lao Tzu Quotes

“Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.” – Lao Tzu

“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.” – Lao Tzu

“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.” – Lao Tzu

“Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu

“If I had just a little bit of wisdom I should walk the great path and fear only straying from it.” – Lao Tzu

“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job.” – Lao Tzu

“It is better to leave a vessel unfilled than to attempt to carry it when it is full.” – Lao Tzu

“The master dwells in the substantial and not in the superficial. Rests in the fruit and not in the flower.” – Lao Tzu

“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.” – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu Quotes – FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about Lao Tzu quotes.

Lao Tzu or Laozi was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.

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