Motivation, People

101 Powerful and Inspiring Quotes by Lao Tzu

Popular Lao Tzu Quotes

Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese poet and a philosopher. He is best known as the reputed author the Tao Te. He also the founder of Taoism and is revered like a divine being in religious Taoism as well as traditional Chinese beliefs. Below is a list of famous quotes by Lao Tzu.

Lao Tzu Quotes

  1. “Nature is not human hearted.” - Lao Tzu
  2. “Be the chief but never the lord.” - Lao Tzu
  3. “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.” - Lao Tzu
  4. “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.” - Lao Tzu
  5. “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” - Lao Tzu
  6. “Great acts are made up of small deeds.” - Lao Tzu
  7. “I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.” - Lao Tzu
  8. “Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.” - Lao Tzu
  9. “When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder.” - Lao Tzu
  10. “An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.” - Lao Tzu
  11. “A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.” - Lao Tzu
  12. “Do not look only at yourself, and you will see much. Do not justify yourself, and you will be distinguished. Do not brag, and you will have merit. Do not be prideful, and your work will endure.” - Lao Tzu
  13. “When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.” - Lao Tzu
  14. “Silence is a source of great strength.” - Lao Tzu
  15. “Act without striving. Work without interfering. Find the flavour in what is flavourless.” - Lao Tzu
  16. “Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.” - Lao Tzu
  17. “From wonder into wonder existence opens.” - Lao Tzu
  18. “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
  19. “All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.” - Lao Tzu
  20. “Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.” - Lao Tzu
  21. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” - Lao Tzu
  22. “If the Great Way perishes there will 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
  23. “To see things in the seed, that is genius.” - Lao Tzu
  24. “The words of truth are always paradoxical.” - Lao Tzu
  25. “One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.” - Lao Tzu
  26. “Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens.” - Lao Tzu
  27. “To lead people walk behind them.” - Lao Tzu
  28. “Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window One can see the way of heaven. The further one goes The less one knows.” - Lao Tzu
  29. “If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.” - Lao Tzu
  30. “He who talks more is sooner exhausted.” - Lao Tzu
  31. “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” - Lao Tzu
  32. “Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.” - Lao Tzu
  33. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” - Lao Tzu
  34. “He who knows himself is enlightened.” - Lao Tzu
  35. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” - Lao Tzu
  36. “Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.” - Lao Tzu
  37. “The ten thousand things flourish and then each returns to the root from which it came. Returning to the root is stillness. Through stillness each fulfils its destiny.” - Lao Tzu
  38. “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” - Lao Tzu
  39. “Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.” - Lao Tzu
  40. “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” - Lao Tzu
  41. “To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.” - Lao Tzu
  42. “Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it.” - Lao Tzu
  43. “He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted.” - Lao Tzu
  44. “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
  45. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” - Lao Tzu
  46. “Because of a great love, one is courageous.” - Lao Tzu
  47. “Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.” - Lao Tzu
  48. “The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.” - Lao Tzu
  49. “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 the winning.” - Lao Tzu
  50. “He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.” - Lao Tzu
  51. “Few things under heaven bring more benefit than the lessons learned from silence and the actions taken without striving.” - Lao Tzu
  52. “When the best leader’s work is done the people say, “We did it ourselves.”” - Lao Tzu
  53. “For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.” - Lao Tzu
  54. “The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.” - Lao Tzu
  55. “The True Person avoids extremes, self-indulgence, and extravagance.” - Lao Tzu
  56. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” - Lao Tzu
  57. “Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.” - Lao Tzu
  58. “The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.” - Lao Tzu
  59. “Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.” - Lao Tzu
  60. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” - Lao Tzu
  61. “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” - Lao Tzu
  62. “The career of a sage is of two kinds: He is either honored by all in the world, Like a flower waving its head, Or else he disappears into the silent forest.” - Lao Tzu
  63. “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
  64. “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” - Lao Tzu
  65. “He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.” - Lao Tzu
  66. “There is no greater offence than harbouring desires. There is no greater disaster than discontent. There is no greater misfortune than wanting more.” - Lao Tzu
  67. “From caring comes courage.” - Lao Tzu
  68. “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
  69. “How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?” - Lao Tzu
  70. “Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.” - Lao Tzu
  71. “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” - Lao Tzu
  72. “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. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present.” - Lao Tzu
  73. “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
  74. “What is well rooted cannot be pulled up. What is firmly grasped will not slip loose. It will be honoured from generation to generation.” - Lao Tzu
  75. “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
  76. “From caring comes courage.” - Lao Tzu
  77. “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
  78. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” - Lao Tzu
  79. “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
  80. “Weapons are not proper instruments for gentle people; they use them only when they have no other choice. Peace and quiet are what they value. They do not glory in victory.” - Lao Tzu
  81. “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
  82. “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
  83. “Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.” - Lao Tzu
  84. “Man’s enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.” - Lao Tzu
  85. “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
  86. “Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.” - Lao Tzu
  87. “Knowing others is to be clever. Knowing yourself is to be enlightened. Overcoming others requires force. Overcoming yourself requires strength.” - Lao Tzu
  88. “The True Person governs by emptying the heart of desire and filling the belly with food, weakening ambitions and strengthening bones.” - Lao Tzu
  89. “Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” - Lao Tzu
  90. “The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.” - Lao Tzu
  91. “Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.” - Lao Tzu
  92. “The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.” - Lao Tzu
  93. “One who is too insistent on his own views, finds few to agree with him.” - Lao Tzu
  94. “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.” - Lao Tzu
  95. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.” - Lao Tzu
  96. “Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.” - Lao Tzu
  97. “He who is contented is rich.” - Lao Tzu
  98. “From caring comes courage.” - Lao Tzu
  99. “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
  100. “The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.” - Lao Tzu
  101. “The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast; even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covet praise; yet cannot avoid its rewards in honors.” - Lao Tzu

Above were some of the great quotes by Lao Tzu, if you have more of his quotes do share the same through your comments.