75 Lao Tzu Quotes (About Knowing Yourself, Life, Leadership…)

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Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese writer and philosopher. He was the founder of philosophical Taoism and the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching (a collection of texts illustrating the fundamental Taoist teachings).

He existed during the 6th century B.C and is regarded as a pivotal figure in Chinese culture. Lao Tzu is also deemed as a deity in traditional Chinese religions and the father of Chinese Taoism.

Although there are not enough records about his life, Lao Tzu’s teachings have been passed down through the centuries and have influenced many people from all walks of life, regardless of religion and culture.

The stories support that Laozi never opened a formal school, but his knowledge and understanding drew in a large number of loyal disciples and students. His timeless wisdom can teach us a lot about life.

We have listed the top 75 Lao Tzu quotes and sayings that reveals his thoughts and views regarding life, leadership, and many more.

Lao Tzu Quotes About Knowing Yourself

1. “He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.”

2. “He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” 

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough - Lao Tzu. #quotes #knowing #yourself #enough

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

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

5. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”

6. “Man’s enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.”

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

8. “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.”

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

10. “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.”

Lao Tzu Quotes About Life

1. “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.”

2. “An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.”

3. “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.”

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

5. “Great acts are made up of small deeds.” 

Great acts are made up of small deeds - Lao Tzu. #quotes #life #great #acts #small #deeds

6. “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.”

7. “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be a reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”

Lao Tzu Quotes About Leadership

1. 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.

2. “Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.”

3. “To lead people, walk behind them.” 

To lead people, walk behind them - Lao Tzu. #quotes #leadership #walk #behind

4. “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”

5. “When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.”

6. “When the best leader’s work is done the people say, We did it ourselves.”

Lao Tzu Quotes About Helping

1. “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.”

2. “The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.”

3. “He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.” 

He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much - Lao Tzu. #quotes #helping #obtains #little #scatters #much

4. “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.”

5. “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.”

6. “From caring comes courage.”

7. “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 Quotes About Education

1. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.”

2. “If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.” 

If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence - Lao Tzu. #quotes #education #take #give #beginning #intelligence

3. “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”

4. “Those who have knowledge, don’t predict. Those who predict, don’t have knowledge.”

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

6. “The words of truth are always paradoxical.”

Lao Tzu Quotes About Love

1. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

2. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”

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

4. “Because of great love, one is courageous.” 

Because of great love, one is courageous - Lao Tzu. #quotes #love #great #courageous

Lao Tzu, More Quotes & Sayings

1. “I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.”

2. “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.”

3. “Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline; simulated fear postulates courage; simulated weakness postulates strength.”

4. “He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted.” 

He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted - Lao Tzu. #quotes #trust #enough

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

6. “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.”

7. “The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.”

8. “If you keep feeling a point that has been sharpened, the point cannot long preserve its sharpness.”

9. “Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.”

10. “One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.”

11. “Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretches her fingers to touch the heavens.”

12. “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; the Named is the mother of all things.”

13. “Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.”

14. “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”

15. “Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.” 

Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment - Lao Tzu. #quotes #respond #intelligently

16. “Man takes his law from the Earth; the Earth takes its law from Heaven; Heaven takes its law from the Tao. The law of the Tao is its being what it is.”

17. “He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.”

18. “Sincere words are not fine; fine words are not sincere.”

19. “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.”

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

21. “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” 

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe - Lao Tzu. #quotes #music #soul #universe

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

23. “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.”

24. “Heaven is long-enduring, and earth continues long. The reason why heaven and earth are able to endure and continue thus long is that they do not live of, or for, themselves.”

25. “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.”

26. “How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?”

27. “The higher the sun ariseth, the less shadow doth he cast; even so the greater is the goodness, the less doth it covets praise, yet cannot avoid its rewards in honors.”

28. “Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.”

29. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”

30. “He who talks more is sooner exhausted.”

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

32. “A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”

33. “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.”

34. “Silence is a source of great strength.” 

Silence is a source of great strength - Lao Tzu. #quotes #silence #source #great #strength

35. “There was something undifferentiated and yet complete, which existed before Heaven and Earth. Soundless and formless, it depends on nothing and does not change. It operates everywhere and is free from danger. It may be considered the mother of the universe. I do not know its name; I call it Tao.”

If you would like to know more about the works and teachings of Lao Tzu, we would suggest you read, Tao Te Ching.