The Philosopher Lao Tzu and his Inspirational Quotes

Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher renowned for his inspirational teachings and revered by the Daoists. Legend has it that Lao Tzu was conceived when his mother saw a shooting star. It’s also widely believed that he lived for 990 years (although unlikely to be true).

He lived in 6th century BC, blessed with an abundance of spiritual energy. Sometimes known as Laozi or Lao Tze, he worked as record keeper in the Chinese Zhou Dynasty court.

It was well-known that the dynastic court of Zhou was corrupt and Lao Tzu grew tired of the discord so decided to leave. It is believed that he travelled on the back of a water buffalo which took him to the Western borders of China.

Lao Tzu Quote Thoughts and destinyThere, he wrote a sacred text called “Tao Te Ching”, a famous philosophical book which has to this day inspired millions of people and was the text that Daoism based its beliefs.

After he wrote his book, he crossed over the Chinese border and is rumoured to have led the rest of his life living as a hermit. It is even believed that Confucius was a student of Lao Tzu.

The text of Tao Te Ching has been passed down for two thousand years and is still read today. There are half a billion Daoists in the world that chant scriptures, meditate and worship a number of different gods and goddesses. Lao Tzu is one of their inspirational role models and his texts honoured, especially his religious titles such as “Supremely Mysterious and Primordial Emperor”.

Lao Tzu Quote HealthLao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching scriptures are almost biblical and used as an instruction guide on how to live a good life. It discusses the paths to happiness, harmony and virtue and offers advice on how to take a simple path to contentment. The suggestions that

Lao Tzu makes are actually very simple and many people live a fruitful, contented life by following his teachings.

You can read and absorb some Lao Tzu quotes here and perhaps use them as the basis to living a happier, more fulfilling life. In fact, many people do believe that his quotes offer clarity when life feels clouded.

Lao Tzu Quotes To Inspire

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.

Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.

Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.

Stop thinking and end your problems.

Lao Tzu Quote what others thinkWhen I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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

One cannot reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.

The higher the sun arises, 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 honours.

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

Lao Tzu Quote Dreams

Lao Tzu Quotes On Leadership

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.

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.

Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.

Lao Tzu Quote living in the presentThe 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.

To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.

Be the chief but never the lord.

To lead people walk behind them.

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

To see things in the seed, that is genius.

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 Quote on LeadershipIf 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.

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.

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

Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.

Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens.

Lao Tzu Quote on GivingConfidence is the greatest friend.

For the wise man looks into space and he knows there are no limited dimensions.

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

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

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 Quotes On Happiness

He who is contented is rich.

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

He who knows himself is enlightened.

Lao Tzu Quote on RespectHe who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

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.

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.

Lao Tzu Quotes On Death

  1. 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.
  2. New beginnings are disguised as painful endings.
  3. Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.

Lao Tzu Quotes On Love

  1. 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.
  2. The heart that gives, gathers.
  3. Make your heart like a lake with a calm still surface and great depths of kindness.
  4. Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
  5. Because of a great love, one is courageous.
  6. From caring comes courage.
  7. Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.
  8. Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.

Lao Tzu Quotes On Journeying

  1. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
  2. A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
  3. If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

Lao Tzu Quotes On Life

Silence is a source of great strength.

Be still like a mountain, and flow like a great river.

Act without expectation.

He who talks more is sooner exhausted.

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Lao Tzu Quote good deedsWatch 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.

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

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

Those who have knowledge don’t predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge.

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.

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 Quote KindnessUse the light that is within you to revert to your natural clearness of sight.

Empty yourself of everything – let the mind become still.
By letting go, it all gets done.

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

In dwelling, be close to the land. In meditation, go deep in the heart. In dealing with others, be gentle and kind. In speech, be true. In ruling, be just. In business, be competent. In action, watch the timing.

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.

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

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

Great acts are made up of small deeds.

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.

He who conquers others is strong; He who conquers himself is mighty.

Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.

He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted.

Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.

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.

Few things under heaven bring more benefit than the lessons learned from silence and the actions taken without striving.
Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.

Lao Tzu Quotes On Respect

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

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 Quotes On Kindness

  1. Great acts are made up of small deeds.
  2. Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
  3. He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much.
  4. The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.

Carmen is an entrepreneur and content marketer. In a former life, as a corporate business executive, she relied on yoga, reflexology and other alternative practices to fight stress, anxiety and find balance. She’s on a mission to build healthy habits for a balanced, healthy life, connecting body, mind and spirit.