Inspiration and wisdom from divine felines

150 Inspiring Quotes by Laozi (Lao Tzu)

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Lao Tzu.

Wikipedia Summary for Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Lao Tzu ( or ), also rendered as Laozi (UK: ; US: ; Chinese: 老子, Mandarin: [làu̯.tsɹ̩]; commonly translated as "Old Master") and Lao-Tze (), 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.

A semi-legendary figure, Lao Tzu was usually portrayed as a 6th-century BC contemporary of Confucius, but some modern historians consider him to have lived during the Warring States period of the 4th century BC. A central figure in Chinese culture, Laozi is claimed by both the emperors of the Tang dynasty and modern people of the Li surname as a founder of their lineage. Laozi's work has been embraced by both various anti-authoritarian movements and Chinese Legalism.

brown french bulldog wearing red and white santa hat sitting on yellow pasta

The truest sayings are paradoxical.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

low-angle photo of white daisy

If lightning is the anger of the gods, then the gods are concerned mostly about trees.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

body of water

Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

red and white heart balloons

Some lose yet gain, others gain and yet lose.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

blue and black abstract painting

Two names emerge from a single origin and both are called mysterious.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


smiling woman

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

full-bloomed red and white tulip flowers

From wonder into wonder existence opens.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

blue rose with water droplet

The hard and mighty lie beneath the ground
While the tender and weak dance on the breeze above.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

green-leafed plant

So the unwanting soul
sees what's hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul
sees only what it wants.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


car passing by in between trees

Know that you don't know. That is superior.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

purple and blue light illustration

The great Tao is universal like a flood… All creatures depend on it, and it denies nothing to anyone. It does its work, but it makes no claims for itself. It clothes and feeds all, but it does not lord it over them.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


grayscale photography of elephant

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

worm's eye view photography of pink cheery blossom tree

Stillness and tranquility set things in order in the universe.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


three clear glass cups

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white and black satellite dish on brown field during night time

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

girl leaning on wall during daytime

If you are untrustworthy, people will not trust you.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

green sports court illustration

The best of all leaders is the one who helps people so that eventually they don't need him.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white and red flower with green leaves

He who defends with love will be secure; Heaven will save him, and protect him with love.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

man playing soccer during daytime

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

Simple in actions and in thoughts, you return to the source of being..

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white rose enclosed photograph

If you show yourself, you will not be seen. If you affirm yourself, you will not shine.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

red flowers with water droplets

To speak little is natural. Therefore a gale does not blow a whole morning nor does a downpour last a whole day.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

landscape photography of mountain

Knowing how to yield is strength.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

shallow focus photography of orange flower

He who defines himself can't know who he really is.
He who has power over others can't empower himself.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)




brown rock formation on body of water during daytime

Without desire there is stillness, and the world settles by itself.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person with flashlight near lighted green tree on mountain under starry night

To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

brown chopped logs

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

woman looking up to the sky while standing on white sand

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

flowers

He who is contented is rich.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

black bird flying on white background

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Light blue to dark blue gradient

Any good person who is motivated to attain awareness of the whole truth should follow the Universal Way to calm his mind and harmonize it with all aspects of life.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

green leafed tree with sunlight at daytime

The best fighter is never angry.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

man in black and white striped shirt sitting on brown rock during daytime

If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

rock formation above water

There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

grayscale photography of raindrops

My own definition of leadership is this: The capacity and the will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence. --General Montgomery.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person holding green plant during daytime

Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

red rose in close up photography

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


silhouette of person on top of mountain pointing flashlight on sky filled with stars at night time

To see things in the seed, that is genius.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

shallow focus photography of bee on flower

To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

green and white bird on black wire during daytime

Whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. What is soft is strong.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

green leaf

When people see some things as beautiful,
other things become ugly.
When people see some things as good,
other things become bad.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white ceramic mug with coffee on brown wooden table

If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never truly be fulfilled.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Longer Version:

If you look to others for fulfillment, you will never 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.


seashore during golden hour

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

red and white heart balloons

When nothing is done,
nothing is left undone.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

snow-capped mountain at the horizon viewed from lake dock

All things in the world come from being. And being comes from non-being.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

man and woman kissing beside body of water during daytime

Freedom from desire leads to inner peace.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

silhouette of person jumping in mid air

Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

blue parrot standing on brown tree branch

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

golden retriever inside car

A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


black Corona typewriter on brown wood planks

If the teacher is not respected and the student not cared for, confusion will arise, however clever one is.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

silhouette of man standing on hill during starry night

Time is a created thing. To say "I don't have time," is like saying, "I don't want to."

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

green sports court illustration

As long as we have hope, we have direction, the energy to move, and the map to move by.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

man holding his head

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

man with LED headlight looking upward

To know when you have enough is to be rich beyond measure.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

rock formation surrounding by body of water

All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Arizona landscape

When I let go of who I am, I become who I might be.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

bird at pier

To lead people walk behind them.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Longer Version:

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!


pink flower

With no desire, at rest and still, all things go right as of their will.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

trees at sunset

The world is ruled by letting things take their course.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


bird in the sky

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white and gray cat

The way to do is to be.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

selective focus photo of green snake plant

The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)



photography of yellow petaled flowers field

Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

man and woman holding hand while walking on bridge

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

mountain dew during sunrise

Those who have weak faith themselves cannot arouse faith in others.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

grassland landscape

There is
a time to live
and a time to die
but never to reject the moment.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

shallow focus photography of red flower

He who talks more is sooner exhausted.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs

The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Longer Version:

The wise man does not lay up his own treasures.
The more he gives to others,
the more he has for his own.


silhouette of stones during golden hour

Do you imagine the universe is agitated? Go into the desert at night and look at the stars. This practice should answer the question.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

castle surrounded fog

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

green and red flowers

The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

ice berg

Chase after money and security
And your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
And you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Arizona landscape

When armies are mobilized and issues joined, the man who is sorry over the fact will win.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

woman signing on white printer paper beside woman about to touch the documents

Have patience. Wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Remain unmoving until right action arises by itself.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

brown rugby ball

Тhe gentle overcomes the rigid.
The slow overcomes the fast.
The weak overcomes the strong.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

blue, white, and pink petaled flowers on gray surface

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

macro photography of green bird on tree branch

The Way to do is to be.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

shallow focus photography of red flower

By letting go it all gets done.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Longer Version:

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.


turned on desk lamp beside pile of books

Stop thinking, and end your problems.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

red tulip in bloom close up photo

When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

photography of white wall lot

It is not wise to rush about. If too much energy is used, exhaustion follows. This is not the way of Tao.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

closeup photo of lounger chairs and beach umbrellas

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

selective focus photo of four green humming birds with red flowers

Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

brown wallpaper

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

body of water under clear blue sky painting

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

A view of the night showing stars

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

two white flowers

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

green bird perching on stem

To live till you die
Is to live long enough.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person with blue paint on hand

A good traveller leaves no tracks.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Longer Version:

A good traveler leaves no tracks. Good speech lacks fault-finding.


person standing on top of mountain

Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person wearing black top

Because of a great love, one is courageous.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

couple sitting near trees during golden hour

To know and to think we know not, is the crown. Not to know and to think we know, is the affliction.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

grayscale photo of person's back

To know that you do not know is the best.
To think you know when you do not is a disease.
Recognizing this disease as a disease is to be free of it.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person walking on snowfield

The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Longer Version:

The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world. Through this I know the advantage of taking no action.


snow-capped mountain at the horizon viewed from lake dock

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

man in black jacket and pants jumping on white rock

The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

Highly evolved people have their own conscience as pure law.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white analog wall clock at 11 00

We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

three women sitting on rock near body of water

The world belongs to those who let go.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

iceberg near mountain during day

Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

adult Cavalier King Charles Spaniel dog

To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

snow-covered mountain near lake under blue sky

Great acts are made up of small deeds.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white pendant lamp

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white stone woman sculpture

The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
...
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

close-up photography of heart shaped fairy lite on brown sand

Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish -- too much handling will spoil it.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


person holding sunflower

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

black pug puppy on white and pink textile

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

low angle photography of gray concrete building

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

white and blue building under clear sky

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

depth photography of purple petaled flowers

Violence, even well intentioned, always rebounds upon oneself.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)



black pug puppy on white and pink textile

Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

pink and blue painted wall

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

brown rocky mountain under blue sky during daytime

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

yellow painted wall

Love is a decision -- not an emotion!

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


white analog wall clock at 11 00

Guard the senses and life is ever full...always be busy and life is beyond hope.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

orange lily in bloom close up photo

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

brown tree on surrounded by brown grass during golden hour

A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person surfing on sea waves during daytime

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.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

Longer Version:

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.


silhouette photography of person

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

brown mountain at nighttime

If you want to awaken all of humanity, awaken all of yourself.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

cloudy sky

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

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

blue mountains at daytime

The greatest conqueror wins without struggle.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person walking on street while holding black umbrella near cars on road at nighttime

From caring comes courage.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

empty pathway

To lead the people, walk behind them.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

pink

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.'

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

shallow focus photography of snowflake

He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

selective focus photography of stones on sand

Nature is not human hearted.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)


sunset

If you want to govern the people,
You must place yourself below them.
If you want to lead people,
You must learn how to follow them.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

person with black tattoo on left hand

If you want to know me, look inside your heart.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

macro photography of green bird on tree branch

Every step is on the path.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

pair of white lace-up shoes

Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.

--Laozi (Lao-Tzu)

We wish you a perfect day!