70 Lao Tzu Quotes on Greatness, Life, and Wisdom

If you need some quotes that can help you find your inner strength, then these Lao Tzu quotes are perfect for you!

Lao Tzu, also known as Laozi or Lao Tze, was a Chinese philosopher who focused his studies and beliefs on Taoism.

He is most famous for Tao Te Ching, a publication wherein he compiled his most significant pieces of wisdom.

Tao Te Ching was created in order for him to share his knowledge and pieces of advice when it comes to living spiritually and correcting one’s behavior.

The writings he left behind stood the test of time and are still something we look to for advice today.

Check out what Lao Tzu has to say about living a simple and happy life by reading the collection below.

Start reading here.

And don’t forget to check out these Confucius quotes and Marcus Aurelius quotes.

Best Lao Tzu Quotes

1. “Watch 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.”

2. “A journey of a thousand li starts beneath one’s feet.”

3. “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.” 

4. “The highest virtue is to act without a sense of self. The highest kindness is to give without condition. The highest justice is to see without preference.”

5. “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.” 

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

7. “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” 

8. “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” 

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

10. “Make your heart like a lake with a calm still surface and great depths of kindness.” 

11. “Whether you’re a gem in the royal court or a stone on the common path if you accept your part with humility the glory of the universe will be yours.”

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

13. “Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don’t see the self as self, what do we have to fear?” 

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

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

Famous Lao Tzu Quotes

16. “The truth is not always beautiful, nor are beautiful words the truth.”

17. “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.”

18. “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’”

19. “Begin your task before it becomes a burden. Put things in order before they get out of hand.”

20. “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.”

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

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22. “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.”

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

24. “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.”

25. “Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.”

Also read: Famous Quotes, Inspirational Quotes

Inspirational Lao Tzu Quotes

26. “The soft overcomes the hard, and the weak the strong.”

27. “The difficult problems in life always start off being simple. Great affairs always start off being small.”

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

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

30. “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.”

31. “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.”

32. “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.”

Also read: Alan Watts Quotes

Short but Meaningful Lao Tzu Quotes

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

34. “To understand the limitations of things, desire them.”

35. “Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.”

36. “Act without expectation.”

37. “The best fighter is never angry.”

38. “Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.”

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

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

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

42. “He who is contented is rich.”

Also read: Short Quotes, Meaningful Quotes

Wise Lao Tzu Quotes Packed With Insights and Lessons

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

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

45. “A violent wind does not last for a whole morning; a sudden rain does not last for the whole day.”

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

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

48. “The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.”

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

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

51. “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 Quotes on Love

52. “Love is a decision. Not an emotion.”

53. “He who defends with love will be secure; heaven will save him, and protect him with love.”

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

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

56. “Because of a great love, one is courageous.”

57. “Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.”

Also read: Love Quotes, True Love Quotes

Lao Tzu Quotes About Life

58. “If you wind, the rest of your life will fall into place.”

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

60. “Who acts in stillness finds stillness in his life.”

61. “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, dry and brittle in death.”

62. “Be content, rest in your own fullness—you will not suffer from loss, you’ll avoid the snare of this world, you’ll have a long life and endless blessings.”

63. “To the giver comes the fullness of life. To the taker just an empty hand.”

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

65. “Allow your life to unfold naturally. Know that it too is a vessel of perfection. Just as you breathe in and breathe out. Sometimes you’re ahead and other times behind. Sometimes you’re strong and other times weak. Sometimes you’re with people and other times alone.”

66. “One who lives in accordance with nature does not go against the way of things. He moves in harmony with the present moment always knowing the truth of just what to do.”

Also read: Life Quotes, Quotes to Live By

Deep Lao Tzu Quotes That Will Broaden Your Mind

67. “The master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. He prefers what is within to what is without.”

68. “Do not conquer the world with force, for force only causes resistance. Thorns spring up when an army passes. Years of misery follow a great victory. Do only what needs to be done without using violence.”

69. “If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness.”

70. “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.”

Did These Lao Tzu Quotes Motivate You to Be the Greatest Person You Can Be?

According to Lao Tzu, nature has its way of doing things, and we are bound to its flow. The way we do things, how our bodies function, and how we learn are all centered on natural laws that we don’t have control of. That’s why, if we try to push things, the universe starts to work against us.

Instead, what we should do is work with nature. Let’s not be too hard on ourselves by consistently pushing hard to achieve the results we want to have instantly. Everything that happens to us happens for a reason, and thus, we should remain calm and go with life’s flow.

Whenever you need an anchor and some wise words to point you toward the right direction, let these quotes be your foundation in becoming the best you can be and in living a simple life. We hope you were able to find some inspiration and knowledge by reading through Lao Tzu’s best quotes!

Which quotes are your favorites? Did you learn a lot from this collection? Feel free to comment down below!