Lao Tzu, commonly known as Laozi, was a Chinese philosopher and writer of the ancient period.

He is a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese faiths, as well as the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching and the creator of philosophical Taoism.

We have selected the best quotes from Lao Tzu for you.


Best Lao Tzu Quotes on Knowing Yourself, Thoughts, Leadership & Life

1. “The best fighter is never angry.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

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2. “Stop thinking, and end your problems.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

3. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

4. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

5. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

6. “Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

7. “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 – Author of Tao Te Ching).

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8. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

9. “Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear?” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

10. “To a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

11. “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

12. “Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

13. “Great acts are made up of small deeds.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

14. “Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

15. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

16. “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

17. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

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18. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

19. “What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

20. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

Top Lao Tzu Quotes

21. “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 – Author of Tao Te Ching).

22. “A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

23. “Accomplish but do not boast, accomplish without show, accomplish without arrogance, accomplish without grabbing, accomplish without forcing.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

24. “The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

25. “By letting go it all gets done.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

26. “He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

27. “Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

28. “The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

29. “If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

30. “Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

31. “If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

32. “Act without expectation.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

33. “Silence is a source of great strength.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

34. “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

35. “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 – Author of Tao Te Ching).

36. “To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

37. “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

38. “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

39. “Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

40. “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power. If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

41. “Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

42. “The way to do is to be.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

43. “Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

44. “To see things in the seed, that is genius.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

45. “To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

46. “Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

Famous Lao Tzu Quotes

47. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

48. “The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

49. “Loss is not as bad as wanting more.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

50. “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.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

51. “As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

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52. “Muddy water, let stand, becomes clear.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

53. “He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

54. “There is a time to live and a time to die but never to reject the moment.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

55. “Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

56. “Close your mouth, block off your senses, blunt your sharpness, untie your knots, soften your glare, settle your dust. This is the primal identity.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

57. “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.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

58. “Every step is on the path.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

59. “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 – Author of Tao Te Ching).

Short Lao Tzu Quotes

60. “When there is no desire, all things are at peace.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

61. “The further one goes, the less one knows.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

62. “Do your work, then step back. The only path to serenity.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

63. “If you want to lead them you must place yourself behind them.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

64. “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?” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

65. “So the unwanting soul sees what’s hidden, and the ever-wanting soul sees only what it wants.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

66. “Because of a great love, one is courageous.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

67. “Become totally empty Quiet the restlessness of the mind Only then will you witness everything unfolding from emptiness.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

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68. “Take care with the end as you do with the beginning.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

69. “Spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

70. “One who is too insistent on his own views finds few to agree with him.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

71. “To understand the limitation of things, desire them.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

72. “Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

73. “Some lose yet gain, others gain and yet lose.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

74. “Colors blind the eye Sounds deafen the ear. Flavors numb the taste. Thoughts weaken the mind. Desires wither the heart.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

75. “The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

76. “To be worn out is to be renewed.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

77. “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.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

78. “She does not show herself, and therefore is apparent. She does not affirm herself, and therefore is acknowledged. She does not boast and therefore has merit. She does not strive and therefore is successful. It is exactly because she does not contend, that nobody can contend with her.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

79. “Love is of all the passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart, and the senses.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

80. “To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

Inspiring Lao Tzu Quotes

81. “True words are not fancy. Fancy words are not true. The good do not debate. Debaters are not good.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

82. “Knowing others is wisdom; Knowing the self is enlightenment. Mastering others requires force; Mastering the self requires strength; He who knows he has enough is rich. Perseverance is a sign of willpower.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

83. “Countless words count less than the silent balance between yin and yang.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

84. “To bear and not to own; to act and not lay claim; to do the work and let it go: for just letting it go is what makes it stay.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

85. “A good traveler leaves no tracks. Good speech lacks fault-finding.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

86. “Do you imagine the universe is agitated? Go into the desert at night and look at the stars. This practice should answer the question.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

87. “Not-knowing is true knowledge. Presuming to know is a disease. First realize that you are sick; then you can move toward health.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

88. “When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

89. “The difficult problems in life always start off being simple. Great affairs always start off being small.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

90. “When goodness is lost there is morality.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

91. “The person of superior integrity does not insist upon his integrity. For this reason, he has integrity. The person of inferior integrity never loses sight of his integrity; For this reason, he lacks integrity.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

92. “When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people’s hearts.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

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93. “If you are untrustworthy, people will not trust you.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

94. “When the people of the world all know beauty as beauty, there arises the recognition of ugliness. When they all know the good as good, there arises the recognition of evil.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

95. “From wonder into wonder existence opens.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

96. “A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

97. “He who talks more is sooner exhausted.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

98. “Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

99. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready… The teacher will disappear.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

100. “The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).

101. “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong.” ~ (Lao Tzu – Author of Tao Te Ching).


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