62 Lao Tzu quotes that will get you thinking (or not)

Lao Tzu or Laozi was a Chinese philosopher. He is the founder of the Taoism philosophy, and author of Tao Te Ching, a classic Tao book.

According to history, Lao Tzu is said to have been a record keeper in the court of the central Chinese Zhou Dynasty in the 6th century B.C. After becoming tired with the increasing corruption in the court he quit.

He then travelled to the far reaches of western Chinese, where he wrote the famous book Tao Te Ching. This book continues to inform and inspire millions of followers of Taoism around the world today.

Below are some of the best quotes from Lao Tzu. They delve into the subjects of peace, love, fear, leadership and much more. We hope you enjoy reading them.

Share these fantastic quotes

Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habit.
Lao Tzu
Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.
Lao Tzu
Keep your mouth shut, and close up the doors of sight and sound, and as long as you live you will have no vexation. But open your mouth, or become inquisitive, and you will be in trouble all your life long.
Lao Tzu
For all things difficult to acquire, the intelligent man works with perseverance.
Lao Tzu
Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.
Lao Tzu
Leadership is your ability to hide your panic from others.
Lao Tzu
The moment truth is asserted, it becomes false.
Lao Tzu
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.
Lao Tzu
If you want to awaken all of humanity, then awaken all of yourself, if you want to eliminate the suffering in the world, then eliminate all that is negative in yourself. Truly, the greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation.
Lao Tzu
When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.
Lao Tzu
You cannot receive what you don't give. Outflow determines inflow.
Lao Tzu
Whatever is flexible and living will tend to grow; whatever is rigid and blocked will wither and die.
Lao Tzu
Perfect kindness acts without thinking of kindness.
Lao Tzu
Truly, only those who see illness as illness can avoid illness.
Lao Tzu
As long as we have hope, we have direction, the energy to move, and the map to move by. We have a hundred alternatives, a thousand paths and an infinity of dreams. Hopeful, we are halfway to where we want to go; hopeless, we are lost forever.
Lao Tzu
Let your workings remain a mystery. Just show people the results.
Lao Tzu
If you search everywhere, yet cannot find what you are seeking, it is because what you seek is already in your possession.
Lao Tzu
If you want everything, you first have to give everything up.
Lao Tzu
Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.
Lao Tzu
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.
Lao Tzu
In order to eliminate the negative influences, simply ignore them.
Lao Tzu
Excellent warriors are not violent.
Lao Tzu
The world is won by those who let it go.
Lao Tzu
Solve it before it happens. Order it before chaos emerges.
Lao Tzu
True words are not pleasing. Pleasing words are not true.
Lao Tzu
When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.
Lao Tzu
Loss is not as bad as wanting more.
Lao Tzu
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.
Lao Tzu
One who believes in himself has no need to convince others.
Lao Tzu
The value of teaching without words and accomplishing without action is understood by few in the world.
Lao Tzu
True words aren't eloquent; eloquent words aren't true. Wise men don't need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren't wise. The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is. The Tao nourishes by not forcing. By not dominating, the Master leads.
Lao Tzu
New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.
Lao Tzu
Once upon a time a man whose axe was missing suspected his neighbour's son. The boy walked like a thief, looked like a thief and spoke like a thief. But the man found his axe while digging in the valley, and the next time he saw his neighbour's son, the boy walked, looked and spoke like any other child.
Lao Tzu
Those who seek knowledge, collect something every day. Those who seek the Way, let go of something every day.
Lao Tzu
The past has no power to stop you from being present now. Only your grievance about the past can do that. What is grievance? The baggage of old thought and emotion.
Lao Tzu
See simplicity in the complicated. Achieve greatness in little things.
Lao Tzu

Listen to a collection of Laozi quotes

Make sure to subscribe to the Wise Owl Quotes Podcast

The wise stand out because they see themselves as part of the Whole. They shine because they don't want to impress. They achieve great things because they don't look for recognition. Their wisdom is contained in what they are, not their opinions. They refuse to argue, so no-one argues with them.
Lao Tzu
Have patience. Wait until the mud settles and the water is clear. Remain unmoving until right action arises by itself.
Lao Tzu
Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.
Lao Tzu
When the student is ready the teacher will appear.
Lao Tzu
If you realise 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.
Lao Tzu
To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.
Lao Tzu
The best of all teachers is the one who helps people so that eventually they don't need him.
Lao Tzu
What has no substance can penetrate what has no opening.
Lao Tzu
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
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realise there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.
Lao Tzu
To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.
Lao Tzu
Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.
Lao Tzu
Make your heart like a lake, with calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness.
Lao Tzu
Observe how endings become beginnings.
Lao Tzu
I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
Lao Tzu
Throw away profit and greed, and there won't be any thieves.
Lao Tzu
Those who understand others are clever, those who understand themselves are wise.
Lao Tzu
There is no illusion greater than fear.
Lao Tzu

If you enjoyed reading quotes from Lao Tzu then we recommend reading 97 Confucius quotes to live a wiser life

Share via
Copy link