Lao Tzu quotes on life, love and happiness
In search of infinite wisdom? Allow these Lao Tzu quotes to open your mind.
March 20, 2023 5:00 AM EST
This collection from the great Lao Tzu proves that some of the wisest words ever written or spoken came centuries before our time.
Sometimes in life, when we look back to ancient teachings we can find infinite wisdom that still rings true today.
Lao Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer who’s believed to be the author of the Tao Te Ching (a collection of sayings describing the principal Taoist teachings), and the father of Chinese Taoism (a philosophy that advocates living a simple life.)
Also known as Laozi, Lao Tzu existed in the 6th century B.C and is considered a central figure in Chinese culture.
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A study conducted by the University of California, Berkeley found that reading Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching can lead to increased well-being and a greater sense of purpose in life.
The study showed that participants who read the text for six weeks reported greater levels of happiness, and were more likely to engage in prosocial behavior.
Although very little is known about his life, Lao Tzu’s teachings have been passed down through the centuries and have influenced many different people, regardless of culture.
Lao Tzu’s timeless wisdom can teach us a lot about life and maximizing our Everyday Power.
In that regard, below are some amazing Lao Tzu quotes to instill his timeless wisdom and inspire you to be the best you can be.
If you enjoy this article, check out our most popular quote article, a list of short inspirational quotes for daily motivation.
Browse our entire collection of inspirational quotes for more motivating ideas and concepts.
Lao Tzu quotes on life
A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that Americans who identify as spiritual but not religious are more likely to read spiritual texts such as the Tao Te Ching.
This suggests that Lao Tzu’s teachings may resonate more strongly with those who do not identify with a specific religion.
1. “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” – Lao Tzu
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2. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ― Lao Tzu
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3. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”- Lao Tzu
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4. “Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.” – Lao Tzu
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5. “The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.” ― Lao Tzu
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6. “Who acts in stillness finds stillness in his life.” ― Lao Tzu
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7. “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” ― ― Lao Tzu
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8. “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” ― Lao Tzu
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9. “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.” ― Lao Tzu
10. “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ― Lao Tzu
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Lao Tzu quotes about love and happiness
A study conducted by the University of Southern California found that Lao Tzu’s philosophy of “wu-wei” (non-action) can be applied to leadership, and may lead to more effective decision-making and increased creativity.
The study showed that leaders who practiced “wu-wei” were better able to adapt to changing situations, and were more likely to come up with innovative solutions.
11. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” ― Lao Tzu
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12. “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
13. “He who is contented is rich.” ― Lao Tzu
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14. “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
15. “Love is a decision. Not an emotion.” ― Lao Tzu
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16. “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
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17. “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
18. “Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.” ― Lao Tzu
19. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” ― Lao Tzu
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20. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” ― Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu quotes to inspire greatness
21. “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
22. “A man with outward courage dares to die: a man with inner courage dares to live.” ― Lao Tzu
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23. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ― Lao Tzu
24. “For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions.” ― Lao Tzu
25. “Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time,” is like saying, “I don’t want to.” ― Lao Tzu
26. “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ― Lao Tzu
27. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” ― Lao Tzu
28. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” – Lao Tzu
29. “If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.” – Lao Tzu
30. “Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.” – Lao Tzu
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Lao Tzu quotes that are full of wisdom
31. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” – Lao Tzu
32. “Silence is a source of great strength.” – Lao Tzu
33. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” – Lao Tzu
34. “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” ― Lao Tzu
35. “The words of truth are always paradoxical” – Lao Tzu
36. “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.” – Lao Tzu
37. “If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.” – Lao Tzu
38. “If you want to know me look inside your heart.” – Lao Tzu
39. “Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” – Lao Tzu
40. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready… The teacher will Disappear.” – Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu quotes that will expand your mind
41. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” – Lao Tzu
42. “All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.” – Lao Tzu
43. “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.” – Lao Tzu
44. “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
45. “The best fighter is never angry.” – Lao Tzu
46. “Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?” – Lao Tzu
47. “Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.” – Lao Tzu
48. “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.” – Lao Tzu
49. “Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear.” – Lao Tzu
50. “To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.” – Lao Tzu
Other inspirational Lao Tzu quotes
51. “If I had just a little bit of wisdom I should walk the great path and fear only straying from it.”― Lao Tzu
52. “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher. What is a bad man but a good man’s job.”― Lao Tzu
53. “Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it”― Lao Tzu
54. “It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to carry it when it is full.”― Lao Tzu
55. “The master dwells in the substantial and not in the superficial. Rests in the fruit and not in the flower.”― Lao Tzu
56. “The best of all leaders is the one who helps people so that eventually they don’t need him.”― Lao Tzu
57. “If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold.”― Lao Tzu
58. “When there is silence one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself.”― Lao Tzu
59. “The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong.”― Lao Tzu
60. “Simplicity has no name is free of desires. Being free of desires it is tranquil. And the world will be at peace of it’s own accord.”― Lao Tzu
61. “The ruler attains wholeness in the correct governance of the people.”
― Lao Tzu
62. “Every journey begins with a single step.”― Lao Tzu
63. “The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.”― Lao Tzu
64. “Wasting energy to obtain rare objects only impedes one’s growth.”― Lao-Tzu
65. “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.”― Lao Tzu
More Lao Tzu quotes
66. “Act without expectation.” – Lao Tzu
67. “Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.” – Lao Tzu
68. “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu
69. “To understand the limitation of things, desire them.” – Lao Tzu
70. “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
71. “Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found.” – Lao Tzu
72. “To hold, you must first open your hand. Let go.” – Tao Te-Ching
73. “In the end, the treasure of life is missed by those who hold on and gained by those who let go.” – Lao Tzu
74. “Just remain in the center; watching. And then forget that you are there.” – Lao Tzu
75. “To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.” – Lao Tzu
Inspiring Lao Tzu quotes to ponder on
76. “The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself.” – Lao Tzu
77. “Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” – Lao Tzu
78. “There is a time to live and a time to die but never to reject the moment.” – Lao Tzu
79. “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
80. “Because of a great love, one is courageous.” – Lao Tzu
81. “When you accept yourself, the whole world accepts you.” – Lao Tzu
82. “A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.” – Lao Tzu
83. “One who is too insistent on his own views finds few to agree with him.” – Lao Tzu
84. “Take care with the end as you do with the beginning.” – Lao Tzu
85. “When there is no desire, all things are at peace.” – Lao Tzu
Which of these Lao Tzu quotes was your favorite?
Lao Tzu is believed to have traveled halfway around the world spreading his teachings.
As we live in a world filled with conflict and uncertainty, Lao Tzu’s wisdom is perhaps in much greater need today than it ever was.
Hopefully, these quotes from the legendary philosopher have helped you develop your inner strength and inspired you to be the best you can be.
Did you enjoy these Lao Tzu quotes?
Which of the quotes was your favorite?
Tell us in the comment section below.
We would love to hear all about it.
January 16, 2023 at 9:25 PM
He is better than the rest of us.
April 25, 2021 at 9:32 AM
I’ve been a fan of Lao Tzu since 2007. Thank you for writing this post. 🙏🙌🏼
February 14, 2021 at 7:45 AM
Every journey begins with a single step.
May 9, 2020 at 1:49 AM
He is the father of all philosophy available today and he never travelled the half world it he never crossed the border himself
And the all of his wisdom was booked by his disciple and shared to World
September 16, 2019 at 7:59 AM
Hey Norbert, Really great thoughts of Lao Tzu.
August 9, 2019 at 3:26 AM
If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” – Lao Tzu
July 12, 2019 at 12:33 PM
Quotes 45 and 46 are very helpful;
If you’re in combat, remember #45: never be angry. #46 clarifies it: we must know how to be patient–let the mud settle. Remain unmoving UNTIL THE RIGHT ACTION ARISES by itself.
April 7, 2019 at 11:52 AM
I’m looking for the quote similar to “A wise man does not exploit the world but takes things as they come.” Does anyone know that exact quote?