Famous Quotes By Lao Tzu


  1. A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
  2. 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.
  3. A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
  4. All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.
  5. Because of a great love, one is courageous.
  6. Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
  7. 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.
  8. From caring comes courage.
  9. Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.
  10. Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish - too much handling will spoil it.
  11. Great acts are made up of small deeds.
  12. Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.
  13. He who does not trust enough, Will not be trusted.
  14. Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.
  15. How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?
  16. I do not concern myself with gods and spirits either good or evil nor do I serve any.
  17. I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.
  18. If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.
  19. 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.
  20. If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.
  24. Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is Enlightenment.
  25. Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.
  26. 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.
  27. Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.
  28. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.
  29. Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.
  30. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.
  31. Nature is not human hearted.
  32. Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.
  33. One can not reflect in streaming water. Only those who know internal peace can give it to others.
  34. 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.
  35. Silence is a source of great strength.
  36. Simulated disorder postulates perfect discipline simulated fear postulates courage simulated weakness postulates strength.
  37. The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.
  38. The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.
  39. 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.'
  40. The words of truth are always paradoxical.
  41. Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge.
  42. To know yet to think that one does not know is best Not to know yet to think that one knows will lead to difficulty.
  43. Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained. Be honest to those who are honest, and be also honest to those who are not honest. Thus honesty is attained.
  44. Truthful words are not beautiful beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive persuasive words are not good.
  45. When the best leader's work is done the people say, 'We did it ourselves.'
  46. When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth it is the beginning of disorder.
  47. When you are content to be simply yourself and don't compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

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