Lao Tzu and Taoist Quotes

“A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.”
–Lao Tzu

“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

“A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.”
–Lao Tzu

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

“Be the chief but never the lord.”
–Lao Tzu

“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength; loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
–Lao Tzu

“Clay is molded to form a cup, But it is on its non-being that the utility of the cup depends. Doors and windows are cut out to make a room, But it is on its non-being that the utility of the room depends. Therefore turn being into advantage, and turn non-being into utility.”
–Lao Tzu

“Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.”
–Lao Tzu

“Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.”
–Lao Tzu

“Great acts are made up of small deeds.”
–Lao Tzu

“He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.”
–Lao Tzu

“He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.”
–Lao Tzu

“He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.”
–Lao Tzu

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

“How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?”
–Lao Tzu

“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.”
–Lao Tzu

“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

“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

“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.”
–Lao Tzu

“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

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
–Lao Tzu

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
–Lao Tzu

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

“Man’s enemies are not demons, but human beings like himself.”
–Lao Tzu

“Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.”
–Lao Tzu

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”
–Lao Tzu

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
–Lao Tzu

“Silence is a source of great strength.”
–Lao Tzu

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
–Lao Tzu

“The more laws and order are made prominent, the more thieves and robbers there will be.”
–Lao Tzu

“The people are hungry: It is because those in authority eat up too much in taxes.”
–Lao Tzu

“The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.”
–Lao Tzu

“The supreme excellence is not to win a hundred victories in a hundred battles. The supreme excellence is to subdue the armies of your enemies without even having to fight them.”
–Lao Tzu

“The words of truth are always paradoxical.”
–Lao Tzu

“To lead people walk behind them.”
–Lao Tzu

“To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”
–Lao Tzu

“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.”
–Lao Tzu

“When a nation is filled with strife, then do patriots flourish.”
–Lao Tzu

“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.”
–Lao Tzu

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