171 Best Lao Tzu Quotes On Leadership, Life, Love & Happiness | Marketer Intel

171 Best Lao Tzu Quotes On Leadership, Life, Love & Happiness

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Ancient teachings hold immeasurable wisdom that we can certainty apply to in our modern living context. The following collection of best Lao Tzu quotes has definitely prove that his wisdom stood past time and still ring true until this very day. Despite centuries and him long gone, his teachings has become a powerful source of inspiration and motivation for many on leadership, life, love and happiness.

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Lao Tzu, also known as Laozi or Lao Tze was a famous Chinese philosopher. During his time, he was regarded as the founding father of the Tao Te Ching teaching; an ancient Chinese Taoism teaching that has influenced many and still does until this very day. In his teaching, he describes Tao as the center of all existence and also advocating the practice of living a simple and humble life.

Lao Tzu, though a prominent Chinese figure and philosopher, very little has been recorded and said about his life. One thing is for sure, he grounds himself in accordance with his teachings, believe that life in all returns to nature, the importance of living in the present and to seek peace and calmness in-spite of every day’s turmoil.

Remember to check out our best Dalai Lam quotes and Zig Ziglar quotes. Also, we’ve compiled a list of Arnold Schwarzenegger quotes that will motivate you to win at life.

Here are the best Lao Tzu quotes for life’s inspiration

  1. “There is no crime greater than having too many desires; There is no disaster greater than not being content; There is no misfortune greater than being covetous. Hence in being content, one will always have enough.”
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  1. “The progress of the Way seems to be retreating.” 
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  1. “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.”
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  1. “To live till you die is to live long enough.”
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  1. “Wise men don’t need to prove their point; men who need to prove their point aren’t wise.”
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  1. “When the court is arrayed in splendor, the fields are full of weeds, and the granaries are empty. Some wear gorgeous clothes, carry sharp swords, and indulge in food and drink; They have more possessions than they can use. They are robber barons. This is certainly not the way of Tao.”

“When the court is arrayed in splendor, the fields are full of weeds, and the granaries are empty. Some wear gorgeous clothes, carry sharp swords, and indulge in food and drink; They have more possessions than they can use. They are… Click To Tweet

  1. “Wasting energy to obtain rare objects only impedes one’s growth.”
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  1. “The power of intuitive understanding will protect you from harm until the end of your days.”
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  1. “Every journey begins with a single step.”
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  1. “The ruler attains wholeness in the correct governance of the people.” 
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  1. “The ancients were subtle, mysterious, profound, responsive. The depth of their knowledge is unfathomable. Because it is unfathomable, All we can do is describe their appearance.”
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  1. “Know when to stop and you will meet with no danger.”
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  1. “Simplicity has no name and is free of desires. Being free of desires it is tranquil. And the world will be at peace of its own accord.”
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Read more: 103 Yoda Quotes To Ignite & Awaken The Force Within You

More Lao Tzu quotes on leadership

  1. “The soft overcomes the hard; and the weak the strong.”
  1. “Gentle flexibility is the way of the humble master.” 
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  1. “When there is silence one finds the anchor of the universe within oneself.”
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  1. “The wise, while valuing themselves, do not overestimate themselves. They reject flattery and gain true merit.”
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  1. “If you want to be noble, it is rooted in humility; If you want to be elevated, it is based on lowering yourself.” 
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  1. “Thus what we gain is something, yet it is by virtue of nothing that this can be put to use.”
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  1. “The wise recognize the limits of their knowledge; the foolish think they know everything.”

“The wise recognize the limits of their knowledge; the foolish think they know everything.” Click To Tweet

  1. “I have three treasures to maintain and conserve: The first is compassion. The second is frugality. The third is not presuming to be first under heaven.” 
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  1. “The sage gives more than he takes; how can he do this? Because he has the richness of Tao.” 
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  1. “If we could renounce our sageness and discard our wisdom, it would be better for the people a hundredfold.”
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  1. “Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear?”
  1. “Quick promises mean little trust.”
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  1. “If good happens, good; if bad happens, good.” 
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Read more: 61 Beautiful Life Lesson Quotes to Live By Everyday

Best Lao Tzu quotes for success

  1. “When no credit is taken, accomplishment endures.”
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  1. “The best of all leaders is the one who helps people so that eventually they don’t need him.”
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  1. “Hard depends on easy. Long is tested by short. High is determined by low. Sound is harmonized by voice. After is followed by before.” 
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  1. “The master dwells in the substantial and not in the superficial. Rests in the fruit and not in the flower.”
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  1. “It is better to leave a vessel unfilled, than to attempt to carry it when it is full.”
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  1. “Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.”

“Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.” Click To Tweet

  1. “What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher. What is a bad man but a good man’s job.”
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  1. “Sometimes gain comes from losing, and sometimes loss comes from gaining.” 
  2. “When there is not enough faith, there is lack of good faith.”
  3. “If I had just a little bit of wisdom I should walk the great path and fear only straying from it.”
  4. “To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”  
  5. “We hammer wood for a house, but it is the inner space that makes it liveable. We work with being, but non-being is what we use.” 
  6. “Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as hollow as fear.”

Read more: 66 Resilience Quotes To Help You During Tough Times

Best inspiring Lao Tzu quotes about adversity

  1. “There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.”  
  2. “Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.”  
  3. “Hence the superior must have the inferior as root; the high must have the low as base.” 
  4. “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?” 
  5. “If powerful men and women could remain centered in the Tao, all things would be in harmony. The world would become a paradise. All people would be at peace, and the law would be written in their hearts.”

“If powerful men and women could remain centered in the Tao, all things would be in harmony. The world would become a paradise. All people would be at peace, and the law would be written in their hearts.” Click To Tweet

  1. “The best fighter is never angry.” 
  2. “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.” 
  3. “The whole world recognizes the beautiful as the beautiful, yet this is only the ugly; the whole world recognizes the good as the good, yet this is only the bad.”
  4. “He who does not trust enough, will not be trusted.”
  5. “Anyone who doesn’t respect a teacher or cherish a student may be clever, but has gone astray.” 
  6. “Easy promises make for little trust.” 
  7. “Don’t glorify heroes, and people will not contend. Don’t treasure rare objects, and no one will steal. Don’t display what people desire, and their hearts will not be disturbed.”
  8. “Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small.”

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Lao Tzu quotes on happiness and life

  1. “Recognize beauty and ugliness is born. Recognize good and evil is born.” 
  2. “All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.”  
  3. “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” 
  4. “When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.”  
  5. “Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” 

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.”  Click To Tweet

  1. “If you want to know me look inside your heart.”  
  2. “If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it.”  
  3. “Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.” 
  4. “The words of truth are always paradoxical”  
  5. “Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know.” 
  6. “Not extreme perfection, but purity and clarity are the targets at which we should aim.” 
  7. “When The Best Leader’s Work Is Done, The People Say, ‘We Did It Ourselves!” 
  8. “Can you step back from your own mind and thus understand all things?”

Read more: 150 Walking Away Quotes And Move On From A Relationship

Famous Lao Tzu quotes to remember

  1. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 
  2. “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.”
  3. “Silence is a source of great strength.” 
  4. “The more prohibitions and rules, The poorer people become. The sharper people’s weapons, The more they riot. The more skilled their techniques, The more grotesque their works. The more elaborate the laws, The more they commit crimes.”
  5. “There are some things which it is a gain to lose, and a loss to gain.”
  6. “Matter is necessary to give form, but the value of reality lies in its immateriality” 
  7. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” 

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”  Click To Tweet

  1. “Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven.” 
  2. “If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.” 
  3. “The Tao is called Great Mother: empty yet inexhaustible, it gives birth to infinite worlds. It is always present within you. You can use it any way you want.”
  4. “Not showing themselves, they shine forth. Not justifying themselves, they’re self-evident. Not praising themselves, they’re accomplished. Not competing, they have in all the world no competitor.”
  5. “The Tao that can be told of is not the eternal Tao; The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The Nameless is the origin of Heaven and Earth; The Named is the mother of all things.” 
  6. “The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” 

Read more: 150 Stay Focused Quotes To Achieve Your Goals

Lao Tzu quotes on new beginnings

  1. “The Tao can’t be perceived. Smaller than an electron, it contains uncountable galaxies.” 
  2. “At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” 
  3. “Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time,” is like saying, “I don’t want to.” 
  4. “Conquering others takes force. Conquering yourself is true strength. Knowing what is enough is wealth.”

“Conquering others takes force. Conquering yourself is true strength. Knowing what is enough is wealth.” Click To Tweet

  1. “The nameless uncarved block Is but freedom from desire.” 
  2. “For the wise man looks into space and he knows there are no limited dimensions.” 
  3. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” 
  4. “Everyone recognizes beauty only because of ugliness. Everyone recognizes virtue only because of sin” 
  5. “Knowing when to stop, you can avoid any danger.” 
  6. “A man with outward courage dares to die; A man with inner courage dares to live.” 
  7. “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.”
  8. “He who knows contentment is rich;”
  9. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” 

Read more: 150 Happy Friday Quotes To Rejoice And End The Week

More Lao Tzu quotes on overcoming challenges

  1. “No fight. no blame.”
  2. “When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.” 
  3. “Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretches her fingers to touch the heavens.”
  4. “The wise have no mind of their own, finding it in the minds of ordinary people.”
  5. “Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.” 
  6. “The wise have no mind of their own, finding it in the minds of ordinary people.”
  7. “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.”

“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.”  Click To Tweet

  1. “No one rules if no one obeys.” 
  2. “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.” 
  3. “Love is a decision. Not an emotion.” 
  4. “Hold your ground and you will last long. Die without perishing and your life will endure.”
  5. “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 winning.”
  6. “They put others first, and so become great. They are not focused on outcomes or achievements; therefore they always succeed.” 

Read more: 190 Monday Motivation Quotes To Kickstart And Conquer Your Week

Lao Tzu quotes on happiness

  1.  “He who is content is rich.” 
  2. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” 
  3. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 
  4. “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” 
  5. “Shut the doors, and all your life you will not run dry. Unblock the openings, add to your troubles,”
  6. “To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.” 

“To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease.”  Click To Tweet

  1.  “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.” 
  2. “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.” 
  3. “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.”  
  4. “Stillness is the ruler of haste.”
  5. “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” 
  6. “The best runner leaves no tracks”
  7. “Humanity is the child of earth; Earth is the child of the universe; The universe is the child of the Tao.”

Read more: 201 Best Self Confidence Quotes To Build Your Confidence Back

More Lao Tzu quotes on healing

  1. “Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes.”  
  2. “Who acts in stillness finds stillness in his life.”  
  3. “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.”

“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.” Click To Tweet

  1. “It gives them life yet claims no possession; It benefits them yet expects no gratitude; It is the steward yet exercises no authority. Such is called the mysterious virtue.” 
  2.  “The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.” 
  3. “To know and to think we know not, is the crown. Not to know and to think we know, is the affliction.”
  4. “It is unnatural to walk on tiptoes. Try to elevate yourself above others, and you will soon fall.” 
  5. “Govern large countries like you cook little fish.” 
  6. “All you grasp will be thrown away. All you hoard will be utterly lost.”
  7. “Can you step back from your mind and thus understand all things?”
  8. “The Master does nothing; yet he leaves nothing undone.” 
  9. “Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.” 
  10. “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” 

Read more: 121 Self Esteem Quotes That’ll Increase Your Confidence

Lao Tzu quotes on letting go

  1. “If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place.” 
  2. “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.” 
  3. “Measure yourself the way you measure others. Measure others the way you measure your village. Measure your village the way you measure your country. Measure your country the way you measure the Tao. And measure the Tao by what is in you.”
  4. “Those who are good at military action achieve their goal and then stop.”
  5. “The greatest of rulers is but a shadowy presence;”
  6. “The best athlete wants his opponent at his best.”

“The best athlete wants his opponent at his best.” Click To Tweet

  1. “If you want to accord with the Tao, just do your job, then let go.” 
  2. “In not wanting is stillness. In stillness all under heaven rests.”
  3. “Eyes look but cannot see it. Ears listen but cannot hear it. Hands grasp but cannot touch it Beyond the senses lies the great Unity— invisible, inaudible, intangible.”
  4. “Understanding the Tao helps remove us from a frame of mind that demands strict dualistic, either-or categories”
  5. “When things are murky, quiet down, and they will gradually clear. Proceed, and momentum gradually builds.”
  6. “Those who understand others are intelligent. Those who understand themselves are enlightened. Those who overcome others have strength. Those who overcome themselves are powerful.”
  7. “This is a subtle insight: the flexible overcomes the strong and unyielding.” 

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Famous Lao Tzu quotes to feel inspired

  1. “Any good person who is motivated to attain awareness of the whole truth should follow the Universal Way to calm his mind and harmonize it with all aspects of life.” 
  2. “Something can be beautiful, if something else is ugly. Someone can be good, someone else is bad.” 
  3. “Heaven aids and protects Through compassion.” 
  4. “In pursuit of knowledge, every day something is acquired. In pursuit of wisdom, every day something is dropped.”
  5. “The wise wear plain clothes and keep their gems out of sight.” 
  6. “People usually fail when they are on the verge of success. So give as much care to the end as to the beginning; Then there will be no failure.”
  7. “When well-matched armies come to conflict, the one that is aware of its own weakness conquers.”
  8. “Stop trying to imitate what the sages have done. That’s past, and though it might have been appropriate at the time, that time is over. The present is alive. Don’t use what’s dead as a guide to what’s alive.”

“Stop trying to imitate what the sages have done. That’s past, and though it might have been appropriate at the time, that time is over. The present is alive. Don’t use what’s dead as a guide to what’s alive.” Click To Tweet

  1. “Govern a great nation as you would cook a small fish. Do not overdo it.”
  2. “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name.” 
  3. “The effects of simplicity are profound indeed, deep and far reaching.”
  4. “The people make light of dying because of the greatness of their labours in seeking for the means of living. It is this which makes them think light of dying. Thus it is that to leave the subject of living together out of view is better than to set a high value on it.”
  5. “Heaven’s Tao is impartial, yet those who follow its compassionate way will always be nourished.” 
  6. “Those who possess moderation will endure; they have deep roots and strong stems. This is the secret to a long life, and lasting insight into the Tao.” 

Read more: 108 Best Passion Quotes To Find Purpose In Life Again

More Lao Tzu quotes on leadership

  1. “Jade is praised as precious, but its strength is being stone.” 
  2. “One gains by losing and loses by gaining.”
  3. “The one who detaches and sees from afar sees clearly.”
  4. “Therefore the wise are sharp but not cutting, Pointed but not piercing, Straightforward but not unrestrained, Brilliant but not blinding.”
  5. “He who knows he has enough, is rich” 
  6. “Only those who do not use life as a reason for artificialities are intelligently valuing life.” 
  7. “Good people do not quarrel. Quarrelsome people are not good.”

“Good people do not quarrel. Quarrelsome people are not good.” Click To Tweet

  1. “However grand and high, would all decay.”
  2. “To lead people, walk beside them.” 
  3. “When superior people hear guidance, they carry it out diligently and ably. When mediocre people hear guidance, it seems vague and uncertain. When lesser people hear guidance, they laugh.” 
  4. “Fishes should not be taken from the deep; instruments for the profit of a state should not be shown to the people.”
  5. “It produces them and does not claim them as its own.”
  6. “Thus it is that the Great man abides by what is solid, and eschews what is flimsy; dwells with the fruit and not with the flower.”
  7. “Sometimes you must yield in order to win, and sometimes maintaining a low place leads you to win.” 

Which of these Lao Tzu quotes inspired you the most?

It’s hard to imagine that past wisdom can be so applicable even in today’s time. Lao Tzu is definitely a remarkable man and his wisdom transcends time. We are hopeful that the compiled Lao Tzu quotes and sayings above can provide you with the needed motivation in all areas of your life, and that you’ll find peace and stillness to overcome any of the obstacles that may come your way.

Let us know which of these Lao Tzu quotes are your favorite. If you have a favorite Lao Tzu quotes not included in the list above, share and comment it below.



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