Inspiring Wisdom : 40 Empowering Lao Tzu Quotes for an Enlightened Living

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Follow the middle; go by what is constant and go by one piece; keep yourself alive; take care of your parents; and live out your years! – Lao Tzu

I just can’t express how deeply contented I am while reading this quote from the famous ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu.

Lao Tzu’s Taoism is a philosophy that is mainly focused on a concept called Wu-wei, which simply means non-action or effortless action. When I began reading and researching Taoism (and Lao Tzu quotes), I was so relaxed that such a concept existed. For an old soul like me, the world around me seems super fast, and I feel that slowing down puts me at ease.

I believe in effortless action! I would rather put my heart and soul into what I do than my blood, sweat, and tears. With that, let’s jump into a series of Lao Tzu quotes and gain some ancient wisdom to live life in this modern era!

Before that, let’s also understand how Taoism came into existence.

How did Lao Tzu create Taoism?

Lao Tzu, traditionally credited as the founder of Taoism, didn’t explicitly create the philosophy in the way one might establish a formal doctrine. Instead, Taoism emerged organically from Lao Tzu’s teachings and observations on the natural order of the universe. According to legend, Lao Tzu, dissatisfied with the corruption and societal chaos of his time, decided to leave civilization. While departing, a gatekeeper urged him to document his wisdom, leading to the creation of the “Tao Te Ching,” a foundational Taoist text.

In essence, Lao Tzu’s withdrawal and subsequent writing (Lao Tzu quotes) encapsulated his philosophy, emphasising the Tao (the way) and the principle of living in harmony with it. Taoism evolved as others interpreted and expanded upon Lao Tzu’s insights, contributing to its development as a significant philosophical and religious tradition in Chinese culture.

40 Timeless Lao Tzu Quotes for Enlightened Living

  1. “The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao; the name that can be named is not the eternal name.”
  2. “To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders.”
  3. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
  4. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
  5. “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
  6. “Simplicity, patience, and compassion are your greatest treasures.”
  7. “Act without expectation.” – Loa Tzu quote
  8. “Respond to anger with virtue.”
  9. “The best fighter is never angry.”
  10. “A wise man is one who knows what he does not know.”
  11. “The softest things in the world overcome the hardest things in the world.”
  12. “When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.”
  13. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
  14. “The more you know, the less you understand.”
  15. “To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”
  16. “He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.”
  17. “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are.”
  18. “The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for himself.”
  19. “Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
  20. “Those who have knowledge don’t predict. Those who predict don’t have knowledge.”

You might also be interested in:

  1. A Guide To Key Stoicism Books Shaping Modern Living
  2. How do I practice stoicism in everyday life?
  3. What is the Meaning of Buddhism Symbol – Dharma Wheel?
  1. “When I let go of who I am, I become what I might be.”
  2. “Knowing others is wisdom; knowing yourself is enlightenment.”
  3. “Do the difficult things while they are easy, and do the great things while they are small.”
  4. “The wise man is one who knows what he does not know.”
  5. “Without stirring abroad, one can know the whole world; without looking out of the window, one can see the way of heaven. The further one goes, the less one knows.”
  6. “Care about what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner.”
  7. “The harder the conflict, the greater the triumph.”
  8. “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
  9. “The more that you want, the poorer you will be.”
  10. “Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
  11. “To see things in the seed, that is genius.”
  12. “He who is content is rich.”
  13. “Respond intelligently, even to unintelligent treatment.”
  14. “Do not be embarrassed by your failures; learn from them and start again.”
  15. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.”
  16. “He who knows does not speak. He who speaks does not know.”
  17. “He who is filled with virtue is like a newborn child.”
  18. “The wise man is one who knows what he does not know.”
  19. “He who does not trust enough will not be trusted.”
  20. “A good traveller has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.”

lao tzu quotes

Final thoughts…

As we reflect on the simplicity, balance, and harmony advocated by these Lao Tzu quotes, let’s witness the organic evolution of Taoism—a philosophy that encourages us to align with the natural order of the universe and helps us set the pace towards a journey of self-discovery.

In essence, Lao Tzu’s departure was not an exit from the world but an entry into a profound understanding of life’s eternal principles.

So what’s your favourite Lao Tzu quote or saying?

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As we draw near the end of this blog, if you are looking for some artistic inspiration, do explore my spiritual art expressions here and shop here for prints that inspire and uplift! 🌈 

Until next time,

Love, light, and endless inspiration to all.


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