The Timeless Philosophy of Lao Tzu: 35 Deep Thoughts to Live By

We can all benefit from more kindness, compassion, wisdom and learning.

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We are often too busy dealing with non-essential stuff, too upset thinking about past and future, and too eager to complicate things by trying hard and putting effort.

And because of that we can’t really see the beauty, simplicity and peace that surround us.

Here are some interesting thoughts from the father of Taoism Lao Tzu to consider that might just brighten up your day and make you appreciate what you have more:

Wise Words from Lao Tzu to Live By

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy.

4. Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. He who knows, does not speak. He who speaks, does not know.

8. The wise man does not lay up his own treasures. The more he gives to others, the more he has for his own.

9. 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.

10. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.

11. He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough.

12. He who is contented is rich.

13. To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.

14. He who knows others is wise. He who knows himself is enlightened.

15. If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence.

16. 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.

17. If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.

18. 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.

19. When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

20. Silence is a source of great strength.

21. A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

22. I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.

23. 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.

24. The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.

25. 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.

26. Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it.

27. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

28. 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.

29. Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.

30. Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires.

31. He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.

32. At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.

33. 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.

34. To see things in the seed, that is genius.

35. All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.

Which of these quotes made you think?
Do you agree with Lao Tzu’s ancient philosophy? Do you think it’s still true today?

Lidiya K

Lidiya K

Author, blogger and podcaster in the fields of self-improvement and life hacking. Creator of Let's Reach Success.
Full-time freelance writer. Lifestyle designer.
Lidiya K

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