Great Lao Tzu Quotes

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.


Governing a large country is like frying a small fish. You spoil it with too much poking. Centre your country in the Tao and evil will have no power. Not that it isn’t there, but you’ll be able to step out of its way. Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.


[The Master] doesn’t glitter like a jewel… [but is] as rugged and common as a stone.


He who gains a victory over other men is strong; but he who gains a victory over himself is all powerful.


Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.


A man’s excellence is like that of water; It benefits all things without striving; It takes to the low places shunned by men. Water is akin to Tao. In all the earth nothing weaker than water, yet in attacking the hard, nothing superior, nothing so certain in wearing down strength: There is no way to resist it. Note then: The weak conquer the strong, the yielding outlasts the aggressors.


Mastering others is strength. Mastering oneself makes you fearless.


Nothing in the world is as soft and yielding as water. Yet for dissolving the hard and inflexible, nothing can surpass it. The soft overcomes the hard; the gentle overcomes the rigid. Everyone knows this is true, but few can put it into practice. Therefore the Master remains serene in the midst of sorrow. Evil cannot enter his heart. Because he has given up helping, he is people’s greatest help. True words seem paradoxical.


Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.


Too much success is not an advantage.
Do not tinkle like jade
Or clatter like stone chimes.


Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success. Always be on the lookout for ways to turn a problem into an opportunity for success. Always be on the lookout for ways to nurture your dream.


The Tao of the sage is work without effort.


Abandon fancy theologies and imaginary ideas and do some ordinary daily work… {Engage in this work with} unswerving kindness and unending patience.


In work, do what you enjoy.


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.