44 Timeless Lao Tzu Quotes on Self-Mastery and Letting Go

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Looking for ancient wisdom to support your day? 

Self-mastery is essential for a successful, happy, and fulfilling life. These Lao Tzu quotes will blow your mind. 

First, who is Lao Tzu?

Lao Tzu’s philosophies remain timeless for a reason. 

Sometimes we need to cut the noise and go directly to the beginning and look at philosophies that have stood the test of time and continue to impact people’s lives no matter the era.  

Lao Tzu was an ancient 6th-century B.C.E. Chinese Taoist (Daoism) philosopher and the founder of Taoism philosophy.

Tao (Dao) means “The Way.”

Lao Tzu (Laozi) means “The Old Master.”

Much has been debated about whether he was an actual man or a legendary character. 

According to scholars, the general gist is that Taoism breaks into two separate but deeply intertwined sectors: Taoism’s religion and Taoism’s philosophical tradition. 

In the religion Taoism, Lao Tzu is considered a supreme deity (god or goddess). 

In the philosophical tradition, Lao Tzu wrote a book called Tao Te Ching and was given the name Lao Tzu after the supreme deity. 

Tao Te Ching’s (Daodejing) translation is “Classic of the Way and Virtue.”

Nonetheless, Lao Tzu was an extraordinary thinker whose philosophies remain relevant and continue to help people looking for a better way of living. 

The 4 Taoist virtues are: 

  • Simplicity, patience, and compassion
  • Going with the flow
  • Letting go
  • Harmony

Below are 44 motivating Lao Tzu quotes to get your daily dose of ancient wisdom.

Lao Tzu Book: Tao Te Ching


Related: 44 Affirmations for Inner Peace, Calm, and Well-being

44 Timeless Lao Tzu Quotes

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


“The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms.” ~ Lao Tzu


“The flame that burns twice as bright burns half as long.” ~ Lao Tzu


“He who defends with love will be secure; Heaven will save him, and protect him with love.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Ordinary men hate solitude. But the Master makes use of it, embracing his aloneness, realizing he is one with the whole universe.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Go to the people. Live with them, learn from them, love them.” ~ 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


“If lightning is the anger of the gods, then the gods are concerned mostly about trees.” ~ Lao Tzu


“The world belongs to those who let go.” ~ Lao Tzu


“As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it.” ~ Lao Tzu


“A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.” ~ Lao Tzu


“If you want to know me, look inside your heart.” ~ Lao Tzu


“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.” ~ Lao Tzu


“He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness.” ~ Lao Tzu


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


“What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.” ~ Lao Tzu


“The master observes the world but trusts his inner vision. He allows things to come and go. He prefers what is within to what is without.” ~ Lao Tzu


“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Not seeking, not expecting, she is present, and can welcome all things.” ~ Lao Tzu


“There is no illusion greater than fear.” ~ Lao Tzu


“When pure sincerity forms within, it is outwardly realized in other people’s hearts.” ~ Lao Tzu


“The road you can talk about is not the road you can walk on.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Hope and fear are both phantoms that arise from thinking of the self. When we don’t see the self as self, what do we have to fear?” ~ Lao Tzu

“There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent.” ~ Lao Tzu


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


“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.” ~ Lao Tzu


“The key to growth is the introduction of higher dimensions of consciousness into our awareness.” ~ Lao Tzu


“If you are depressed you are living in the past.” ~ Lao Tzu


“When there is no desire, all things are at peace.” ~ Lao Tzu


“If you are anxious, you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Stop thinking, and end your problems.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Take care with the end as you do with the beginning.” ~ Lao Tzu


“The further one goes, the less one knows.” ~ Lao Tzu


“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ~ Lao Tzu


“If you want to lead them, you must place yourself behind them.” ~ Lao Tzu


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


“When you accept yourself, the whole world accepts you.” ~ Lao Tzu


“Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend.” ~ Lao Tzu


“If you do not value rare treasures, you will stop others from stealing.” ~ Lao Tzu


Care about what other people think, and you will always be their prisoner.” ~ Lao Tzu


“He who knows he has enough is rich. Perseverance is a sign of willpower. He who stays where he is endures. To die but not to perish is to be eternally present.” ~ Lao Tzu

Closing Thoughts on Lao Tzu Quotes

I hope these powerful Lao Tzu quotes will bring more peace, flow, and tranquility to your life.

I wish you many blessings, so much love, and joy!

You might also enjoy: 33 Affirmations for Letting Go of The Past (+3 Reasons to Move on Quick)

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Happy manifesting and much gratitude. 

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About Me
Susan Pham, mbgFNC

Susan Pham, mbgFNC

Hi! I’m Susan. I'm a manifestation teacher and holistic coach, here to support your spiritual, self-love, and well-being journey. My mission is to help people call in their wildest desires and live a life of expansion and deep fulfillment. Looking for personal guidance? Check out my 1:1 coaching page. I'd be honored to help. Much Gratitude! Love, Susan

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