Lao Tzu was the founder Taoism, the highly influential philosophy that emphasizes humility, mindful living and fulfilment in life.
He is known to have masterfully implemented detachment, letting go and simplicity in his life. Most importantly, he helped countless people discover their true purpose.
Lao Tzu has been a huge figure in Chinese culture and his teachings are still taught to this very day.
If you want to learn about harmonious and purposeful living, here are some of his most profound quotes that will make reconsider your priorities in life.
The 3 great treasures in life
“Simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. Simple in actions and thoughts, you return to the source of being. Patient with both friends and enemies, you accord with the way things are. Compassionate toward yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.”
True intelligence and power
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”
“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.”
“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
“When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you.”
“Because one believes in oneself, one doesn’t try to convince others. Because one is content with oneself, one doesn’t need others’ approval. Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her.”
“A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.”
Live in the present moment
“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.”
Don’t give up on your dreams
“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 art of simplicity
“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.”
“Manifest plainness, Embrace simplicity, Reduce selfishness, Have few desires.”
You are eternal
“If you understand others you are smart. If you understand yourself you are illuminated. If you overcome others you are powerful. If you overcome yourself you have strength. If you know how to be satisfied you are rich. If you can act with vigor, you have a will. If you don’t lose your objectives you can be long-lasting. If you die without loss, you are eternal.”
The importance of kindness
“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.”
Three precious things of life
“I have three precious things which I hold fast and prize. The first is gentleness; the second is frugality; the third is humility, which keeps me from putting myself before others. Be gentle and you can be bold; be frugal and you can be liberal; avoid putting yourself before others and you can become a leader among men.”