Lao-tse is an important figure in China, historical veracity is still questioned to this day. He is believed to be the author of the book Tao Te Ching, the main work governing Taoism (an Asian religion and philosophy).
It is believed that he may have been a contemporary of Confucius, but the lack of evidence on Lao-Tse’s life makes these sources mere speculation. Whether or not he existed as a real person, Lao-Tse’s literary works, or those that speak of them, are well known and relevant in Chinese culture.
Excellent phrases and reflections from Lao-Tse
If you want to know more about this mysterious figure, below you can enjoy 90 awesome Lao-tse phrases, Which may help us to understand a little more the philosophy that this thinker preached.
1. He who seeks to rule the world and to improve it, is on the way to failure. The world is so sacred and vast that it cannot be dominated. Whoever dominates empires, whoever loses it.
We need to be aware of our limitations, otherwise our pride will take its toll on us.
2. He who is not happy with a little will not be happy with a lot.
Happiness is not in material possessions, but in our own feelings.
3. He who conquers another man is strong; but he who wins a victory over himself is powerful.
Our biggest rival in life will always be ourselves, we are our biggest detractor.
4. Because of great love, we are courageous.
Love can lead us to great deeds, it has always been a very powerful force in life.
5. He who knows does not speak; he who speaks does not know.
He who is wise should never speak in vain; on the contrary, the ignorant will speak without knowing.
6. A huge tree grows from a tender seedling. A path of a thousand steps begins in one step.
Everything in life starts with one small step, nothing happens overnight.
7. Gratitude is the memory of the heart.
When we thank someone for something, we show them the affection we have for them.
8. Realizing that you don’t understand is a virtue; not realizing that you don’t understand is a fault.
Being aware of our own limitations will empower us to overcome them.
9. To lead people, walk behind them.
You have to know how to adopt a position of submission to get what you want from someone, respect will lead you to get it.
10. With good words you can negotiate, but to make it bigger, good work is needed.
Good works are always the ones that will make this world a better place. Words are not enough.
11. Stop thinking and end your problems.
Most of the time, we turn things around too much, we don’t have to give them so much importance.
12. When everyone on earth recognizes beauty as beauty, ugliness is constituted.
Beauty is a subjective term, often dictated by society, but you shouldn’t get carried away with it.
13. Don’t go against what is right to gain praise from others.
We don’t have to seek acceptance from society, we have to be who we really are.
14. Elegant words are not sincere; sincere words, they are not elegant.
Many times telling the truth can cause pain to the person receiving that truth, but we have to be honest.
15. Look at all the white around you, but remember all the black that exists.
In life there will always be problems that we have to cut out, without them we would not be able to value the good that life brings us.
16. Only those who know inner peace can transmit it to others.
To show others what inner peace is, we need to be at peace with ourselves.
17. Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Not resisting them only creates pain. Let reality be reality.
Accepting life as it presents itself can lead us to achieve a state of complete happiness.
18. The evil leader is the one people look down on. A good leader is one people admire.
As leaders, we must always seek the satisfaction of our subjects, with it we will reveal ourselves as great leaders.
19. Ten thousand things bloom, and then each returns to the root of him who came.
Life is just one more step on the road to death, everything that started at some point, at some point, will come to an end.
20. Knowing that you don’t know is the best.
Being aware that we do not have absolute knowledge realizes us as better individuals; we have to listen to others.
21. Real words are not pretty; false words are beautiful. The right words are not convincing; words that are not good are persuasive.
On many occasions, lies can seem better than truths; we must not get carried away by them.
22. He who promises much seldom keeps his word.
We are not to promise, unless we keep the promise, our word represents who we are in society.
23. What is well established cannot be moved. What is firmly grasped cannot be abandoned. And he will be honored from generation to generation.
As time passes in society, values take hold that will last for centuries.
24. The kingdom’s arms are not shown abroad.
We don’t have to show the letters we have, we have to be careful and not reveal much about ourselves to third parties, otherwise we can get hurt.
25. Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thought creates depth. The kindness of giving creates love.
We have to be kind to those around us, this way our personal relationships will improve.
26. You worry about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.
We must not be carried away by the image that others may have of us, we must be genuine and true to ourselves.
27. You must surrender to your own interests. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can have confidence in all things under heaven.
How we take care of ourselves and how we take care of those around us will or will not lead us to achieving big goals.
28. People are hungry, it is because the authorities eat too much tax.
Injustice has always been present in the world, we must fight to the best of our ability.
29. Those who have knowledge do not predict. Those who predict have no knowledge.
When we are wise enough, we realize that we cannot move things forward.
30. Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key.
To achieve knowledge, it is given by the path of action, either by reading or by practicing any type of art.
31. Responds intelligently even to poorly intelligent treatment.
When someone doesn’t treat us with the respect we deserve, we need to be smarter than them and not act the same.
32. The sweet things in life surpass the strongest things in the world.
Often times things are not what they seem and something that may seem delicate can be much louder than we thought.
33. He who knows how to be satisfied with what he has will always be happy.
Whoever doesn’t need a lot in life will always be much happier.
34. When a country is full of conflict, patriots flourish.
In extreme situations, this is when the deepest feelings blossom.
35. If you want to take, you must first give; it is the beginning of intelligence.
To achieve things in life, you must first have done something to achieve them.
36. Be deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
The love we feel for and receive from a person can help us in all aspects of life.
37. The sage does not accumulate. The more he helps others, the more he benefits. The more he gives to others, the more he earns.
When we improve the lives of those around us, indirectly, we also improve our own.
38. People are difficult to rule because they have too much knowledge.
In a cultured people, the leader must be much more cunning, which is why many leaders decide not to invest in the education of their nationals.
39. Few things under heaven bring more benefit than the lessons of silence and effortless actions.
Everything we do in life as knowledge and skills will always be of great help to us throughout life.
40. The enemies of man are not demons, but human beings like him.
Humans are the biggest predator on Earth, to all living things, including humans themselves.
41. Moderation is the best virtue for governing men and serving in heaven.
As leaders, we must be moderate in our actions, knowing how to act proportionately in each situation.
42. The loss is not as bad as the desire for more.
When we lose something we don’t need, we really haven’t lost anything.
43. Make things difficult while they are easy, and do great things while they are small.
We need to reduce the problems when we have leeway, if we let them grow and get complicated they will certainly be much more difficult to solve.
44. He who speaks gets tired more quickly.
While exercising, speaking does not allow us to control our breathing, which is why we are more tired.
45. He who insists too much on his views finds few who agree with him.
We must accept the point of view of others, we must not want to impose our criteria.
46. The key to growth is the introduction of greater dimensions of consciousness into our consciousness.
To absorb greater knowledge, we must expand our minds and ideas, we must never stop learning.
47. Be the boss, but never the lord.
We can rule someone, but it will never be our property, everyone has the same universal rights.
48. In thought, be as simple as possible. In the event of a conflict, he is fair and generous. At work, do what you love. In family life, be present.
This sentence lists very well the qualities that we should all have and how we should act in life.
49. May your body and your vital soul be united in an embrace without separation.
We need to be in touch with our mind, know who we really are and what we want to accomplish in life.
50. Life and death are a thread, the same line seen from different sides.
Death is part of life, another experience that we will all have at one time or another.
51. There is no greater risk of underestimating your opponent.
Underestimating our opponent will lead us to defeat, we must be warned and always be prepared for the worst.
52. The good is master of the afflicted, and the wicked is the lesson of good.
In life, we can learn from these people as we don’t want to be, because this will give us a clear example of how we should not act.
53. An ornate word is not sincere.
To convey things in the most reliable way, we need to speak frankly.
54. Nature does not have a human heart.
The environment does not take care of people’s interests, we have to take care of ourselves.
55. Success is as dangerous as failure. Hope is as empty as fear.
We don’t have to anticipate events, being forewarned is a great quality.
56. Without moving from the outside, one can get to know everyone: without looking out the window, one can see the way to heaven. The more you move, the less you know.
Knowledge, we acquire it several times with introspection, we must know ourselves in order to know everything.
57. Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect.
When we are aware of our imperfections, we accept them and can live with them.
58. Lead a great nation as you would a small fish. Don’t overdo it.
Even the most powerful rulers must be careful and careful.
59. Seeing things in the seed is genius.
When we value the power she can achieve a little bit, we can move on and tap into that power.
60. Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.
We need to be warned and act when we are still on time.
61. Fill your bowl to the brim and it will overflow. Keep sharpening your knife and it will wear out.
You don’t have to exhaust things too much by being ambitious, you have to know when something is enough.
62. A leader is better when people barely know he exists. When their work is done, their goal achieved, they will say, we did it ourselves.
The job of a leader is well done when it makes it easy and everything feels natural.
63. Really great is the sublimity of the Creator, to which all beings owe their beginning and which fills all heaven.
Creation is a wonderful thing that we can all enjoy, we live on a great planet.
64. Be honest with those who are honest, and also be honest with those who are not.
Honesty is something that should always be present in our personality.
65. Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.
The greatest knowledge we can have is self-knowledge.
66. Act effortlessly. It works without interfering. Find the taste of what you don’t like.
We need to value the little things and get the most out of our actions.
67. A scholar who appreciates love only for the sake of comfort is not ready to be a scholar.
Being aware of all the positive aspects that we have in our lives will lead us to achieve the goal that we are pursuing.
68. Nature is in no hurry, but everything is accomplished.
With enough time and dedication, anything will be possible.
69. If you practice fairness, even if you die, you will not die.
Being fair with what we give and receive from others is a great quality.
70. He who obtains has little. He who scatters has a lot.
We must give in order to receive, because in life we always receive the same currency with which we pay.
71. Weapons are not the right tools for the right people; nice people only use them when they have no choice. They appreciate the peace and quiet. They find no glory in victory.
The glory we gain with the power of arms will always stain our hands with blood.
72. He who finds everything easy will find life difficult.
When we take everything for granted, it can make us feel that life has no mysteries.
73. The real person rules when he empties his heart with desire and fills his belly with food, weakening his ambitions and strengthening his bones.
When we think more clearly, that’s when we have to make the toughest decisions.
74. Health is the greatest good. Satisfaction is the greatest treasure. Trust is the best friend. Not to be is the greatest joy.
We need to give thanks for all the gifts life gives us and we need to be more aware.
75. If the Great Way perishes, there will be morality and duty. When intelligence and knowledge emerge, great lies will flourish.
Society can lead us to meet people who can envy us, we must not get carried away by their schemes.
76. When you are happy to just be yourself and not compare or compete, everyone will respect you.
The more honest we are with ourselves, the better people will appreciate our qualities.
77. Convenience is simply the shadow of good and truth, it is the beginning of disorder.
Doing things because they are right for us can lead us down the wrong path, we need to be honest with our actions and thoughts.
78. He who knows how to tie uses neither ropes nor knots, and yet no one can untie what he has united.
These people who know how to manipulate the threads that move society, obtain great power within it.
79. We made the clay into a pot, but what we want is its empty interior.
A good moral that tells us that even empty space is of great value.
80. When virtue is lost, benevolence arises, when benevolence is lost, good conduct arises, when good conduct is lost, convenience arises.
Being honest with the actions we take will never make us regret them.
81. Love is the strongest of all passions, for it attacks the head, the heart and the senses at the same time.
Loving it can totally change our mind and make us change our mind on many issues.
82. The weak and the tender overcome hardness and the strong.
Things may not be what they seem, for example water can pass through any rock.
83. People fail when they are on the verge of success. If one is careful at the end, just like at the beginning, there will be no failure.
We must not take things for granted until we reach the real end, we must not sell the bear skin before we hunt it.
84. Time is something created. Saying “I don’t have time” is equivalent to saying “I don’t want”.
When we want to do something or be with someone, we will always find enough time to do it.
85. The snow goose does not need a bath to turn white. Likewise, you don’t have to do anything other than be yourself.
We have to love and value ourselves for the person we are, self-esteem is a fundamental thing that we have to cultivate in ourselves.
86. When I stop being who I am, I become what I could be.
In order to grow as individuals, we must change ourselves, acquire wisdom, and put it into practice in our lives.
87. If you don’t change direction, you can end up where you started.
The world is a sphere and if we always walk in the same direction we will turn it around, good morals of what can transform our lives.
88. The common man, when he undertakes something, spoils him for being in a hurry to finish it.
Being patient will lead us to achieve our goals, haste is never a good companion.
89. The way to do it is to be.
To accomplish what we dream of so much, we have to become the best version of ourselves.
90. Different in life, men are like death.
Death is omnipresent in all living things. The way we live our lives is what sets us apart.