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33 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Lao Tzu

“The tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal Name. The unnamable is the eternally real. Naming is the origin of all particular things.” ~ Lao Tzu

Not sure if you know this, but Lao Tzu is the author of my favorite book of all time – Tao Te Ching. I am in love with this book. I read it more than 100 times and I know that I’ll continue to read it a lot more in the future. And you know why? Because every time I read it I discover something new. There is so much power, so much wisdom and so much magic in this book and its words really resonate with me. And that is why I decided to write this post on:

33 Life Changing Lessons to Learn from Lao Tzu

1. The world is won by those who let it go. 

“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.” ~ Lao Tzu

“Therefore the Master acts without doing anything and teaches without saying anything. Things arise and she lets them come; things disappear and she lets them go. She has but doesn’t possess, acts but doesn’t expect. When her work is done, she forgets it. That is why it lasts forever.” ~ Lao Tzu

“He who clings to his work will create nothing that endures.” ~ Lao Tzu

2. When you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.

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

3. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.

“If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked. If you want to become full, let yourself be empty. If you want to be reborn, let yourself die. If you want to be given everything, give everything up.” ~ Lao Tzu

4. Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.

“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.” ~ Lao Tzu

5. If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to.

“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.” ~ Lao Tzu

6. He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far.

“He who rushes ahead doesn’t go far.” ~ Lao Tzu

7. Trying to shine you dim your own light.

“He who tries to shine dims his own light.” ~ Lao Tzu

8. He who defines himself can’t know who he really is.

“He who defines himself can’t know who he really is.” ~ Lao Tzu

9. He who has power over others can’t empower himself.

“He who has power over others can’t empower himself.” ~ Lao Tzu

10. Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.

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

11. At the center of your being you have the answer to all life’s questions.

“At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.” ~ Lao Tzu

12. The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast.

“The soft overcomes the hard. The slow overcomes the fast.” ~ Lao Tzu

“In the world there is nothing more submissive and weak than water. Yet for attacking that which is hard and strong nothing can surpass it.” ~ Lao Tzu

13. Allow things to flow naturally.

“Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself?” ~ Lao Tzu

14. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish.

“If you want to shrink something, you must first allow it to expand. If you want to get rid of something, you must first allow it to flourish. If you want to take something, you must first allow it to be given. This is called the subtle perception of the way things are.” ~ Lao Tzu

15. New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.

“New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings.” ~ Lao Tzu

16. Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.

“Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.” 

17. Humility is power.

“All streams flow to the sea because it is lower than they are. Humility gives it its power.” 

18. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm.

“The sage does not hoard. The more he helps others, the more he benefits himself, The more he gives to others, the more he gets himself. The Way of Heaven does one good but never does one harm. The Way of the sage is to act but not to compete.” 

19. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’”

“The wicked leader is he who the people despise. The good leader is he who the people revere. The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.

20. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.

“If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them. If you want to lead the people, you must learn how to follow them.”

21. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.

“If you realize that you have enough, you are truly rich.” 

“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.”

22. The further one goes the less one knows.

“Without stirring abroad, One can know the whole world; Without looking out of the window one can see the way of heaven. The further one goes the less one knows.” 

23. Silence is a source of great strength.

“Silence is a source of great strength.” 

24. Be like the forces of nature.

“Express yourself completely, then keep quiet. Be like the forces of nature: when it blows, there is only wind; when it rains, there is only rain; when the clouds pass, the sun shines through.” 

25. Non-being is the greatest joy.

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

26. By doing nothing you leave nothing undone.

“When nothing is done, nothing is left undone.” 

27. This is the great secret.

“What is a good man but a bad man’s teacher? What is a bad man but a good man’s job? If you don’t understand this, you will get lost, however intelligent you are. It is the great secret.” 

28. The wise man is one who knows what he does not know.

“The wise man is one who knows what he does not know.” 

29. Loving someone deeply gives you courage.

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

30. Kindness in giving creates love.

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love.” 

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

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

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

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

33. Be good to all.

“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.”

~Love Tiny Genie

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