7 Laozi Quotes to Help You Evolve

These Laozi quotes have to do with "the flow of life". The best path is the one that leads to inner peace and, in order to be able to get on it, we must cultivate some values and achieve balance.
7 Laozi Quotes to Help You Evolve

Last update: 06 August, 2020

Most Laozi quotes are aimed at pointing out principles for good living. That’s why those who follow them and the Tao live fulfilled lives, which is also beneficial for those around them. That’s basically what the Tao represents, an inventory of lessons that may make our passage through the world more significant and worthwhile.

The word “Tao” can be translated as “way”, “doctrine”, or “method”. It’s presented in several Eastern currents of thought such as Confucianism, Buddhism, and Zen. It seeks to illustrate the “natural order” of things and the harmonious functioning of the universe.

Many Laozi quotes can be difficult to understand. Others, on the other hand, are quite direct. However, they’re all full of wisdom. Here are some of the best ones!


This is one of those Laozi quotes that call for detachment and not depending on material things. It expresses the following: “The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is”.

This quote says that the tendency that some men have to accumulate things selfishly only leads to one thing: impoverishment. We can have many things, but what really enriches a person is to be able to share those things with others and use them to support other people’s growth.

Person holding a heart-shaped stone.

The following quote is one of the most popular ones. It says: “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime “.

It means that filling the voids of those in need isn’t the most ideal thing. The truly important thing is to teach them how they could obtain or achieve what they need to survive.

Water and nature

There are many Laozi quotes that establish a simile between the main values in life and the teachings of nature. Taoists are convinced that nature has a perfect balance we can all learn from.

The following statement expresses this clearly: “Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard”.

In other words, those things that may seem the most fragile can be, in fact, a lot stronger than other things.

Several Lao Tzu quotes talk about water and the importance of being connected to nature in general.

The three treasures

One Laozi quote states: “I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures”.

In this quote, Laozi uses the word “compassion” to talk about mercy. This means that the three greatest virtues are being compassionate,  generous, and humble.

On moderation

Balance goes hand in hand with moderation. It’s not about avoiding things, but knowing how to give them the value they deserve, as well as their rightful place. Being deprived of or having too much of something is precisely what breaks the balance that, in the end, is what ensures harmony.

Laozi indicates: “By moderation, one can be generous”. What this quote expresses is that excess leads to the loss of inner peace. Also, it tells us that we don’t have to have too much of anything in order to give to those around us.

Woman walking towards the mountains.

Useless attachment

This is one of Laozi’s greatest teachings: “If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to”. Taoism teaches that people should detach themselves from all material things in order to live a life free of affliction and self-pity.

This quote refers to the way people become blind followers of their objects of dependence, whether they’re actual objects, people, or circumstances. We’re so conditioned by what we depend on that we end up developing a deep fear of loss.

Buddhist monk meditating.

Conquering oneself

This next quote is also very popular. It says: “To conquer others is to have power. To conquer yourself is to know the way”.

It means that the main problems we must focus on are those that we carry inside of us. Being strong doesn’t necessarily mean defeating others. It means resolving the difficulties and obstacles that limit us in life.

Laozi’s teachings have influenced philosophies and religions from all over the world. Nowadays, his teachings still prevail and continue guiding others towards the path of wisdom and balance.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Chun-Tao Cheng, S. (2004). El tao de la voz. La vía de la experiencia verbal, Guía Ediciones.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.