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Laozi Quotes


A Chinese philosopher; also called Lao Zi, Lao Tzu, Lao Tse, or Lao Tze. The Tao Te Ching represents the sole document generally attributed to Laozi.
(c. 4th century BC)

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A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
[Traveling]
 

A leader is best when people barely know he exists, not so good when people obey and acclaim him, worst when they despise him. But of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, 'We did this ourselves.'
 

A scholar who cherishes the love of comfort is not fit to be deemed a scholar.
 

A terrace nine stories high begins with a pile of earth.
[Time]
 

All difficult things have their origin in that which is easy, and great things in that which is small.
 

Ambition has one heel nailed in well, though she stretch her fingers to touch the heavens.
[Ambition]
 

An ant on the move does more than a dozing ox.
 

Anticipate the difficult by managing the easy.
 

As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honour and praise. The next, the people fear, and the next the people hate. When the best leader's work is done, the people say, 'we did it ourselves!'
 

As the soft yield of water cleaves obstinate stone, So to yield with life solves the insolvable: To yield, I have learned, is to come back again.
[Acceptance]
 

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.
[Being]
 

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.
 

Be the chief but never the lord.
 

Because of a great love, one is courageous.
 

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.
[Being]
 

Born to be wild - live to outgrow it.
 

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.
 

Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.
[Begin]
 

Failure is the foundation of success, and the means by which it is achieved.
 

Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill. Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
 


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