Lao Tzu (born 571 BC, Chujen village, State of Chu [present day Luyi, Henan] – Died Didao, State of Qin [present day Lintao, Gansu]), also rendered as Laozi and Lao-Tze, was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer. He is best known as the author of the Laozi (later retitled the Tao-Te-Ching translated as “The Classic of the Way and Virtue” or “The Way of Virtue”) the work which exemplifies his thought. Lao Tzu is the founder of philosophical Taoism, and a deity in religious Taoism and traditional Chinese religions.
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. Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. 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. Those who know do not speak. Those who speak do not know. The snow goose need not bathe to make itself white. Neither need you do anything but be yourself. When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everyone will respect you. 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. To a mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders. The best fighter is never angry. I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving. If you correct your mind, the rest of your life will fall into place. Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished. Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment. The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth. Time is a created thing. To say “I don’t have time” is to say “I don’t want 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. A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live. A leader is best when people barely know he exists, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say: we did it ourselves. Life and death are one thread, the same line viewed from different sides. Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. Nothing is softer or more flexible than water, yet nothing can resist it. 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. Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it. If you do not change direction, you might end up where you are heading. Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power. When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’ Stop thinking, and end your problems. Who acts in stillness finds stillness in his life. 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. Do you have the patience to wait until your mud settles and the water is clear? New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. Silence is a source of Great Strength. Stop leaving and you will arrive. Stop searching and you will see. Stop running away and you will be found. Great acts are made up of small deeds.
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.
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.
Lao Tzu The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long. People in their handlings of affairs often fail when they are about to succeed. If one remains as careful at the end as he was at the beginning, there will be no failure. Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Perfection is the willingness to be imperfect. Music in the soul can be heard by the universe. What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly. 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. 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. If the Great Way perishes there will morality and duty. When cleverness and knowledge arise great lies will flourish. When relatives fall out with one another there will be filial duty and love. When states are in confusion there will be faithful servants. Manifest plainness, embrace simplicity, reduce selfishness, have few desires. Make your heart like a lake, with calm, still surface, and great depths of kindness. He who is contented is rich. He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough. 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. Love is a decision. Not an emotion. He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still. Confidence is the greatest friend. 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.’ Those who flow as life flows know they need no other force. Accomplish but do not boast, accomplish without show, accomplish without arrogance, accomplish without grabbing, accomplish without forcing. Health is the greatest possession. Contentment is the greatest treasure. Confidence is the greatest friend. Non-being is the greatest joy. The reason why the universe is eternal is that it does not live for itself; it gives life to others as it transforms. At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. For the wise man looks into space and he knows there is no limited dimensions. Be still like a mountain, and flow like a great river. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. If you wish to be out front, then act as if you were behind. Use the light that is within you to revert to your natural clearness of sight. If you would take, you must first give, this is the beginning of intelligence. To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day. Surrender your self-interest. Love others as much as you love yourself. Then you can be entrusted with all things under heaven. Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing. The wise man is one who knows what he does not know. If you try to change it, you will ruin it. Try to hold it, and you will lose it. If a person seems wicked, do not cast him away. Awaken him with your words, elevate him with your deeds, repay his injury with your kindness. Do not cast him away; cast away his wickedness. Water is the softest thing, yet it can penetrate mountains and earth. This shows clearly the principle of softness overcoming hardness. Your own positive future begins in this moment. All you have is right now. Every goal is possible from here. There is no greater danger than underestimating your opponent. The further one goes, the less one knows.