January 12, 2016

16 Lao Tzu Quotes For A Simpler Life

Lao Tzu quotes in making life simpler

Lao Tzu, which can be translated as ‘Old Master’, was the founder of Taoism, which is a Chinese philosophy of living in harmony with life. Confucianism and Taoism existed at the same time in China, and both of those philosophies are still practiced today, which gives a lot of credibility to their importance and practicality in life. Many Lao Tzu quotes have a way of making things simple. Therefore, if you want to make your life simpler, take the following 16 Lao Tzu quotes and make them a part of your life!

1. Enjoy Being Alone

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When you embrace solitude, you get a wide range of benefits. It helps you tap into your creativity as you listen to your inner self. It helps boost your self-esteem as you get in touch with the essence of who you are and practice making things work for you. It allows you to have fun on your own terms. In short, it allows you to get in touch with yourself and nature, without the distractions of other people, and become the master of your own life.

2. You Are Lacking Nothing

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When you are living in a state of ‘want’, the world can seem like a disappointing place that never gives you what you want. But, when you understand that you have everything you need, then the world becomes a giving place where you can access anything you need. The world works for you and your needs by giving you food, water, and air. It gives you the experiences you need to grow as a person. It gives you the people that help you learn about yourself. And it gives you everything you need to relax.

In my travels, I think that Islanders understand this the best. For example, in Maui, people are content with what they have. They feel like they have the whole world at their fingertips, and so does everyone who vacations there! A place like Maui, that gives you fruit from the trees, amazing views, a relaxed atmosphere, and access to some of nature’s most awesome sights and sounds, is a place that teaches you how much the world does for you on a daily basis.

3. Don’t Be So Inflexible!

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Lao explains that when things are born and alive, they are soft and flexible, but when they die, they become stiff. Not only will the stiff be broken easily, but they will have lost their zest for life – the curiosity, excitement, and willingness that makes life possible to live a life full of adventures. If you are stiff, then you are letting death lead your life. Learn to be more flexible in life and go with the flow.

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4. Big Things Start Right Here

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We live in a hurried world where we can get what we want with a snap of our fingers. So, when we want something big, we get disappointed when we snap our fingers and it doesn’t happen. More success, more happiness, less weight, and more love are just a few of the things we want right now that does not come right now.

If you want something big, or if you want to experience a big change, remember that the only thing you can do right now is start your journey by taking steps. Each step you take gets you closer to what you want, and usually the things that take a thousand steps or more are the things worth walking towards.

5. Stop Trying To Control Life

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Other Lao Tzu quotes I read also imply that in life there are a bunch of random changes, and if you resist them, you will feel sorry for yourself and your life. But when you let reality be as it is, then you will feel much more in tune with your life and much happier.

That is great advice! We all know how hard life feels when we resist what is happening. For example, when someone leaves our lives and we resist what has happened, life becomes full of sadness. But, when we realize that things change, and people come and go, we have a much easier time accepting things that are out of our control.

6. Do You Never Have Enough Time?

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Lao Tzu also pointed out that in nature, there is no hurrying, yet everything happens perfectly despite the lack of rush.

I find that when I relax, stop counting the minutes on the clock, and just do what I need to do throughout the day, I always get things done. Moreover, when I break my schedule and do things that matter to me or to people that I love, I still find myself getting everything done eventually. Even when I’m stressed out about what I still have to do, and start to imagine that I’m never going to get it done, that stress proves to be invalid. The important things always get done!

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Therefore, as Lao Tzu says, when you declare to yourself that you don’t have time, you are really just saying you don’t want to. If you wanted to, you would make the time because there is more than enough of it.

7. Your Opinion Always Matters Most In Life


We tend to overcomplicate our lives by paying attention to what other people think. Unfortunately, this causes us to live a life based on their terms, not ours.

If you want to be free to do what you want to do in life, then make your opinion matter the most. Do what is right for you. Choose the path that your inner self wants to take. Don’t let other people make you their prisoner in your own life.

8. Get Your Groove On

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Music can make us feel amazing and upbeat. Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be moving to a rhythm that you cannot see? It’s almost like they are dancing their way through life, even when there is no music playing. They are happy, they are enjoying life, and the universe responds by giving them things and people that make their life great.

You can get your groove on as well. Turn up the upbeat music that resides in your soul. It is the natural beat that puts a skip in your step and helps you dance your way through life and attract the things that keep you dancing.

9. Always Choose The High Road

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We can all dumb ourselves down if we want to, especially when we are treated poorly, but it is always better to respond intelligently. It’s no secret that the way you react to life is going to determine how you feel about life. If you react with anger, then you are going to feel angry. If you react with a calm and rational reaction, then you are going to feel calm and rational.

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In other words, taking the high road, and being mature and smart when you interact with other people, will help you feel better about your life and not get caught up in a negative rant that keeps you miserable for days.

10. Change Will Help You Become Wiser

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Want to be wiser tomorrow than you are today? There is only one way to do that. Change. One of the other Lao Tzu quotes stated that when you recognize that things change, you won’t try to hold on to anything. But, change is more than just about going with the flow. It also helps you add things to your life that benefit it and get rid of things that don’t.

If you want to be wiser, you need to learn something new every day. And, you need to let go of those thoughts, beliefs, and attitudes that just don’t work for you anymore or that are clearly untrue. If you can do that, then you can constantly become a better version of yourself.

11. Stop Doing What You Are Doing

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A lot of the Lao Tzu quotes I found were about change. When you think about it, change is really the easiest way to have a simple life. Anyone who is open to change without resistance takes it day by day and enjoys their life more than someone who resists everything new that comes their way. However, if you are not convinced that change is good yet, then this quote should do it for you.

We all know where we are heading if we listen to our inner self. The person in the abusive relationship knows that they are heading towards even more unhappiness and possibly even death. The smoker knows that they are heading towards poor lungs, disease, and death. The stressed out person knows that they are heading towards health problems and maybe even a breakdown. If they all don’t change their direction, then they may eventually end up where they believe they are heading. Consider this the next time you think about where you are heading.

12. Time Is Too Valuable To Be Busy Doing Nothing

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One of my friends constantly talked about how his boss was so busy pretending to do nothing all day that he genuinely thought he was busy. Every time someone would walk by his office, he would be staring at the computer with his brows furrowed so that he looked like he was hard at work, but everyone knew that he did absolutely nothing with his day (he never had any work to show for his efforts) and he was likely reading articles or staring at pictures.

While this didn’t affect my friend negatively, besides a little annoyance, it affected his boss negatively. He had nothing to show for his days at work. He had no respect from the people around him. He was seen as a joke by his employees, and it was obvious he had low self-confidence because he knew he wasn’t very valuable around the place.

If you are going to be busy, be busy doing something important for your life. Don’t waste your days pretending that you are doing good things for your relationships, health, happiness, or success, because that is literally a waste of your days! You could be doing so many things that help you become better, or you could be doing nothing at all.

13. Admit That You Don’t Know It All

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Remember what we said about being wise? You need to learn something new every day in order to be wise. You need to let go of what isn’t working and adopt new things that are. In other words, you need to accept that you don’t know everything, and acknowledge what you don’t know so that you can become wiser. Until you admit that there are many things for you to learn, you are not going to learn anything at all.

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14. If Nothing Else, Focus On Learning Three Things In Life

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Lao Tzu was a teacher, and if his teachings were focused around simplicity, patience, and compassion, then these are the things worth learning. In essence, these are the things that make life worth living.

When your life is simple, there is less stress and chaos. When you are patient, there is less stress and chaos. And when you are compassionate, life takes on a whole new meaning – and yes, there is less stress and chaos. Simplicity, patience, and compassion are things you should constantly strive to add more of into your life.

15. Stop Mucking Everything Up And Get Still

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If things are becoming unclear in your life, then take a step back and be still for a while. Take a break. Take a vacation. Move on to something else that is much clearer. When you take a step back and allow the problem some time to breathe, you will find your head clears and you are able to see what you should do much more easily. It’s amazing how a gigantic problem can be solved with just some space and time.

16. Improve Your Relationships With This One Simple Thing

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If you want other people to trust you, then you need to trust other people. This applies to all of your relationships. Family, friends, co-workers, and lovers all need you to trust them in order for them to trust you. When you don’t trust, you act in ways that promote distrust. Your doubt, suspicion, anxiety, fear, and the walls you put up will all make people question your motives.

The problem is that to form a beneficial relationship in life, you have to have trust. It is the foundation on which everything else is built. So, unless you feel there is a real reason not to trust someone, give them the benefit of the doubt. Allow yourself to open up to other people and have faith that they are there with good intentions. Don’t develop blind faith, where you miss the warning signs that they shouldn’t be trusted or do naive things, but don’t become someone who makes other people feel as though they are doing something wrong when they are not.

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