Of all that is good, sublimity is supreme. Succeeding is the coming together of all that is beautiful. Furtherance is the agreement of all that is just. Perseverance is the foundation of all actions.
Truthful words are not beautiful; beautiful words are not truthful. Good words are not persuasive; persuasive words are not good.
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.
Great indeed is the sublimity of the Creative, to which all beings owe their beginning and which permeates all heaven.
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.
Love is of all passions the strongest, for it attacks simultaneously the head, the heart and the senses.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When virtue is lost, benevolence appears, when benevolence is lost right conduct appears, when right conduct is lost, expedience appears. Expediency is the mere shadow of right and truth; it is the beginning of disorder.
It is better to do one’s own duty, however defective it may be, than to follow the duty of another, however well one may perform it. He who does his duty as his own nature reveals it, never sins.
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.
To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; Not to realize that you do not understand is a defect.
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.
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.’
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.