TAOISM | 5 Life Lessons From Lao Tzu | Summary and Q&A

December 7, 2020
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TAOISM | 5 Life Lessons From Lao Tzu


Discover five lessons from the Tao Te Ching that can help you go with the flow, reduce stress, and live a more fulfilling life.

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Key Insights

  • 🌊 Effort and force aren't always the best tools for getting things done. We must learn to work with nature instead of against it, allowing ourselves to flow along with the natural order of things.
  • 🤝 There needs to be a balance between action and inaction, between pushing ourselves and giving ourselves time to rest. Overburdening ourselves can lead to chronic exhaustion and vulnerability.
  • 🌍 Sometimes it's best to step back and let things unfold naturally. Trying to control everything often creates more problems. Trusting the universe and letting go of control can lead to better outcomes.
  • 💰 We tend to gather more than we need out of fear and ego. Realizing that our possessions do not define us and that moderation is key can bring contentment and peace.
  • 💥 Clinging to life and fearing death can make life serious and painful. Letting go of attachments and fears allows us to celebrate life and walk safely among the "wild animals" of the world.
  • 📚 The wisdom of Lao Tzu teaches us valuable lessons on how to go with the flow, not force things, find balance, let go of control, and live a content and fulfilling life.
  • 🔁 Change is the only constant in the universe, and clinging to our self-image and the stories we tell ourselves about the world only holds us back. Being flexible and accepting of change allows us to be disciples of life.
  • ❤️ Lao Tzu's teachings offer a different perspective on how to live life effortlessly, with less stress and anxiety, by embracing the natural flow of things and letting go of attachments to outcomes and possessions.


Can you celebrate life and not cling to it? Can you give up control and still get things done? Can you achieve your goals without forcing? These are all themes we find in the ancient Taoist key work called the Tao Te Ching, which was written by a mysterious sage named Lao Tzu. There isn’t much known about this character of Chinese antiquity, and so... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: How can forcing our way through life hinder our progress?

When we force things, we go against the natural flow of things, exhausting ourselves and stirring up resistance from the universe. For example, swimming against the stream might work for a short while, but eventually, we'll tire out. By working smart and aligning with nature's rhythm, we can navigate effortlessly and achieve greater success and fulfillment. It's about setting our sails right and cooperating with the wind of the universe instead of fighting against it.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Lesson 1: Don't force anything. By going against the natural flow of things, we exhaust ourselves and hinder our progress. Instead, work smart by aligning with the natural laws and letting the universe propel you forward.

  • Lesson 2: Don't overburden yourself. Balancing action with rest is crucial for growth and well-being. Pushing too hard can lead to chronic exhaustion and vulnerability.

  • Lesson 3: Stop controlling the world. Often, problems solve themselves, and intervention can create more issues. Trusting in the natural course and letting go of control allows things to fall into place.

  • Lesson 4: Enough is enough. Accumulating more than we need stems from fear and a desire to prove our worth. Embracing moderation and contentment brings peace and freedom from the burden of excess.

  • Lesson 5: Don't cling to life. Clinging to external attachments and the fear of death stifles our ability to celebrate life fully. Letting go of what we cling to and embracing change makes us disciples of life.

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