This book is like the bible of Eastern Philosophy. It’s a very short, fundamental work of philosophical Taoism.

Written by Lao Tzu around 4th century BC, the timeless lessons within are still applicable today. I picked up this book because it was the top recommended book by Tim Ferriss podcast guests.

Translations are fluid, but the title translates to something along the lines of: “The Book of the Way”.

A major theme is detachment. The lessons talk about detaching yourself from outcomes and desires, and living in line with the way things naturally are. Here are some quotes I liked:

“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. Of a good leader, who talks little, when his work is done, his aim fulfilled, they will say, ‘We did this ourselves’.”


“Give evil nothing to oppose and it will disappear by itself.”


“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.”

This book, while very abstract, paints a good picture of calming, stress-free way to live. If one were to live by this book completely, worries and insecurities would not exist for him. It touches on the dichotomy of the very life we live. Evil is what gives Good its value, and lightness is only light respective to darkness. Death is a part of life, and so we should only embrace it. To worry about things like death and change is objectively pointless, and this book does a good job of painting that picture.

I suppose this book is often recommended by high-achievers because it’s easier to dive into fearful situations when insecurity is absent.

It’s a very short read, so I recommend checking it out. Very eye-opening.