100+ Thoughtful Quotes And Sayings That Will Give You Something To Ponder

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 
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Saso Novoselic/ Getty

Whether you’re an over-thinker or a thoughtless person, it’s nice to float into the existential or read something that makes you stop and think. These quotes may not be brain teasers, but they’ll force you to mull it over. Remember, your brain is a muscle, and phrases like this may not be riddles but can be equally as thought-provoking and fun to read. So if you’re looking for intellectual phrases from brilliant and learned people, you’ve come to the right place.

Don’t get us wrong: we love some mindless entertainment. But sometimes it feels good to be deep in thought. Consider it a form of self-care after a long day, week, or even year. Need something to think about? These 101 thinking quotes will get your gears moving.

Interested in more thought-provoking topics? Check out our quotes pages on growing up, feeling lost, Buddhist quotes, and more!

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  1. “If I love myself I love you. If I love you I love myself.” — Rumi
  2. “Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.” — Margaret Atwood
  3. “Power can be taken, but not given. The process of the taking is empowerment in itself.” — Gloria Steinem
  4. “To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” — Mary Oliver
  5. “Every saint has a past, and every sinner has a future.” — Oscar Wilde
  6. “Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” — Kahlil Gibran
  7. “You can tell a pioneer by the arrows in his back.” — Beverly Rubik
  8. “We can see through others only when we can see through ourselves”. — Bruce Lee
  9. “Never to suffer would never to have been blessed.” — Edgar Allan Poe
  10. “Life without love is like a tree without blossoms or fruit.” — Kahlil Gibran
  11. “First, see clearly. Next, act correctly. Finally, endure and accept the world as it is.” — Ryan Holiday
  12. “A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed.” — Henrik Ibsen
  13. “I don’t care that they stole my idea. I care that they don’t have any of their own.” — Nikola Tesla
  14. “It is not I who am strong, it is reason, it is truth.” — Émile Zola
  15. “I rebel; therefore I exist.” — Albert Camus


  1. “You who suffer because you love, love still more. To die of love, is to live by it.” — Victor Hugo
  2. “The only reason we get lost in thought is because it is unfamiliar territory.” — Ashton Leinen
  3. “If you’ve never eaten while crying you don’t know what life tastes like.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  4. “The wind howls, but the mountain remains still.” — Japanese proverb
  5. “There is a wisdom of the head, and… there is a wisdom of the heart. Charles Dickens
  6. “Some rise by sin, and some by virtue fall.” — William Shakespeare
  7. “Never make fun of someone who mispronounces a word. It means they learned it by reading.” — Unknown
  8. “A clear conscience is the sure sign of a bad memory.” — Mark Twain
  9. “The adventure of life is to learn. The purpose of life is to grow. The nature of life is to change. The challenge of life is to overcome. The essence of life is to care. The opportunity of like is to serve. The secret of life is to dare. The spice of life is to befriend. The beauty of life is to give.” — William Arthur Ward
  10. “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.” — Charles Dickens
  11. “Life is not a matter of holding good cards, but of playing a poor hand well.” — Robert Louis Stevenson
  12. “A man with outward courage dares to die; a man with inner courage dares to live.” — Lao Tzu
  13. “Do or do not, there is no try.” — Yoda
  14. “The best thing a human being can do is to help another human being know more.” — Charlie Munger
  15. “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” — Sigmund Freud
  16. “Doubt is an uncomfortable condition, but certainty is a ridiculous one.” — Voltaire
  17. “Be regular and orderly in your life, so that you may be violent and original in your work.” — Gustave Flaubert
  18. “To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily. Not to dare is to lose oneself.” — Soren Kierkegaard
  19. “Cleverness is not wisdom.” — Euripides
  20. “Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so.” — Bertrand Russell
  21. “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Leo Tolstoy
  22. “Wisely and slow; they stumble that run fast.” — William Shakespeare


  1. “All human wisdom is summed up in two words; wait and hope.” — Alexandre Dumas
  2. “Stupidity lies in wanting to draw conclusions.” — Gustave Flaubert
  3. “Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.” — Martin Luther
  1. “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” — Lao Tzu
  2. “He who is untrue to his own cause cannot command the respect of others.” — Albert Einstein
  3. “As long as I am breathing, in my eyes, I am just beginning.” — Criss Jami
  4. “Genius is the recovery of childhood at will.” — Arthur Rimbaud
  5. “Sometimes you have to shut your eyes, so you can see the real beauty.” — Kilian Jornet
  6. “A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
  7. “To be sane in a world of madman is in itself madness.” — Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  8. “Don’t settle, and don’t struggle.” — Naval Ravikant
  9. “We suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” — Seneca
  10. “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” — Voltaire

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  1. “Dreams have only one owner at a time. That’s why dreamers are lonely.” — William Faulkner
  2. “Do not be lured by the need to be liked: better to be respected, even feared.” — Robert Greene
  3. “Rest in reason; move in passion.” — Kahlil Gibran
  4. “To do two things at once is to do neither.” — Publilius Syrus
  5. “The deeper thought is, the taller it becomes.” — Dejan Stojanovic
  6. “The darker the night, the brighter the stars.” — Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  7. “What worries you, masters you.” — John Locke
  8. “Look for the thing you notice but no one else notices.” — Rick Rubin
  9. “The fears we don’t face become our limits.” — Jim Kwik
  10. “All great truths begin as blasphemies.” — George Bernard Shaw
  11. “It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.” — Muhammad Ali
  12. “Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real.” — Neils Bohr
  13. “The passion for destruction is also a creative passion.” — Mikhail Bakunin
  14. “It’s not how well you play the game, it’s deciding what game you want to play.” — Kwame Appiah
  15. “The problem is not to find the answer, it’s to face the answer.” — Terence McKenna
  16. “If it is not necessary to decide, it is necessary not to decide.” — Lord Acton
  17. “Every strength is also a weakness. The opposite is true as well.” — Neil Strauss
  18. “Two possibilities exist: either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.” — Arthur C. Clarke
  19. “I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.” — Kahlil Gibran
  20. “The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.” — Ernest Hemingway

20th Century Fox

  1. “Better a cruel truth than a comfortable delusion.” — Edward Abbey
  2. “Where there is no sense of ownership, there is respect. Where there is no hope, there is Truth. Where there is no attachment, there is love.” — Kapil Gupta
  3. “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don’t ever count on having both at once.” — Robert A. Heinlein
  4. “When you’re in love, truly in love, you never have to question it.” — Michael Faudet
  5. “The sun loved the moon so much, he died every night just to let her breath.” — Unknown
  6. “If you haven’t found something strange during the day it hasn’t been much of a day.” — John Wheeler
  7. “One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.” — Gustave Flaubert
  8. “That’s what real love amounts to – letting a person be what he really is. Most people love you for who you pretend to be.” — Jim Morrison
  9. “When one is in love, a cliff becomes a meadow.” — Ethiopian proverb
  10. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” — Mary Oliver
  11. “The task is not so much to see what no one has yet seen; but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees.” — Erwin Schrödinger
  12. “Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life. Seneca
  13. People spend too much time doing and not enough time thinking about what they should be doing.” — Naval Ravikant
  14. “Being happy for someone else’s success makes you happier.” — Russ Diemon
  15. “A happy person doesn’t have to convince other people they are happy. Either you are or you’re not. And if you are, you’re not taking selfies to show people.” — Shane Parrish
  16. “What can be added to the happiness of a man who is in health, out of debt, and has a clear conscience?” — Adam Smith
  17. A”ll the mistakes I ever made in my life were when I wanted to say ‘No,’ and said ‘Yes.’” — Moss Hart
  18. “When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” — Lao Tzu
  19. “If you trip while running down a hallway, you’ll get a nosebleed. If you trip in life, you cry.” — Minori
  20. “It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to has power over you.” — Leon Brown
  21. “Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” — Arthur Schopenhauer
  22. “Waste not fresh tears over old griefs.” — Euripides
  23. “To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.” — J.K. Rowling
  24. “Courage is knowing what not to fear.” — Plato
  25. “A friend to all is a friend to none.” — Aristotle
  26. “The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances; if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” — Carl Jung
  27. “You don’t meet people by accident. There’s always a reason. A lesson or a blessing.” — Unknown
  28. “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself – and you are the easiest person to fool.” — Richard Feynman
  29. “Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” — Rabindranath Tagore
  30. “Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” — Voltaire
  31. “Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.” — Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  32. “Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.” — Soren Kierkegaard
  33. “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.” — Dr. Seuss
  34. “I am a slow walker, but I never walk back.” — Abraham Lincoln

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