A careful collection of thinking quotes, thinking sayings as well as thinking proverbs to make you think deeply. Enjoy!
It is remarkable to what lengths people will go to avoid thought. ~Thomas Alva Edison.
Irons rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind. ~Leonardo da Vinci
I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use. ~Galileo Galilei
What luck for rulers, that men do not think. ~Adolph Hitler
Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest. ~Author Unknown
Men can live without air a few minutes, without water for about two weeks, without food for about two months – and without a new thought for years on end. ~Kent Ruth
If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you. If you really make them think they’ll hate you. ~Donald Robert Perry
Deliberate often – decide once. ~Latin proverb
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices. ~William James
A man is not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks, he is. ~Max R. Hickerson
It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well. ~Rene Descartes
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle
He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave. ~William Drummond
Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind. ~Emily P. Bissell
Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting. ~Edmund Burke
A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes. ~Mohandas K. Gandhi
Talking without thinking is shooting without aiming. ~Chinese proverb
Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action. Twice would have been quite enough. ~Confucius
You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think. ~Walter Anderson
Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week. ~George Bernard Shaw
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor ~Victor Hugo
We are what our thinking makes us. ~Nigerian proverb
Thinking is the essence of wisdom. ~Persian proverb
Our job is not to make up anybody’s mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of the decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking. ~Author Unknown
No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head. ~Terry Josephson
Thinking evil is much the same as doing it. ~Greek proverb
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking. ~Albert Einstein
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. ~Soren Kierkegaard
Some people get lost in thought because it’s such unfamiliar territory. ~G. Behn
Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. ~John F. Kennedy
The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes rather than with their minds. ~Will Durant
Few minds wear out; more rust out. ~Christian N. Bovee
No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking. ~Voltaire
Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes. ~John Dewey
Thoughts, like fleas, jump from man to man. But they don’t bite everybody. ~Stanislaw Lec
A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind. ~Albert Szent-Gyorgi
All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times; but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
The important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them. ~Sir William Lawrence Bragg
How we think shows through in how we act. Attitudes are mirrors of the mind. They reflect thinking. ~David Joseph Schwartz
Thoughts are toll-free, but not hell-free. ~German proverb
It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers. ~James Thurber
For those who do not think, it is best at least to rearrange their prejudices once in a while. ~Luther Burbank
The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up and does not stop until you get into the office. ~Robert Frost
Believing is easier than thinking. Hence so many more believers than thinkers. ~Bruce Calvert
A great many people mistake opinions for thought. ~Herbert V. Prochnow
Opinion is that exercise of the human will which helps us to make a decision without information. ~John Erskine
Ours is the age which is proud of machines that think and suspicious of men who try to. ~Howard Mumford Jones
All the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think. The trouble is that men very often resort to all sorts of devices in order not to think, because thinking is such hard work. ~Thomas J. Watson
The direction of a man’s thought is always the decisive factor in his personality. His whole outer life will be determined by the inward inclination of his mind. ~ Erich Sauer
As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins. ~Albert Schweitzer
Change your thoughts and you change your world. ~Norman Vincent Peale
If you lose the power to laugh, you lose the power to think. ~Clarence Darrow
Every thought is a seed. If you plant crab apples, don’t count on harvesting Golden Delicious. ~Bill Meyer
The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature. ~Marcus Aurelius
If we are not responsible for the thoughts that pass our doors, we are at least responsible for those we admit and entertain. ~Charles B. Newcomb
Most of the mistakes in thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic. ~Edward de Bono
If you’re going to think anyway, you might as well think big. ~Donald Trump
Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thought that is forever flowing through one’s head. ~Mark Twain
A man would do well to carry a pencil in his pocket and write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable, and should be secured, because they seldom return. ~Francis Bacon
The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking. ~Robert H. Schuller
There are no dangerous thoughts; thinking itself is dangerous. ~Hannah Arendt
Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself. ~Plato
A man’s conversation is the mirror of his thoughts. ~Chinese proverb
Your silent thoughts are like the roots of a plant. They remain hidden in the dark recesses of the earth, but from them stems the whole plant – its life and form, its strength and beauty. From them and through them the plant lives and dies. So, too, your thoughts, although hidden, are your real, vital force. ~Lawrence G. Lovasik
Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it. ~Henry Ford
In a world filled with constant distractions and fast-paced living, it’s easy to overlook the incredible power of thought. The quotes provided in this collection offer profound insights into the value of thinking deeply and the consequences of neglecting this essential human capability. Let’s embark on a journey to explore the wisdom encapsulated in these quotes and discover how embracing the art of thinking can enrich our lives.
Avoiding Thought: A Common Human Tendency
Thomas Alva Edison once remarked, “It is remarkable to what lengths people will go to avoid thought.” Edison, known for his inventive genius, understood the importance of thoughtful contemplation in the pursuit of knowledge and innovation. However, many individuals often find themselves evading deep thinking, preferring the comfort of routine and familiarity. In a world that constantly bombards us with information, it’s vital to recognize that true understanding and progress can only be achieved through deliberate thought.
The Stagnation of Inaction
Leonardo da Vinci’s quote, “Irons rust from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind,” illustrates the perils of intellectual stagnation. Just as physical objects deteriorate when left unused, our minds lose their sharpness and creativity when we fail to engage in meaningful thought. This quote serves as a compelling reminder that mental inertia can lead to a diminished quality of life.
Embracing Reason and Intellect
Galileo Galilei’s assertion, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use,” underscores the compatibility of faith and reason. Galileo, a pioneering astronomer and physicist, challenged the dogmas of his time with scientific inquiry. His words emphasize the importance of utilizing our intellectual faculties to understand the world and make informed decisions.
The Consequences of Unthinking Obedience
Adolph Hitler’s quote, “What luck for rulers, that men do not think,” serves as a chilling reminder of the dangers of blind obedience. History is replete with instances where individuals surrendered their critical thinking to authority figures, resulting in catastrophic consequences. Hitler’s statement highlights the importance of maintaining an independent and critical mindset, even in the face of authority.
Investing in Thought: A Lucrative Endeavor
“Invest a few moments in thinking. It will pay good interest,” suggests an anonymous author. This quote likens thoughtful contemplation to a valuable investment that yields substantial returns. Just as financial investments grow over time, the dividends of intellectual investments can manifest in enhanced decision-making, problem-solving, and personal growth.
The Scarcity of New Thoughts
Kent Ruth’s quote, “Men can live without air a few minutes, without water for about two weeks, without food for about two months – and without a new thought for years on end,” humorously highlights the prevalence of mental complacency. It’s all too common for individuals to fall into the trap of repetitive thinking, rarely venturing into new intellectual territory. This quote reminds us of the importance of cultivating a curious and exploratory mindset.
Thinking: A Double-Edged Sword
Donald Robert Perry once stated, “If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you. If you really make them think they’ll hate you.” This quote reflects the paradoxical nature of intellectual engagement. While people may appreciate the illusion of thoughtfulness, confronting challenging ideas and perspectives can be discomforting. True intellectual growth often involves confronting uncomfortable truths and questioning established beliefs.
Deliberation and Decision-Making
The Latin proverb, “Deliberate often – decide once,” offers a succinct piece of advice for effective decision-making. While taking time to contemplate important choices is essential, excessive rumination can lead to indecision. Striking a balance between thoughtful deliberation and decisive action is crucial for navigating life’s complexities.
Rearranging Prejudices vs. True Thinking
William James aptly noted, “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” This quote highlights the distinction between genuine critical thinking and the superficial process of reinforcing preconceived notions. True intellectual growth necessitates the willingness to challenge one’s biases and explore alternative perspectives.
The Power of Self-Perception
Max R. Hickerson’s quote, “A man is not what he thinks he is, but what he thinks, he is,” emphasizes the profound influence of self-perception on one’s identity and actions. Our thoughts shape our beliefs, which, in turn, influence our behavior. This quote encourages us to be mindful of our inner dialogue and the narratives we construct about ourselves.
The Value of Using the Mind
Rene Descartes succinctly articulated the importance of utilizing our mental faculties: “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well.” Having intellectual potential is only part of the equation; applying our minds to solve problems, create, and innovate is where true value lies.
Entertaining Thoughts: A Sign of Wisdom
“Aristotle wisely noted, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” This quote underscores the intellectual maturity that comes from considering diverse viewpoints without necessarily adopting them. Embracing the ability to engage with differing ideas fosters tolerance and broadens our perspectives.
Reason as a Measure of Character
William Drummond’s quote, “He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave,” underscores the relationship between reasoning and personal character. It suggests that the capacity for critical thinking is not merely an intellectual skill but also a moral imperative.
Thoughts and Actions: A Symbiotic Relationship
Emily P. Bissell’s quote, “Great thoughts speak only to the thoughtful mind, but great actions speak to all mankind,” highlights the dynamic interplay between thought and action. While profound ideas may resonate with those who think deeply, it is through the manifestation of these ideas in action that they impact society as a whole.
Reading and Reflecting: A Parallel to Eating and Digesting
“Reading without reflecting is like eating without digesting,” cautioned Edmund Burke. This quote draws a parallel between the processes of reading and digestion, emphasizing that true understanding and knowledge result from thoughtful reflection on the information we consume.
Becoming the Product of Our Thoughts
Mohandas K. Gandhi observed, “A man is but the product of his thoughts; what he thinks, he becomes.” Gandhi’s life exemplified the transformative power of thought, as he led India to independence through nonviolent resistance. This quote underscores the idea that our thoughts shape our actions and ultimately define our character.
The Consequences of Thoughtless Words
The Chinese proverb, “Talking without thinking is shooting without aiming,” poetically illustrates the dangers of speaking impulsively without considering the impact of one’s words. It reminds us that thoughtful communication is vital for maintaining healthy relationships and avoiding unnecessary conflicts.
The Virtue of Simplicity in Thought
Confucius, in the context of decision-making, remarked, “Chi Wen Tzu always thought three times before taking action. Twice would have been quite enough.” This quote emphasizes the virtue of simplicity in thought and the value of carefully considering our choices before acting.
The Influence of Thoughts on Identity
Walter Anderson’s quote, “You and I are not what we eat; we are what we think,” underscores the profound influence of our thoughts on our identity. While nutrition sustains our physical bodies, our beliefs and mental processes shape our character and worldview.
The Rarity of Deep Thinking
George Bernard Shaw humorously noted, “Few people think more than two or three times a year; I have made an international reputation for myself by thinking once a week.” This quote playfully highlights the scarcity of deep thinking in contemporary society. Shaw’s commitment to weekly reflection serves as an inspiration for us to dedicate time to genuine contemplation.
The Visible and Invisible Labor of Thought
Victor Hugo aptly observed, “A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.” This quote dispels the misconception that thinking is a passive endeavor. In reality, it involves active mental exertion and can lead to meaningful outcomes.
Our Thoughts Shape Our Reality
The Nigerian proverb, “We are what our thinking makes us,” encapsulates the idea that our thoughts shape our perceptions, actions, and ultimately, our reality. This proverb underscores the power of mindset in influencing the course of our lives.
The Essence of Wisdom
A Persian proverb succinctly reminds us that “Thinking is the essence of wisdom.” Wisdom, often considered the pinnacle of human understanding, is fundamentally rooted in the capacity for thoughtful contemplation and discernment.
Opening Minds through Thought
The quote, “Our job is not to make up anybody’s mind, but to open minds and to make the agony of the decision-making so intense you can escape only by thinking,” emphasizes the role of educators and influencers in fostering critical thinking. Encouraging individuals to grapple with difficult decisions can lead to personal growth and expanded horizons.
The Mind as Our Inner Universe
Terry Josephson aptly pointed out, “No matter where you go or what you do, you live your entire life within the confines of your head.” This quote reinforces the idea that our thoughts create the lens through which we perceive the external world. Cultivating a positive and constructive inner universe can profoundly impact our experiences.
The Moral Equivalence of Thought and Action
The Greek proverb warns us that “Thinking evil is much the same as doing it.” This quote highlights the moral responsibility associated with our thoughts. It suggests that harboring negative or harmful ideas can have consequences akin to those of actual wrongdoing.
Changing the World Through Thought
Albert Einstein famously declared, “The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.” This quote emphasizes the profound connection between thought and the state of the world. To create positive change, we must first transform our thinking.
Freedom of Thought vs. Freedom of Speech
Soren Kierkegaard’s insight, “People demand freedom of speech as compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use,” underscores the paradox of valuing the right to express oneself while neglecting the responsibility of critical thinking. It reminds us that true freedom lies not only in speech but also in the exploration of diverse ideas.
Navigating the Unfamiliar Territory of Thought
Some people, as G. Behn humorously notes, “get lost in thought because it’s such unfamiliar territory.” This lighthearted quote highlights the discomfort that can accompany deep thinking. However, it also suggests that venturing into uncharted intellectual territory can be a rewarding and transformative experience.
Opinion vs. Thought
John F. Kennedy wisely cautioned against the pitfalls of opinion-driven thinking: “Too often we… enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.” This quote underscores the need to distinguish between opinions, which may be emotionally driven, and thoughtful, well-informed perspectives.
Christian N. Bovee’s quote, “Few minds wear out; more rust out,” serves as a reminder that mental atrophy can be more insidious than outright exhaustion. Neglecting to exercise our intellectual faculties can lead to a gradual decline in cognitive abilities.
The Power of Sustained Thinking
Voltaire’s assertion, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking,” emphasizes the effectiveness of persistent and focused contemplation in solving complex issues. This quote encourages us to approach challenges with patience and determination.
Learning from Failure and Success
John Dewey’s perspective on learning through failure is encapsulated in the quote, “Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as much from his failures as from his successes.” This insight reminds us that setbacks and mistakes can be valuable opportunities for growth and reflection.
In conclusion, these quotes serve as a profound reminder of the importance of thinking deeply and critically. They highlight the transformative power of thought in shaping our lives, our decisions, and our understanding of the world. As we navigate the complexities of existence, let us embrace the art of thinking, for it is through our thoughts that we unlock the vast potential of our minds and contribute to the betterment of society and ourselves.