145 Thinking Quotes To Make You More Thoughtful

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

Here are 145 of the most inspiring thinking quotes. And please keep in mind: if you think each day, you’ll solve 90% of your problems. The problem is that most people live on autopilot. So slow down, and think about these quotes. Enjoy!

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If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking. Benjamin Franklin

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You were born with the greatest weapon in all of nature — the rational, conscious mind. Robert Greene

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To think is easy. To act is difficult. To act as one thinks is the most difficult of all. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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The student reflects rarely and unconsciously. The smart reflects daily and consciously. The master let it go. Maxime Lagacé

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Right thinking comes with self-knowledge. Without understanding yourself, you have no basis for thought. Jiddu Krishnamurti


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There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees. Michel de Montaigne

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Think for yourself, not of yourself. Think of others, not for others. Naval Ravikant

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I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. Warren Buffett

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We waste our time with short term thinking and busywork. Warren Buffett spends a year deciding and a day acting. That act lasts decades. Naval Ravikant

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We like it when other people agree with us, which is why we rarely say what we are thinking. Shane Parrish


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An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it. Jef Mallett

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Writing is not the most important thing; thinking is. But writing is probably the best way to improve your thinking. Matt Mullenweg

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Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood. Friedrich Nietzsche

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Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. John F. Kennedy

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If you can think and speak and write, you are absolutely deadly, nothing can get in your way. Jordan Peterson


The Best Thinking Quotes

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thinking quotes best rethinking shane parrish wisdom woman water

The best thinking is rethinking. Shane Parrish

As soon as you have made a thought, laugh at it. Lao Tzu

The person who consistently makes you think, is the most undervalued person in your life. Shane Parrish

Thinking is the ability to strip away what doesn’t matter from a situation so you can see what does matter. Shane Parrish

Spend at least one hour a day thinking. Just thinking, alone, in silence. No music. No book. No one. Your mind gets clearer. Your relationships get healthier. Your life gets better. @orangebook_

The snake which cannot cast its skin has to die. As well the minds which are prevented from changing their opinions; they cease to be mind. Friedrich Nietzsche

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common. John Locke

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If you overthink you become stressed and confused. If you think too little they will think for you. Maxime Lagacé

Anxiety is thought without control. Flow is control without thought. James Clear

The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift. Albert Einstein

Few men think, yet all will have opinions. Hence men’s opinions are superficial and confused. John Locke

I think (too much), therefore I am (not there to live my life). Thich Nhat Hanh


Most people would sooner die than think; in fact, they do so. Bertrand Russell

Regular minds find similarities in stories (and situations); finer minds detect differences. Nassim Nicholas Taleb (The Bed of Procrustes, Amazon book)

Think for yourself. Some people see warnings signs when they are alone. I see warning signs in a crowd. Maxime Lagacé

As a rule, you must always reserve the right to laugh the next day at your thoughts of the previous night. Napoleon Bonaparte

We only labor to stuff the memory, and leave the conscience and the understanding unfurnished and void. Michel de Montaigne

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Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. Voltaire

Thinking too little about things or thinking too much both make us obstinate and fanatical. Blaise Pascal

One of the painful signs of years of dumbed-down education is how many people are unable to make a coherent argument. They can vent their emotions, question other people’s motives, make bold assertions, repeat slogans – anything except reason. Thomas Sowell

Don’t just follow people because you agree with what they think. Follow them because you’re intrigued by how they think – and how they make you think. Adam Grant

The task is not so much to see what no one has seen, but to think what nobody has yet thought, about that which everybody sees. Erwin Schrödinger

If you’re overthinking, write. If you’re underthinking, read. Alex Wieckowski (Source)

Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. David Foster Wallace

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. Aristotle

Good that you ask – you should always ask, always have doubts. Hermann Hesse

Part 2. Thinking Quotes That Are…

The Most Famous Thinking Quotes

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Searching for a famous thinking quote or author? Check out those by Einstein, Nietzsche, Gandhi, Buddha, etc.
thinking quotes think therefore rene descartes wisdom man

I think, therefore I am. René Descartes

To know what people really think, observe what they do, not what they say. René Descartes

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud. Coco Chanel

Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought. Albert Einstein (Related: How To Boost Your Creativity The Einstein Way—With Combinatory Play, blog.trello.com)

We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them. Albert Einstein

People don’t like to think, if one thinks, one must reach conclusions. Conclusions are not always pleasant. Helen Keller

Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too. Voltaire

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Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t – you’re right. Henry Ford

In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual. Galileo Galilei

Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in. Napoleon Bonaparte

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking. Friedrich Nietzsche

I still live, I still think: I still have to live, for I still have to think. Friedrich Nietzsche

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well. Mahatma Gandhi

Knowledge is real knowledge only when it is acquired by the efforts of your intellect, not by memory. Henry David Thoreau

Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think. Thomas A. Edison

Simple can be harder than complex: You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains. Steve Jobs

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

We more readily confess to errors, mistakes and shortcomings in our conduct than in our thought. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Hold your council before dinner; the full belly hates thinking as well as acting. Benjamin Franklin

I don’t care what people think, because people don’t think. Kanye West

What we think, we become. Buddha

Short Thinking Quotes

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One-liners, short thinking quotes, sayings, thoughts, and captions for your bio, social status, self-talk, motto, mantra, signs, posters, wallpapers, and backgrounds.
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Schedule time to think. Shane Parrish

Rewriting is rethinking. David Perell

Learn to enjoy silence. Maxime Lagacé

Learn to enjoy not thinking. @orangebook_

Don’t outsource your thinking. Angela Jiang

Overthinking, a.k.a. underacting. Jack Butcher

The less men think, the more they talk. Montesquieu

Much learning does not produce thought. Heraclitus

The best way to minimize risk is to think. Shane Parrish

Build your own judgment, don’t rely on anyone. @AmuseChimp

Thinking is the talking of the soul with itself. Plato

For the busy mind it is painful to stop and think. Shane Parrish

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Wise? No, I simply learned to think. Christopher Paolini

Calm? No, I simply learned to watch my thoughts. Maxime Lagacé

Writing is the art of thinking clearly — on paper. Julian Shapiro

Idiots ‘think’ alike, intelligent people different. @AmuseChimp

Thinking is difficult, that’s why most people judge. Carl Jung

A man has free choice to the extent that he is rational. Thomas Aquinas

Think for yourself, with humility and compassion. Lex Fridman (Source)

The best way to improve your ability to think is to spend time thinking. Shane Parrish

My position on most things is this: I could be wrong, but I think I’m right. Jack Peach

Just think. Just be quiet and think. It’d make all the difference in the world. Fred Rogers

A clear mind is both confident and curious, calm and loving, courageous and humble. Maxime Lagacé


Inspirational Thinking Quotes

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You can achieve anything you want if you just change the way you think. Will you? Maxime Lagacé

Genius is finding the invisible link between things. Vladimir Nabokov

We shouldn’t be looking for heroes, we should be looking for good ideas. Noam Chomsky

Your best thoughts will come from being in flow and not thinking at all. Dan Go (Source)

Closed in a room, my imagination becomes the universe, and the rest of the world is missing out. Criss Jami

It’s the most powerful weapon you can possibly provide someone with. Jordan Peterson (On thinking and writing)

It becomes clear when you love silence, boredom and hard work. For the wise it’s play. For the ordinary it’s hell. Maxime Lagacé

Think not so much of what you lack as of what you have: but of the things that you have, select the best, and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them. Marcus Aurelius

A thinker sees his own actions as experiments and questions – as attempts to find out something. Success and failure are for him answers above all. Friedrich Nietzsche

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You must learn to master a new way to think before you can master a new way to be. Marianne Williamson

Deep understanding requires deep thinking which requires focused time alone, away from the chatter of people online and offline. It requires staying with a single thought for a long time, focusing on it and developing it. In solitude is the genesis of great ideas. @TheAncientSage

What you think constantly becomes your reality. The seed of thought is converted into action and eventually becomes the tree of your being. @TheAncientSage

It’s only by concentrating, sticking to the question, being patient, letting all the parts of my mind come into play, that I arrive at an original idea. By giving my brain a chance to make associations, draw connections, take me by surprise. William Deresiewicz

A truth, an insight, which you have slowly and laboriously puzzled out by thinking for yourself could easily have been found already written in a book; but it is a hundred times more valuable if you have arrived at it by thinking for yourself. Arthur Schopenhauer

If you want to get smart, the question you have to keep asking is why, why, why, why? Charlie Munger

Related: “You NEED to LEARN to THINK!” – Jordan B. Peterson (11-minute YouTube video)

Funny Thinking Quotes

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Did you ever stop to think, and forget to start again? Winnie the Pooh

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! Dr. Seuss

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it. Terry Pratchett

I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it. Terry Pratchett

There is nothing wrong with standing back and thinking. To paraphrase several sages: “Nobody can think and hit someone at the same time”. Susan Sontag

Evidence shows that we do much less thinking than we believe we do — except, of course, when we think about it. Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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You’ll have better thoughts staring at a wall than watching 24-hour news. Michael (@mmay3r)

Stop looking for angels, and start looking for angles. Ryan Holiday

Many a man fails as an original thinker simply because his memory it too good. Friedrich Nietzsche

Our heads are round so thought can change direction. Allen Ginsberg

Deep Thinking Sayings

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To dare a thought is to risk being wrong. James Dale Davidson (The Sovereign Individual, Amazon book)

The people who don’t think are the ones who never listen. Haruki Murakami

Our judgment is amongst the most subtle things that power corrupts. Naval Ravikant

Many a serious thinker has been produced in prisons, where we have nothing to do but think. Robert Greene

Your hard work and focus will give you speed. Your thoughts and judgments will give you direction. Maxime Lagacé

If people cannot write well, they cannot think well. And if they cannot think well, others will do their thinking for them. George Orwell

Controlling your life starts with controlling your thoughts. Dan Go (Source)

Your mind is working at its best when you’re being paranoid. You explore every avenue and possibility of your situation at high speed with total clarity. Banksy

If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you. Harlan Ellison

The challenge of our time is relearning how to concentrate. The past decade has seen an unparalleled assault on our capacity to fix our minds steadily on anything. To sit still and think, without succumbing to an anxious reach for a machine, has become almost impossible. Thibaut

Related: How To Clear Your Mind (4-minute YouTube video by SciShow Psych)

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The thinker needs no one to refute him, for that he has himself. Friedrich Nietzsche

Each person is sitting alone in front of the tube, you know. It’s very hard to have ideas or thoughts under those circumstances. You can’t fight the world alone. Noam Chomsky

A truly independent thinker is neither with nor against the crowd. James Pierce (Source)

Be careful what you put in. Those are seeds. Don’t water them. Those will grow. Clean your garden once in a while and go for a walk. Maxime Lagacé

In much of your talking, thinking is half murdered. For thought is a bird of space, that in a cage of words may indeed unfold its wings but cannot fly. Kahlil Gibran

The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think. Horace Walpole

Madness is the result not of uncertainty but of certainty. Friedrich Nietzsche

Wise Thinking Sayings

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Stop thinking, and end your problems. Lao Tzu

The mark of a moderate man is freedom from his own ideas. Lao Tzu

In dwelling, live close to the ground. In thinking, keep to the simple. In conflict, be fair and generous. In governing, don’t try to control. In work, do what you enjoy. In family life, be completely present. Lao Tzu

Nothing in life matters quite as much as you think it does while you are thinking about it. Daniel Kahneman

Your thoughts shape the world you see. The world you see shapes the experiences you have. Your experiences shape your thoughts. Shane Parrish

Amateurs go with the first idea that comes into their head. Professionals realize the first idea is rarely the best idea. Shane Parrish

The true test of a long term thinker is whether you can think in decades, while your peers think in days. Anthony Pompliano (Source)

Think through time – what do the consequences look like in 10 minutes? 10 months? 10 Years? Shane Parrish

Thinking clearly and rationally will bring you satisfaction. Listening to your heart will give you peace. Maxime Lagacé

Seek clearer thinking, not faster thinking. You acquire faster thinking on the way. @orangebook_

Just because you’ve been doing something a certain way doesn’t mean you have to continue to. Don’t let momentum make your decisions for you. Justin Kan

Related: Second-Order Thinking: What Smart People Use to Outperform (fs.blog)


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Thinking is by far the most underrated activity. People consider it “unproductive” to sit on a bench and think. So they spend their lives doing things they never thought through. An hour of clear thinking can yield a conclusion that changes your life. Johnny Uzan

Twenty years after my own graduation, I have come gradually to understand that the liberal arts cliché about “teaching you how to think” is actually shorthand for a much deeper, more serious idea: Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think. It means being conscious and aware enough to choose what you pay attention to and to choose how you construct meaning from experience. Because if you cannot exercise this kind of choice in adult life, you will be totally hosed. David Foster Wallace (This is Water)

Further Readings

Hope you enjoyed these inspiring thinking quotes. If you did, please share them with a friend today!

Do you think often? What’s your favorite thinking quote? And remember: words can transform your life, if you find the right ones.

Video About Thinking (And Overthinking)

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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

October 5, 2022

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