75 Understanding Quotes To Bring Clarity Into Your Life

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 75 of the best understanding quotes I could find. What’s my goal? To help you find more clarity in your life, your work, and your mind. After all, once you better understand things, you can relax and appreciate the way they are even more. You’ll discover authors like Einstein, Goethe, Lao Tzu, and more. Enjoy!
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The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding. Leonardo da Vinci

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The key to learning is an awareness of where you lack understanding. James Pierce

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If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Albert Einstein

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If one does not understand a person, one tends to regard him as a fool. Carl Jung

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Self-understanding leads to inner peace. Maxime Lagacé


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Accepting is no substitute for understanding. Naval Ravikant

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Be understanding, but don’t be blind. Unknown

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Feeling is reactive, understanding is proactive. Jack Butcher

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The price of understanding is letting go what you know. Maxime Lagacé

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Understanding someone is another way of loving them. Boii McCoy


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To understand is to know what to do. Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery. J. K. Rowling

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It is the duty of the human understanding to understand that there are things which it cannot understand. Søren Kierkegaard

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It is a fault to wish to be understood before we have made ourselves clear to ourselves. Simone Weil

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Understanding starts when fear ends. Maxime Lagacé



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To realize that you do not understand is a virtue; not to realize that you do not understand is a defect. Lao Tzu

Happiness doesn’t require practice, only understanding. James Pierce

I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better. Abraham Lincoln

Understanding is deeper than knowledge. There are many people who know you, but very few who understand you. Nicolas Cage

O bliss of understanding, greater than the bliss of imagining or feeling. Jorge Luis Borges

The better you understand something, the more simply you can express it. James Pierce

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Those who don’t understand your silence, will never understand your words. Elbert Hubbard

Trying to understand is like straining through muddy water. Have the patience to wait! Be still and allow the mud to settle. Lao Tzu (Tao Te Ching, Amazon book)

Understanding is more important than memorization! Schools should teach the students how to understand, think, doubt, and question. They should be made open to imagination and creativity. Richard Feynman

If we don’t understand people, we don’t understand business. Simon Sinek

Understanding and wisdom don’t come from thinking and reasoning, but from direct experience. Thich Nhat Hanh (Source)

I pray for all of us, oppressor and friend, that together we succeed in building a better world through human understanding and love, and that in doing so we may reduce the pain and suffering of all sentient beings. 14th Dalai Lama (Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, 1989)

Understanding means throwing away your knowledge. Thich Nhat Hanh

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You can’t learn something if you’re scared of it. True understanding is through love. Maxime Lagacé

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying. Oscar Wilde

You don’t write because you want people to understand you, you write because you want to understand yourself. Orange Book

Many seek to refute before they seek to understand. James Pierce

We need more understanding of human nature, because the only real danger that exists is man himself. Carl Jung

For broad understanding and deep feeling, you need pain and suffering. Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Everything that irritates us about others can lead to an understanding of ourselves. Carl Jung

You start to understand people a lot better when you understand the basic fact that people starve for attention. Raj Shamani

Before we can claim to understand others, we have to really understand ourselves. Simon Sinek (Source)

If you want to understand something, take it apart and reassemble it. This doesn’t just apply to objects. James Pierce

Don’t give orders and try to be followed; try to be understood and to understand others by getting in sync. Ray Dalio


The curse of modernity is that we are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining than understanding, or better at explaining than doing. Nassim Nicholas Taleb

The man of understanding finds everything laughable. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Deeply understanding the basics in any field will put you miles ahead of your competitors. James Pierce

Group settings are incompatible with deep learning. James Pierce

I dont think that we’re meant to understand it all the time. I think that sometimes we just have to have faith. Nicholas Sparks (A Walk to Remember, Amazon book)

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Fools judge because it’s easy. The wise try to understand, even if it’s hard. Maxime Lagacé

It can take decades to understand things you thought you understood as they were happening. Paul Graham

Don’t expect to be understood. Trust yourself. Gal Shapira

To be desired means nothing. To be truly understood and deeply loved is everything. Boii McCoy

We like to read others but we do not like to be read. François de La Rochefoucauld

The human mind evolved to be good at understanding what is most useful for it, not necessarily what is true. Mark Manson

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People who understand are drawn toward simple solutions. People who don’t understand prefer complicated solutions. Shane Parrish (Source)

Each of us really understands in others only those feelings he is capable of producing himself. André Gide

We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing of the world. We give little thought to the machinery that generates the sunlight that makes life possible, to the gravity that glues us to an Earth that would otherwise send us spinning off into space, or to the atoms of which we are made and on whose stability we fundamentally depend. Few of us spend much time wondering why nature is the way it is; where the cosmos came from, or whether it was always here; if time will one day flow backward and effects precede causes; or whether there are ultimate limits to what humans can know. What is the smallest piece of matter. Why do we remember the past and not the future. And why there is a universe. Carl Sagan (wikipedia.org)

We tend to hate what we don’t understand. Spend less time hating and more time attempting to understand. John Cena

You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself. John Steinbeck

Much learning does not teach understanding. Heraclitus

Related: 7 Ways to Better Understand and Be Understood (psychcentral.com)

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We care more about knowing the next thing than understanding the last thing. Jack Butcher

People understand me so poorly that they don’t even understand my complaint about them not understanding me. Søren Kierkegaard

Understanding is the foundation of lasting change. Change that comes from discipline is not organic. It is repression. It doesn’t get rid of the underlying issue. Change that comes from understanding is effortless. When you understand the harm of a habit it drops spontaneously. @TheAncientSage

Understanding is hard because it requires openness, slowness, and love. Maxime Lagacé

Simplicity before understanding complexity is ignorance. Simplicity after understanding complexity is genius. James Clear

If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and nearly always leads to love. John Steinbeck

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Calmness follows order which follows understanding. Maxime Lagacé

We are bathing in mystery and confusion on many subjects, and I think that will always be our destiny. The universe will always be much richer than our ability to understand it. Carl Sagan

Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him. Fyodor Dostoevsky

To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them. Maria Popova

When you memorize, it’s a sign that you don’t understand. Naval Ravikant

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. Atticus Finch (To Kill A Mockinbird, Amazon book)

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Be open to a world where you may not understand or agree with the person next to you, but have a drink with them anyways. Anthony Bourdain

Lasting “self-improvement” does not come through effort but through awareness and understanding of oneself. Sven Schnieders

Enlightenment, to me, is a deep understanding of our true situation. Thich Nhat Hanh

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. Ralph Nichols

If there were a little more silence, if we all kept quiet…maybe we could understand something. Federico Fellini

Related: Can’t think straight? How to achieve mental clarity (betterup.com)


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Once you understand yourself, you are forever free. Yogi Adamas (Source)

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding is the reward for the curious person.
  • Before trying to understand the world, try to understand yourself.
  • You can’t have inner peace if you don’t have self-understanding.
  • Memorization is weak. Understanding is solid.
  • Acceptance is good, but understanding is better.

Further Readings

I hope you enjoyed these inspiring understanding quotes. If you did, please share them with a friend today!

What are the things you don’t understand? What’s your favorite understanding quote? Please tell us in the comment section below!

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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 6, 2022

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