100+ Thought-Provoking Quotes For When You're Feeling Pensive

Moumita Dutta
Dec 12, 2023 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Jan 27, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Photo of man 30s wih brooding gaze in casual t-shirt looking upward and thinking or remembering isolated over red background.

Are you looking for some thought-provoking quotes?

This is the perfect place to find the best thought-provoking quotes. We have put together a list of more than 100 thought-provoking quotes, on all topics from love, to motivation, just for you.

These quotes are both thought-provoking and philosophical, and they are among the most thought-provoking quotes that you will find. As time passes, many things change and one should never be rigid in one's opinion.

That is why we have accumulated these thought-provoking quotes from famous people, authors and others that will make you think about life, love and the world as it is. Maybe these thought-provoking quotes can help you to change the way the world works, you never know!

If you love these thought-provoking quotes, check out these thoughtful quotes and mind blowing quotes too.

Thought-Provoking Quotes On Love

Great philosophers and writers, and even some celebrities, have tried to express love in their own terms. Love is one of the most magical things that people often struggle to explain in simple terms. But here you'll find a few thought-provoking quotes about love that will make you think about the enigma that is love in a new way.

1. "We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love."

- Tom Robbins.

2. "Problems come about when we try to direct the flow of the universe rather than allow it to reveal its own design. Inherent in that design is a love for all living things."

- Marianne Williamson.

3. "Love isn't something you find. Love is something that finds you."

- Loretta Young.

4. "Love comes unseen; we only see it go."

- Austin Dobson.

5. "There are many little ways to enlarge your child's world. Love of books is the best of all."

- Jackie Kennedy.

6. "All major religious traditions carry basically the same message, that is love, compassion and forgiveness the important thing is they should be part of our daily lives."

- Dalai Lama.

7. "Let the beauty of what you love be what you do."

- Rumi.

8. "Love takes off masks that we fear we cannot live without and know we cannot live within."

- James Arthur Baldwin.

9. "I learned that accepting others and accepting myself are two sides of the same coin; you can't love and accept yourself without doing the same for others."

- Steve Pavlina.

10. "Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage."

- Lao Tzu.

11. "Faith makes all things possible and love makes all things easy."

- Dwight L. Moody.

12. "Your heart often knows things before your mind does."

- Polly Adler.

13. "Love is an untamed force. When we try to control it, it destroys us. When we try to imprison it, it enslaves us. When we try to understand it, it leaves us feeling lost and confused."

- Paulo Coelho.

Thought-Provoking Quotes About Life

Life and the universe itself are both things every person keeps on trying to figure out. Here are a few thought-provoking quotes by some great people who, whilst they may not have found everything out in life from trying, they have explained what they do know as best as they can.

We hope these thought-provoking quotes get you thinking about everything today!

14. "It is necessary... for a man to go away by himself... to sit on a rock... and ask, 'Who am I, where have I been, and where am I going?'"

- Carl Sandburg.

15. "Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile."

- Albert Einstein.

16. "It's just a feeling I have. What you see with your eyes is not necessarily real. My enemy is, among other things, the me inside me."

- Haruki Murakami.

17. "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."

- Soren Kierkegaard.

18. "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself."

- George Bernard Shaw.

19. "The unexamined life is not worth living."

- Socrates.

20. "People will always show their true selves in the end."

- Leona Lewis.

21. "If you're losing your soul and you know it, then you've still got a soul left to lose."

- Charles Bukowski.

22. "When the winds of life are pushing you back, that's when you push forward the hardest."

- Yvonne Pierre.

23. "Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact."

- William James.

24. "People are strange: They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice."

- Charles Bukowski.

25. "The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives."

- Albert Schweitzer.

26. "Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced."

- Soren Kierkegaard.

Thought Provoking Quotes About Happiness

Happiness, good or great, and a positive vibe is what every person looks for. Here are a few thought-provoking quotes and some motivational quotes that will help any person find the right way to happiness.

27. "No medicine cures what happiness cannot."

- Gabriel García Márquez.

28. "Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?"

- Hunter S. Thompson.

29. "People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy."

- Anton Chekhov.

30. "The purpose of life is not to be happy - but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, to have it make some difference that you lived at all."

- Leo Rosten.

31. "If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes."

- Andrew Carnegie.

32. "If you aren't grateful for what you already have, what makes you think you would be happy with more."

- Roy T. Bennett.

33. "Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know."

- Ernest Hemingway.

34. "Happiness is not some 'thing' to be pursued, it is a way of being born from appreciating."

- Rasheed Ogunlaru.

35. "You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life."

- Albert Camus.

36. "Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible."

- St Augustine.

37. "One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory."

- Rita Mae Brown.

38. "To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness."

- Robert Morley.

39. "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."

- Gautam Buddha.

Thought-Provoking Quotes On Sadness

Sadness, sorrow and grievances, if anything these are hard to understand and cope with, and nothing is worse than when you don't know the reason for your sadness. These are a few thought-provoking quotes that can make it easier for everyone to understand these emotions.

40. "Sorrow is one of the vibrations that prove the fact of living."

- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

41. "When suffering knocks at your door and you say there is no seat for him, he tells you not to worry because he has brought his own stool."

- Chinua Achebe.

42. "There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love."

- Washington Irving.

43. "Sweet is the memory of distant friends! Like the mellow rays of the departing sun, it falls tenderly, yet sadly, on the heart."

- Washington Irving.

44. "As long as the ego runs your life, there are two ways of being unhappy. Not getting what you want. Getting what you want."

- Eckhart Tolle.

45. "What a sad era when it is easier to smash an atom than a prejudice."

- Albert Einstein.

46. "You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."

- Old Chinese Proverb.

47. "The walls we build around us to keep sadness out also keeps out the joy."

- Jim Rohn.

48. "The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young."

- Oscar Wilde.

49. "I will welcome happiness for it enlarges my heart; Yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul."

- Og Mandino.

50. "The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it."

- William Mather Lewis.

51. "Sorrows cannot all be explained away in a life truly lived, grief and loss accumulate like possessions."

- Stefan Kanfer.

52. "A feeling of sadness and longing, That is not akin to pain, and resembles sorrow only as the mist resembles the rain."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The Most Thought-Provoking Quotes

When you read anything and it makes you think deeply, that is a truly thought-provoking quote. It makes one change and find the way to care for the world. Be sure to check these thought-provoking quotes out.

53. "Words make you think a thought.

Music makes you feel a feeling.

A song makes you feel a thought."

- Yip Harburg.

54. "An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it."

- Jef Mallett.

55. "Few minds wear out; more rust out."

- Christian N. Bovee.

56. "You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts."

- Kahlil Gibran.

57. "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."

- John F. Kennedy.

58. "Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

59. "Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence."

- Thomas Szasz.

60. "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself."

- Leo Tolstoy.

61. "Every deep thinker is more afraid of being understood than of being misunderstood."

- Friedrich Nietzsche.

62. "Misery is almost always the result of thinking."

- Joseph Joubert.

63. "If we understood the power of our thoughts, we would guard them more closely. If we understood the awesome power of our words, we would prefer silence to almost anything negative. In our thoughts and words we create our own weaknesses and our own strengths."

- Betty Eadie.

64. "Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."

- Oscar Wilde.

65. "The most thought-provoking thing in our thought-provoking time is that we are still not thinking."

- Martin Heidegger.

Philosophical Deep Thought-Provoking Quotes

Philosophy helps us find the right meaning of the world, our existence and reality, and can make us care more. Nothing is there in this universe that does not fall under the study of philosophy and one can always find thought-provoking quotes from any philosopher out there.

Here are some thought-provoking quotes and some philosophical motivational quotes for you to read.

66. "Give us everything we ask for and suddenly it's too much."

- Mark Lawrence.

67. "A wise man will be master of his mind. A fool will be its slave."

- Publilius Syrus.

68. "Reality is such an elusive concept."

- Laura Gilfillan.

69. "The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace."

- Mahatma Gandhi.

70. "Sometimes we choose the road we follow. And sometimes the road chooses us."

- Richie Singh.

71. "There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophies. My brain and my heart are my temples; my philosophy is kindness."

- Dalai Lama.

72. "Socrates: You mean to say if someone is convinced of their trade, they have no need to be reminded.

Plato: That is correct.

Socrates: I agree. If these citizens were convinced of their freedom, they would not need reminders."

- E.A. Bucchianeri.

73. "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you."

- Lewis B. Smedes.

74. "Even the finest sword plunged into salt water will eventually rust."

- Sun Tzu.

75. "Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."

- Plato.

76. "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

- George Bernard Shaw.

77. "The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science."

- Albert Einstein.

78. "You do not write your life with words... You write it with actions. What you think is not important. It is only important what you do."

- Patrick Ness.

Motivational Quotes That Are Thought-Provoking

It is known that hard work leads to success but the road to success is sure to make you doubt yourself sometimes. So read these motivational quotes that can help you work hard and achieve your dreams. every person can take some inspiration to become a better person from these thought-provoking quotes.

79. "Don't use yesterday's state of mind, to make today's decision."

- C. Nzingha Smith.

80. "Man cannot remake himself without suffering, for he is both the marble and the sculptor."

- Alexis Carrel.

81. "Your mind can be either your prison or your palace. What you make it is yours to decide."

- Bernard Kelvin Clive.

82. "Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."

- J.K. Rowling.

83. "I think a power to do something is of value. Whether the result is a good thing or a bad thing depends on how it is used, but the power is a value."

- Richard P. Feynman.

84. "You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

85. "And what greater might do we possess as human beings than our capacity to question and to learn?"

- Ann Druyan.

86. "The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."

- William Arthur Ward.

87. "We choose our next world through what we learn in this one. Learn nothing, and the next world is the same as this one, all the same limitations and lead weights to overcome."

- Richard Bach.

88. "Success is not to be pursued; it is to be attracted by the person you become."

- Jim Rohn.

89. "I have had dreams, and I've had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams."

- Jonas Salk.

90. "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible."

- T.E. Lawrence.

91. "One of the best pieces of advice I ever got was from a horse master. He told me to go slow to go fast. I think that applies to everything in life."

- Viggo Mortensen.

Famous Thought-Provoking Quotes

Lastly, we have some of the most famous thought-provoking quotes for you to read that will make you think twice before you make up your opinion on any matter.

92. "You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength."

- Marcus Aurelius.

93. "Don't find fault, find a remedy."

- Henry Ford.

94. "Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

95. "There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth."

- Chanakya.

96. "We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out."

- Winston Churchill.

97. "If you don't like how things are, change it. You are not a tree."

- Jim Rohn.

98. "You will have bad times, but they will always wake you up to the stuff you weren't paying attention to."

- Robin Williams.

99. "Books can be dangerous. The best ones should be labeled 'This could change your life'."

- Helen Exley.

100. "Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding."

- Albert Einstein.

101. "A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I or are the others crazy?"

- Albert Einstein.

102. "I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."

- Diane Ackerman.

103. "You can teach a student a lesson for a day; but if you can teach him to learn by creating curiosity, he will continue the learning process as long as he lives."

- Clay P. Bedford.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly quotes for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for thought-provoking quotes, then why not take a look at these [clear mind quotes], or Wittgenstein quotes to discover more new quotes?

We Want Your Photos!
We Want Your Photos!

We Want Your Photos!

Do you have a photo you are happy to share that would improve this article?
Email your photos

More for You

See All

Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

Read full bio >