It is a rare mind indeed that can render the hitherto non-existent blindingly obvious. The cry ‘I could have thought of that’ is a very popular and misleading one, for the fact is that they didn’t, and a very significant and revealing fact it is too.
—Douglas Adams (1952–2001) English Novelist, Scriptwriter
It is by not always thinking of yourself, if you can manage it, that you might somehow be happy. Until you make room in your life for someone as important to you as yourself, you will always be searching and lost.
—Richard Bach (b.1936) American Novelist, Aviator
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 (1749–1832) German Poet
Either you think—or else others have to think for you and take power from you, pervert and discipline your natural tastes, civilize and sterilize you.
—F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940) American Novelist
Step aside from all thinking, and there is nowhere you can’t go.
—Jianzhi Sengcan (d.606 CE) Chinese-Buddhist Monk
A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.
—Thomas Paine (1737–1809) American Nationalist, Author, Pamphleteer, Radical, Inventor
Thought is the original source of all wealth, all success, all material gain, all great discoveries and inventions, and of all achievement.
—Claude M. Bristol (1891–1951) American Journalist, Self-Help Author
In private conversation between intimate friends the wisest men very often talk like the weakest; for, indeed, the talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud.
—Joseph Addison (1672–1719) English Essayist, Poet, Playwright, Politician
Your automatic creative mechanism is teleological. That is, it operates in terms of goals and end results. Once you give it a definite goal to achieve, you can depend upon its automatic guidance system to take you to that goal much better than “you” ever could by conscious thought. “You” supply the goal by thinking in terms of end results. Your automatic mechanism then supplies the means whereby.
—Maxwell Maltz (1899–1975) American Surgeon, Motivational Writer
On artificial intelligence: the real problem is not whether machines think but whether men do.
—B. F. Skinner (1904–90) American Psychologist, Social Philosopher, Inventor, Author
Men always do leave off really thinking, when the last bit of wild animal dies in them.
—D. H. Lawrence (1885–1930) English Novelist, Playwright, Poet, Essayist, Literary Critic
Thought takes man out of servitude, into freedom.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
The average man never really thinks from end to end of his life. The mental activity of such people is only a mouthing of cliches.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
Except our own thoughts, there is nothing absolutely in our power.
—Rene Descartes (1596–1650) French Mathematician, Philosopher
No brain is stronger than its weakest think.
—Thomas Masson (1866–1934) American Journalist, Humorist, Author
Nothing is more active than thought, for it travels over the universe, and nothing is stronger than necessity for all must submit to it.
—Thales of Miletus (c.624–c.545 BCE) Greek Philosopher, Mathematician
Modern man likes to pretend that his thinking is wide-awake. But this wide-awake thinking has led us into the mazes of a nightmare in which the torture chambers are endlessly repeated in the mirrors of reason.
—Octavio Paz (1914–98) Mexican Poet, Diplomat
A man’s thinking goes on within his consciousness in a seclusion in comparison with which any physical seclusion is an exhibition to public view.
—Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) Austrian-born British Philosopher
And we’re seeing a higher level of consciousness and many more opportunities for people to challenge their present ways of thinking and move into a grander and larger experience of who they really are.
—Neale Donald Walsch (b.1943) American Spiritual Writer
Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.
—Kahlil Gibran (1883–1931) Lebanese-born American Philosopher, Poet, Painter, Theologian, Sculptor
Most of the mistakes in thinking are inadequacies of perception rather than mistakes of logic.
—Edward de Bono (b.1933) Maltese-British Psychologist, Writer
We must dare to think ‘unthinkable’ thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world. We must learn to welcome and not to fear the voices of dissent. We must dare to think about ‘unthinkable things’ because when things become unthinkable, thinking stops and action becomes mindless.
—J. William Fulbright (1905–95) American Political leader, Politician
A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.
—Confucius (551–479 BCE) Chinese Philosopher
I believe negative thinking is like having measles of the mind. Instead of itching, you get bitching; instead of scratching, you get bashing; instead of irritation, you get frustration. Now, do you really want to be close to people like that?
—T. Harv Eker (b.1954) American Motivational Speaker, Lecturer, Author
I like what the future holds. I don’t like thinking about the past.
—John Cage (1912–92) American Composer
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.
—Marcus Aurelius (121–180) Emperor of Rome, Stoic Philosopher
Profundity of thought belongs to youth, clarity of thought to old age.
—Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German Philosopher, Scholar, Writer
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 firm root in our personal experience.
—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749–1832) German Poet
The Work reveals that what you think shouldn’t have happened should have happened. It should happened because it did, and no thinking in the world can change it. This doesn’t mean that you condone it or approve of it. It just means that you can see things without resistance and without the confusion of your inner struggle. No one wants their children to get sick, no one wants to be in a car accident; but when these things happen, how can it be helpful to mentally argue with them? We know better than to do that, yet we do it, because we don’t know how to stop.
—Byron Katie (b.1942) American Speaker, Author
The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
—Albert Einstein (1879–1955) German-born Physicist
Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
A man is infinitely more complicated than his thoughts.
—Paul Valery (1871–1945) French Critic, Poet
If I held all the thoughts of the world in my hand, I would be careful not to open it.
—Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657–1757) French Essayist, Polymath, Philosopher
A consistent thinker is a thoughtless person, because he conforms to a pattern; he repeats phrases and thinks in a groove.
—Jiddu Krishnamurti (1895–1986) Indian Philosopher
Our thinking and our behaviour are always in anticipation of a response. It is therefore fear-based.
—Deepak Chopra (b.1946) Indian-born American Physician, Public Speaker, Writer
Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
—John F. Kennedy (1917–63) American Head of State, Journalist
The brain is a wonderful organ; it starts working the moment you get up in the morning and does not stop until you get to the office.
—Robert Frost (1874–1963) American Poet
Confidence is not a guarantee of success, but a pattern of thinking that will improve your likelihood of success, a tenacious search for ways to make things work.
—John Eliot (b.1971) American Psychologist, Academic
The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Often the hands will solve a mystery that the intellect has struggled with in vain.
—Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) Swiss Psychologist, Psychiatrist, Philosopher
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something…almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.
—Steve Jobs (1955–2011) American Entrepreneur, Businessperson
A man thinks as well through his legs and arms as this brain.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it’s a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free.
—Chuck Swindoll (b.1934) American Evangelical Christian Pastor, Author
We think in generalities, but we live in detail.
—Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) English Mathematician, Philosopher
The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.
—John Locke (1632–1704) English Philosopher, Physician
Self-worth comes from one thing—thinking that you are worthy.
—Wayne Dyer (b.1940) American Motivational Writer, Author, Motivational Speaker
A state of expectancy is a great assetl; a state of uncertainty—one moment thinking “perhaps” and the next moment thinking “I don’t know”—will never get desired results.
—Ernest Holmes (1887–1960) American New Thought Writer, Teacher
The trouble with most people is that they think with their hopes or fears or wishes, rather than their minds.
—William C. Durant (1861–1947) American Industrialist
I don’t pretend we have all the answers. But the questions are certainly worth thinking about.
—Arthur C. Clarke (1917–2008) British Scientist, Science-fiction Writer