51 Quotes for the Pensive Mind

1. “I would rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.” – Albert Camus

2. “I feel like role models today are not meant to be put on a pedestal, but more like angels with broken wings.” – Tupac Shakur

3. “The only dream worth having is to dream that you will live while you’re alive and die only when you’re dead.” – Arundhati Roy

4. “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs

5. “Teaching is not the mere imparting of information, but the cultivation of an inquiring mind.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

6. “Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus

7. “It is said that if you want to know what you were doing in the past, look at your body now; if you want to know what will happen to you in the future, look at what your mind is doing now.” – The Dalai Lama

8. “A person who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” – Anonymous

9. “A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.” – G. K. Chesterton

10. “Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.” – Spanish proverb

11. “Desire is half of life, indifference is half of death.” – Kablil Gibran

12. “Hope is a waking dream.” – Aristotle

13. “It’s sad when someone you know becomes someone you knew.” – Henry Rollins

14. “This is the first test of a gentleman: his respect for those who can be of NO possible value to him.” – William Lyon Phelps

15. “To give pleasure to a single heart by a single kind act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer.” – Saadi

16. “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” – Anonymous

17. “The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.” – Michael Jackson

18. “I’ve failed over and over and over again…and that is why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan

19. “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place, and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” – Sylvester Stallone (Rocky)

20. “Education is not a race. It’s not who crosses the finish line first; it’s who sticks with it the longest.” – Anonymous

21. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” – Antoine De Saint-Exupery

22. “The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.” – David Russell

23. “The strongest man in the world is he who stands alone.” – Henrik Ibsen

24. “I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” – Agatha Christie

25. “Your friends will know you better in the first few moments you meet than your acquaintances will know you in a lifetime.” – Richard Bach

26. “The obstacle is the path.” – Zen aphorism

27. “I learned much from my teachers, more from my books, and most from my mistakes.” – Anonymous

28. “One of the things I learned the hard way was that it doesn’t pay to get discouraged. Keeping busy and making optimism a way of life can restore your faith in yourself.” – Lucille Ball

29. “Sometimes you have to play for a long time to be able to play like yourself.” – Miles Davis, Jr.

30. “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

31. “When you read a classic, you do not see in the book more than you did before. You see more in YOU than there was before.” – Clifton Fadiman

32. “Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer, into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.” – Lady Nancy Astor

33. “A society of sheep must in time beget a government of wolves.” – Bertrand de Jouvenel

34. “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do NOT want to hear.” – George Orwell

35. “You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man’s freedom. You can only be free if I am free.” – Clarence Darrow

36. “A handful of patience is worth more than a bushel of brains.” – Dutch proverb

37. “Please all, and you will please none.” – Aesop, The Man, the Boy, and the Donkey

38. “An army of sheep led by a lion would defeat an army of lions led by a sheep.” – Arab proverb

39. “It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.” – Aesop, The Wolf and the Kid

40. “Vision without action is daydream. Action without vision is nightmare.” – Japanese proverb

41. “The death of a genuine friend is equivalent to the loss of a limb.” – German proverb

42. “A true friend is a person with whom I may be sincere. Before him or her, I may think aloud.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

43. “And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” – Howard Zinn

44. “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn

45. “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

46. “Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light.” – Helen Keller

47. “Love is like the wind. You can’t see it…but you can FEEL it.” – Nicholas Sparks

48. “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.” – W. Clement Stone

49. “Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” – Aristotle

50. “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.” – Mark Twain

51. “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to DANCE in the rain.” – Vivian Greene


Photo credit: Tien Phan