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Thought-Provoking Quotes as a Brief Guideline for Life

Prepare to be blown away as we unveil our carefully curated selection of 50 awe-inspiring quotes from the greatest minds in history. From brilliant authors to deep-thinking philosophers, passionate activists to visionary leaders, this collection transcends time and space.
by Chris Allmer | Jun 19 2023
thought-provoking-quotes

Thought-provoking quotes are powerful expressions of wisdom that resonate with people from all walks of life. They offer inspiration, guidance, motivation, comfort, and knowledge in a simple, memorable, and straightforward way. This is essentially how Blinkist works as well!

In this article, we wish to share some thought-provoking quotes that can be of help in guiding you at different stages of your life.

20 Thought-Provoking Quotes From Great Books and Great Minds

All throughout history, authors, philosophers, psychologists, activists, political leaders and business moguls, have said or written some things that stuck. Some of these pearls of wisdom have been passed down from generation to generation and continue to inspire people. Here are a few that resonate with us.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, from his first inaugural speech
“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”
Mark Twain, from his book “The Innocents Abroad.
“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt, in one of his radio addresses to the nation.
“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Nelson Mandela, from his autobiography “Long Walk to Freedom.”
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”
Peter Drucker, from his book “Managing Oneself.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay “Self-Reliance.”
“The more you know, the more you realize you know nothing.”
Socrates, from his philosophical teachings
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”
Alphonse Karr, from his book “A Tour Round My Garden”
“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”
J.K. Rowling, from her book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, from his essay “Nature”
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Winston Churchill, from his speech to the House of Commons
“The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.”
Matt Haig, from his book “Reasons to Stay Alive.”
“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”
Robert Frost, from his poem “The Road Not Taken.”
Thought Provoking Quotes - Robert Frost
“The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself.”
Mark Caine, from his book “The Blueprint.”
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”
Eleanor Roosevelt, from her book, “You Learn by Living.”
“Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
Winston Churchill, from his book “My Early Life.”
“Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”
Steve Jobs, from his Stanford University commencement speech.
“The best investment you can make is in yourself.”
Warren Buffett, from his book “The Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America.”
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.”
Zig Ziglar, from his book “See You at the Top”
“The best leaders are those most interested in surrounding themselves with assistants and associates smarter than they are.”
John C. Maxwell, from his book “The 5 Levels of Leadership.”

10 Insightful Quotes About Power

If you’re a leader or aspire to get into a leadership position, you should check out the Blinkist reading list of leadership and management books. They will equip you with all the knowledge you need to manage power. So will these quotes:

“Power is not about being in control. It’s about making a difference”
Michelle Obama, Unknown
“Power is given only to those who dare to lower themselves and pick it up. Only one thing matters, one thing; to be able to dare!”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, from the book “Crime and punishment”
“All things are subject to interpretation whichever interpretation prevails at a given time is a function of power and not truth.”
Friedrich Nietzsche
“Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
John Dalberg-Acton, from a letter to Bishop Creighton
“The only way to predict the future is to have the power to shape the future.”
Eric Hoffer, from his book “The Passionate State of Mind”
“Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.”
Edward Abbey, from the book “A Voice Crying in the Wilderness”
“You only have power over people so long as you don’t take everything away from them. But when you’ve robbed a man of everything, he’s no longer in your power; he’s free again.”
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, from “The First Circle”
“Power is action; the electoral principle is discussion. No political action is possible when discussion is permanently established.”
Honoré de Balzac, Unknown
“The power of imagination makes us infinite.”
John Muir, in his book “John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir”
Thought-Provoking-Quotes-John-Muir
“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power.”
Lao Tzu, Unknown

To understand more about how power works, why don’t you check out 48 Laws of Power on Blinkist.

10 Inspirational Positive Energy Quotes

Soak up the positive vibes of these eminently though-provoking quotes and let them brighten up your whole day.

“If you realized how powerful your thoughts are, you would never think of a negative thought.”
Peace Pilgrim, from the book “Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words”
“Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you help them to become what they are capable of being.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, from the book “My Country”
“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.”
Walt Whitman, from Walt Whitman The Secret Libraries
“Once you replace negative thoughts with positive ones, you’ll start having positive results.”
Willie Nelson, from his Facebook post
“We try our best to spread positive energy. Some reciprocate and some don’t. It is better to stay away from people who cannot reciprocate our vibe.”
Avijeet Das, Unknown
“The energy of the mind is the essence of life.”
Aristotle, Unknown
“Be a positive energy trampoline – absorb what you need and rebound more back.”
Dave Carolan, Unknown
“Positive thoughts, words, and actions create positive feelings. Positive feelings generate positive energy.”
Nozer Kanga, Unknown
“If you are depressed you are living in the past. If you are anxious you’re living in the future. But if you are at peace, you are living in the present.”
Lao Tzu, Unknown
“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes, your smile can be the source of your joy.”
Nhat Hanh, from “3 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Mood in 2 Minutes”

Life Lesson Quotes

Anyone, who has ever gone through a hard time or faced a crisis of any sort, will find at least one or two thought-provoking quotes in this collection.

“Many of us go down a sad path when we let our egos make us suffer.”
Mo Gawdat, Unknown
“Every defeat, every heartbreak, every loss, contains its own seed, its own lesson on how to improve your performance the next time.”
Malcolm X, Unknown
“One man’s fault is another man’s lesson.”
Maltese Proverb
“But war is also an incredible teacher – a brutal instructor. We learned lessons in war, written in blood, about sorrow, loss, and pain.”
Jocko Willink in his book The Dichotomy of Leadership.
“As life’s lessons are learned, spiritual truth emerges.”
Eric Alsterberg, Unknown
“Think of each failure, each heartache, and each loss in your life as a lesson in courage and resilience.”
Kate Anderson in her book “100 Positive Morning Thoughts”
“Life’s lessons take a lifetime to learn, that’s just how it is in life’s classroom. But as we learn, we teach others. We are all teachers in the school of life.”
Olive Steele, Unknown
“Every relationship offers one of two things: a lesson or a blessing. In many instances, the lesson is the ultimate blessing.”
Anquanette Gaspard, Unknown
“It’s not the mistake that matters, it’s how you interpret the lesson.”
Michelle C. Ustaszeski, Unknown
“No matter how diligent you are about teaching your children right from wrong, the truth is that the majority of the lessons they learn from you will be the ones you teach without meaning to.”
Brittany Ann, Unknown

Find Your Own Favorite Quotes by Browsing Blinkist Content

If you cultivate a reading habit, you will soon find any number of thought-provoking quotes to guide you through life. On Blinkist, you will find incredible riches of knowledge at your fingertips – a huge collection of over 5,000 books, which have conveniently been broken down into short podcasts and book summaries, using only their key ideas. Browse 27 diverse categories of non-fiction books that will help you understand powerful ideas in 15 minutes.

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