Our thoughts help us reason and problem-solve. Conscious thought and reflection help us understand better. Thoughts may lead us to action. What we think, then, is an important component of who we are and how we will live our lives. Our thoughts help us or hurt us, contribute to failure or success. Thoughts can become worry or anxiety, and thoughts don’t necessarily reflect reality. Here are some thoughts about thoughts and thinking.

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The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.

— A. A. Milne

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.

— Abraham Lincoln

[I]n such a world of conflict, a world of victims and executioners, it is the job of thinking people, not to be on the side of the executioners.

— Albert Camus

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

— Albert Einstein

When I examined myself and my methods of thought, I came to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.

— Albert Einstein

Everything has changed, except our way of thinking.

— Albert Einstein

The significant problems of our time cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

— Albert Einstein

Space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think.

— Albert Einstein

Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.

— Albert Einstein

Almost all of us long for peace and freedom; but very few of us have much enthusiasm for the thoughts, feelings, and actions that make for peace and freedom.

— Aldous Huxley

Amusement is the happiness of those who cannot think.

— Alexander Pope

There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.

— Alfred Korzybski

Poets and heroes are of the same race, the latter do what the former conceive.

— Alphonse de Lamartine

Too often, I think, children are required to write before they have anything to say. Teach them to think and read and talk with self-repression, and they will write because they cannot help it.

— Anne Sullivan

Not out of right practice comes right thinking, but out of right thinking comes right practice. It matters enormously what you think. If you think falsely, you will act mistakenly; if you think basely, your conduct will suit your thinking.

— Annie Besant

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

— Aristotle, Metaphysics

Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.

— Carl Sagan

But I try not to think with my gut. If I’m serious about understanding the world, thinking with anything besides my brain, as tempting as that might be, is likely to get me into trouble.

— Carl Sagan

But in introducing me simultaneously to skepticism and to wonder, they taught me the two uneasily cohabiting modes of thought that are central to the scientific method.

— Carl Sagan

Many books require no thought from those who read them, and for a very simple reason; they made no such demand upon those who wrote them.

— Charles Caleb Colson

The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.

— Coco Chanel

The way we think of and perceive the world is mistaken. Our consciousness is structured such that no matter how carefully we may think, no matter how hard we may try to grasp the world around us, the conclusion we arrive at is always different from what things are actually like, and it is our acting upon this mistaken perception that leads to suffering.

— Cokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Sadness, Love, Openness: The Buddhist Path of Joy

We live in deeds, not years: In thoughts not breaths; In feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count time by heart throbs. He most lives who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.

— David Bailey

Indeed, to some extent it has always been necessary and proper for man, in his thinking, to divide things up, if we tried to deal with the whole of reality at once, we would be swamped. However when this mode of thought is applied more broadly to man’s notion of himself and the whole world in which he lives, (i.e. in his world-view) then man ceases to regard the resultant divisions as merely useful or convenient and begins to see and experience himself and this world as actually constituted of separately existing fragments. What is needed is a relativistic theory, to give up altogether the notion that the world is constituted of basic objects or building blocks. Rather one has to view the world in terms of universal flux of events and processes.

— David Bohm

If you make people think they are thinking, they will love you. If you really make them think, they’ll hate you.

— Don Marquis

If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you. If you really make them think, they’ll hate you.

— Don Marquis

If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think they’ll hate you.

— Don Marquis

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

We are disturbed not by events, but by the views which we take of them.

— Epictetus

I may not be able to say all I think, but I am not going to say anything I do not think.

— Eugene V. Debs
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