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.
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.
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.
An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. “Can they be brought together?” This is a practical question. We must get down to it. “I despise intelligence” really means: “I cannot bear my doubts.”
[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.
We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.
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.
Everything has changed, except our way of thinking.
The significant problems of our time cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.
Space and time are not conditions in which we live, they are modes in which we think.
Combinatory play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought.
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.
Amusement is the happiness of those who cannot think.
The majority take the line of least resistance, preferring to have their thinking done for them; they accept ready-made individual, private doctrines as their own and follow them more or less blindly.
There are two ways to slide easily through life: to believe everything or to doubt everything; both ways save us from thinking.
Poets and heroes are of the same race, the latter do what the former conceive.
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.
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.
It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men.
Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.
Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.
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.
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.
I’ve found that if I say what I’m really thinking and feeling, people are more likely to say what they really think and feel. The conversation becomes a real conversation.
When you control a man’s thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.
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.
The highest possible stage in moral culture is when we recognize that we ought to control our thoughts.
Habits of thought persist through the centuries; and while a healthy brain may reject the doctrine it no longer believes, it will continue to feel the same sentiments formerly associated with that doctrine.
The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.
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.