102 Short Quotes to Reflect On To Broaden Your Consciousness

Contemplation is the only way to broaden your consciousness. The more you contemplate and the more questions you ask, the deeper your understanding becomes.

This article is a collection 82 short and pithy quotes (mostly one sentence quotes) that carry within them profound wisdom on life. Reflecting on these quotes will help greatly expand your thinking and consciousness.

Here are the quotes.


Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

– James Joyce

Mistakes are the portals of discovery.


Be curious, not judgmental.

– Walt Whitman

Be curious, not judgmental.


Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.

– Leo Tolstoy

Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.


It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.

– Eugène Ionesco

It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.


The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live – moreover, the only one.

– Emil Cioran

The fact that life has no meaning is a reason to live - moreover, the only one.


Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.

– Voltaire

Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.


If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.

– Baruch Spinoza

If you want the present to be different from the past, study the past.


One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.

– Aldous Huxley

One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them.


The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.

H.W. Longfellow

The sky is filled with stars, invisible by day.


Meditation is a balancing act between attention and relaxation.

― B. Alan Wallace, The Attention Revolution

Meditation is a balancing act between attention and relaxation.


I can’t go back to yesterday – because I was a different person then.

– Lewis Carroll

I can't go back to yesterday - because I was a different person then.


Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.

– Lao Tzu

Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.


Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

― Robert Louis Stevenson

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.


The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.

– Jonathan Swift

The best doctors in the world are Doctor Diet, Doctor Quiet, and Doctor Merryman.


Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

– Søren Kierkegaard

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.


The first duty of love is to listen.

– Paul Tillich

The first duty of love is to listen.


Rewards and punishment is the lowest form of education.

– Zhuangzi

Rewards and punishment is the lowest form of education.


To a mind that is still, the entire universe surrenders.

– Zhuangzi

To a mind that is still, the entire universe surrenders.


Teach thy tongue to say ‘I do not know,’ and thou shall progress.

– Moses Maimonides

Teach thy tongue to say 'I do not know,' and thou shall progress.


Leisure is the mother of philosophy.

– Thomas Hobbes


Practice is the best of all instructors.

– Publilius Syrus

Practice is the best of all instructors.


Music is the shorthand of emotion.

– Leo Tolstoy


To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.

– Lewis B. Smedes

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.


If you focus on what’s left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.

– Anon

If you focus on what's left behind, you will never be able to see what lies ahead.


You can never be free of their criticism until you no longer seek their praise.

– Dennis Ruane
You can never be free of their criticism until you no longer seek their praise.


If you are afraid of loneliness, don’t marry.

– Anton Chekhov


To be ignorant of one’s ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.

– Amos Bronson Alcott

To be ignorant of one's ignorance is the malady of the ignorant.


Authority has every reason to fear the skeptic, for authority can rarely survive in the face of doubt.

– Vita Sackville-West


If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.

– Sylvia Plath

If you expect nothing from anybody, you’re never disappointed.


Believe those who are seeking the truth, doubt those who find it.

– André Gide

Believe those who are seeking the truth, doubt those who find it.


No wise man ever wished to be younger.

― Jonathan Swift

No wise man ever wished to be younger.


A man trusts another man when he sees enough of himself in him.

– Gregory David Roberts

A man trusts another man when he sees enough of himself in him.


Do not seek after the sages of the past. Seek what they sought.

– Basho

Do not seek after the sages of the past. Seek what they sought.


Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.

– Confucius

Real knowledge is to know the extent of one’s ignorance.


It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.

– Henry David Thoreau


That government is best which governs least.

– Henry David Thoreau


The less routine the more life.

– Amos Bronson Alcott


Observation more than books and experience more than persons, are the prime educators.

– Amos Bronson Alcott


We’re our own dragons as well as our own heroes, and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.

― Tom Robbins


Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.

– Lao Tzu


When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.

– Lao Tzu


“Death, so called, is a thing which makes men weep, And yet a third of life is passed in sleep.”

― Lord George Gordon Byron


We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

– Aristotle


A friend to all is a friend to none.

– Aristotle


Easy reading is damn hard writing.

– Nathaniel Hawthorne


Nature provides exceptions to every rule.

– Margaret Fuller


Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

– Leonardo da Vinci


Genius is eternal patience.

– Michelangelo


The limits of my language mean the limits of my world.

– Ludwig Wittgenstein


Not ignorance, but ignorance of ignorance, is the death of knowledge.

– Alfred North Whitehead


To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.

– Henri Bergson


Readers are plentiful; thinkers are rare.

– Harriet Martineau


Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible.

– Eugène Ionesco


Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.

– Karl Barth


In order to improve the mind, we ought less to learn, than to contemplate.

– René Descartes


The life of man is of no greater importance to the universe than that of an oyster.

– David Hume


“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your mind off your goals.”

– anon


“You aren’t just the age you are. You are all the ages you ever have been!”

– Kenneth Koch


“Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood.”

– Marie Curie


Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

– Søren Kierkegaard


To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize.

– unknown


Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.

– Mark Twain


When all think alike, then no one is thinking.

– Walter Lippman


The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

– Søren Kierkegaard


The world of reality has its limits; the world of imagination is boundless.

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau


The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

– Augustine of Hippo


Patience is the companion of wisdom.

– Augustine of Hippo


The sweetest of all sounds is praise.

– Xenophon


Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

– William James


Nothing exists except atoms and empty space; everything else is opinion.

– Democritus


We may pass violets looking for roses. We may pass contentment looking for victory.

– Bernard Williams


Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.

– John Dewey


The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers.

– Sydney J. Harris


The Quieter You Become, The More You Are Able To Hear.

Rumi


Life is a balance between holding on and letting go.

– Rumi


You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.

– Galileo Galilei


Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.

– Hippocrates


A physicist is just an atom’s way of looking at itself.

– Niels Bohr


Time is the father of truth, its mother is our mind.

– Giordano Bruno


Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.

– Pablo Picasso


Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

– Guillaume Apollinaire


If an egg is broken by an outside force, life ends. If broken by an inside force, life begins. Great things always begin from the inside.

– Jim Kwik


Imagination decides everything.

– Blaise Pascal


We know the truth, not only by the reason, but also by the heart.

– Blaise Pascal


The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe.

– Gustave Flaubert


Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle.

– Lewis Carroll


People who know little are usually great talkers, while men who know much say little.

– Jean-Jacques Rousseau


I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves.

– Mary Wollstonecraft


The beginning is always today.

– Mary Wollstonecraft


Educated people can be easily governed.

– Frederick the Great


There is nothing new except what has been forgotten.

– Marie Antoinette


Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism.

– David Suzuki


There is no truth. There is only perception.

– Gustave Flaubert


One can be the master of what one does, but never of what one feels.

– Gustave Flaubert


Commune with your own heart on your bed and be still.

– Maimonides Moses 1135-1204


In love, one and one are one.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.

― Jean-Paul Sartre


The best fighter is never angry.

– Lao Tzu


Life is not what we live; it is what we imagine we are living.

– Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon


Each of us carries a unique world within our hearts.

– John O’Donohue, Eternal Echoes


Man is what he reads.

– Joseph Brodsky


I don’t live in France, I live in myself.

– Alejandro Jodorowsky


we never really encounter the world; all we experience is our own nervous system.

– Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, The Bhagavad Gita


Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.

– David Hume


Habits change into character.

– Ovid


All things change; nothing perishes.

– Ovid


There are no facts, only interpretations.

– Friedrich Nietzsche


Conquer yourself rather than the world.

– René Descartes


To understand is to forgive.

– Pascal


Light tomorrow with today.

― Elizabeth Barrett Browning



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About the Author
Mukesh is the founder of Outofstress.com. He is a writer, author and meditation teacher. Having suffered from anxiety and depression for a good part of his adult life, he used meditation, attention training and self awareness to break free from these limiting mind patterns. You can learn more on his personal blog - ConsciousReset.com
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