The 7 Best Philosophical Quotes to Inspire You and Make You Think

Have you ever been so moved by a quote that it has inspired you take immediate action? Check out the best philosophical quotes to fire up your day with passion and purpose.

Nobody really knows how the world works or the true meaning of life, and just reading an inspirational quote isn’t going to change your world unless you act on it. However, there are some philosophical quotes that stand out, that really make us stop and think, resonate with our inner knowledge, and thus inspire and propel us into action.

Here are some of them.

#1 “You are the sky; everything else is just the weather.” – Pema Chodron

you are the sky everything else is just the weather

The wonderful Pema Chodron has come out with another insightful gem here. If we view everything going on around us as the weather, we come to realise that everything changes; we are the constant and nothing is permanent, but things do and will inevitably change.

Nothing stands still; things always change, just like the weather.

#2 “I only know one thing, and that is I know nothing.” – Socrates

i only know one thing and that is i know nothing

There is great wisdom in this quote. When you have reached a point where you are aware that, despite all your knowledge, you actually know very little, this is the beginning of true wisdom.

There is so much to be learnt in the world we live in; so much to do. There really is no time for boredom when we have the constant pursuit of knowledge. The funny thing is, when we are younger we think we know a lot more than we do, but life tends to teach us the lessons we need – hence the saying “young enough to know everything.”

#3 “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” – Forrest Gump

Never was a truer word said!

It’s true: None of us know what is in store for us from one day to the next. We can plan ahead and steer our life the way we want it to be, but life will always throw us surprises and there are always challenges. They never end.

But neither do the good things.

This is why life is like a box of chocolates. Sometimes you will get a delicious treat, and at others maybe a bit of sticky toffee stuck in your teeth.

But that’s just life, like a box of chocolates, all wrapped in a pretty box with a lovely ribbon.

Wow – what a gift!

#4 “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius

This quote, to some extent, becomes more apparent the more you think about it –  especially when attributed to worry and those times we can get ourselves into mental loops and keep on going over the same situation in our heads. Many of us have been there, thinking about a break up or an upsetting situation; the more we think about it, the more pain and upset it brings.

Our minds are the most powerful tools we have. They can literally change our lives in seconds because, after all, we are what we think.

#5 “Begin at once to live, and count each separate day as a separate life.” – Seneca

begin at once to live and count each seperate day as a seperate life

I love this quote as it shows that there is an ability to renew and learn again from each blessed day we are here.

No one day is the same and life can change in an instant. So, make each separate day a separate life and you will have many, many wonderful lives ahead of you.

How wonderful is that!

#6 “Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century…

…Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others; Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected; Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it; Refusing to set aside trivial preferences; Neglecting development and refinement of the mind; Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.” – Cicero

Wise old Cicero does it again!

These six mistakes are an excellent guide on how we should be living and furthering all that is good in the world and humanity.

More pain and unhappiness has been generated by these root causes than perhaps any other. So, take note!

#7 “It’s a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready…

… I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There’s almost no such thing as ready. There’s only now. And you may as well do it now. I mean, I say that confidently as if I’m about to go bungee jumping or something – I’m not. I’m not a crazed risk taker. But I do think that, generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.” – Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie, a.k.a. Dr House, really has provided an inspiring diagnosis and remedy for some of our procrastination woes with this delightful quote. Planning for things is one thing, but sometimes we do just have to take action and dive in at the deep end. Most of the time, it is the only way to learn, gain experience, and move forward.

We can all be guilty of procrastination from time to time, we might say we going to change our career or end a  toxic relationship, but for one reason or another, we are never ’ready.’  Sometimes we need to take that leap of faith and realize that our wings will appear in the doing.

If you do the research, you will find there are many amazing philosophical quotes that can inspire us to action, or provide us with the reassurance we need that things are just as they should be.

Remember: You don’t have to be a well-known ancient philosopher to make a great philosophical quote; anyone can create their own inspiring quotes and mantras to live by!

So what are you waiting for? 

By the way you should definitely check out our inspirational quotes infographic if you’re looking for more quotes to inspire you.

Inspirational Quotes Infographic

About the author

Eleanor Goold

As well as being an avid reader, Eleanor is also a big time animal lover; especially of dogs. If you have a tail, four legs and you bark…. you’re in! In her spare time she enjoys swimming, and vegetable gardening… but not at the same time (it can get a bit messy).

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