There are ideas and images that can change our entire outlook on life, simply by teaching us how to see things in a new, brighter light and to notice details, patterns, and shades we previously ignored.
Life has many deep and complex layers, and when we pose deep questions we find surprising answers.
Check these deep quotes that will change your perspective on success, achievement, perception, or luck. From the greatest minds of the world, we have gathered deep and thought-provoking quotes to challenge your perspectives.
1. On Optimism
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars. ~ Oscar Wilde
Even though we don’t always have power over our circumstances, we can teach ourselves to make the most of each moment, by being perceptive to the beauty that lays in small, but significant details.
2. On Perception
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see. ~ Henry David Thoreau
Our reality is shaped by the power of our minds, which perceive, analyze, and organize data and form images that we take as reality. Yet, no matter how powerful our minds are, reality is always too complex. That is why it is important to focus your attention on the essential.
3. On Real Happiness
As long as the ego runs your life, there are two ways of being unhappy. Not getting what you want. Getting what you want. ~ Eckhart Tolle
Our ego is always restless, searching for something more, something better. However, if we embark on this endless quest, we never allow ourselves time to be happy and to enjoy life. The ego seeks pleasure and it is never satisfied with its findings. By giving up the ego we free ourselves.
4. On Age and Youth
The tragedy of old age is not that one is old, but that one is young. ~ Oscar Wilde
Time passes so quickly that we fail to notice how our years add up. The saddest part is that it is difficult to think of oneself as old. Our innermost selves have no concept of age. Feeling young is an attitude that often is not connected with real age.
5. On the Best Lessons
Our bravest and best lessons are not learned through success, but through misadventure. ~ Amos Bronson Alcott
Failure and misadventure teach us about the mistakes we made and about how to improve things. They tell us how powerful and motivated we are. They teach us to plan and act better.Moreover, they demand us to always try again until we become masters of our skills.
6. On Finding Opportunities
The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. ~ John Burroughs
Those who complain about a lack of opportunities deceive themselves thinking that some other places offer greater chances. The truth is opportunities abounds in every place, yet someone must notice them.
7. On Life’s Surprises
Many things grow in the garden that were never sown there. ~ Thomas Fuller
The beautiful thing about life is that it is always richer and more refined in its complexity than we think. It can surprise us with things beyond our expectations and defy the wildest imagination.
8. On Achieving the Impossible
Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. ~ St. Francis of Assisi
When we split a difficult journey into small steps, everything becomes easier. Before being able to do the impossible we must prove our determination and skills by doing what is necessary, getting one step at the time closer to the impossible.
9. On Humor
Humor is just another defense against the universe. ~ Mel Brooks
In the wonderful chaos of life, people find defenses that allow them to find an oasis of stability where happiness and meaning are possible. Humor is such a defense that keeps us safe from the oddities, absurdities, and mistakes of life.
10. On Being Grateful
What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. ~ Thomas Paine
We appreciate the things for which we worked hard because we understand their value after struggling so much to obtain them. In a similar vein, we take for granted things that we obtained easily, forgetting to appreciate them.
11. On Success
The man on top of the mountain did not fall there. ~ Unknown
When we see others succeed we get caught up in the excitement of their success and we forget about the hard work and sacrifices that lay behind every success. In following our own path to success, we must remember that nobody reaches the top without climbing with perseverance.
12. On Inner Joy
In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. ~ Albert Camus
Many things can happen around us that infringe upon our happiness and peace. Only the joy that comes from within can stand against all the problems and struggles that life forces us to deal it.
13. On Smart Work
If I had six hours to chop down a tree, I’d spend the first four sharpening the axe. ~ Abe Lincoln
Working smart is more important than working hard. Creativity can make every challenge easy and exciting, providing maximum results with a minimum of efforts. When we work smart, we can do incredible things and still have time for ourselves.
14. On Real Beauty
Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful we must carry it with us, or we find it not. ~ R.W. Emerson
To find beauty we must train ourselves to look around us carefully and refine our perceptions. Beauty exists everywhere, waiting to be noticed. When we cultivate an inner sense of beauty, everything appears as beautiful.
15. On Limits
Every man takes the limits of his own field of vision for the limits of the world. ~ Arthur Schopenhauer
All dreamers have been told at least once in their lives that their dreams are impossible. This happens because some people refuse to accept that their limits are not the limits of everyone. Some people do not like to impose limits on themselves, remaining always open and receptive.
16. On Trusting Your Heart
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye. ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery
Our eyes allow us to see things, objects, and people, yet they do not see the connections or the relations between these. Eyes cannot see the thoughts or the feelings that shape our reality. Only the heart has its own type of knowledge because the heart has the power of intuition.
17. On Comfort vs. Risk
A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. ~ John Shedd
Seeking comfort and stability is a safe route, but it is never exciting and it never leads to great stories. The thing that gives people meaning is not comfort, but growth. Growth demands courage risk.
18. On Vulnerability
Vulnerability sounds like truth and looks like courage. ~ Brene Brown
People think they should hide their vulnerabilities, forgetting that all of us are vulnerable. Showing your vulnerability does not mean being weak. It is rather a statement of your respect for truth, your honesty, and authenticity.
19. On Paying Attention
Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why. ~ Bernard Baruch
Great opportunities appear around us at every moment, yet few of us are able to notice them and come up with a response. An event that might be common for some, can be a revelation for another.
20. On Joy and Suffering
Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain. ~ Joseph Campbell
There is within us a great vitality that is the source of the most profound joy and happiness, independent of the outer life and its chaotic laws. This inner source of joy and love for life can protect us from pain and suffering if we learn how to rely on it.
21. On Positive Thinking
Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow. ~ Helen Keller
Our thinking describes our relationship with the world. When we think positively, our attitude becomes one of overt enthusiasm and joy, and we find ourselves more sensible towards the simple and beautiful details of life.
22. On the Gifts of Life
Life does not owe you anything because life has already given you everything. ~ Ralph Marston
Life offers everything that we need to strive and be happy in the world, yet it is up to us to know how to seize every moment and make the most of everything. Life has many gifts for us, we just need to find them.
23. On Changing the World
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples. ~ Mother Teresa
The desire to change something can be overwhelming because it shows us that very often our impact cannot be as impressive as we imagine. However, every act of change set in motions new forces and determines new acts of change.
24. On Following Your Passion
It’s so hard when I have to, and so easy when I want to. ~ Annie Gottlier
Doing things out of obligation feels like a burden. Yet, when we do things we love, we don’t even notice how time flies. This happens because of one important ingredient which is passion. Passion gives us purpose and joy.
25. On Real Wealth
A man with one watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches is never quite sure. ~ Lee Segall
Being satisfied with what we have does not mean we lack motivation, but rather that we know how to focus our energy on things that are useful and provide real value. Having more than we need complicates things and does not gives us the chance to enjoy what we have.
26. On Truth
Believe those who are seeking the truth; doubt those who find it. ~ André Gide
People feel strongly about their beliefs because it helps them navigate the unpredictability of life, yet they forget that there is no universal truth. Truth is a personal journey with no clear end in sight.
27. On Luck
If a man who cannot count finds a four-leaf clover, is he lucky? ~ Stanislaw J. Lec
To be lucky we must be able to recognize the moments in which we are blessed with luck. If we remain oblivious to life’s wonders, we will never sense when luck approaches us.
28. On Thinking and Acting
Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought. ~ Henri Louis Bergson
People like to separate themselves in thinkers and doers. The most successful person, however, is someone who can combine acting with thinking in the most suitable way. Acting without thinking leads to mistake while thinking without acting leads to frustration.
29. On Obstacles
The obstacle is the path. ~ Zen Proverb
Focusing too much on goals and destinations, we often forget to enjoy the ride. We should think of obstacles as something that tests our power and teaches us a lesson, to empower us for the journey. Otherwise, we see obstacles as delayers and thus forget to enjoy every second, thinking about a distant future.
30. On Inner Power
You are the sky. Everything else—it’s just the weather. ~ Pema Chödrön
Every person is at the center of their own life, acting as the main character of their own story. In this story, cast and décor can change, yet the main character always remains the same.
31. On Finding Answers
Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. ~ Dr Seuss
Complex questions can often hide simple truths that are easy to unravel for a perceptive eye. We are suspicious of simple answers, always searching for something more, forgetting that simplicity is the measure of true wisdom.