So remember, when you’re feeling very small and insecure,

How amazingly unlikely is your birth,

And pray that there’s intelligent life somewhere up in space,

‘Cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.

– Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Life can often be a perplexing and daunting journey, filled with joyful moments and crushing disappointments, and it can often leave us searching for answers. When we contemplate our lives it encourages us to look inward and think carefully about the choices we’ve made.

This can often cause discomfort as we look at ourselves and challenge the common assumptions that we may have about our own lives and the world around us.

The quotes in this collection explore a wide range of topics, from the power of intuition to the value of rationality and learning from failure. Each quote will lead you on a thought-provoking path and challenge your preconceived ideas about life.


Quotes About Being Rational and Accepting Facts

Alexis de Tocqueville

“The practice which obtains amongst the Americans of fixing the standard of their judgment in themselves alone, leads them to other habits of mind. As they perceive that they succeed in resolving without assistance all the little difficulties which their practical life presents, they readily conclude that everything in the world may be explained, and that nothing in it transcends the limits of the understanding. Thus they fall to denying what they cannot comprehend; which leaves them but little faith for whatever is extraordinary, and an almost insurmountable distaste for whatever is supernatural.”

– Alexis de TocquevilleDemocracy in America Volume 2

Alexis de Tocqueville on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote from Alexis de Tocqueville’s “Democracy in America,” the author observes a cultural tendency among Americans to rely solely on their own judgment and rationality. He notes that this self-reliant mindset fosters a skepticism towards anything beyond the realm of human comprehension. Tocqueville suggests that this skepticism leads to a dismissal of the supernatural and an overall lack of faith in extraordinary phenomena. This quote highlights the potential consequences of an overly rationalistic worldview, cautioning against the rejection of beliefs or experiences that transcend logical explanation. It offers insight into the broader cultural attitudes towards the supernatural in American society during Tocqueville’s time.

Marcus Aurelius

“The opinion of 10,000 men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.”

– Marcus Aurelius

Marcus Aurelius on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote, Marcus Aurelius underscores the importance of expertise and knowledge in forming meaningful opinions. He suggests that the quantity of opinions, represented here by the figure of 10,000 men, holds no weight if those individuals lack understanding or familiarity with the subject at hand. Aurelius implies that informed perspectives are more valuable than mere numbers, highlighting the significance of expertise and insight in shaping meaningful discourse and decision-making processes. This quote serves as a reminder of the importance of critical thinking and informed judgment, advocating for a discerning approach to evaluating opinions based on the depth of knowledge and understanding behind them.

Benjamin Franklin

“Friends and neighbors complain that taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly; and from these taxes the commissioners cannot ease or deliver us by allowing an abatement. However, let us hearken to good advice, and something may be done for us: ‘God helps them that help themselves’ as Poor Richard says.”

– Benjamin FranklinThe Way to Wealth

Benjamin Franklin on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote from Benjamin Franklin’s “The Way to Wealth,” Franklin addresses the common complaints about the burden of taxes by highlighting the additional, self-imposed burdens people face through idleness, pride, and folly. He suggests that these personal shortcomings are more significant and detrimental than government taxes. Franklin emphasizes the importance of self-improvement and taking responsibility for one’s actions, referencing the proverb “God helps them that help themselves.” This quote serves as a reminder of the role of personal accountability and diligence in achieving success and prosperity, advocating for a proactive approach to addressing life’s challenges.

Rene Descartes

“And thus, the actions of life often not allowing any delay, it is a truth very certain that, when it is not in our power to determine the most true opinions we ought to follow the most probable.”

– Rene DescartesDiscourse on Method

Rene Descartes on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote from René Descartes’ “Discourse on Method,” the philosopher reflects on decision-making in the face of uncertainty. Descartes suggests that in situations where immediate action is necessary and there is no time for exhaustive analysis, it is prudent to follow the most probable course of action, even if it may not be the absolute truth. He highlights the importance of practicality and pragmatism in navigating life’s complexities, acknowledging that certainty is not always attainable. This quote underscores Descartes’ pragmatic approach to epistemology, advocating for a balance between rational inquiry and practical judgment in guiding human conduct.

Albert Einstein

“The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.”

– Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote, Albert Einstein draws attention to the dichotomy between intuition and rationality. He regards the intuitive mind as a valuable and sacred gift, capable of profound insights and understanding, while he sees the rational mind as a useful tool to analyze and interpret the world. Einstein suggests that modern society tends to prioritize and celebrate rationality, often overlooking the innate wisdom and creativity inherent in intuition. He laments the imbalance, arguing that society has shifted its focus towards rationality at the expense of intuition. This quote serves as a reminder of the importance of honoring both intuition and rationality in achieving a deeper understanding of the world and fostering innovation and creativity.

Andrew Carnegie

“He that cannot reason is a fool. He that will not is a bigot. He that dares not is a slave.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie on Truth About Life Quotes

Andrew Carnegie’s quote succinctly captures the essence of intellectual freedom and courage. He delineates three categories of individuals based on their approach to reasoning. First, he identifies those who lack the ability to reason as fools, highlighting the importance of critical thinking and logical analysis. Second, Carnegie labels those who refuse to engage in reasoning as bigots, emphasizing the narrow-mindedness and intolerance associated with such attitudes. Finally, he characterizes individuals who are unwilling to speak out or act on their convictions as slaves, underscoring the significance of bravery and assertiveness in challenging injustice and oppression. This quote serves as a call to embrace reason, reject prejudice, and stand up for one’s beliefs, advocating for intellectual independence and moral courage.

Ayn Rand

“Since knowledge, thinking, and rational action are properties of the individual, since the choice to exercise his rational faculty or not depends on the individual, man’s survival requires that those who think be free of the interference of those who don’t. Since men are neither omniscient nor infallible, they must be free to agree or disagree, to cooperate or to pursue their own independent course, each according to his own rational judgment. Freedom is the fundamental requirement of man’s mind.”

–  Ayn RandCapitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Ayn Rand on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote from Ayn Rand’s “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal,” the author articulates the importance of individual freedom in fostering human progress and flourishing. Rand asserts that knowledge, critical thinking, and rational action are inherent qualities of individuals, and for society to thrive, individuals must be free to exercise these faculties without interference. She argues that human survival depends on the freedom of those who think to pursue their own rational judgments without constraint from those who do not share the same capacity for reasoned decision-making. Rand emphasizes that freedom allows individuals to collaborate or pursue their own paths according to their rational judgment, recognizing the fallibility inherent in human nature. This quote serves as a defense of individual liberty as a fundamental requirement for the proper functioning of the human mind and the advancement of civilization.

Ayn Rand

“A rational mind does not work under compulsion; it does not subordinate its grasp of reality to anyone’s orders, directives, or controls; it does not sacrifice its knowledge, its view of the truth, to anyone’s opinions, threats, wishes, plans, or “welfare.” Such a mind may be hampered by others, it may be silenced, proscribed, imprisoned, or destroyed; it cannot be forced; a gun is not an argument.”

– Ayn RandCapitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Ayn Rand on Truth About Life Quotes

This quote from Ayn Rand’s “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal,” the author underscores the autonomy and integrity of the rational mind. Rand argues that genuine rationality cannot be coerced or compelled by external forces; it operates independently and adheres steadfastly to the pursuit of truth and understanding. She rejects the notion of subordinating one’s grasp of reality to authority, emphasizing the primacy of individual judgment and rationality over external influences such as orders, threats, or societal pressures. Rand asserts that while external forces may attempt to suppress or hinder rational thought, they cannot ultimately control or dictate it. This quote serves as a defense of intellectual freedom and individual sovereignty, highlighting the intrinsic value of independent thinking and the futility of attempting to impose beliefs or ideologies through force or coercion.

Ayn Rand

“It is from the work and the inviolate integrity of such minds—from the intransigent innovators—that all of mankind’s knowledge and achievements have come. It is to such minds that mankind owes its survival.”

– Ayn RandCapitalism: The Unknown Ideal

Ayn Rand on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote from Ayn Rand’s “Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal,” the author extols the invaluable contributions of innovative and independent minds to human progress and survival. Rand emphasizes the significance of individuals who possess unwavering commitment to their principles and ideas, describing them as “intransigent innovators.” She argues that throughout history, it is these minds that have been responsible for advancing human knowledge and achieving significant accomplishments. Rand suggests that the integrity and determination of such individuals are essential for the continued survival and prosperity of humanity. This quote serves as a tribute to the vital role played by independent thinkers and innovators in driving progress and shaping the course of civilization. It underscores the importance of protecting intellectual freedom and fostering an environment that encourages individual creativity and innovation.

Karen Joy Fowler

“Emotion and instinct were the basis of all our decisions, our actions, everything we valued, the way we saw the world. Reason and rationality were a thin coat of paint on a ragged surface.”

– Karen Joy FowlerWe Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Karen Joy Fowler on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote from Karen Joy Fowler’s novel “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves,” the author reflects on the underlying drivers of human behavior. Fowler suggests that while reason and rationality may superficially guide our actions, it is ultimately our emotions and instincts that shape our decisions and perceptions of the world. She uses the metaphor of “a thin coat of paint on a ragged surface” to illustrate the superficiality of rationality compared to the deeper, more primal influences of emotion and instinct. This quote highlights the complex interplay between intellect and emotion in human psychology, suggesting that our fundamental nature is rooted in our emotional responses and instinctual impulses. It serves as a thought-provoking exploration of the complexities of human nature and the limitations of rationality in understanding our motivations and behaviors.


“It’s not at all uncommon to find a person’s desires compelling him to go against his reason, and to see him cursing himself and venting his passion on the source of the compulsion within him. It’s as if there were two warring factions, with passion fighting on the side of reason. But I’m sure you won’t claim that you had ever, in yourself or in anyone else, met a case of passion siding with his desires against the rational mind, when the rational mind prohibits resistance.”

– PlatoThe Republic

Plato on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote from Plato’s “The Republic,” the philosopher delves into the internal conflict between reason and desire within the human psyche. Plato observes that it is not uncommon for individuals to experience a discord between their rational understanding of what is right and their passionate desires, leading to inner turmoil. He portrays this conflict as a struggle between two opposing forces within oneself, with passion often seeming to align against reason. However, Plato challenges the notion that passion could ever genuinely prevail over reason when the rational mind prohibits such resistance. This quote serves as a philosophical exploration of the complexities of human nature and the eternal struggle between intellect and desire, offering insight into the internal conflicts that shape human behavior and moral decision-making.

Agatha Christie

“Everything must be taken into account. If the fact will not fit the theory—let the theory go.”

– Agatha ChristieThe Mysterious Affair at Styles

Agatha Christie on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote from Agatha Christie’s “The Mysterious Affair at Styles,” the author encapsulates a fundamental principle of investigative reasoning. Christie emphasizes the importance of thoroughness and objectivity in the pursuit of truth. She suggests that when confronted with evidence that contradicts a preconceived theory or hypothesis, it is essential to prioritize the facts over one’s initial assumptions. The quote underscores the necessity of flexibility and open-mindedness in the process of inquiry, advocating for a willingness to abandon flawed theories in favor of aligning with the empirical evidence. This approach is crucial not only in detective work but also in broader contexts where critical thinking and problem-solving skills are applied.

Ben Shapiro

“Facts don’t care about your feelings.”

– Ben Shapiro

Ben Shapiro on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote by Ben Shapiro, the speaker highlights the importance of objective reality over subjective emotions. Shapiro asserts that factual information remains indifferent to one’s personal sentiments or preferences. He suggests that the truth is independent of individual feelings or beliefs and should be acknowledged and respected regardless of emotional reactions. This quote reflects Shapiro’s advocacy for a rational and evidence-based approach to decision-making and discourse, emphasizing the primacy of facts in shaping our understanding of the world. It serves as a reminder of the importance of prioritizing empirical evidence and logical reasoning over emotional biases in discussions and debates.

Katharine Hepburn

“If you obey all of the rules, you miss all of the fun.”

Katharine Hepburn

Katharine Hepburn on Truth About Life Quotes

In this quote, Katharine Hepburn, the iconic actress, challenges the notion of strict adherence to rules and conventions. Hepburn suggests that blindly following every rule can lead to a life devoid of excitement and enjoyment. Instead, she advocates for a more adventurous and independent approach to life, implying that breaking a few rules can lead to more fulfilling experiences and moments of joy. This quote reflects Hepburn’s spirited and unconventional persona, encouraging individuals to embrace spontaneity and pursue their passions, even if it means straying from the established norms. It serves as a reminder to find a balance between responsibility and spontaneity, and to not let fear of breaking the rules hinder the pursuit of happiness and fulfillment.

Mae West

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”

Mae West

Mae West on Truth About Life Quotes

Mae West’s quote succinctly encapsulates the philosophy of living life to the fullest. She emphasizes the uniqueness and preciousness of life, suggesting that a single lifetime is sufficient if lived with purpose and passion. West encourages individuals to make the most of their existence, implying that by embracing opportunities, pursuing dreams, and cherishing experiences, one can create a fulfilling and satisfying life. This quote serves as a reminder to seize the moment, appreciate the present, and make every moment count. It reflects West’s bold and independent spirit, advocating for a life rich in adventures, joy, and meaningful connections.