200 Thought-Provoking Questions To Get You Thinking About Life


Last Updated on January 31, 2021

Have you ever sat down lately and just thought about life in general? Nowadays, we are all so pre-occupied with work, hobbies, and social events that we hardly have time to reflect on anything. Often, hours just pass us by and before we know it, it’s the weekend again.


The Culture of Busy-ness

Whether you’re a student, an office worker, or an entrepreneur, we are all plagued by the culture of ‘busyness’. This happens when we over-schedule ourselves.

Even during weekends when we’re supposed to be relaxing, our minds are plagued by thoughts of work, success, making money, and ‘doing more’. This has created a generation that is always exhausted, depressed, and cynical.

But it’s not just the young ones who are susceptible to this way of life. Even the older generation are exhibiting actions that put focus on the never-ending quest to keep one’s self busy.

While the advancement of technology and the world’s interconnectedness may have contributed to this, it is still one’s own prerogative if they allow themselves to be at the mercy of the ‘busyness’ culture.

Not making time for yourself to sit down, think, or even sleep, can have negative repercussions. For one, countless studies have shown how bad sleeping habits (as well as poor sleep quality), can cause poor judgement, sickness, and even depression. That’s why it’s essential to give yourself the right amount of sleep, as well as opportunities for your mind to simply wander and do nothing.


The Importance of Reflection

Thought Provoking Questions in Life

Having the opportunity to simply sit and think has become a luxury for most. In fact, it’s become so rare in our hectic world that it’s a goal for many folks to have a day especially made for sitting around with friends or family.

Picture this: you and your loved ones around a campfire, with the stars above you and the distant noises of crickets in the background. Or perhaps an afternoon in the kitchen, with cups of tea or coffee, and small plates filled with sweets on the side. You and your friends laughing over high school and college memories that feel far away now.

Don’t think of these times as a waste. Spending time with yourself or your loved ones is an important part of maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle.

Carving precious time for this will not only help you relax, it can also open doors to creative thinking. Why not read a book, then reflect about its contents later? Or maybe spend a weekend with friends, discussing about life’s wonders?

To help you there, here are some good thought-provoking questions to ask yourself, or your loved ones, the next time you sit down together.


Thought-Provoking Questions To Ask About Life

Thought Provoking Questions in Life

  1. What’s your personal heaven?


  1. What in life, is beautiful to you? Where do you find inspiration?


  1. Can you dream of having a dream?


  1. If you were a genie and a person asked you this wish, “i wish you would not grant me this wish”, what would you do?


  1. When did your life change for the better?


  1. How do you manage stress?


  1. What do you believe stands between you and complete happiness?


  1. What’s the one thing you wish to accomplish before you die?


  1. If you had the opportunity to travel to another planet with no chance of ever coming back to earth, would you go?


  1. Do you ever think there could be a world leader that has power over all countries?


  1. Are you afraid to speak your own opinion?


  1. What’s the wisest thing you have ever heard someone say?


  1. What is one mistake that you will never do again?


  1. Which is easier: to hate or to love? Why?


  1. If you could fix one world problem, what would it be?


  1. If you could have chosen your own name, what would you have picked?


  1. What’s something that no one else knows about you?


  1. If your home was on fire and you only had time to grab one thing, what would it be?


  1. How do you picture your life when you’re 60?


  1. What’s the best approach to resolving conflict?


  1. Do you think the end or the means is most important? Explain.


  1. What are a few things that must be present in order for you to want to continue dating someone?


  1. What is your biggest passion?


  1. Where do you draw the line between helping people and showing them how to help themselves? How do you strike that balance?


  1. What do you think is the most significant event in the history of the human race? Explain.


  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, who would you want as a dinner guest?


  1. Would you like to be famous? In what way?


  1. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?


  1. Do you believe in destiny?


  1. In your opinion, which is the most beautiful place in the world? What do you like about that place?


  1. In one sentence, who are you?


  1. In one word, what do you live for?


  1. What could you pay more attention to in life?


  1. What does it look like to make the most of your life?


  1. If you could choose to have no more challenges or obstacles in life, would you?


  1. Do the people in your life bring the best out of you?


  1. Is your life complicated by unnecessary things?


  1. If your life was a movie, what would the title be?


  1. Do you think it’s too late to do certain things in your life? Why?


  1. What lessons in life did you learn to hard way?


Thought Provoking Questions in Life


  1. How often do your biggest worries and fears come true?


  1. If a perfect clone of you were created, right down to the tiniest cellular detail, would it BE you or would it somehow still be missing something?


  1. If you do a good deed in order to feel good about it, is it kindness or business?


  1. Does a belief in free will make you more or less happy?


  1. Can anything ever really be considered ‘true’ or is everything subjective?


  1. Is suffering an important part of being human?


  1. If consciousness is a purely human trait, are we better off for it or does it simply lead to greater problems?


  1. Where do thoughts come from?


  1. Does a person have a soul? If so, where is it?


  1. If an afterlife does exist, what is it like?


  1. By refusing to hold a position on something, do you, by default, accept all positions or reject all positions?


  1. Should prisoners with full life sentences be given the chance to end their life rather than live out their days locked up?


  1. If you knew there was an 80 percent chance that someone was going to commit murder in their lifetime, but a 20 percent chance that they would not, would you imprison them before they had the opportunity?


  1. Does scientific and technological progress require an unequal distribution of wealth? Is it worth it if the only people who benefit are the rich?


  1. Why are we humans so good at passing the buck of responsibility onto other people or entities?


  1. If you knew that sacrificing your life would have a huge benefit to thousands of people, would you do it?


  1. Is a person ever truly evil? If so, are they born that way?


  1. Do you judge yourself by the same standards that you judge others? If not, are you harsher or more lenient?


  1. Is surveillance ever a bad thing if you have nothing to hide?


  1. When does a child stop being innocent and start being responsible?


  1. Would it ever be ethical to read someone’s mind or is that the only true form of privacy?


  1. Since morals change over time, what are some things we do now as a society that will be deemed unacceptable 100 years from now?


  1. If you fear death, why?


  1. Which is a scarier thought: that the human race is the most advanced form of life in the universe, or that we are mere amoeba compared to other life forms?


  1. How do we know that we’re not living in a computer simulation?


  1. How should we measure our lives? In years? In moments? In accomplishments? Something else?


  1. What is something that you could realistically do today that would benefit the rest of your life? What’s stopping you?


  1. Is there such a thing as an ‘ordinary’ life? If so, what does it look like?


  1. Does modern life give us more freedom or less freedom than in the past?


  1. Have you wasted your potential or lived up to it?


  1. If you could find out the date you will die, would you do it? Would knowing the date change how you live your life?


  1. At what point does striving for a better life turn from healthy to unhealthy?


  1. If humans still exist in 10,000 years time, what will civilization look like?


  1. If intelligent extra-terrestrial life was discovered, how do you think humanity would react?


  1. Can humanity ever come together around a common cause or are we all too selfish as individuals?


  1. Would you prepare to live through a year of extreme hardship and trauma if it subsequently meant a lifetime of peace and happiness?


  1. Does instant connectivity and communication bring people together or push them apart?


  1. Would you prefer to lose all the memories you have now or never be able to make any new memories?


  1. If you won the lottery, do you think you’d be happier for it?


  1. If nobody remembered you after you died, would it matter since you’d be dead?


Thought Provoking Questions in Life


  1. Does higher academic intelligence make you more or less happy?


  1. What do you think your last thoughts will be before you die?


  1. If you were the leader of your country, what would your policies be?


  1. Would the world be better or worse off without religion?


  1. Is patriotism a good thing or does it lead to mistrust and dislike of foreigners?


  1. Is a minimum income a good idea? What about a maximum income?


  1. Would a perfect democracy – where each citizen got a vote on all matters of government – lead to a better or worse society?


  1. Are science and religion compatible?


  1. Would the world be a better place if all leaders were women?


  1. If you can have too much of a good thing, can you ever have not enough of a bad thing?


  1. Given that our memories change all the time, how can we ever be sure of what we experienced in the past?


  1. Whose responsibility should it be to care for the sick, elderly, or infirm?


  1. Are personal boundaries necessary or do they restrict the full expression of love?


  1. Why do bad things happen to good people?


  1. Are any of our views truly our own or do we simply inherit them from the environments and societies we live our lives in?


  1. Can any love be truly unconditional when we can’t ever be sure how we might feel in a future set of circumstances?


  1. Are we the source of our own problems? Do we create problems in our minds to give us something to focus on?


  1. Is there actually a present moment if that moment passes in an instant?


  1. What is infinity?


  1. Is it ever possible to ‘create’ something new, or is it just discovering that thing?


  1. Why do we do things in our dreams that we would never do when awake?


  1. Can a thought alone ever influence the physical world?


  1. Is trust something that is offered by the giver or earned by the receiver?


  1. Can any aspect of any ‘thing’ ever be perfect or is perfection an illusion?


  1. Why are humans so good at doing things that are bad for them?


  1. Are some questions best left unanswered?


  1. Is the meaning of life the same for animals and humans?


  1. Where is the line between art and not art?


  1. Is free will real or just an illusion?


  1. What harsh truths do you prefer to ignore?


Thought Provoking Questions in Life


  1. Does a person’s name influence the person they become?


  1. What actions in your life will have the longest reaching consequences? How long will those effects be felt?


  1. What should be the goal of humanity?


  1. If you could become immortal on the condition you would NEVER be able to die or kill yourself, would you choose immortality?


  1. How will humans as a species go extinct?


  1. Where does your self-worth come from?


  1. Where do you find meaning in your life?


  1. If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would that be?


  1. Is suffering a necessary part of the human condition? What would people who never suffered be like?


  1. What benefits does art provide society? Does art hurt society in any way?


  1. Would things get better or worse if humans focused on what was going well rather than what’s going wrong?


  1. What do you attribute the biggest successes in your life to? How about your largest failures?


  1. If freedom is simply being able to do what you want, are animals freer than humans?


  1. Is humanity headed in the right or wrong direction?


  1. Does the study of philosophy ever lead to answers or simply more questions?


  1. What is the best way for a person to attain happiness?


  1. What is the best way to train people to see the gradients in the world around them instead of just a simplistic “this is good, that is wrong” view of the world?


  1. Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?


  1. What are you going to do with the one life you have?


  1. What do you contribute back to society?


  1. Is it more important to help yourself, help your family, help your society, or help the world?


  1. What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?


  1. Is it better to be a big fish in a small pond or a small fish in a big pond?


  1. By what standards do you judge yourself?


  1. How replaceable are you?


  1. Why don’t we as a species take more advantage of the fact that we have almost infinite knowledge available to us?


  1. What two questions would you ask to get the most information about who a person truly is?


  1. Does absolute power corrupt absolutely?


  1. Does knowledge have intrinsic value or does it need to have a practical use to have value?


  1. What would you genetically change about humans to make them a better species?


  1. How important is play in living a healthy and fulfilling life?


  1. What is the biggest waste of human potential?


  1. Does jealously have value in driving humans to improve themselves or is it a purely negative emotion?


  1. What do you think your future self will remember about you now?


  1. What do you think existed before the universe was created?


  1. Is it possible for a human to fathom the true depths of reality and existence?


  1. What is the best path to find truth; science, math, art, philosophy, or something else?


  1. Is happiness just chemicals flowing through your brain or something more?


  1. If every neuron in a human was accurately simulated in a computer, would it result in human consciousness?


  1. Is it possible that some animals are self-aware and think about their ability to think?


Thought Provoking Questions in Life


  1. Would it be more frightening to discover that humans are the most advanced species in the universe or that we are far from being the most advanced species in the universe?


  1. How would you define genius?


  1. How much does language affect our thinking?


  1. Why do humans have such a strong urge to distract ourselves from the real world?


  1. If all your memories were erased, what kind of person would you be?


  1. Can rational thought exist without language?


  1. Is it possible that someone’s genes might affect their political leanings? If no, why not? If so, what would be the ramifications?


  1. Are there limits to human creativity?


  1. Why do we resist doing things that we know are good for our well-being while craving things that are detrimental to us?


  1. Would you be able to tell if time had been altered in some way?


  1. If there existed a perfect clone of you, would it also be you?


  1. Is a sense of humor a by-product of consciousness or something else entirely?


  1. Are intelligence and happiness tied together in any way? If you are highly intelligent, is it more likely that you’ll be more, or less happy?


  1. When, if ever, is taking a human life justified?


  1. Can animals have morals?


  1. If humanity was put on trial by an advanced race of aliens, how would you defend humanity and argue for its continued existence?


  1. What rights does every human have? Do those rights change based on age?


  1. Is justice a human construct or is it independent of humans?


  1. Do animals have rights and do those rights extend to all animals or do the rights change based on the complexity of the animal?


  1. With no laws or rules to influence your behavior, how do you think you would behave?


  1. Why do people expect a universe full of randomness to be fair?


  1. What’s the difference between justice and revenge?


  1. If you could press a button and receive a million dollars, but one stranger would die, would you press the button? And if so, how many times?


  1. What would be the most ethical way to give away five million dollars?


  1. Are people ethically obligated to improve themselves?


  1. Is privacy a right?


  1. At what point is overthrowing a government ethical, considering all the violence a revolution usually entails?


  1. Are intentions or outcomes more important when judging whether actions are moral?


  1. Should there be limitations on the right to free speech?


  1. Should euthanasia be legal? Why or why not?


Thought Provoking Questions in Life


  1. If scientists could accurately predict who was more likely to commit crimes, what should society do with that information?


  1. Why do humans often associate beauty with morality?


  1. If you can save another’s life and don’t because doing so would break the law, are you ethically justified in your decision?


  1. Should we terraform planets if it means that we may be destroying undiscovered microscopic alien life?


  1. Does anonymity encourage people to misbehave or does it reveal how people would choose to act all the time if they could?


  1. What is your definition of evil?


  1. Why are humans so fascinated by mass murderers if their actions are universally considered evil and vile?


  1. If I steal a loaf of bread from you and eat it, when does the bread itself cease to be yours and becomes mine?


  1. How much effort should an individual put into not offending others?


  1. Would the world be a better or worse place if everyone looked the same?


  1. What fictional character would you like to become real and why?


  1. If you could be an animal, which animal would you be and why?


  1. What is something you recently realized that you can’t believe you didn’t realize earlier?


  1. What would your family and friends think you had done if you were arrested?


  1. Which would you rather be in, an insane asylum or prison? Why?


  1. What superhero would improve the world most if he/she existed?


  1. If you could make one thing illegal, what would it be?


  1. Have you ever smiled at a stranger and then wished you hadn’t? Why or why not?


  1. Have you ever intentionally broken the law? When, where, and how?


  1. If you were given only one week to live, how would you spend it?

Thought Provoking Questions in Life




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