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www.habitsofmind.org www.mindfulbydesign.com THINKING ABOUT THINKING (METACOGNITION) “I thank the Lord for the brain He




“I thank the Lord for the brain He put in my head. Occasionally, I love to just stand to one side and watch how it works.”


Richard Bolles

“To be able to be caught up into the world of thought, that is being educated.”


Edith Hamilton

"To be able to concentrate for a considerable time is essential to difficult achievement."


Bertrand Russell

"If you think you can, you can. And if you think you can't, you're right."


Mary Kay Ash

"I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think."



"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide."



“To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is disease.”


Lao Tsu

"Learn to depend upon yourself by doing things in accordance with your own way of thinking."

Grenville Kleiser

“Everything we do consciously remains for us.”

Gurdjieff and Ouspinsky

“When the mind is thinking it is talking to itself”


The whole, though it be long, stands almost complete and finished in my mind so that I can survey it at a glance. Nor do I hear in my imagination the parts successively, but I hear them, as it were, all at once. What delight this is I cannot tell!

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"Human thought is a process by which human ends are ultimately answered."

Daniel Webster

“Keep in mind always the present your are constructing. It should be the future you want.”


Alice Walker

“If the head is ready, the body will follow. “


Alexander Popov

“Most people would sooner die than think; in fact they do so.”


Bertrand Russell

"The only place where your dream becomes impossible is in your own thinking."


Robert H. Schuller

“I really lack the words to compliment myself today.”


Alberto Tomba

“Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.”


Frank Outlaw

"Creativity, my students learn, is as natural a function of the mind as breathing or digestion are natural functions of the body."


John Kao

“I believe everybody is creative, and everybody is talented. I just don’t think that everybody is disciplined. I think that’s a rare commodity.”


Al Hirschfield

"If I look confused it's because I'm thinking."


Samuel Goldwyn

"Each day, and the living of it, has to be a conscious creation in which discipline and order are relieved with some play and some pure foolishness."

May Sarton

"The temple of our purest thoughts is silence."

Sarah J. Hale

"I cannot always control what goes on outside. But I can always control what goes on inside."


Wayne Dyer

“If you had a friend who talked to you, like you sometimes talk to yourself, would you continue to hang around with that person?"


Rob Bremer

"To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting."


Edmund Burke

"Once we know our weaknesses they cease to do us any harm."


Georg C. Lichtenberg

"This moment deserves your full attention, for it will not pass your way again."


Dan Millman

"Optimism is an intellectual choice."


Diana Schneider

"He who knows others is wise; / He knows himself is enlightened."



"A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows."


John Powell

"When every physical and mental resources is focused - one's power to solve a problem multiplies tremendously."

Norman Vincent Peale

"To do good things in the world, first you must know who you are and what gives meaning to your life."

Paula Brownlee

“Only the human brain can deliberately change perceptions, change patterns, invent concepts and tolerate ambiguity.”

Edward de Bono

“If your struggle with the conflicting parts of yourself is conscious, you are able to choose consciously the response that will create the karma that you desire. You will be able to bring to bear upon your decision an awareness of what lies behind each choice, and the consequences of each choice, and choose accordingly. When you enter into your decision-making dynamic

consciously, you insert your will consciously into the creative cycle through which your soul evolves, and you enter consciously into your own evolution.”

Gary Zukav

"Once in a while you have to take a break and visit yourself."

Audrey Giorgi

“The brain’s capacity and desire to make or elicit patterns of meaning is one of the keys of brain-based learning. We never really understand something until we can create a model or metaphor derived from our unique personal world. Learning and memory are influenced by the sets, intentions and plans generated in the neocortex of the brain as well as by the information received from the immediate environment and from internal states, drives, and muscular responses. The reality we perceive, feel, see and hear is influenced by the constructive processes of the brain as well as by the cues that impinge upon it.”

Merlin C. Wittrock

“The field of consciousness is tiny. It accepts only one problem at a time.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

"A man is what he thinks about all day long."

--Ralph Waldo Emerson

"I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor."

Henry David Thoreau

"Your mind is a very small, yet potent part of you. Control it, focus it and nourish it with positive thoughts that resonate with your authentic self."

--Brian Koslow

“I’ve reached the moment where the movement of my thought interests me more than the thought itself.”

Pablo Picasso

"I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them."

Pablo Picasso

"Your mind is a very small, yet potent part of you. Control it, focus it, and nourish it with positive thoughts that resonate with your authentic self."

Brian Koslow

It isn't what people think that is important, but the reason they think what they think."

Eugene Ionesco

Mortimer Adler educator

“A wise skepticism is the first attribute of a good critic."

James Russell Lowell


These quotes originally compiled by Emeritus Professor Art Costa. Also available at www.instituteforhabitsofmind.com