What are some good thought provoking questions?
Social media and television constantly tempt us to live life on the surface. To make it worse, the busyness of our daily lives drowns out the voice inside us.
When was the last time you pondered a deep issue? Or thought about what your soul is aching for?
If it’s been a while, these thought provoking questions are just what you need to dig deeper into your life. They make for excellent journaling questions or meaningful conversations with loved ones.
Benefits & When To Ask Deep Thought Questions
In a recent study, researchers found that people benefit from deep and meaningful conversations, even though they often shy away from them. Thought-provoking conversations led to a deeper sense of connection and were more enjoyable to people than small talk (American Psychological Association).
So, where can you employ these questions?
- At the dinner table
- During family night
- In your journal (asking yourself these questions can be a huge catalyst for growth)
- While on vacation
- Waiting for things (instead of pulling out your phone right away, engage with others)
- Out with a group of friends
Use the table of contents below and you’ll find deep thought questions for all groups – kids, teens, coworkers, and more!
Thought Provoking Questions For Kids & Students
First, if you engage with kids often, these questions will help them open up about things they may not normally discuss.
1. If you could only read one book for an entire year, which book would you choose?
2. What is the most difficult rule to follow at home or at school?
3. What’s something you wish adults understood better about kids?
4. What are you looking forward to this week or next?
5. What’s the happiest memory you have?
6. What do you like most about school?
7. What do you dislike most about school?
8. If you could have a clubhouse or secret room in your home, what would it look like and what would you use it for?
9. What’s the best thing about being who you are?
10. What is a hard thing you’ve been through, but in time it has made you stronger?
11. If you could pick only three things to teach in school, (that you think are the most useful to kids) what would they be?
12. Were you bored today? What do you like to do when you’re bored?
13. What do you think is the best invention ever made?
14. What’s a goal that you’ve accomplished recently?
15. What do you want to be when you grow up?
16. What makes your family unique from others?
17. What’s one skill you’ve learned in the last year that you didn’t know before?
18. If you could have dinner with three people you don’t know, who would you choose?
19. If you could have one superpower, which would you choose? Why?
20. What’s one thing we could do to end bullying?
21. What are the main qualities that make someone a good friend?
22. What’s one thing you do to make the world a better place?
23. Do you think it’s possible to never make mistakes?
24. Why do you think people are so afraid of making mistakes?
25. If you could switch places with someone for a day, who would it be?
Thought Provoking Questions For Teens
Next, bring teenagers out of their shells to discuss ideas and inner beliefs.
26. Do you believe in fate, or do you think we choose our own paths?
27. What one thing would you hoard if you knew it wasn’t going to be made anymore?
28. If you were given $5,000, but you had to spend it all in a week, what would you buy?
29. Do you think it’s ok for boys and men to cry?
30. If you could be fluent in multiple languages, which languages would you want them to be?
31. If you could ask one person (dead or alive) one question, what would you ask?
32. What do you think is the hardest job in the world? What’s the easiest job?
33. What do you think is the grossest job in the world?
34. What song makes you feel that you can take on the world? Why do you think that is?
35. If you were to grow up and be rich and famous, what would you want to be rich and famous for?
36. If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?
37. What do you think are the three most important things to living a good life?
38. What are three things you think we could do to get rid of hate in our culture?
39. Would you rather have one million dollars today or a penny doubled every day for 30 days? (Find out how much the penny’s worth here)
40. What’s something you’ve done recently that made someone’s life better?
41. At what age do you think a kid becomes an adult?
42. If you suddenly had the eyes and ears of millions of people, what message would you say to them?
43. What has the fear of failure stopped you from doing?
44. Would you rather excel in one area (A+) or be average in many (Cs)?
45. What makes someone “walk their talk” in your eyes?
(Lots of people say things that they don’t do. Who do you know who backs their words up with actions?)
46. What’s a hobby you’d love to learn in the future?
47. Do you think social media helps maintain teen relationships or hurts them?
48. What do you think are our most important human rights?
49. What does your perfect day look like?
50. What do you miss most from when you were younger?
Open-Ended Thought Provoking Questions
These thought provoking questions are about everything you can think of. They center more on the world at large than a person’s day-to-day life.
51. Has anything ever happened to you that you couldn’t explain?
52. What do you think of people who’ve died (and come back to life) and say they’ve seen the other side?
53. How do you think the universe came to be?
54. What do you think we could do as a society to progress gender equality?
55. What do you think we could do as a society to progress racial equality?
56. Do you think it will ever be possible to end world hunger?
57. What’s one law that you think needs to be changed?
58. Do you think boys and girls (or men and women) are good at the same things?
59. Why do you think so many people are afraid of failure?
60. What does the “American Dream” mean to you?
56. Do you think that what you believe (politics, religion, financial beliefs, life perspective) is determined by your environment?
57. What do you think life would be like if we all held the same exact beliefs?
58. If you could change three things about our world, what would they be?
59. If the average human life span was 200 years, do you think life would be different? How so?
60. Do you think there are ever situations where it’s better to be ignorant?
61. Is more always better? And does our society impact how we see this?
62. Do you think there’s any truth in your zodiac sign?
63. Is suffering a necessary part of life? What would happen if you never suffered?
64. Do you think humans as a species will ever learn to celebrate the differences of others? Instead of prejudice, bias, etc.?
65. Do you think someone should act a certain way because of their gender or race? (I.E. dress a particular way, have certain interests, etc.)
66. Do you think that social media should have regulations against hate speech?
67. Do you think all governments are corrupt? Why or why not?
68. Do you believe we understand a lot about life on Earth, or that we only know the “tip of the iceberg”?
69. In what ways has technology improved our society?
70. In what ways is technology making our lives worse? (Or introducing new issues?)
71. Is it possible to lie with your eyes?
72. Is there ever a right reason to go to war? What do you think those reasons are?
73. What do you think is the best advice to give children these days?
74. Do you think it’s a good thing that kids get medals for participating? Or should rewards be reserved for excelling?
75. When you are old, what do you think you’ll appreciate most about your life? Do you think you’ll have regrets?
76. How can you make today matter? Five years from today, what will this day have meant for you?
77. Do you think our sleeping dreams are actually an alternate reality? Or is our subconscious trying to tell us something?
78. If our dreams are our subconscious trying to tell us something, what are your dreams trying to tell you?
79. What do you want to make sure is included in the story of your life?
80. If you could take one photograph and keep it with you for the rest of your life, what would it be?
81. What do you think are the ingredients to a happy life?
82. Do you think the five people you spend the most time with really do rub off on you?
83. Why do you think sports players and entertainers make so much more than doctors, teachers, and police officers?
84. What do you think the human race will look like in 100 years? Will we be thriving or perishing?
85. What do you think are the qualities important to being a good leader?
86. When you look into the future, what worries you most?
87. Do you think the world needs more positive thinking? And is there such a thing as “toxic positivity?”
88. What’s a popular invention (or franchise) that you think society would have done better without?
89. Do you think humans will truly colonize Mars one day?
90. Do you believe that your kids or grandkids will have to face the fallout of climate change?
91. Do you think there’s life on other planets?
92. Do you think the human race has ever been contacted by aliens?
93. Do you think our endangered species will still be alive in 100 years? Why or why not?
94. What policies, laws, or incentives do you think could be made to improve people’s health?
95. What’s the biggest lesson you think we should learn from world history?
96. What do you love most about the country you live in?
97. What do you wish was different about the country you live in?
98. What do you think the future of war will look like?
99. How does media shape what we think and do? How has media changed in the last twenty years?
100. Do you think cloning animals and humans will become a part of the future? Why or why not?
Thought Provoking Questions For Adults
Ask these deep thinking questions to coworkers and friends. You’ll learn about what they find deeply important and the path they’d like their life to take. You’ll also learn a lot about yourself, and things you may not have thought about for a time.
101. What is your biggest goal for the next 6-12 months?
102. Does growing older bother you? If it does, why?
103. What do you do during your free time?
104. What book has made a huge impact on your life? Why?
105. If you were to be “happy,” what would that look like for you?
106. What are three good habits you’d like to create in the next year?
107. What’s one habit you’d like to break in the next month?
108. If you could write a letter to your 18-year-old self, what would you tell him or her?
109. When the busyness of life gets away from you, what important “balls” do you tend to drop?
110. What’s one big life lesson that you’ve learned recently?
111. What is something that seems impossible now, but you think will become possible in your lifetime?
112. What simple life pleasure brought you joy today?
113. Are you the master or the slave to your cell phone?
114. When was the last time you tried something new? What did you do?
115. What quality do you wish you possessed more of?
116. In what cases do you think a picture is worth a thousand words? Have you seen a photo that made you feel this way?
117. If you could change one thing about your childhood, what would it be?
118. Are rules meant to be followed or meant to be broken?
119. What is the most valuable thing you learned from your parents?
120. Thought provoking questions: What have been your “wins” lately that are worth celebrating?
121. Where do you see yourself in five years?
122. We know how short life is. So, why do so many people spend years doing things they don’t want to do?
123. If you knew you only had three more years to live, what would you do differently today?
124. Who is the strongest person you know? What makes that person so strong?
125. What is the number one thing you want to accomplish in your lifetime?
126. Do you practice gratitude? Why or why not? And how often?
127. Do you think it’s important to forgive others?
128. What is one great skill you have?
129. Have you ever had a near-death experience? What happened?
130. In your eyes, what are the pros and cons of religion?
131. Do you think animals feel just as we feel?
132. What’s a belief you have that a lot of people disagree with?
133. Would you ever be open to adopting a child?
134. Would you ever be open to fostering children in your home?
135. What have you done to help someone recently?
136. What things make you happiest in life right now?
137. What things would you pay good money to avoid in your life?
138. What’s a question that you asked yourself today?
139. How do you know if it’s time to buckle down or let go of something?
140. Is it ever ok to break the law?
141. If you had to move away from where you live now, what would you miss most about your old place?
142. How is it different raising a boy and raising a girl in today’s world?
143. Do you think our society places a higher value on being an attractive woman? Why or why not?
144. How have you changed in the last few years?
145. Do you give time or money to any causes you believe in? Why or why not?
146. Does giving (to friends, family, and organizations) make you a better person? Why or why not?
147. Does travel make you a better person? Why or why not?
148. What’s the best decision you’ve made in your life so far?
149. What situations make you most uncomfortable?
150. When was the last time you realized that you had a bias you didn’t know existed?
I recently attended a field trip with my elementary daughter to a high school. For many years, I had considered the high school to be “rough” and one that I wouldn’t send my kids to. Yet, the teens hosting the event were amazing! They were responsible, helpful, and kind. I was ashamed to realize that I’d made preconceived judgments.
Deep Thinking Questions About Life
Next, these are thought provoking questions that make you think hard. There’s no getting around how deep and meaningful this can be in your life.
151. What gives you purpose?
152. What has been the most defining moment in your life (up until this point)?
153. Do you think there’s such a thing as “karma?” And does it come back around?
154. When it comes down to it, are you spending your life doing what is right, or doing what is easy?
155. Do you believe in God? The Divine Universe? Or any kind of ultimate creator?
156. What do you think happens to us after we die?
157. When was the last time you made a dream of yours come true?
158. Do you think everyone is a little bit crazy?
159. If today was the last day of your life, how would you spend your day?
160. If your life was made into a novel, what kind of a book would it be? How would you want your story to end?
161. Name one simple truth about life.
162. In what area of life do you let fear rule you?
163. What experiences in your life do you think you’ll cherish when you’re old?
164. Are you a believer or do you need to see something to believe it?
165. What one thing would you regret not doing in your life?
166. Are you happy with where you are in life right now?
167. When do you feel most like who you were meant to be?
168. Do you think sometimes you don’t allow yourself to be happy?
169. What dreams have you put on hold, but maybe you need to dust off again?
170. When you think of “home,” what does that look like for you?
171. Are you happy with what you’ve done in your life so far?
172. If you could live one day of your life over again, which day would it be?
173. In what situations would you give up your life to save someone else?
174. What legacy do you want to leave with the world? What’s the impact you hope you’ve had?
175. What things in life are truly worth the wait?
176. Based on your routine over the last week, where can you expect your path to go in the next 3 years?
177. What’s the next big leap that you need to take? And what’s holding you back from taking it?
178. What are the things in life that you think a person has to experience firsthand before they truly understand?
179. If you found out that you were dying, is there anything you would regret that you didn’t do?
180. Through the craziness of life, who are the people you can count on the most?
181. What did you learn from life today?
182. What are you looking for more and less of in your life?
183. When was the last time you were reminded that life is really quite short?
184. What have you done that ended up hurting someone else? What did you learn from it?
185. Is there anything missing in your life?
186. What’s a decision you’ve made that changed the course of your life?
187. What was your last memorable experience?
188. If you could give every person in the world one gift, but it had to be the same for everyone, what would it be?
189. What’s the best part of growing older? What’s the worst part of growing older?
190. What’s a hard lesson you learned as a kid, but it makes you a much stronger adult?
191. What are you doing today (and every day) to pursue your dreams?
192. In what ways do you sometimes sabotage yourself and your dreams?
193. What is the biggest obstacle that stands in the way of your dreams?
194. What does it mean to fully love someone?
195. What has been the most terrifying experience of your life?
196. Do you think that life rewards the bold? Why or why not?
197. What is something you understand about life now, but you never did when you were younger?
198. What would you do if you achieved all your life goals?
199. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned in life? Are you living true to this lesson?
200. When you read the quote below….which one are you?
Money plays a significant role in your life. So, why not dig a little deeper into your beliefs around it?
201. Do you think money can make you happy?
202. If you had so much money that you didn’t need to work, what would you do with your time?
203. What do you wish you could improve about your relationship with money?
204. If you were to be “successful,” what would that look like for you?
205. Do you think you are only successful if you make a lot of money?
206. What would be your ideal income?
207. Why do you think some people think money is evil?
208. Do you think people with a lot of money get special privileges or have a better life than those who do not?
209. What do you think are the traits that make people successful with money?
210. If you could only pick one financial dream, what would it be?
211. Why do you think so many people say that family is most important, but then spend long hours working instead?
212. What does financial freedom look like for you?
213. What would you NOT do for a million dollars in cash?
214. What are the things that money can’t buy?
215. How much of success is made from talent, and how much from hard work?
216. When you think of success, who do you think of? Why do you think that is?
217. Do you own your material possessions, or does your stuff own you?
218. Do you have a money mentor? (Someone who models where you want to be financially?)
219. What do you spend the majority of your extra money on?
220. Do you think money is the basis of corruption? Why or why not?
221. How do people try to “keep up with the Joneses” without even realizing it?
222. What are your big short and long-term financial goals?
223. Does the worry of money ever keep you up at night?
224. If you had five million dollars in the bank, what would you do differently?
225. If you could 10x your spending in one area, which area would it be?
Thought Provoking Questions to Get to Know Someone New
Getting to know someone can be intimidating. But it doesn’t have to be. Engage with these thought provoking questions.
226. In three words, how would you describe yourself?
227. How would you describe the last three months of your life to someone?
228. When was the last time you sat still and alone with your own thoughts?
229. If you could only go on one more vacation in your life, where would you want to go?
230. What’s one thing you are looking forward to in the next month or two?
231. If you didn’t live where you do now, where would you want to live?
232. Do you believe that your birth order determines your personality?
233. Do you think it’s important for a person to invest in him or herself? How do you?
234. What is your biggest trigger for losing your temper?
235. Have you ever completed a challenge that made you feel proud? (If not, try one of these great 30 day challenges here)
236. Are you addicted to your technology? Why or why not?
237. Does being addicted to devices impact a person’s life?
238. What makes something “good art”?
239. What makes you brighten up when you’re feeling low?
240. What do you see when you look into your future?
241. Do you think that work-life balance is a myth?
242. Name a person in your life whom you admire. Why?
243. What do you wish you had spent more time doing 5 years ago?
244. When you think of “peace,” what does that look like for you?
245. What is an act of kindness or gift you received that you’ll cherish forever?
246. What makes you proud of yourself or others?
247. What are you grateful for about being born in this period of time?
248. What is something that happens in our society that makes you angry?
249. What is one childhood memory that you hold dear? What makes this memory so special?
250. What is the craziest random thing you’ve ever done?
251. What’s the one thing you do that protects your mental health most?
252. What monotonous thing do you really hate doing?
253. What is worth it to never give up on?
254. What’s the difference between settling and accepting? Is there one?
255. What’s something that you do differently than most other people?
256. How do you relieve stress?
257. What gets you up in the morning and makes today worth living?
258. What skill would you like to develop in the next year?
259. What is something that impresses you about people?
260. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
261. What’s the worst advice you’ve ever received?
262. If you could eliminate one responsibility, which would you get rid of?
263. What’s something you are good at, but don’t actually like to do?
264. What do you think will be the biggest struggle for the next generation?
265. When you meet someone new, what do you hope that person sees in you?
266. Who has had the greatest impact on the person you are today?
267. What thing in your life brings out the most passion in you right now?
268. What experience in the last year are you happiest that you had?
269. What would you say motivates you the most when you need a jumpstart?
270. Are you more like your mother or your father?
271. Are you and your siblings similar in personality, or did you all turn out completely different?
272. What did you used to enjoy, but now have little interest in it?
273. Has there ever been a time in your life when you worked crazy hard, but loved it?
274. What is something people judge about you at first glance, but it’s not true?
275. Aside from the obvious “wife” or “father,” what titles define your self-identity?
for more help with getting to know someone better.
Deep Thinking Questions For Couples
Pull out these thought provoking questions for couples on your next date or outing.
276. What’s the fastest way to make your partner smile?
277. What has been a defining moment in your relationship together?
278. What is the trait in your partner that you find sexiest?
279. What trait in your partner do you admire most?
280. Why do some relationships last 50 years while others fall short?
281. Has there ever been a time when you wished you had spoken up but you didn’t?
282. What does it mean to love someone enough to let them go?
283. Do you think your partner can make you happy?
284. When you think of “paradise” what do you think of?
285. What has been the most fun experience you’ve had with your partner in the last year?
286. If your partner spoke to you the way you speak to yourself, would you still be together?
287. What other couple relationship do you admire most? Why?
288. What makes a person beautiful?
289. What’s one positive change you’ve made lately? Has it impacted your relationship?
290. If you could have one day to do whatever you wanted, what would you spend all day doing?
291. What is the number one quality you need to have in a partner?
292. If you had to teach something to your partner, what would you teach?
293. What are the ingredients to a happy long-term relationship?
294. What triggers your jealousy when it comes to your partner?
295. What’s one thing you wish you had the courage to tell your partner?
296. What has been the happiest memory in your relationship?
297. What has been the darkest moment in your relationship?
298. When you feel love for someone, what does that feel like in your body?
299. When was the last time you felt a true, deep connection with your partner?
300. When was there a time in your life that you felt alone? What did you learn from that experience?
Would You Rather Thought Provoking Questions
301. Would you rather live 5 years longer (and do nothing extra) or do 5 big things off your bucket list with the time you have?
302. Would you rather spend a week with someone you admire or spend a week with your best friend?
303. Is it better to constantly procrastinate or would you rather jump into too many things?
304. Would you rather have more money or more time?
305. Would you rather be an overthinker or impulsive person?
306. Would you rather witness an unbelievable event that one one will believe you about or witness a common event that everyone will want to talk to you about?
307. Would you rather have a photographic memory or be as creative as Walt Disney?
308. Would you rather have loved and lost or never have loved at all?
309. Would you rather give up your phone for a week or give up sweets for a month?
310. Would you rather be your own boss but work alone or be an employee but work with a supportive team of people?
311. Would you rather live an exciting glamorous life or a boring but meaningful one?
312. Would you rather discover a way to fix climate change or discover a cure for one disease?
313. Would you rather die before your partner or after your partner?
314. Would you rather feel secure or feel the rush of accomplishing something uncertain?
315. Would you rather be born in the past or born in the future?
316. Would you rather win five million dollars or live to be 200?
317. Do you spend more time thinking about doing things right or doing the right things?
318. Would you rather have many friends who make you feel good or have one deep friend who gives you tough love when you need it?
319. Would you rather make millions of dollars doing something you’re not passionate about or make just enough to get by doing something you love?
320. Would you rather be deaf or have no taste?
321. Would you rather live with people who take life too seriously, or live with people who don’t take life seriously enough?
322. Would you rather get $50 right now, or flip a coin to see if you can win $100?
323. Would you rather lose your old memories or not be able to make new ones?
324. Would you rather have your life story turned into a book or turned into a movie?
325. Would you rather have the body of a five-year-old your whole life, or have the mind of a five-year-old your whole life?
Random, Weird, & Funny Thought Provoking Questions
Finally, this section is for all the odd and random deep thought questions. There are even a few philosophical ones in there!
326. What’s your favorite story to share with others?
327. Have you ever seen a ghost?
328. What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened at school or work?
329. What’s something about you that most people would be surprised to learn?
330. If you had to guess, how many hours a day do you spend watching tv, on social media, and surfing the web?
331. When was the last time you couldn’t stop laughing? What happened?
332. What do you think about when you’re driving around?
333. If you could ask for one wish and have it granted, what would it be?
334. If you could find out when and how you were going to die, would you want to know?
335. Why do you think the shower is such a great time to think?
336. What’s your favorite season? Why?
337. Thought provoking questions: what do you do when you can’t sleep at night?
338. What do you think would be the best way to die?
339. What would be the worst way to die?
340. If you were to become a ghost, who and where would you haunt?
341. What’s your first thought when you wake up in the morning?
342. If you could build the best amusement park in the world, what would it look like?
343. Which of the world’s conspiracy theories do you think is most likely to be true?
344. If you suddenly were able to become immortal, would you want to be?
345. How would the world be different if you had not been born?
346. Do you think it’s possible we actually do live in a Matrix?
347. What’s something that others do that really confuses you?
348. What if mentally unstable people are actually just seeing reality clearly?
349. If you could only save three things from your home, what would they be?
350. Why is it so easy for us to focus on negative events and ignore the positive ones?
351. When was the last time you lied? What did you lie about?
352. What’s a huge lie that you believed to be true for years?
353. What irrational fear in childhood do you sometimes still worry about as an adult?
354. When you need a creative outlet, what do you turn to?
355. What’s your favorite smell in the entire world?
356. What’s your favorite sound in the entire world?
357. What’s your favorite sight in the entire world?
358. Are you good at keeping secrets?
359. Is it ever ok to reveal a secret?
360. Do you believe love at first sight exists?
361. If you could heighten one of your five senses, which one would you intensify? Which one would you dull?
362. Do you think a person is ever truly satisfied?
363. Which one of life’s mysteries do you most wish you knew the answer to?
364. Which do you think has a stronger influence on someone’s life, nature or nurture?
365. If you had the choice, would you choose suffering or choose not to feel anything?
366. Do you think we really walked on the moon?
367. If you could have anything in the world, what would you want?
368. If you could be anything in the world, what would you be?
369. If you could do anything in the world, what would you do?
370. Is there part of yourself that you hide from the world (for fear of judgment)?
371. What’s the weirdest thing you daydream about when your mind needs a break?
372. What ridiculous thing has someone convinced (or tricked) you into doing?
373. Are we the aliens on another planet?
374. If animals could speak, which one do you think would be the rudest?
375. If animals could speak, which one do you think would be the most proper?
Looking for more profoundly inspiring questions? Don’t miss the big list of deep questions here.
To Consider With Thought Provoking Questions
If these deep thinking questions don’t make you consider a life well lived, I don’t know what will. I hope you use them to add meaning to your day.
After all, this life is quite short, are you living it the way you want to?
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