As a personal coach, I use probing deep questions about life all the time to help clients uncover deeper insights about themselves, find their life passions, and challenge their limiting beliefs.
But you don’t need a life coach to help you do this. You can learn how to ask yourself questions that make you think in the same way a coach may ask, which will teach you how to be introspective and become emotionally unstuck.
It can help you stop feeling like you have lost your way and learn coping mechanisms to overcome stress. The right questions may also help you realize why you feel stuck or feel constantly stressed.
Deep thought questions let you organize your thinking. develop analytical thinking skills, and define your priorities and values.
If you want to jump into a list of thoughtful questions, grab a journal to write down your answers to some philosophical questions I’ve included in this post.
After you’ve completed your answers, save the journal to revisit your answers in six months or a year to see if anything has changed in your life as a result.
Here are 31 thought-provoking questions about life.
Deep Philosophical Questions
1. What should be humanity’s goal?
Should everyone on the planet be striving toward a common goal? If so, what would that be?
Can you think of something that everyone could agree on, despite the chaotic world we live in?
Thinking about this question could help you formulate your own long-term goals.
2. How will humans become extinct?
Will it be an environmental disaster? A rampant disease? Or maybe you think a meteor will hit the earth that is large enough to ruin the entire planet.
Do you think humans will last another 1,000 years?
No matter how you think this may happen, considering this question may urge you to live your life each day to the fullest extent.
3. If a child grows up in the wilderness with no human contact, what human tendencies would he or have, considering the lack of influence of society and culture?
Do you think they would develop their own language? Or physically develop in ways that are different to people who adapt to a traditional living environment?
Depending on how old they were, do you think they could be taught to live as a normal human?
Think about how developed you are and all of the abilities and knowledge you have gained from growing up in a formal society.
4. If you could teach the entire world just one concept, what would it be?
What concept do you think could have the most significant positive impact on humanity?
Maybe it would be to think before you speak or to mind your own business? What about teaching people to not make assumptions or the importance of having compassion?
Answering this question will help you figure out what concepts are most important to you.
5. Is mankind going in the right or wrong direction?
Have humans figured out how to keep progressing towards something better?
Or are we moving backward and should revert back to the values and lifestyles of those who lived before us?
Thinking about this can help you determine if you as an individual are going in the right direction.
6. Is it better for someone to have a wide range of superficial knowledge or a deep knowledge about a few things?
What if there were no professionals in any given subject, but everyone knew a little bit about everything?
Would this benefit our society in any way?
Do you think there is a chance that some people who have a deep knowledge base about a subject actually have it all wrong?
Think about the subjects in which you consider yourself to be an expert.
7. How can we judge ourselves by our intentions yet judge others by their actions?
Can we ever believe someone when they say their intentions are different from their actions? What if someone’s intentions were truly transparent?
This philosophical question will help you think deeply about how your intentions match up with your actions.
8. What is the biggest waste of human potential?
There are so many possible answers to this question, but which do you believe is the truest?
Is it not sharing your wisdom with other people? Not spreading knowledge? Is it engaging in traditional schooling where children are confined to desks for most of the day?
Where do you think the world is going wrong with human potential? Consider any potential you have that you may be wasting.
9. Why are people resistant to doing things that we know are healthy but crave things that are detrimental to our health?
This often happens in many different areas of our lives. We would rather lay down in front of the television than exercise. We want to reach for that piece of pizza instead of the salad. We fall back into toxic relationships instead of moving on.
Why does it often feel better to do what is unhealthy than it does to do what is healthy? Think about ways you can motivate yourself to pick up healthy habits.
10. Because the human memory is known to be very unreliable, how do you know which of your memories are real and which are only partly true?
What if one of your long-held memories isn’t actually completely true? Does it matter?
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Considering this deep thought question will help you recognize that you could be wrong or partly wrong about things you believe to be true. It can help you challenge your beliefs and look at other perspectives.
11. If there were no laws or rules in this world to influence your behavior, what do you think your behavior would look like?
Do you think you would have been shaped differently over time to become someone who does things that are illegal in our society?
Are you born with morals that keep you from doing harm to others or do you develop them because of the laws and rules that are put into place?
Deep Questions About Life
12. Is there a meaning to life?
If so, what is it? More specifically, is there a meaning to your life?
Why were you put on this planet, and what are you supposed to accomplish before your life is over?
Think about what is personally meaningful to you.
13. What would the world look like if there was no such thing as human suffering?
If there was no human suffering, does that mean there would never be a need for compassion either?
Would a super happy society be beneficial for the whole world?
What would be some downfalls?
Think about how suffering in the past may have benefited you in the long run.
14. What truths do you choose to ignore?
Are there certain truths in your life that may be a bit harsh that you prefer to not think about?
For example, you might know that money will not buy you happiness, but you continue to seek new ways to become rich.
If so, you are choosing to ignore the fact that your true happiness lies elsewhere.
15. Does fate exist?
If so, does that mean we really don’t have free will?
What force is really determining our future? Answering this interesting question will inspire you to guide yourself toward what you want.
16. What circumstances in your life will have the longest lasting consequences? How long will this impact you?
Perhaps it’s the career you chose to pursue or running into your future spouse in line at the bank.
What instances really had a domino effect on the rest of your life? Think about how one little event can impact the rest of your life.
17. Where do you get your self-worth?
Is it from the acceptance of other people? High achievement or success in your career field?
What lets you know each day that you are an important part of this world?
Find your source of self-worth so you know what makes you feel valuable and deserving.
18. Would the world become better or worse if people only focused on what is going well instead of what is going wrong?
Would this mean that critical problems would be ignored and continue to grow?
If people always saw the bright side of things, would it allow them to be happier or would they be burying their heads in the sand?
19. Knowing that there may be many more universes than our own, how does this impact your view of our place as humans on one small planet?
Do you view the human race on our Earth as the only possible intelligent life in the multiverse?
Fun Thought Provoking Questions
21. How do you think your future self will remember your current self?
We all look back into our pasts thinking, “I can’t believe I did that…” (or thought that, or cared so much about that).
What is something that is a key factor in your life today that you think will change over time and you will look back on with a bit of embarrassment, regret, or shame?
Thinking about this may help you change some of your current habits.
22. What activities inspire you to feel like you are living your life to the fullest?
When do you truly feel alive? Maybe this is when you are traveling, being spontaneous, running a marathon, or chasing your kids around the park.
What really makes you feel you’re taking advantage of the time you have on Earth? Do more of these things to give yourself the fullest life possible.
23. If you only had two questions to ask someone to get the most information you could about who they truly are, what would they be?
Let’s say you finally got the chance to meet someone who you have always looked up to, or maybe you just ran into the person who seems like they could be the love of your life.
If you had only two questions to ask them, and they had to answer completely truthfully, what would those questions be?
This inspirational question may cause you to consider the life questions that someone might ask you to sum up the essence of who you are.
24. What life-altering experiences should everyone experience at least once?
Maybe this is seeing all seven wonders of the world or having the opportunity to earn a degree in any field of their choice.
25. If freedom is about being able to do whatever you want, do animals have more freedom than humans?
There are no rules for animals. No taxes, no schedule, no daily expectations. Does this mean that they are truly free?
Think about your own freedom and the things in life that may be holding you back.
26. What will technology look like in 100 years?
Think about the absence of technology a century ago. Cars were new, cell phones were far from being invented, and computers were still a few decades away from making their appearance.
What kinds of things might we have 100 years from now that we could only imagine existing? What would you like to see be invented?
27. How does art benefit society?
What role does it really play and how does it impact our everyday lives? What kinds of art should everyone be exposed to?
How has art and other creative endeavors shaped and enhanced your life?
28. How would people react if an alien ended up on the Earth?
Some people might be terrified of an alien, while others would be curious and friendly.
Knowing that people often fear and distrust anyone who is “different,” do you think aliens would be mistreated or welcomed by society (assuming the aliens are friendly)?
29. What do the recurring themes in your dreams mean?
We all have some sort of recurring dream. What is yours and what do you make of it?
Can you relate it to your life somehow? Think about the events in your life and if they are playing out in your dreams.
What do you think your dreams are trying to tell you or make you understand?
30. What would life look like if you never told a lie?
Not even a white lie or an exaggeration. Not even telling just a “half” truth.
What would your life look like today if you had been completely honest with everyone you ever came into contact with?
Consider the smalls lies you tell and how they benefit you or possibly hurt you.
31. How would humanity change if the life expectancy of humans was 500 years?
Would people slow things down a bit and not rush through every phase of their lives? Would they have several career and marriages?
How would this life expectancy impact society, our population, and the way we live our daily lives?
What would change for you today if you had that much time left to live?
Asking yourself these life questions is a great way to explore your deep thoughts, beliefs, fears, and intentions.
What are some thought-provoking questions that you’d like to share that have impacted your life? What questions would you like to ask yourself to dig deeper into a specific area of your psyche?