Ideas Quotes - Famous Top 100

Ideas Quotes

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Ideas Quotes
Harold, like the rest of us, had many impressions which saved him the trouble of distinct ideas.

George Eliot

He was distinguished for ignorance; for he had only one idea, and that was wrong.

Benjamin Disraeli

Human life is driven forward by its dim apprehension of notions too general for its existing language.

Alfred North Whitehead

I had a monumental idea this morning, but I didn't like it.

Samuel Goldwyn

I have never had so many good ideas day after day as when I worked in the garden.


I tell you that as long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it into existence or clearing the way for it.

George Bernard Shaw

Ideas are a capital that bears interest only in the hands of talent.

Antoine Rivarol

Ideas are fatal to caste.

E. M. Forster

Ideas are great arrows, but there has to be a bow. And politics is the bow of idealism.


Ideas are invented only as correctives to the past. Through repeated rectification of this kind one may hope to disengage an idea that is valid.

Gaston Bachelard

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas.

Josef Stalin, (attributed)

Ideas are refined and multiplied in the commerce of minds. In their splendor, images effect a very simple communion of souls.

Gaston Bachelard

Ideas are the factors that lift civilization. They create revolutions. There is more dynamite in an idea than in many bombs.

John H. Vincent

Ideas are the roots of creation.

Ernest Dimnet

Ideas are, in truth, force.

Henry James

Ideas can be life-changing. Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea.

Jim Rohn

Ideas control the world.

James Garfield

Ideas have consequences and bad ideas can have lethal consequences.

George Weigel

Ideas lose themselves as quickly as quail, and one must wing them the minute they rise out of the grass, or they are gone.

Thomas F. Kennedy

Ideas move fast when their time comes.

Carolyn Heilbrun

Ideas must work through the brains and the arms of good and brave men, or they are no better than dreams.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ideas not coupled with action never become bigger than the brain cells they occupied.

Arnold Glasgow

Ideas that enter the mind under fire remain there securely and for ever.

Leon Trotsky

Ideas too are a life and a world.

G. C. (Georg Christoph) Lichtenberg

Ideas won't work unless you do.

Source Unknown

Ideas, as distinguished from events, are never unprecedented.

Hannah Arendt

Ideas... they have the power

Napoleon Hill

If a man had as many ideas during the day as he does when he has insomnia, he would make a fortune.

Griff Niblack

If I have a thousand ideas and only one turns out to be good, I am satisfied.

Alfred Nobel

If I were required to guess off-hand, and without collusion with higher minds, what is the bottom cause of the amazing material and intellectual advancement of the last fifty years, I should guess that it was the modern-born and previously non-existent disposition on the part of men to believe that a new idea can have value.


If you are possessed by an idea, you find it expressed everywhere, you even smell it.

Thomas Mann

If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.


If you have the same ideas as everybody else but have them one week earlier than everyone else then you will be hailed as a visionary. But if you have them five years earlier you will be named a lunatic.

Barry Jones

If you make people think they're thinking, they'll love you. If you really make them think, they'll hate you.


If you pray for only one thing, .let it be for an idea.

Percy Sutton

If you want to get across an idea, wrap it up in a person.

Ralph Bunche

I'm not impressed with the power of a corporate president. I am impressed with the power of ideas.

Ken Mason

In every great time there is some one idea at work which is more powerful than any other, and which shapes the events of the time and determines their ultimate issues.

Francis Bacon

Intuition and concepts constitute ... the elements of all our knowledge, so that neither concepts without an intuition in some way corresponding to them, nor intuition without concepts, can yield knowledge.


It doesn't matter how new an idea is: what matters is how new it becomes.

Elias Canetti

It first appeared like a crazy idea. It turned out he had a great idea.

J. Richard Munro

It is a lesson which all history teaches wise men, to put trust in ideas, and not in circumstances.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil.

John Maynard Keynes

It is not always by plugging away at a difficulty and sticking to it that one overcomes it; often it is by working on the one next to it. Some things and some people have to be approached obliquely, at an angle.


It is the nature of thought to find its way into action.

Christian Nevell Bovee

It is useless to send armies against ideas.

George Brandes

It isn't easy for an idea to squeeze itself into a head filled with prejudice.

Source Unknown

It isn't where you come from, it's where you're going that counts.


It's a pretty good idea to be of good cheer but not all the time. Just at the most unexpected times.

Source Unknown

It's easy to come up with new ideas; the hard part is letting go of what worked for you two years ago, but will soon be out-of-date.

Roger Von Oech

It's very good for an idea to be commonplace. The important thing is that a new idea should develop out of what is already there so that it soon becomes an old acquaintance. Old acquaintances aren't by any means always welcome, but at least one can't be mistaken as to who or what they are.

Penelope Fitzgerald

Just once in a while let us exalt the importance of ideas and information.


Labor gives birth to ideas.

Jim Rohn

Little words hurt big ideas.

Howard W. Newton

Long is the road from conception to completion.


Lots of people know a good thing the minute the other fellow sees it first.

Job E. Hodges

Man's fear of ideas is probably the greatest dike holding back human knowledge and happiness.

Morris L. Ernst

Man's mind, stretched by a new idea, never goes back to its original dimensions.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Many ideas are good for a limited time -- not forever.

Robert Townsend

Many ideas grow better when transplanted into another mind than in the one where they sprung up.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

Men who accomplish great things in the industrial world are the ones who have faith in the money producing power of ideas.

Charles Fillmore

Mere words are cheap and plenty enough, but ideas that rouse and set multitudes thinking come as gold for the mines.

A. Owen Penny

Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.

Thomas Sowell

Neither man or nation can exist without a sublime idea.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Never hesitate to steal a good idea.

Al Neuharth

New ideas come into this world somewhat like falling meteors, with a flash and an explosion, and perhaps somebody

Henry David Thoreau, Letter, to Daniel Ricketson, in The Writings of Henry David Thoreau, vol. 6, p. 312, Houghton Mifflin (1906)., August 18, 1857

New ideas come into this world somewhat like falling meteors, with a flash and an explosion, and perhaps somebody

Sarah Bernhardt, The Art of the Theatre, ch. 3, 1923

No idea is so antiquated that it was not once modern. No idea is so modern that it will not some day be antiquated... To seize the flying thought before it escapes us is our only touch with reality.

Ellen Glasgow

Nobody can be so amusingly arrogant as a young man who has just discovered an old idea and thinks it is his own.


Not just in commerce but in the world of ideas too our age is putting on a veritable clearance sale. Everything can be had so dirt cheap that one begins to wander whether in the end anyone will want to make a bid.


Nothing dies harder than a bad idea.

Julie Cameron

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when it is the only idea we have.

Henri Alban-Fournier, Libers-propos (1908-14)

Nothing is more dangerous than an idea, when you only have one.

Alain Chartier

Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight.

Thomas Carlyle

Often quoted in forms that correspond only loosely to Hugo's original words, for example: No army can withstand the strength of an idea whose time has come. An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of a revelation.

William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience

Old ideas give way slowly; for they are more than abstract logical forms and categories, they are habits, predispositions, deeply ingrained attitudes of diversion and preference.

John Dewey, The Influence of Darwinism on Philosophy, 1909

On the other hand, the concept owes its meaning and its justification exclusively to the totality of the sense impressions which we associate with it.

Albert Einstein

Once I thought ideas were exceptions not the rule. That is not so. Ideas are so plentiful that they ride by on air. You've only to reach out and snatch one...

Rod Mckeun

One of the most important reasons for living is to do something - live outside of yourself and put together an idea, an idea that you want to explore and then complete... Awaken your creative sensitivities!

Jack Palance

Our greatest lack is not money for any undertaking, but rather ideas, If the ideas are good, cash will somehow flow to where it is needed.

Robert H. Schuller

Our lack of compassion stems from our inability to see deeply into the nature of things.


People find ideas a bore because they do not distinguish between live ones and stuffed ones on a shelf.

Ezra Pound, Guide to Kulchur, pt. 1, sct. 1, ch. 5, 1938

People will accept your ideas much more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.

David H Comins

Put the argument into a concrete shape, into an image, some hard phrase, round and solid as a ball, which they can see and handle and carry home with them, and the cause is half won.


Repeat anything often enough and it will start to become you.

Tom Hopkins

So long as new ideas are created, sales will continue to reach new highs.

Dorothea Brande

Some people entertain ideas; others put them to work.

Source Unknown

Sometimes the best, and only effective, way to kill an idea is to put it into practice.

Sydney J. Harris

Such as take lodgings in a head that's to be let unfurnished.

Samuel Butler

Take the obvious, add a cupful of brains, a generous pinch of imagination, a bucketful of courage and daring, stir well and bring to a boil.

Bernard Baruch

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.

Linus Pauling

The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.


The books which help you most are those which make you think the most. The hardest way of learning is by easy reading: but a great book that comes from a great thinker -- it is a ship of thought, deep freighted with truth and with beauty.


The difference between people and ideas is... only superficial.

Richard Rorty

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.

John Maynard Keynes

The greatest achievements of the human mind are generally received with distrust.

Arthur Schopenhauer

The human mind treats a new idea the way the body treats a strange protein; it rejects it.

Sir Peter Medawar

The idea is in my head to put it down is nothing.

Milton Avery

The idea that is not dangerous is not worthy of being called an idea at all.

Elbert Hubbard

The ideas dictate everything, you have to be true to that or you're dead.

David Lynch

The ideas I stand for are not mine. I borrowed them from Socrates. I swiped them from Chesterfield. I stole them from Jesus. And I put them in a book. If you don't like their rules, whose would you use?

Dale Carnegie

The ideas of a time are like the clothes of a season: they are as arbitrary, as much imposed by some superior will which is seldom explicit. They are utilitarian and political, the instruments of smooth-running government.

Percy Wynham Lewis

The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.

John Maynard Keynes

The mark of highest originality lies in the ability to develop a familiar idea so fruitfully that it would seem no one else would ever have discovered so much to be hidden in it.

Johann von Goethe

The most important thing in science is not so much to obtain new facts as to discover new ways of thinking about them.

Sir William Bragg

The only force that can overcome an idea and a faith is another and better idea and faith, positively and fearlessly upheld.


The people who oppose your ideas are inevitably those who represent the established order that your ideas will upset.

Anthony D'Angelo

The point, simply, is that we are doing more rediscovering these days than discovering coming anew upon truths that ignorant people refused to examine, over the centuries, because the wise people who held custody of the fundamental truths of nature were unpopular.

John Williamson

The public interest is best served by the free exchange of ideas.

John Kane

The simple joy of taking an idea into one's own hands and giving it proper form, that's exciting.

George Nelson

The thinker dies, but his thoughts are beyond the reach of destruction. Men are mortal, but ideas are immortal.

William Lippmann

The value of an idea has nothing whatsoever to do with the sincerity of the man who expresses it. Indeed, the probabilities are that the more insincere the man is, the more purely intellectual will the idea be, as in that case it will not be coloured by either his wants, his desires, or his prejudices.

Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, ch. 1 Lord Henry speaking, 1891

The value of an idea lies in the using of it.

Thomas Alva Edison

The vitality of thought is in adventure. Ideas won't keep. Something must be done about them. When the idea is new, its custodians have fervor, live for it, and if need be, die for it.

Alfred North Whitehead

The whole visible world is only an imperceptible atom in the ample bosom of nature. No idea approaches it.

Blaise Pascal

The wise only possess ideas; the greater part of mankind are possessed by them.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

The world moves, and ideas that were good once are not always good.

Source Unknown

There are well-dressed foolish ideas, just as there are will-dressed fools.

Sebastian Roch Nicolas Chamfort

There is no adequate defense, except stupidity, against the impact of a new idea.

P. W. Bridgman

There is no prosperity, trade, art, city, or great material wealth of any kind, but if you trace it home, you will find it rooted in a thought of some individual man. --

Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is nothing in the world more powerful than an idea. No weapon can destroy it; no power can conquer it except the power of another idea.

James R. Smith

There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.

Victor Hugo

There never was an idea started that woke up men out of their stupid indifference but its originator was spoken of as a crank.

Oliver Wendell Holmes

They come into being not through demonstration but through revelation, through the medium of powerful personalities.

Albert Einstein

Think for thyself one good idea, but known to be thine own, is better than a thousand gleaned from fields by others sown.

Alexander Wilson

Thinking is easy, acting is difficult, and to put one's thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world.


To begin with, you must realize that any idea accepted by the brain is automatically transformed into an action of some sort. It may take seconds or minutes or longer -- but ideas always produce a reaction of some sort.

Scott Reed

To have a great idea, have a lot of them.

Thomas Alva Edison

To love an idea is to love it a little more than one should.

Jean Rostand, Carnets d'un Biologiste (repr. in The Substance of Man, 1962; p. 181).

Too many people run out of ideas long before they run out of words.

Source Unknown

Very simple ideas lie within the reach only of complex minds

Remy De Gourmont

We are governed not by armies, but by ideas.

Mona Caird

We are prisoners of ideas.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

We have some great ideas, but most of 'em come too late to do us any good.

Will Rogers

We like to test things... no matter how good an idea sounds, test it first.

Henry Block

What you need is an idea.

William P. Lear

Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.

Earl Nightingale

When an idea reaches critical mass there is no stopping the shift its presence will induce.

Marianne Williamson

When I am...traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep; it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

When patterns are broken, new worlds can emerge.

Tuli Kupferberg

You affect your subconscious mind by verbal repetition.

W. Clement Stone

You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea.

Medgar Evers

You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea.


You have to hatch ideas -- and then hitch them.

Ray D. Everson

You look at any giant corporation, and I mean the biggies, and they all started with a guy with an idea, doing it well.

Irvine Robbins

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