Whether it’s on a long drive, a long walk, or during a quiet night at home, there are moments in life when you’re left with your own thoughts, and when you find that your own thoughts are … not particularly entertaining. Sure, you can go over recent interactions you’ve had and figure out how something you previously thought of as innocuous was actually embarrassing, but you’ve already spent so much time doing that. Isn’t there any other way to entertain your brain?
For those lonely, quiet moments when you need to drown out the noise of the day-to-day and focus your mind on something bigger, weirder, or just more interesting, here are 55 light-hearted, thought-provoking questions. Who knows — maybe you’ll even stumble onto an inspiring idea that will change your life forever.
Questions about your life.
1. What book had the most significant impact on your life?
2. Do you feel older or younger than your age?
3. If you found out the world was ending in a year, how would you spend your time? Remember that the world would be ending in a year for everyone else, too. How would that effect your options?
4. What is the lie you tell yourself most often?
5. What are the day-to-day things you do that really make you feel good? Do you find yourself doing them as often as you’d like to? If no, why not?
6. If there were a way to download your memories into a searchable spreadsheet, would you do it?
7. If you could have a second chance at one event in your life, what would you choose? What would you do differently? How would your life be different now?
8. What is your favorite thing about yourself?
9. What do you wish you could change about yourself?
10. What is keeping you from changing the things you’d like to change about yourself?
11. If you could choose to be any animal, what animal would you choose to be?
12. If you could have the credit for creating any piece of art — painting, or music, or movie, etc. — which piece of art would you choose? And would you choose based on the money and fame that having created the piece of art would get you, or would you choose a piece of art you really loved?
13. About how much time do you think you’ve spent watching TV in your life? And do you think it’s multiple years? How does that make you feel?
14. If you could tell your younger self any one thing, what would it be?
15. In your life, have you been happier when you’ve had a lot of options, or when your options were limited?
16. If you had to make the case that you were living in a Truman Show situation, what evidence would you use?
17. If you could spend a day talking to an animal, what animal would you choose and what would you want to learn from them?
18. If you didn’t have to work to make money, how would you spend your time? What would you do, or create?
19. What is your worst habit, and what is keeping you from dropping it?
20. What superpower would you choose if you were given the ability to develop one superpower?
Questions about the world around you.
21. What do you think the world will look like in 300 years?
22. Would civilization be better off if the internet had never been created?
23. How would you describe the idea of a color?
24. Can you explain to yourself how glass is made?
25. Do you know how a moat is filled with water? Think about how, exactly, the water might get in there.
27. What does it feel like to remember something?
28. Is humanity inherently good or evil?
29. Do you know the anatomy of a turtle? Do you really?
30. Do you remember the first thing you learned about natural science? Do you still know the details of it?
31. If you had to give a speech detailing all of the knowledge you have right now about astronomy, how long do you think the speech would be? What would you say?
32. Do you know what accounts for changing tides?
33. Would you rather spend time floating alone in space, or floating alone at sea?
34. How many internal organs can you name?
35. Many celebrities have tiny little real teeth under their large, perfect fake teeth. Take a second and think about all of those little teeth. What would it be like if suddenly all of the celebrities lost their big fake teeth?
36. How do you think people would react if the moon disappeared?
37. How do you think people would react if we suddenly had two moons?
38. Do you think you’d like living underwater if you suddenly became a mermaid, or would it be too scary?
39. Does it make you mad that trees are more beautiful in their short flowering stages, or are you okay with the fact that we mostly see them with green leaves (or with bare branches)?
40. Do you think you’ve ever seen the same wild animal multiple times?
Questions that are really out there.
41. What if aliens invade our planet and they’re really hot?
42. Do you think it’s scarier to imagine that humans are the most intelligent life form in the universe, or that there is a more intelligent life form out there?
43. Do you think you’ve ever encountered a ghost? If so, how does that impact your belief of an afterlife?
44. If you were a ghost, what location do you think you would haunt? Is it the same or different from the location you’d want to haunt?
45. Do you remember that thing people used to say, about how you swallow eight spiders a year while you sleep? It’s not true, but do you think you’ve swallowed any? What bug do you think you’ve eaten the most of by accident?
46. If you could know everything the U.S. government knows about alien lifeforms and their access to our planet, would you want to know it, or would you rather live in ignorance?
47. Similarly, if ghosts exist, and they populate your living space, would you rather be able to see them or would you prefer they stay invisible to your eye?
48. What is the most life-changing decision you’ve ever made on a whim? Can you imagine what your life would be like if you hadn’t done it?
49. Do you think it’s scarier to think about how much of our life is formed by things that are out of our control, or how much of our life is formed by things that are within our control?
50. What do you know about your neighbors that they don’t know that you know? What do you think they know about you that you don’t know that they know?
51. What do you think is your most justified paranoia? (For example: that someone could be watching you through your computer’s camera.) How do you justify it? (For example: that Mark Zuckerberg covers his computer’s camera, and he seems like a guy who should know whether or not he should.)
52. What if you found out that there is another Earth out there, the complete mirror of our own in every way, and that another you existed on it. Would you want to meet the second you?
53. Listen to yourself think. What does your mind voice sound like? Do you think your mind voice is inherent to your mind, or do you think you developed your mind voice based on hearing your speaking voice?
54. Does social media make you in general happier or sadder? If sadder, why do you keep participating in it?
55. What do you think dogs dream about? Do you think fish dream? What do you think fish dream about, then?