Thought-Provoking Questions- How to Spark a Fire in Your Conversations

Thought-Provoking Questions

Imagine a place where you gather with people you haven’t met before, and you have absolutely no phones, booze or internet. Would any of you take it upon themselves and spark up a conversation that goes on for hours?

Questions help break the ice in any situation as well as know better about the other person. However, not all questions prompt the desired response. Boring questions will lead to small talk and flat conversations that will go nowhere. Thought-provoking questions, however, lead to deep and heavy topics that elicit meaningful bonds and connections. You also learn new things and get fresh perspectives. Further, you will remember the conversations for the longest time.

In this article, we will look at startling questions that you will find suitable to use in such situations.

Best Thought Provoking Questions

These questions run through a wide range of topics. Some will make you think about yourself, and others will make you question the nature and reason for human existence. Some are meditative, existential and philosophical. Some cover real-life topics and others lean towards someone’s line of thought. They all have one thing in common; they are thought-provoking questions. Here are some of the best;

1. What do you find beautiful in life?

Is it the rising and setting of the sun? Is it simply the birds, wildlife and other nature? Or do you see the beauty in acts of kindness and doing things for underprivileged people? This question is quite simple and makes you see ordinary things in a new perspective.

2. What do you enjoy learning most about?

What are some of the subjects that you are most curious about? If you received sponsorship to study in a degree of your choice, what would it be? And how would you narrow it down? Is there any subject that you desire most to become an expert in?

3. Where do you derive your self-worth from?

Do you find it from the acceptance of other people? Or is it from achievements in your career and education? What is that one thing that makes you know you are essential in this world? Find what builds your sense of self-worth and makes you feel valuable and deserving.

4. If you had unlimited intelligence, what would you do with it?

Imagine you had a connection with the universe, expansive sources of information and knowledge. What would you do if you had an unlimited ability to grasp and process extensive knowledge? This question would help you know what you desire most in the world and would go for if you had the power to.

5. What would you be most proud of in your life, if you found out today was your last day?

Imagine someone came and told you that in a few hours you’d be gone. Or if someone came and said to you that you only had exactly one year to live. What are some of the things you would do more of? How would you make that one year different from the other years you’ve lived? And if given a chance, would you trade it in for the years you’ve lived up to this point?

Deep Provoking Conversation Starters

Getting away from the small talk and begin a conversation with deep matters can be tough. Whether you are passing away time in the office or spending time with your significant other, these questions will help you get away from the boring conversations that don’t go far.

1. Are You Afraid of speaking out your opinion in public?

Can you say what you feel deep down without any fear of contradiction? If not, why are you not able? This will help you know if they don’t talk about it because probably deep down they know it is wrong.

2. What is the wisest thing you have ever heard from someone?

Sometimes, we get words of wisdom from the most unexpected people and experience. Knowledge is meant to be shared, and you might get it even in the most unorthodox way.

3. What is the one mistake you wish never to repeat?

On the same wisdom perspective, humans tend to learn from their mistakes. It is essential to share those experiences for you might save one another from falling in the same pit.

4. Do you think stealing to feed a child is wrong?

This question is a matter of morality and principal. Discuss how principals and morals can change depending on the situation.

5. Is it easier to love or to hate? Why?

Both love and hate are strong and powerful emotions. Get to know which of them comes more naturally and holds for more people.

Thought-Provoking Philosophical Questions

These questions will have you thinking about life and the entire universe. Generally, everything. Some of them are quite simple and easy to answer, while others have far-reaching implications.

1. What do you think should be humanity’s goal?

Let them tell you if they think that everyone on the planet should be striving towards a single goal. If so, what should that goal be? See if you can come up with an only goal that you think we should all agree on, regardless of the chaotic world we live in. This question can help you come up with your long-term personal goals.

2. How will humans cease to exist?

Do you think an environmental disaster will cause human extinction? A catastrophic epidemic? Or maybe the planet will be hit by a meteor huge enough to flatten the entire world. If not, think about how many more years you think humans will last. Regardless of your views on this topic, your thoughts will prompt you to live each passing day to the maximum.

3. If the entire world was to be taught one concept, what do you think it should be?

Which one concept or idea do you think would make the most critical impact on people all over the world? Probably it is people minding their own business or thinking before they leap. What about the concepts of not jumping into conclusions or the importance of harmonious living with our neighbours? This questions will help you realize the most critical ideas to you.

4. Is humanity headed in the right or wrong direction?

Do you think that humankind has found something better to keep progressing towards? Or are we changing the rules of those who have lived before us and reverting backwards? This question will help you reflect if you, as an individual, are moving in the right direction.

5. Do you think it is better to have in-depth knowledge about a few things or have experience in a wide range of jobs?

What would it be like if there were no professionals in a specific subject, and everyone knew a little bit of everything? Would society be different in any way? Do you think that those people who have a deep knowledge base about a particular subject have it all wrong? This will let you think about the topics that you consider yourself to be an expert in.

6. What do you think is the most significant waste of human potential?

This question has many possible answers, but which one do you consider truest? Do you think that the most honest waste of human potential is lack of sharing wisdom and knowledge with others? Or is it attending a traditional form of schooling where children are confined to a desk the whole day? Where do you think the world is going wrong with human potential? Think about those areas that you have potential, but you are wasting.

7. Why do people desist from doing things that they know are beneficial to them, but do those that are harmful to their health?

This question covers many aspects of our lives. Like how people may rather sit down and watch TV all day, instead of going to the gym or doing simple exercises. Why do people prefer pizzas, French fries and burgers, instead of salad? Or why people fall back into toxic relationships instead of moving on to healthier ones. What are the reasons people give for doing what is harmful to them? Think of ways you can use to motivate yourself towards a healthier lifestyle.

8. The human memory is known to be very unreliable. How do you know which memories are real and those that are not?

What if you found out that one of your long-held memories is not true? Would it matter if you did? Remember the times when you were entirely sure of something, but someone ended up telling you otherwise. This question will help you realize that some of the things you believe to be correct are partially or wholly not true. It could help you look at your beliefs differently and challenge them.

9. If rules and laws in this world didn’t exist, what do you think your behaviour would be like?

Do you think that you would have been shaped differently and leaned towards doing things that are illegal and immoral in society? Do you naturally have morals and principals that refrain you from doing the wrong things? Or do you fail to do them because of the laws and regulations that govern us? This question will help you think profoundly about your integrity, empathy and intentions.

10. How can we judge others by their actions but judge ourselves by our intentions?

Is it possible to believe others when they say that their actions are different from their intentions? What if someone’s intentions were honest and transparent? This will help you genuinely think about how your intentions match up with your actions.

Mind-Boggling Questions

1. Have you ever thought of what it would be like to change your sexual orientation?

If yes, did your life change after that?

Have you ever met or saw anything that made you question your sexual orientation? Why do you think the kind of relationship you thought would be best for you ended up making you feel alone, emptier and more disconnected than before? Are you willing to lose anything to know the truth? If yes, what are you ready to lose?

2. What would you do if your new friend reveals they are a practising witch?

If you’ve watched The Wizard of Oz, a familiar question might come to mind: Are you a good witch or a bad witch? Or probably you knew what other people would do to you if you made them angry. How would your beliefs influence your reaction?

3. How easily would a human rights champion turn into a despot?

Imagine someone who has always fought and used their resources, time and energy, to protect the rights of others. What do you think it would take to turn them into a dictator who oppresses and goes against the rights of others?

4. If you had a chance to trade lives with a character of your choice from a book or movie, would you do it? If yes, who would it be?

Would you want the trade to be temporary or permanent? What is it you see in their life that you desire on your own? What would you start doing to bring in more of it into your life? What are the changes you need to make to begin doing so?

5. What would be your reaction if the leader of your country made it law that the official state religion was the one you hold to?

Would you feel justified, or would you go against it? What if the other members in your church thought it was a sign of favour from God or warning to those who had different beliefs? What if other faiths were being discriminated against in your favour?

Tips to Asking Thought Provoking Questions

Follow the following steps to make sure you get the most out of these thought-provoking questions;

  • Respect personal boundaries

We all have those topics we deem too personal and private. During those deep conversations, your partner may have those boundaries that they are not too comfortable crossing. If that is the case, respect that and switch topics.

Alternatively, they may open up and tell you intimate details of their lives. Honour their trust. Those details are for your ears only and lock them up in a vault. Prove that you are a trustworthy confidant. This will lead to a more profound and long-lasting friendship or relationship.

  • Know when it is time to move on

Deep conversations may be highly exhausting to the mind. Do not overdo it. Remember when you should shift to other topics. Pay attention to the other person’s body language. If they seem bored or uneasy, be prepared to move on to other lighthearted topics that will light up the conversation.

  • Stick with a question when you ask

Something else about these conversations is that they require a bit of introspection and thought. The answers may not always come out immediately. The goal is to prompt deep soul-searching. Allow your partner to think about it before you move on.

  • Maintain focus

Shifts in topics characterize normal conversations. It is normal to jump from subject to subject when flexing the mind. Stay on track until the current subject has reached its peak and is naturally complete. If any other interesting topic comes up in-between, note it down so that you can revisit once you are through.