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William James – 55 Quotes

 

55 Quotes by William James

 

Truth is what works.

– William James


Time itself comes in drops.

– William James


Belief creates the actual fact.

– William James


Wisdom is learning what to overlook.

– William James


Man lives for science as well as bread.

– William James


In business for yourself, not by yourself.

– William James


Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.

– William James


Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.

– William James


Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

– William James


If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.

– William James


To change ones life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.

– William James


The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

– William James


To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.

– William James


If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.

– William James


This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it.

– William James


The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.

– William James


Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.

– William James


The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

– William James


A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain.

– William James


Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

– William James


Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible.

– William James


The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one.

– William James


Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.

– William James


The best argument I know for an immortal life is the existence of a man who deserves one.

– William James


There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true Self.

– William James


If the grace of God miraculously operates, it probably operates through the subliminal door.

– William James


The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.

– William James


A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.

– William James


Our faith is faith in someone else’s faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.

– William James


We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.

– William James


If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.

– William James


Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.

– William James


The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.

– William James


The ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives.

– William James


We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.

– William James


It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.

– William James


The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.

– William James


Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.

– William James


It is well for the world that in most of us, by the age of thirty, the character has set like plaster, and will never soften again.

– William James


Knowledge about life is one thing effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic currents passing through your being, is another.

– William James


Those thoughts are truth which guide us to beneficial interaction with sensible particulars as they occur, whether they copy these in advance or not.

– William James


‘Pure experience’ is the name I gave to the immediate flux of life which furnishes the material to our later reflection with its conceptual categories.

– William James


How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.

– William James


If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.

– William James


Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.

– William James


There must be something solemn, serious, and tender about any attitude which we denominate religious. If glad, it must not grin or snicker if sad, it must not scream or curse.

– William James


Truth lives, in fact, for the most part on a credit system. Our thoughts and beliefs pass, so long as nothing challenges them, just as bank-notes pass so long as nobody refuses them.

– William James


It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.

– William James


The god whom science recognizes must be a God of universal laws exclusively, a God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his processes to the convenience of individuals.

– William James


The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour.

– William James


No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one’s sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one’s character may remain entirely unaffected for the better.

– William James


Individuality is founded in feeling and the recesses of feeling, the darker, blinder strata of character, are the only places in the world in which we catch real fact in the making, and directly perceive how events happen, and how work is actually done.

– William James


Whatever universe a professor believes in must at any rate be a universe that lends itself to lengthy discourse. A universe definable in two sentences is something for which the professorial intellect has no use. No faith in anything of that cheap kind!

– William James


The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.

– William James


Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.

– William James


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