William James Quotes

William James QuotesAct as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

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

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

An act has no ethical quality whatever unless it be chosen out of several all equally possible.

Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.

Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.

Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, "This is the real me," and when you have found that attitude, follow it.

The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells, is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world by habitually fashioning our characters in the wrong way.

The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.

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

Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not.

Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.

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

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

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

Reduced to their most pregnant difference, empiricism means the habit of explaining wholes by parts, and rationalism means the habit of explaining parts by wholes.

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

Act the part and you will become the part.

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.

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.

Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.

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.

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

When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.

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

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

These then are my last words to you. Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.

Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it.

It is as important to cultivate your silence power as your word power.

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

There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.

Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.

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

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task. There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.

We are spinning our own fates, good or evil, and never to be undone. Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never so little scar. ...Nothing we ever do is, in strict scientific literalness, wiped out.

There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.

Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.

William James Philosophy
Philosopher's Corner
Philosopher Archives