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William James Quotes and Sayings

I hope you find great value in these Quotes by William James from my large collection of motivational and inspirational quotes and sayings.

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

Related topics: Wisdom Positive Life Human-Nature Psychology Attitude Relationship Anger People

Believe that life is worth living,
and your belief will help create the fact.
- William James

I will act as if what I do makes a difference.
- William James

The greatest discovery of any generation
is that a human being
can alter his life by
altering his attitude
- William James

 

A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.
- William James

Formula to live your dream:
1. Be bold. 2. Begin now, 3. No exceptions.
- William James

The greatest weapon against stress
is our ability to choose one thought over another.
- William James

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This overcoming of all the usual barriers
between the individual and the Absolute
is the great mystic achievement.
In mystic states we both become one with the Absolute
and we become aware of our oneness.
This is the everlasting and triumphant mystical tradition,
hardly altered by differences of clime or creed.
- William James

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

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

Most people never run far enough on their first wind
to find out they've got a second.
- William James

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

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

Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.
- William James

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

Belief creates the actual fact.
- William James

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

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

Could the young but realize how soon they will become
mere walking bundles of habits,
they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.
- William James

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

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

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

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

The 'I think' which Kant said must be able to accompany all my objects,
is the 'I breathe' which actually does accompany them.
- 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

To be conscious means not simply to be,
but to be reported, known, to have awareness of one's
being added to that being.
- William James

Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.
- William James

To spend life for something which outlasts it.
- William James

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

In the dim background of mind we know what we ought
to be doing but somehow we cannot start.
- William James

There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do,
and that is to contradict other philosophers.
- William James

We don't laugh because we're happy -
we're happy because we laugh.
- William James

To be radical, an empiricism must neither admit into
its constructions any element that is not directly experienced,
nor exclude from them any element that is directly experienced.
- William James

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

One hearty laugh together will bring enemies into a
closer communion of heart than hours spent on both
sides in inward wrestling with the mental demon of uncharitable feeling.
- 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

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

Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
- William James

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.
- 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

Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.
- William James

To be a real philosopher all that is necessary is to
hate some one else's type of thinking.
- 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

To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.
- William James

The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.
- William James

I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing.
- 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

Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly.
- William James

Wisdom is learning what to overlook.
- William James

What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man,
in fact) craves most is praise although the philosophers
generally call it recognition!
- William James

The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.
- William James

To change ones life: Start immediately.
Do it flamboyantly.
- William James

We never fully grasp the import of any true statement
until we have a clear notion of what the opposite untrue statement would be.
- William James

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

Time itself comes in drops.
- William James

Do something everyday for no other reason than you would rather not do it,
so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh,
it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.
- William James

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

There is an organic affinity between joyousness and tenderness,
and their companionship in the saintly life need in
no way occasion surprise.
- William James

If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities,
it becomes sick.
- William James

In business for yourself, not by yourself.
- William James

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

Genius...
means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
- William James

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

The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.
- William James

If merely 'feeling good' could decide,
drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.
- William James

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

Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.
- William James


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