William James a famous American philosopher and psychologist and his quotes are the inspiring to all the generations which focus on numerous subjects like habbits, Stress, attention, consciousness and books.

  • Wisdom is learning what to overlook.
  • Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.
  • What every genuine philosopher (every genuine man, in fact) craves most is praise although the philosophers generally call it recognition!
  • 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.
  • There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.
  • We never fully grasp the import of any true statement until we have a clear notion of what the opposite untrue statement would be.
  • We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.
  • 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.
  • Truth is what works.
  • To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.
  • To spend life for something which outlasts it.
  • To change ones life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.
  • 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.
  • To be conscious means not simply to be, but to be reported, known, to have awareness of one’s being added to that being.
  • To be a real philosopher all that is necessary is to hate some one else’s type of thinking.
  • Time itself comes in drops.
  • Those thoughts are truth which guide us to beneficial interaction with sensible particulars as they occur, whether they copy these in advance or not.
  • We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.
  • Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly.
  • Many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
  • Man lives for science as well as bread.
  • We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.
  • 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.
  • This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it.
  • There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.
  • There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true Self.
  • Why should we think upon things that are lovely? Because thinking determines life. It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment. Environment modifies life but does not govern life. The soul is stronger than its surroundings.
  • Where quality is the thing sought after, the thing of supreme quality is cheap, whatever the price one has to pay for it.
  • 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.
  • When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.
  • A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him.
  • A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
  • A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain.
  • 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!
  • There is an organic affinity between joyousness and tenderness, and their companionship in the saintly life need in no way occasion surprise.
  • 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.
  • The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.
  • 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 fashioned our characters in the wrong way.
  • The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
  • The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.
  • The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.
  • The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.
  • The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
  • 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.
  • The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
  • The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one.
  • The ‘I think’ which Kant said must be able to accompany all my objects, is the ‘I breathe’ which actually does accompany them.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.
  • The ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives.
  • The history of philosophy is to a great extent that of a certain clash of human temperaments.
  • Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.
  • Our normal waking consciousness, rational consciousness as we call it, is but one special type of consciousness, whilst all about it, parted from it by the filmiest of screens, there lie potential forms of consciousness entirely different.
  • Our faith is faith in someone else’s faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.
  • Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.
  • Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf.
  • 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.
  • Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
  • 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.
  • Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.
  • Let everything you do be done as if it makes a difference.
  • Knowledge about life is one thing; effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic currents passing through your being, is another.
  • It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
  • 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.
  • It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.
  • 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.
  • Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.
  • 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.
  • In the dim background of mind we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.
  • In business for yourself, not by yourself.
  • If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.
  • The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.
  • The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
  • The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.
  • The best argument I know for an immortal life is the existence of a man who deserves one.
  • If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.
  • 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.
  • If the grace of God miraculously operates, it probably operates through the subliminal door.
  • If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.
  • If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick.
  • I will act as if what I do makes a difference.
  • I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.
  • Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
  • 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.
  • Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.
  • Genius… means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
  • Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible.
  • 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.
  • Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.
  • Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humor is just common sense, dancing.
  • Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
  • Belief creates the actual fact.
  • Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.
  • Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
  • An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.
  • An act has no ethical quality whatever unless it be chosen out of several all equally possible.
  • Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
  • Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.
  • Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
  • Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.

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