William James Quotes

This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it.
The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.
When a thing is new, people say 'It is not true.' Later, when its truth becomes obvious, they say 'It is not important.' Finally, when its importance cannot be denied, they say 'Anyway, it is not new.'
Our minds thus grow in spots and like grease spots, the spots spread. But we let them spread as little as possible we keep unaltered as much of our old knowledge, as many of our old prejudices and beliefs, as we can.
An act has no ethical quality whatever unless it be chosen out of several all equally possible.
The man whose acquisitions stick is the man who is always achieving and advancing whilst his neighbors, spending most of their time in relearning what they once knew but have forgotten, simply hold their own.
I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big success. I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capil
There is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it.
Religion is the monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.
Let everything you do be done as if it makes a difference.
Circumstance does not make me, it reveals me.
Of all the beautiful truths pertaining to the soul None is more gladdening or fruitful than to know You can regenerate and make yourself what you will.
Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of their potential being. They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness, and of their soul's resources in general, much like a man who, out of his whole bodily organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his lttle finger. Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.
There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
Our belief at the beginning of a doubtful undertaking is the one thing that assures the successful outcome of any venture.
Only necessity understood, and bondage to the highest is identical with true freedom.
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely re-arranging their prejudices.
Religion, whatever it is, is a man's total reaction upon life.
If you want a quality, act as if you already had it. Try the 'as if' technique.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
Genius means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
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.
Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
The stream of thought flows on but most of its segments fall into the bottomless abyss of oblivion. Of some, no memory survives the instant of their passage. Of others, it is confined to a few moments, hours or days. Others, again, leave vestiges which are indestructible, and by means of which they may be recalled as long as life endures.
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