Introduction

What are the best William James quotes? Read the most famous quotes by William James. Top 10 William James images and Top 10 William James quotes. William James quotations on life, philosophy, potential, truth, actions are those that make this philosopher famous.

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Best William James quotes

William James is famous American philosopher with many wise quotes. Share the best William James quotations of all times with your friends and family.


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.


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


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

  • life



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


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.


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


If you want a trait, act as if you already have the trait.


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

  • actions

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


Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.


The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.


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


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

  • life

Wisdom is learning what to overlook.

  • wisdom

The path to cheerfulness is to sit cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there.


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


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


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


There can be no existence of evil as a force to the healthy-minded individual.


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


The minute a man ceases to grow, no matter what his years, that minute he begins to be old.


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


We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.

  • life

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


The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.


Belief creates the actual fact.


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

  • attitude

Act in earnest and you will become earnest in all you do.




William James quotes images

What are the best William James images quotes? Read and bookmark finest quotes from William James, embed as messages on beautiful images. Those images have life quotes, philosophy quotes, potential quotes, truth quotes, actions quotes.


Picture quote by William James about act

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


Picture quote by William James about result

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


Picture quote by William James about thinking

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


Picture quote by William James about age

Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.


That were top sayings and William James picture quotes. Access more quotations by William James with images on Pinterest.

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About William James

Where is William James from? William James is American who said awesome wise words. A influential and well recognized philosopher all over the world. The following quotations and images represent the American nature embed in William James's character.

What William James was famous for? William James is famous philosopher with many good quotes. Well-known and respected in American society for wise sayings. Browse a lot of William James books and reference books with quotes from William James on Amazon.


Top William James quotes about life

What are the best life quotes by William James? List with Top 10 William James sayings and quotes about life.


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

  • greatest

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

  • life

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

  • life

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

  • life

We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.

  • life

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

  • life

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

  • life

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

  • life

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

  • life

Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.


If you can change your mind, you can change your life.


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

  • life

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Top William James quotes about philosophy

What are the best philosophy quotes by William James? List with Top 10 William James sayings and quotes about philosophy.


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


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

  • philosophy

A little cooling down of animal excitability and instinct, a little loss of animal toughness, a little irritable weakness and descent of the pain-threshold, will bring the worm at the core of all our usual springs of delight into full view, and turn us into melancholy metaphysicians.

  • philosophy

I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, have a philosophy, each and all of you, and that the most interesting and important thing about you is the way in which it determines the perspective in your several worlds.

  • philosophy

Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits.

  • philosophy

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


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Top William James quotes about potential

What are the best potential quotes by William James? List with Top 10 William James sayings and quotes about potential.


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.


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

  • potential

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

  • potential

Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses power of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.

  • potential

Everyone knows that on any given day there are energies slumbering in him which the incitement's of that day do not call forth. Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. The human individual usually lives far within his limits.

  • potential

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Top William James quotes about truth

What are the best truth quotes by William James? List with Top 10 William James sayings and quotes about truth.


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


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


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.


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


Truth is what works.

  • truth

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Top William James quotes about actions

What are the best actions quotes by William James? List with Top 10 William James sayings and quotes about actions.


If you want a trait, act as if you already have the trait.

  • actions

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

  • actions

I will act as if what I do makes a difference.

  • actions

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.

  • actions

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.

  • actions

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More quotes by William James

Want some more good quotations by William James? Explore the rest of 167 sayings by William James.


I will act as if what I do makes a difference.

  • actions

Genius... means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an inhabitual way.


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


We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily effort. We postpone and postpone, until those smiling possibilities are dead.




Events are influenced by our very great desires.

  • desires

The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.


A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him.


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

  • philosophy

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

  • life

There are no differences but differences of degree between different degrees of difference and no difference.


Success plus Self-esteem equals Pretensions.


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


It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all.


The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.


Only necessity understood, and bondage to the highest is identical with true freedom.


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.


The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

  • attitude

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

  • life

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

  • life

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.

  • worry

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


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


A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.


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.


Footnotes -- little dogs yapping at the heels of the text


The greatest enemy of any one of our truths may be the rest of our truths.


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

  • faith

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


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. Sobriety diminishes, discriminates, and says no; drunkenness expands, unites, and says yes.


To give up pretensions is as blessed a relief as to get them ratified.


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

  • falsehood

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

  • philosophy

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.


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


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


Smitten as we are with the vision of social righteousness, a God indifferent to everything but adulation, and full of partiality for his individual favorites, lacks an essential element of largeness.

  • god

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

  • potential

Spiritual energy flows in and produces effects in the phenomenal world.


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.

  • potential

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


It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

  • faith

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.


We want all our friends to tell us our bad qualities; it is only the particular ass that does so whom we can't tolerate.


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.


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.


As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.

  • belief

Man lives for science as well as bread.


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!


To spend life for something which outlasts it.


Every time a resolve or fine glow of feeling evaporates without bearing fruit, it is worse than a chance lost; it works to hinder future emotions from taking the normal path of discharge.


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

  • potential

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


A little cooling down of animal excitability and instinct, a little loss of animal toughness, a little irritable weakness and descent of the pain-threshold, will bring the worm at the core of all our usual springs of delight into full view, and turn us into melancholy metaphysicians.

  • philosophy

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

  • life

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


Time itself comes in drops.


Habit is thus the enormous fly-wheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. It alone is what keeps us all within the bounds of ordinance, and saves the children of fortune from the envious uprisings of the poor.


Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.


The further limits of our being plunge, it seems to me, into an altogether other dimension of existence from the sensible and merely understandable world. Name it the mystical region, or the supernatural region, whichever you choose. So far as our ideal impulses originate in this region (and most of them do originate in it, for we find them possessing us in a way for which we cannot articulately account), we belong to it in a more intimate sense than that in which we belong to the visible world, for we belong in the most intimate sense wherever our ideals belong.


The most violent revolutions in an individuals beliefs leave most of his old order standing. Time and space, cause and effect, nature and history, and ones own biography remain untouched. New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity.


Many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.


Fatalism, whose solving word in all crises of behavior is All striving is vain, will never reign supreme, for the impulse to take life strivingly is indestructible in the race. Moral creeds which speak to that impulse will be widely successful in spite of inconsistency, vagueness, and shadowy determination of expectancy. Man needs a rule for his will, and will invent one if one be not given him.

  • freedom

There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision, and for whom the lighting of every cigar, the drinking of every cup, the time of rising and going to bed every day, and the beginning of every bit of work, are subjects of express volitional deliberation.


The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.


As there is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it, so reasonable arguments, challenges to magnanimity, and appeals to sympathy or justice, are folly when we are dealing with human crocodiles and boa-constrictors.


Much of what we call evil is due entirely to the way men take the phenomenon. It can so often be converted into a bracing and tonic good by a simple change of the sufferer's inner attitude from one of fear to one of fight; its string can so often depart and turn into a relish when, after vainly seeking to shun it, we agree to face about and bear it...


Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

  • alter

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.

  • actions

Millions of items in the outward order are present to my senses which never properly enter into my experience. Why? Because they have no interest for me. My experience is what I agree to attend to. Only those items which I notice shape my mind --without selective interest, experience is an utter chaos.


Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses power of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.

  • potential

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

  • life

The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly. What can be more base and unworthy than the pining, puling, mumping mood, no matter by what outward ills it may have been engendered? What is more injurious to others? What less helpful as a way out of the difficulty? It but fastens and perpetuates the trouble which occasioned it, and increases the total evil of the situation. At all costs, then, we ought to reduce the sway of that mood; we ought to scout it in ourselves and others, and never show it tolerance.


Thus the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there.

  • happiness

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


Failure, then, failure! so the world stamps us at every turn. We strew it with our blunders, our misdeeds, our lost opportunities, with all the memorials of our inadequacy to our vocation. And with what a damning emphasis does it then blot us out! No easy fine, no mere apology or formal expiation, will satisfy the world's demands, but every pound of flesh exacted is soaked with all its blood. The subtlest forms of suffering known to man are connected with the poisonous humiliations incidental to these results.

  • failure

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.


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


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.


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


For morality life is a war, and the service of the highest is a sort of cosmic patriotism which also calls for volunteers.


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.

  • act

How can the moribund old man reason back to himself the romance, the mystery, the imminence of great things with which our old earth tingled for him in the days when he was young and well?


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


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

  • history

We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.


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.


We must make automatic and habitual, as early as possible, as many useful actions as we can...in the acquisition of a new habit, we must take car to launch ourselves with as strong and decided initiative as possible. Never suffer an exception to occur till the new habit is securely rooted in your life.

  • habits

When we of the so-called better classes are scared as men were never scared in history at material ugliness and hardship; when we put off marriage until our house can be artistic, and quake at the thought of having a child without a bank-account and doomed to manual labor, it is time for thinking men to protest against so unmanly and irreligious a state of opinion.


Give up the feeling of responsibility, let go your hold, resign the care of your destiny to higher powers, be genuinely indifferent as to what becomes of it all and you will find not only that you gain a perfect inward relief, but often also, in addition, the particular goods you sincerely thought you were renouncing.


We, the lineal representatives of the successful enactors of one scene of slaughter after another, must, whatever more pacific virtues we may also possess, still carry about with us, ready at any moment to burst into flame, the smoldering and sinister traits of character by means of which they lived through so many massacres, harming others, but themselves unharmed.


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


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


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.


Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, to be needed. which give happiness. Thomas Jefferson We never enjoy perfect happiness; our most fortunate successes are mingled with sadness; some anxieties always perplex the reality of our satisfaction.

  • happiness

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.


Mankind's common instinct for reality has always held the world to be essentially a theatre for heroism. In heroism, we feel, life's supreme mystery is hidden. We tolerate no one who has no capacity whatever for it in any direction. On the other hand, no matter what a man's frailties otherwise may be, if he be willing to risk death, and still more if he suffer it heroically, in the service he has chosen, the fact consecrates him forever.


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


From a pragmatic point of view, the difference between living against a background of foreigness (an indifferent Universe) and one of intimacy (a benevolent Universe) means the difference between a general habit of wariness and one of trust.

  • universe

I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monumentos of man's pride.

  • morals

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.

  • actions

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


Hardly ever can a youth transferred to the society of his betters unlearn the nasality and other vices of speech bred in him by the associations of his growing years. Hardly ever, indeed, no matter how much money there be in his pocket, can he ever learn to dress like a gentleman-born. The merchants offer their wares as eagerly to him as to the veriest swell, but he simply cannot buy the right things.


Everyone knows that on any given day there are energies slumbering in him which the incitement's of that day do not call forth. Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. The human individual usually lives far within his limits.

  • potential

I have often thought the best way to define a man's character would be to seek out the particular mental or moral attitude in which, when it comes upon him, he felt himself most deeply and intensely active and alive. At such moments there is a voice inside which speaks and says: This is the real me!.

  • character

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


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.

  • beliefs

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


Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.


If you can change your mind, you can change your life.

  • change

Let everything you do be done as if it makes a difference.


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.

  • thought

To change one’s life: 1. Start immediately. 2. Do it flamboyantly. 3. No exceptions.

  • change

No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one's sentiments may be, if one have not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one's character may remain entirely unaffected for the better. With good intentions, hell proverbially is paved.


'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.

  • categories

Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits.

  • philosophy

Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.

  • alter

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


An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.


I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, have a philosophy, each and all of you, and that the most interesting and important thing about you is the way in which it determines the perspective in your several worlds.

  • philosophy

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

  • happy

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Conclusion

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When was William James birthday? William James was born on January 11, 1842.

Who is William James? Some facts about William James from biography. William James was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States. James was a leading thinker of the late nineteenth century, one of the most influential U.S. philosophers, and has been labelled the "Father of American psychology".... Read more about William James on Wikipedia or watch videos with quotes from William James on YouTube.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Part 1
Introduction

Part 2
Best William James quotes
Top 10 quotes by William James
Top 10 William James quotes about life

Part 3
William James quotes images

Part 4
Life
Philosophy
Potential
Truth
Actions
All quotes

Part 5
Similar Philosophers

Part 6
Favorite topics

Part 7
Conclusion

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