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William James Quotes

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

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


         

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.


         


Much of what we call evil can 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

Much of what we call evil can 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


         

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

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


         


The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.

The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.


         

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequence of any misfortune.

Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequence of any misfortune.


         

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.

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.


         

Our intelligence cannot wall itself up alive, like a pupa in a chrysalis. It must at any cost keep on speaking terms with the universe that engendered it.

Our intelligence cannot wall itself up alive, like a pupa in a chrysalis. It must at any cost keep on speaking terms with the universe that engendered it.


         

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

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


         

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

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


         

Why may we not be in the universe, as our dogs and cats are in our drawingrooms and libraries?

Why may we not be in the universe, as our dogs and cats are in our drawingrooms and libraries?


         


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.

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.


         

With mere good intentions hell is proverbially paved.

With mere good intentions hell is proverbially paved.


         

The unrest which keeps the never-stopping clock metaphysics going is the thought that the non-existence of this world is just as possible as its existence.

The unrest which keeps the never-stopping clock metaphysics going is the thought that the non-existence of this world is just as possible as its existence.


         

Impulse without reason is not enough and reason without impulse is a poor makeshift.

Impulse without reason is not enough and reason without impulse is a poor makeshift.


         

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.

Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.


         

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

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


         

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

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


         

You are going to get over it sooner or later so get over it now.

You are going to get over it sooner or later so get over it now.


         

Life is one long struggle between conclusions based on abstract ways of conceiving cases and opposite conclusions prompted by our instinctive perception of them.

Life is one long struggle between conclusions based on abstract ways of conceiving cases and opposite conclusions prompted by our instinctive perception of them.