William James

William James (1842-01-11 - 1910-08-26) was a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher. He wrote influential books on the young science of psychology, psychology of religious experience and mysticism, and the philosophy of pragmatism.
Found 90 thoughts of William James

Need and struggle are what excite and inspire us.

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

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

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

William James

Success plus Self-esteem equals Pretensions.

William James

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

William James

Action may not bring happiness but there is no happiness without action.

William James

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

William James

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

William James

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

William James

The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.

William James

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

William James

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.

William James

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

William James

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.

William James

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

William James

The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is non-interference with their own peculiar ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours.

William James

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

William James

The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.

William James

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 capillary oozing of water, which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of pride.

William James

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

William James

Most people live, whether physically, intellectually, or morally, in a very restricted circle of their 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 the 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.

William James

To change your life: start immediately; do it flamboyantly; no exceptions.

William James

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

William James

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

William James
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