William James quotes

Born
January 11, 1842 New York City, New York.

Died
August 26, 1910.

Occupation
Philosopher, psychologist.

William James was an American philosopher and psychologist, and the first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States.

Genius… means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.
– William James
If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.
– William James
Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.
– William James
It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.
– William James
There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.
– William James
Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
– William James
Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
– William James
If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.
– William James
An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.
– William James
Is life worth living? It all depends on the liver.
– William James
Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
– William James
The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.
– William James
Let everything you do be done as if it makes a difference.
– William James
If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.
– William James
This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it.
– William James
Time itself comes in drops.
– William James
Those thoughts are truth which guide us to beneficial interaction with sensible particulars as they occur, whether they copy these in advance or not.
– William James
We are doomed to cling to a life even while we find it unendurable.
– William James
Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
– William James
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.
– William James
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
– William James
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.
– William James
It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.
– William James
Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.
– William James
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain.
– William James
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
– William James
Belief creates the actual fact.
– William James
The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.
– William James
Great emergencies and crises show us how much greater our vital resources are than we had supposed.
– William James
Metaphysics means nothing but an unusually obstinate effort to think clearly.
– William James
I don’t sing because I’m happy; I’m happy because I sing.
– William James
The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.
– William James
Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.
– William James
There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true Self.
– William James
‘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.
– William James
Man lives for science as well as bread.
– William James
There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.
– William James
To study the abnormal is the best way of understanding the normal.
– William James
Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.
– William James
The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one.
– William James
In the dim background of mind we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.
– William James
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.
– William James
We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.
– William James
We never fully grasp the import of any true statement until we have a clear notion of what the opposite untrue statement would be.
– William James