The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
"William James" was an American philosopher and psychology/psychologist who was also trained as a physician. The first educator to offer a psychology course in the United States, James was one of the leading thinkers of the late nineteenth century and is believed by many to be one of the most influential philosophers the United States has ever produced, while others have labelled him the "Father of American psychology". Along with Charles Sanders Peirce and John Dewey, he is considered to be one of the major figures associated with the philosophical school known as pragmatism, and is also cited as one of the founders of functional psychology. He also developed the philosophical perspective known as radical empiricism. James' work has influenced intellectuals such as Émile Durkheim, W. E. B. Du Bois, Edmund Husserl, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty.If you enjoy these quotes, be sure to check out other famous philosophers! More William James on Wikipedia.
Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.
When you have to make a choice and don't make it, that is in itself a choice.
The sovereign cure for worry is prayer.
As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.
A genius is the man in whom you are least likely to find the power of attending to anything insipid or distasteful in itself. He breaks his engagements, leaves his letters unanswered, neglects his family duties incorrigibly, because he is powerless to turn his attention down and back from those more interesting trains of imagery with which his genius constantly occupies his mind.
Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.
There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.
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.
We never fully grasp the import of any true statement until we have a clear notion of what the opposite untrue statement would be.
The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.
Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible.
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.
I believe there is no source of deception in the investigation of nature which can compare with a fixed belief that certain kinds of phenomena are impossible.
There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man's lack of faith in his true Self.
An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.
If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.
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.
I don't sing because I'm happy; I'm happy because I sing.
Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.
The difference between a good man and a bad man is the choice of cause.
If you want a quality, act as if you already had it.
Human beings are born into this little span of life of which the best thing is its friendship and intimacies, and soon their places will know them no more, and yet they leave their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow as they will by the roadside, expecting them to 'keep' by force of inertia.
New habits can be launched . . . on condition of there being new stimuli and new excitements.
This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it.
A great many people think they are thinking when they are really rearranging their prejudices.
The whole drift of my education goes to persuade me that the world of our present consciousness is only one out of many worlds of consciousness that exist.
Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.
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 retain entirely unaffected for the better. With mere good intentions, hell is proverbially paved.
The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual. The impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.
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!!
He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had failed.