Here are 25 of our favourite bons mots of William James.
- A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
- Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
- Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.
- 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.
- Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.
- If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.
- In the dim background of mind we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.
- It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will affect its successful outcome.
- 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.
- Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.
- Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.
- Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
- Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.
- The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one.
- The essence of genius is to know what to overlook.
- The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
- The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.
- The ideas gained by men before they are twenty-five are practically the only ideas they shall have in their lives.
- The world is all the richer for having a devil in it, so long as we keep our foot upon his neck.
- The world we see that seems so insane is the result of a belief system that is not working. To perceive the world differently, we must be willing to change our belief system, let the past slip away, expand our sense of now, and dissolve the fear in our minds.
- There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true Self.
- To change ones life: Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly.
- Truth is what works.
- 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.
- We never fully grasp the import of any true statement until we have a clear notion of what the opposite untrue statement would be.
(ed. – These William James quotes and more can be found in By George Treasury II – in Our E-bookshelf)
Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.