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William James quotes page 2

It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult task which, more than anything else, will
affect its successful outcome.
William James

The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with
correctness, this surely is the ideal.
William James

All natural goods perish. Riches take wings; fame is a breath; love is a cheat; youth and
health and pleasure vanish.
William James

When a thing is new, people say: "It is not true." Later, when its truth becomes obvious,
they say: "It is not important." Finally, when its importance cannot be denied, they say:
"Anyway, it is not new."
William James

Wherever you are, it is your friends who make your world.
William James

Knowledge about life is one thing; effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic
currents passing through your being, is another.
William James

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

The concrete man has but one interest - to be right. That to him is the art of all arts, and all
means are fair which help him to it.
William James

History is a bath of blood.
William James

Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects
of their lives.
William James

I myself believe that the evidence for God lies primarily in inner personal experiences.
William James

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

The most any one can do is to confess as candidly as he can the grounds for the faith that is
in him, and leave his example to work on others as it may.
William James

If this life is not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by
success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at
will. But it feels like a real fight.
William James

Common sense and a sense of humor are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense
of humor is just common sense, dancing.
William James

Instinct leads, intelligence does but follow.
William James

Good-humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to Nature that we take her no
more seriously than she takes us. I maintain that one should always talk of philosophy with a
smile.
William James

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

Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.
William James

We forget that every good that is worth possessing must be paid for in strokes of daily
effort. We postpone and postpone until those smiling possibilities are dead... By neglecting
the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves the little daily tax, we are positively
digging the graves of our higher possibilities.
William James

Freedom is only necessity understood.
William James

It would probably astound each of us beyond measure to be let into his neighbors mind and
to find how different the scenery was there from that of his own.
William James

An unlearned carpenter of my acquaintance once said in my hearing: "There is very little
difference between one man and another; but what little there is, is very important." This
distinction seems to me to go to the root of the matter.
William James

Compared to what we ought to be, we are half awake.
William James

Most people live, whether physically, intellectually or morally, in a very restricted circle of
their potential being.
William James

We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order
to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the
money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.
William James

If you can change your mind, you can change your life.
William James

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

Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we
never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never
push through the obstruction.
William James

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
William James

Alexander's career was piracy pure and simple, nothing but an orgy of power and plunder,
made romantic by the character of the hero. There was no rational purpose in it, and the
moment he died his generals and governors attacked one another.
William James

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