William James Quotes on Thoughts, Attitude & Acting As If

William James (1842-1910) was a pioneering American philosopher and psychologist who was instrumental in establishing psychology as a scientific discipline.

James’s philosophical views covered a broad spectrum of topics such as free will, religious experience, consciousness, and the philosophy of pragmatism.

The importance of William James’s quotes lies in their profound insights and their ability to share complex ideas in a simple and understandable manner.

Whether you’re seeking motivation, grappling with existential questions, or exploring the nature of consciousness, James’s words can offer guidance and perspective.

William James Quotes

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


“The greatest use of a life is to spend it on something that will outlast it.” William James


“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” William James


“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


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


“Success or failure depends more upon attitude than upon capacity successful men act as though they have accomplished or are enjoying something. Soon it becomes a reality. Act, look, feel successful, conduct yourself accordingly, and you will be amazed at the positive results.” William James


“We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.” William James


“Belief creates the actual fact.” William James


“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” William James


“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.” William James


“A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” William James


“Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible.” William James


“A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain.” William James


“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” William James


“Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.” William James


“Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” William James


“When you have to make a choice and don’t make it, that is in itself a choice.” William James


“Do something everyday for no other reason than you would rather not do it, so that when the hour of dire need draws nigh, it may find you not unnerved and untrained to stand the test.” William James


“In the dim background of mind we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.” William James


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


“A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him.” 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


“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.” William James


“Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.” William James


“This life is worth living, we can say, since it is what we make it.” William James


“If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick.” William James


“Man can alter his life by altering his thinking.” William James


“If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.” William James


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