Quotes Categories

William James Quotes

(1842-1910), American Psychologist, Professor, Author

Much of what we call evil is due entirely to the way men take the phenomenon. It can so often be converted into a bracing and tonic good by a simple change of the sufferer's inner attitude from one of fear to one of fight; its string can so often depart and turn into a relish when, after vainly seeking to shun it, we agree to face about and bear it...

Category: Courage

To give up pretensions is as blessed a relief as to get them ratified.

Category: Deception

Events are influenced by our very great desires.

Category: Desire

If you care enough for a result, you will most certainly attain it.

Category: Desire

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

Category: Ecology

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.

Category: Effort

There can be no existence of evil as a force to the healthy-minded individual.

Category: Evil

Our esteem for facts has not neutralized in us all religiousness. It is itself almost religious. Our scientific temper is devout.

Category: Facts

The god whom science recognizes must be a God of universal laws exclusively, a God who does a wholesale, not a retail business. He cannot accommodate his processes to the convenience of individuals.

Category: Facts

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

Category: Failure

I am often confronted by the necessity of standing by one of my empirical selves and relinquishing the rest. Not that I would not. If I could, be... a great athlete and make a million a year, be a wit, a born -- vivant and a lady killer, as well as a philosopher, a philanthropist ... and saint. But the thing is simply impossible. The millionaire's work would run counter to the saint s; the bon-vivant and the philanthropist would trip each other up; the philosopher and the lady killer could not well keep house in the same tenement of clay. Such different characters may conceivably, at the outset of life. Be alike possible for a man. But to make any one of them actual, the rest must more of less be suppressed. So the seeker of his truest, strongest, deepest self must review the list carefully and pick out on which to stake his salvation. All other selves thereupon become unreal, but the fortunes of this self are real. Its failure are real failures, its triumphs real triumphs carrying shame and gladness with them.

Category: Failure

Failure, then, failure! so the world stamps us at every turn. We strew it with our blunders, our misdeeds, our lost opportunities, with all the memorials of our inadequacy to our vocation. And with what a damning emphasis does it then blot us out! No easy fine, no mere apology or formal expiation, will satisfy the world's demands, but every pound of flesh exacted is soaked with all its blood. The subtlest forms of suffering known to man are connected with the poisonous humiliations incidental to these results.

Category: Failure

Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible.

Category: Faith

It is wrong always, everywhere, and for everyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence.

Category: Faith

Our faith is faith in someone else's faith, and in the greatest matters this is most the case.

Category: Faith