1842-1910, American Psychologist, Professor, Author
A chain is no stronger than its weakest link, and life is after all a chain.
William James – [Ecology]
A little cooling down of animal excitability and instinct, a little loss of animal toughness, a little irritable weakness and descent of the pain-threshold, will bring the worm at the core of all our usual springs of delight into full view, and turn us into melancholy metaphysicians.
William James – [Metaphysics]
A man has as many social selves as there are individuals who recognize him.
William James – [Socializing and Socialism]
A new idea is first condemned as ridiculous and then dismissed as trivial, until finally, it becomes what everybody knows.
William James – [Ideas]
Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
William James – [Adversity]
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
Act in earnest and you will become earnest in all you do.
William James – [Honesty]
Action seems to follow feeling, but really action and feeling go together; and by regulating the action, which is under the more direct control of the will, we can indirectly regulate the feeling, which is not.
An idea, to be suggestive, must come to the individual with the force of revelation.
William James – [Ideas]
As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.
As there is no worse lie than a truth misunderstood by those who hear it, so reasonable arguments, challenges to magnanimity, and appeals to sympathy or justice, are folly when we are dealing with human crocodiles and boa-constrictors.
William James – [Persuasion]
Be willing to have it so. Acceptance of what has happened is the first step to overcoming the consequences of any misfortune.
William James – [Misfortunes]
Belief creates the actual fact.
Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.
Compared to what we ought to be, we are only half awake. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources. Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits. He possesses power of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.
William James – [Possibilities]
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.
Events are influenced by our very great desires.
William James – [Desire]
Every man who possibly can should force himself to a holiday of a full month in a year, whether he feels like taking it or not.
William James – [Vacation]
Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.
William James – [Life and Living]
Everyone knows that on any given day there are energies slumbering in him which the incitement's of that day do not call forth. Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. The human individual usually lives far within his limits.
William James – [Potential]