William James

1842 - 1910

A Quote by William James on circle, consciousness, people, and possibility

Most people live... in a very restricted circle of their potential being.  They make use of a very small portion of their possible consciousness... much like a man who, out of his whole bodily
organism, should get into a habit of using and moving only his little finger.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Shelley

A Quote by William James on habits, psychology, and intention

No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one's sentiments may be, if one have not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one's character may remain entirely unaffected for the better. With mere good intentions, hell is proverbially paved.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1

Contributed by: Brian

A Quote by William James on habits, psychology, and emotion

Every time a resolve or a fine glow of feeling evaporates without bearing practical fruit is worse than a chance lost; it works to hinder future resolutions and emotions from taking the normal path of discharge. There is no more contemptible type of human character than that of the nerveless sentimentalist and dreamer, who spends his life in a weltering sea of sensibility and emotion, but who never does a manly concrete deed.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1

Contributed by: Brian

A Quote by William James on habits and psychology

Seize the very first possible opportunity to act on every resolution you make, and on every emotional prompting you may experience in the direction of the habits you aspire to gain.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1

Contributed by: Brian

A Quote by William James on habits and psychology

Let no youth have nay anxiety about the upshot of his education, whatever the line of it may be. If he keep faithfully busy each hour of the working-day, he may safely leave the final result to itself. He can with perfect certainty count on waking up some fine morning, to find himself one of the competent ones of his generation, in whatever pursuit he may have singled out.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1

Contributed by: Brian

A Quote by William James on discipline and habits

Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically ascetic or heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something for no other reason than that 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 (1842 - 1910)

Source: Principles of Psychology: Habit

Contributed by: Brian

A Quote by William James on community, individual, zaadz, human, water, and rootlets

I am done with great things and big plans, great institutions and big successes.  I am for those tiny, invisible loving human forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which, if given time, will rend the hardest monuments of human pride.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Source: The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life, Pages: 197

Contributed by: Gwen

A Quote by William James on knowledge, nature, and belief

I believe there is no source of deception in the investigation of nature which can compare with a fixed belief that certain kinds of phenomena are impossible.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Joe

A Quote by William James on mind, thought, and discovery

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.  As you think, so shall you be.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Soul Friend

A Quote by William James on art

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The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.

William James (1842 - 1910)

Contributed by: Zaady

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