William James Quotes

These William James quotes will, with the right attitude (he's big on attitude!), have you reaching for the stars. William James is one of my personal favourite inspirational 'famous people', I think you're allowed a favourite psychologist, right?

Butterfly on a flower with William James quote

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Anyway, I'm sure you will enjoy this collection of his greatest motivational quotes. And if you have landed on this page first then don't forget to check out his profile and some more of his thoughts about life by clicking on the links at the end.

A Top 10 list of
William James Quotes


"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."

- William James


"Most people never run far enough on their first wind
to find out they've got a second."

- William James


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


"The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it."

- William James


"Everybody should do at least two things each day
that he hates to do, just for practice."

- William James


"Tell him to live by yes and no,
yes to everything good, no to everything bad."

- William James


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

- William James


"Begin to be now what you will be hereafter."

- William James


"Why should we think upon things that are lovely?
Because thinking determines life.
It is a common habit to blame life upon the environment.
Environment modifies life but does not govern life.
The soul is stronger than its surroundings."

- William James

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This quote brings a smile to my face every time...

"To change ones life:
Start immediately. Do it flamboyantly."

- William James

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