Our Attitude

william-james-quote-orlando espinosaHere are a few quotes from an original thinker: William James.

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

2. “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.”

3. “The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.”

4. “Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power.”

5. “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.”

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

7. “There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision.”

8. “Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never dreamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction.”

9. “Genius, in truth, means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an unhabitual way.”

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

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

12. “It is our attitude at the beginning of a difficult undertaking which, more than anything else, will determine its successful outcome.”

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

14. “The function of ignoring, of inattention, is as vital a factor in mental progress as the function of attention itself.”

15. “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.”

16. “Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.”

17. “If there is aught of good in the style, it is the result of ceaseless toil in rewriting. Everything comes out wrong with me at first; but when once objectified I can torture and poke and scrape and pat it till it offends me no more.”

18. “Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf.”

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

20. “Each of us literally chooses, by his way of attending to things, what sort of universe he shall appear to himself to inhabit.”

21. “He who refuses to embrace a unique opportunity loses the prize as surely as if he had tried and failed.”

22. “Could the young but realize how soon they will become mere walking bundles of habits, they would give more heed to their conduct while in the plastic state.”

23. “If you believe that feeling bad or worrying long enough will change a past or future event, then you are residing on another planet with a different reality system.”

24. “Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day. That is, be systematically heroic in little unnecessary points, do every day or two something 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.”

25. “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

26. “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.”

27. “It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.”

28. “There is but one cause of human failure. And that is man’s lack of faith in his true Self.”

29. “The transition from tenseness, self-responsibility, and worry, to equanimity, receptivity, and peace, is the most wonderful of all those shiftings of inner equilibrium, those changes of personal centre of energy, which I have analyzed so often; and the chief wonder of it is that it so often comes about, not by doing, but by simply relaxing and throwing the burden down.”

30. “No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one’s sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one’s character may remain entirely unaffected for the better.”

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