3. “Seek out that particular mental attribute which makes you feel most deeply and vitally alive, along with which comes the inner voice which says, ‘This is the real me,’ and when you have found that attitude, follow it.”

4. “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.”

5. “To change one’s life, start immediately; do it flamboyantly; no exceptions.”

6. “The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human can alter his life by altering his attitude.”

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

8. “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.”

9. “Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help create the fact.”

10. “Anything you may hold firmly in your imagination can be yours.”

11. “The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook.”

12. “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

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

14. “If you can change your mind, you can change your life.”

15. “Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.”

16. “Whenever you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it. That factor is attitude.”

17. “I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny, invisible molecular moral 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 you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of man’s pride.”

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

19. “Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.”

20. “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.”


21. “Begin to be now what you will be hereafter.”

22. “Wherever you are, it is your friends who make your world.”

23. “There are no differences but differences of degree between different degrees of difference and no difference.”

24. “Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

25. “Beyond the very extremity of fatigue distress, amounts of ease and power that we never dreamed ourselves to own, sources of strength habitually not taxed at all, because habitually we never push through the obstruction.”

26. “If merely ‘feeling good’ could decide, drunkenness would be the supremely valid human experience.”

27. “Actions seem to follow feeling, but really, actions 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. Thus, the sovereign voluntary path to cheerfulness, if our cheerfulness be lost, is to sit up cheerfully and to act and speak as if cheerfulness were already there.”

28. “We have grown literally afraid to be poor. We despise anyone who elects to be poor in order to simplify and save his inner life. If he does not join the general scramble and pant with the money-making street, we deem him spiritless and lacking in ambition.”

29. “The moral flabbiness born of the exclusive worship of the bitch-goddess success. That—with the squalid cash interpretation put on the word success—is our national disease.”

30. “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.”

31. “Belief creates the actual fact.”

32. “I am no lover of disorder and doubt as such. Rather,I fear to lose truth by the pretension to possess it already wholly.”

33. “A sense of humor is just common sense dancing.”

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

35. “We have to live today by what truth we can get today and be ready tomorrow to call it falsehood.”

36. “I don’t sing because I’m happy. I’m happy because I sing.”

37. “It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all.”

38. “See the exquisite contrast of the types of mind!”

39. “A man with no philosophy in him is the most inauspicious and unprofitable of all possible social mates.”

40. “There are, in us, possibilities that take our breath away and show a world wider than either physics or philistine ethics can imagine.”

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

42. “In the practical life of the individual, we know how his whole gloom or glee about any present fact depends on the remoter schemes and hopes with which it stands related.”

43. “Were one asked to characterize the life of religion in the broadest and most general terms possible, one might say that it consists of the belief that there is an unseen order, and our supreme good lies in harmoniously adjusting ourselves thereto.”

44. “The prevalent fear of poverty among the educated classes is the worst moral disease from which our civilization suffers.”

45. “Whilst part of what we perceive comes through our senses from the object before us, another part—and it may be the larger part—always comes out of our own mind.”

46. “The attempt at introspective analysis is in fact like seizing a spinning top to catch its motion, or trying to turn up the gas quickly enough to see the darkness.”

47. “Selection is the very keel on which our mental ship is built. And in this case of memory, its utility is obvious. If we remembered everything, we should on most occasions be as ill off as if we remembered nothing.”

48. “All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits.”

49. “The community stagnates without the impulse of the individual; the impulse dies away without the sympathy of the community.”

50. “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.”

51. “How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men, at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.”

52. “Everyone knows what attention is. It is taking possession of the mind, in clear and vivid form, of one out of what seems several simultaneously possible objects or trains of thought.”

53. “Focalization—concentration of consciousness—is of its essence. It implies a withdrawal from some things in order to deal effectively with others.”

54. “Earnestness means willingness to live with energy, though energy brings pain.”

55. “The sweetest delights are trampled on with a ferocious pleasure the moment they offer themselves as checks to a cause by which our higher indignations are elicited.”

56. “It costs, then, nothing to drop friendships, to renounce long-rooted privileges and possessions, to break with social ties. Rather, do we take a stern joy in the astringency and desolation; and what is called weakness of character seems in most cases to consist of the inaptitude for these sacrificial moods, of which one’s own inferior self and its pet softnesses must often be the targets and the victims.”

57. “My thinking is first, and last, and always for the sake of my doing.”

58. “Keep the faculty of effort alive in you by a little gratuitous exercise every day.”

59. “So with the man who has daily injured himself to habits of concentrated attention, energetic volition, and self-denial in unnecessary things. He will stand like a tower when everything rocks around him, and when his softer fellow-mortals are winnowed like chaff in the blast.”

60. “Our moral and practical attitude, impulses, inhibitions—how it contains and moulds us by its restrictive pressure almost as if we were fluids pent with the cavity of a jar. It becomes our subconscious.”

61. “Moral scepticism can no more be refuted or proved by logic than intellectual scepticism can.”

62. “Contempt for one’s own comrades, for the troops of the enemy, and above all, fierce contempt for one’s own person, are what war demands of everyone.”

63. “Far better is it for an army to be too savage, too cruel, too barbarous, than to possess too much sentimentality and human reasonableness.”

64. “Stating the thing broadly, the human individual thus lives far within his limits; he possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use.”

65. “Our faith is faith in someone else’s faith; and in the greatest matters, this is most the case.”

66. “There is something almost shocking in the notion of so chaste a function carrying this Kantian hurlyburly in her womb.”

67. “Of course we measure ourselves by many standards.”

68. “Our strength and our intelligence, our wealth and , are things which warm our heart and make us feel ourselves a match for life. But deeper than all such things, and able to suffice until itself without them, is the sense of the which we can put forth.”

69. “Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.”

70. “A solemn state of mind is never crude or simple—it seems to contain a certain measure of its own opposite in solution. A solemn joy preserves a sort of bitterness in its sweetness—a solemn sorrow is one to which we intimately consent.”

71. “Non-resistance, when successful, turns enemies into friends.”

72. “Good humor is a philosophic state of mind; it seems to say to nature that we take her no more seriously than she takes us. I maintain that one should always talk of philosophy with a smile.”

73. “We may be in the universe as dogs and are in our libraries, seeing the books and hearing the conversation, but having no inkling of the meaning of it all.”

74. “My experience is what I agree to attend to.”

75. “Procrastination is attitude’s natural assassin.”

76. “A great nation is not saved by wars, it is saved by acts without external picturesqueness; by speaking, writing, voting reasonably; by smiting corruption swiftly; by good temper between parties; by the people knowing true men when they see them, and preferring them as leaders to rabid partisans and empty quacks.”

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

78. “Knowledge about life is one thing; effective occupation of a place in life, with its dynamic currents passing through your being, is another.”

79. “Science, like life, feeds on its own decay. New facts burst old rules; then newly divined conceptions bind old and new together into a reconciling law.”

80. “The aim of a college education is to teach you to know a good man when you see one.”

81. “Philosophy is an unusually stubborn attempt to think clearly.”

82. “When a thing is new, people say, ‘It is not true.’ Later, when its truth becomes obvious, they say, ‘It is not important.’ Finally, when its importance cannot be denied, they say, ‘Anyway, it is not new.’”

83. “Age is a very high price to pay for maturity.”

84. “Religion is a monumental chapter in the history of human egotism.”

85. “The union of the mathematician with the poet, fervor with measure, passion with correctness, this surely is the ideal.”

86. “It would probably astound each of us beyond measure to be let into his neighbors mind and to find how different the scenery was there from that of his own.”

87. “A man has as many social selves as there are distinct groups of persons about whose opinion he cares. He generally shows a different side of himself to each of these different groups.”

88. “Truth, for him, becomes a class-name for all sorts of definite working-values in experience.”

89. “If you wish to upset the law that all crows are black, you mustn’t seek to show that no crows are; it is enough if you prove one single crow to be white.”

90. “As a rule, we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.”

91. “Philosophy, beginning in wonder, as and Aristotle said, is able to fancy everything different from what it is. It sees the familiar as if it were strange, and the strange as if it were familiar. It can take things up and lay them down again. It rouses us from our native dogmatic slumber and breaks up our caked prejudices.”

92. “Most people probably are in doubt about certain matters ascribed to their past. They may have seen them, may have said them, done them, or they may only have dreamed or imagined they did so.”

93. “Thus, when a superior intellect and a psychopathic temperament coalesce in the same individual, we have the best possible conditions for the kind of effective genius that gets into the biographical dictionaries.”

94. “Such men do not remain mere critics and understand with their intellect. Their ideas possess them, they inflict them, for better or worse, upon their companions or their age.”

95. “Philosophy lives in words, but truth and fact well up into our lives in ways that exceed verbal formulation.”

96. “Nothing we ever do is, in strict scientific literalness, wiped out. Of course this has its good side as well as its bad one.”

97. “We have lost the power of even imagining what the ancient idealization of poverty could have meant. The liberation from material attachments, the unbribed soul, the manlier indifference, the paying our way by what we are or do and not by what we have, the right to fling away our life at any moment irresponsibly—the more athletic trim, in short, the moral fighting shape.”

98. “But it is the bane of psychology to suppose that where results are similar, processes must be the same.”

99. “Psychologists are too apt to reason as geometers would, if the latter were to say that the diameter of a circle is the same thing as its semi-circumference, because, forsooth, they terminate in the same two points.”

100. “There is only one thing a philosopher can be relied upon to do, and that is to contradict other philosophers.”

101. “I am tired of the position of the dried-up critic and doubter. The believer is the true full man.”

102. “Invention, using the term most broadly, and imitation, are the two legs, so to call them, on which the human race historically has walked.”

103. “Wisdom is seeing something in a non-habitual manner.”

104. “Round about the accredited and orderly facts of every science there ever floats a sort of dust-cloud of exceptional observations, of occurrences minute and irregular and seldom met with, which it always proves more easy to ignore than to attend to.”

105. “Anyone will renovate his science who will steadily look after the irregular phenomena, and when science is renewed, its new formulas often have more of the voice of the exceptions in them than of what were supposed to be the rules.”

106. “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.”

107. “I know that you, ladies and gentlemen, have a philosophy; each and all of you, and that the most interesting and important thing about you is the way in which it determines the perspective in your several worlds.”

108. “The first thing the intellect does with an object is to class it along with something else.”

109. “Psychology is the science of mental life.”

110. “Our colleges ought to have lit up in us a lasting relish for a better kind of man—a loss of appetite for mediocrities.”

111. “Our intelligence cannot wall itself up alive, like a pupa in a chrysalis. It must at any cost keep on speaking terms with the universe that engendered it.”

112. “Whatever is beyond this narrow rational consciousness we mistake for our only consciousness.”

113. “The lack of education means only the failure to have acquired them, and the consequent liability to be floored and rattled in the vicissitudes of experience.”

114. “Our science is a drop; our ignorance a sea.”

115. “Philosophy is at once the most sublime and the most trivial of human pursuits. It works in the minutest crannies and it opens out the widest vistas.”

116. “A social organism of any sort whatever, large or small, is what it is because each member proceeds to his own duty with a that the other members will simultaneously do theirs.”

117. “Objective evidence and certitude are doubtless very fine ideals to play with, but where on this moonlit and dream-visited planet are they found?”

118. “There is, it must be confessed, a curious fascination in hearing deep things talked about, even though neither we nor the disputants understand them.”

119. “Philosophy’s results concern us all most vitally, and philosophy’s queerest arguments tickle agreeably our sense of subtlety and ingenuity.”

120. “What right have we to believe nature, under any obligation, to do her work by means of complete minds only? She may find an incomplete mind a more suitable instrument for a particular purpose.”

121. “To know is one thing, and to know for certain that we know is another.”

122. “Our belief in truth itself, for instance, that there is a truth, and that our minds and it are made for each other—what is it but a passionate affirmation of desire, in which our social system backs us up?”

123. “We want to have a truth; we want to believe that our experiments and studies and discussions must put us in a continually better and better position towards it; and on this line we agree to fight out our thinking lives.”

124. “It is astonishing to see how many philosophical disputes collapse into insignificance the moment you subject them to this simple test of tracing a concrete consequence.”

125. “There is no doubt that healthy-mindedness is inadequate as a philosophical doctrine, because the evil facts which it positively refuses to account for are a genuine portion of reality; and they may after all be the best key to life’s significance, and possibly the only openers of our eyes to the deepest levels of truth.”

126. “The intellectual life of man consists almost wholly in his substituting a conceptual order for the perceptual order in which his experience originally comes.”

127. “The notion of God, on the other hand, however inferior it may be in clearness to those mathematical notions so current in mechanical philosophy, has at least this practical superiority over them, that it guarantees an ideal order that shall be permanently preserved.”

128. “As a rule, reading fiction is as hard to me as trying to hit a target by hurling feathers at it. I need resistance to celebrate!”

129. “Here is a world in which all is well, in spite of certain forms of death, death of hope, death of strength, death of responsibility, of fear and wrong, death of everything that paganism, naturalism and legalism pin their trust on.”

130. “Pragmatism asks its usual question. ‘Grant an idea or belief to be true,’ it says, ‘What concrete difference will its being true make in anyone’s actual life? How will the truth be realized? What experiences will be different from those which would obtain if the belief were false? What, in short, is the truth’s cash-value in experiential terms?’”

131. “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.”

132. “Human beings are born into this little span of life of which the best thing is its friendships and intimacies, and yet they leave their friendships and intimacies with no cultivation, to grow as they will by the roadside, expecting them to keep by force of mere inertia.”

133. “If any organism fails to fulfill its potentialities, it becomes sick.”

134. “Do every day or two something for no other reason 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.”

135. “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.By neglecting the necessary concrete labor, by sparing ourselves the little daily tax, we are positively digging the graves of our higher possibilities.”

136. “There are two lives—the natural and the spiritual, and we must lose the one before we can participate in the other.”

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

138. “The strenuous life tastes better.”

139. “Your hopes, dreams and aspirations are legitimate. They are trying to take you airborne, above the clouds, above the , if you only let them.”

140. “If this life is not a real fight, in which something is eternally gained for the universe by success, it is no better than a game of private theatricals from which one may withdraw at will. But it feels like a real fight.”

141. “It does not follow, because our ancestors made so many errors of fact and mixed them with their religion, that we should therefore leave off being religious at all.”

142. “By being religious we establish ourselves in possession of ultimate reality at the only points at which reality is given us to guard.”

143. “Our responsible concern is with our private destiny, after all.”

144. “Damn the absolute!”

145. “The perfect stillness of the night was thrilled by a . The darkness held a presence that was all the more felt because it was not seen. I could not any more have doubted that he was there than that I was. Indeed, I felt myself to be, if possible, the less real of the two.”

146. “This sadness lies at the heart of every merely positivistic, agnostic, or naturalistic scheme of philosophy.”

147. “The lunatic’s visions of horror are all drawn from the material of daily fact. Our civilization is founded on the shambles, and every individual existence goes out in a lonely spasm of helpless agony.”

148. “The hell to be endured hereafter, of which theology tells, is no worse than the hell we make for ourselves in this world by habitually fashioning our characters in the wrong way.”

149. “Every smallest stroke of virtue or of vice leaves its never so little scar.”

150. “All religions and spiritual traditions begin with the cry, ‘Help!’”

151. “None of us are ever who we were yesterday.”

152. “It is true that so far as wealth gives time for ideal ends and exercise to ideal energies, wealth is better than poverty and ought to be chosen. But wealth does this in only a portion of the actual cases.”

153. “The sway of alcohol over mankind is unquestionably due to its power to stimulate the mystical faculties of human nature, usually crushed to earth by the cold facts and dry criticisms of the sober hour.”

154. “When all is said and done, we are in the end absolutely dependent on the universe; and into sacrifices and surrenders of some sort, deliberately looked at and accepted, we are drawn and pressed as into our only permanent positions of repose.”

155. “In the religious life, on the contrary, surrender and sacrifice are positively espoused. Even unnecessary give-ups are added in order that the happiness may increase. Religion thus makes easy and felicitous what in any case is necessary.”

156. “The may be pain to other people or pain to oneself — it makes little difference; for when the strenuous mood is on one, the aim is to break something, no matter whose or what.”

157. “Nothing annihilates an inhibition as irresistibly as anger does it.”

158. “To suggest personal will and effort to one all sickly over with the sense of irremediable impotence is to suggest the most impossible of things. What he craves is to be consoled in his very powerlessness, to feel that the spirit of the universe recognizes and secures him, all decaying and failing as he is.”

159. “A man’s self is the sum total of all that he can call his, not only his body and his psychic powers, but his clothes and his house.”

160. “The means have murdered the end.”

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

162. “How soon, indeed, are human things forgotten!”

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

164. “Everyone is familiar with the phenomenon of feeling more or less alive on different days.”

165. “Everyone knows, on any given day, that there are energies slumbering in him which the incitements of that day do not call forth, but which he might display if these were greater.”

166. “Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources.”

167. “No fact in human nature is more characteristic than its willingness to live on a chance.”

168. “The existence of the chance makes the difference between a life of which the keynote is resignation and a life of which the keynote is hope.”

169. “A stream of ideal tendency embedded in the external structure of the world.”

170. “Resign your destiny to higher powers.”

171. “Phrases of neatness, cosiness, and comfort can never be an answer to the sphinx’s riddle.”

172. “The most violent revolutions in an individual’s beliefs leave most of his old order standing. Time and space, cause and effect, nature and history, and one’s own biography remain untouched. New truth is always a go-between, a smoother-over of transitions. It marries old opinion to new fact so as ever to show a minimum of jolt, a maximum of continuity.”

173. “When once a decision is reached and execution is the order of the day, dismiss absolutely all responsibility and care about the outcome.”

174. “In truths dependent on our personal action, then, faith based on desire is certainly a lawful and possibly an indispensable thing.”

175. “Belief and doubt are living attitudes, and involve conduct on our part. Our only way, for example, of doubting, or refusing to believe that a certain thing is, is continuing to act as if it were not.”

176. “We are all ready to be savage in some cause. The difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of the cause.”

177. “All of us are beggars here.”


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