What Would William James Do? | Jessica Lamb-Shapiro

February 12, 2015 1:22 PM

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What Would William James Do? | Jessica Lamb-Shapiro

I had never read William James before I wrote a book on self-help culture, and I'm not even sure what led me to him -- but he had as much to say on the subject of self-improvement as anyone writing today, and he said it more cleverly. If you've never heard of him either, he was the brother of Henry James, and his prolific writings on human psychology earned him the nickname "the father of psychology." I started with The Varieties of Religious Experience and immediately became devoted. I found William James to be so sensible, so articulate, so wise, so open-minded that my motto while writing my book became: What Would William James Do? For those of you who wish to do the same, here are some WJ quotes to guide you.This is but a small sampling, and their real value is better seen in the context of his full works. But even as aphorisms I find them much more useful than the usual "Hang In There" cat poster. I may even get a WWWJD tattoo.

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

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