It is always easier to believe than to deny. Our minds are naturally affirmative.
—John Burroughs (1837–1921) American Naturalist, Writer
I believe in using words, not fists… I believe in my outrage knowing people are living in boxes on the street. I believe in honesty. I believe in a good time. I believe in good food. I believe in sex.
—Susan Sarandon (b.1946) American Actress, Activist
Men are most apt to believe what they least understand.
—Pliny the Elder (23–79CE) Roman Statesman, Scholar
Man is what he believes.
—Anton Chekhov (1860–1904) Russian Short-Story Writer
Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
First there is a time when we believe everything, then for a little while we believe with discrimination, then we believe nothing whatever, and then we believe everything again – and, moreover, give reasons why we believe.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–99) German Philosopher, Physicist
Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.
—Charles F. Kettering (1876–1958) American Inventor, Entrepreneur, Businessperson
A conservative believes nothing should be done for the first time.
—Lynwood L. Giacomini (1913–91) American Publisher, Bibliophile
Our systems, perhaps, are nothing more than an unconscious apology for our faults—a gigantic scaffolding whose object is to hide from us our favorite sin.
—Henri Frederic Amiel (1821–81) Swiss Moral Philosopher, Poet, Critic
Strike from mankind the principle of faith, and men would have no more history than a flock of sheep.
—Edward Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton (1803–73) British Novelist, Poet, Politician
Faith … acts promptly and boldly on the occasion, on slender evidence.
—John Henry Newman (1801–90) British Theologian, Poet
It’s easy to act as if you are a weathervane, always changing your beliefs and words, trying to please everyone around you. But we were born to be lighthouses, not weathervanes. Imagine a vertical axis running through the center of your heart, from your deepest roots to your highest aspirations. That’s your lighthouse. It anchors you in the world and frees you from having to change directions every time the weather shifts. Inside this lighthouse there is a lens and a light. The light represents who you are when nobody else is looking. That light was meant to keep shining, no matter how dark or stormy it gets outside…when you find that light inside you, you will know it. Don’t let anyone else dim it…and one more thing: remember to look for the light inside others. If at first you can’t see it, look deeper. It’s there.
—Robert Cooper (b.1947) British Diplomat
Sooner or later, those who win are those who think they can.
—Richard Bach (b.1936) American Novelist, Aviator
Faith is believing where we cannot prove.
—Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809–92) British Poet
Believing: it means believing in our own lies. And I can say that I am grateful that I got this lesson very early.
—Gunter Grass (1927–2015) German Novelist, Poet
Believe one who has proved it. Believe an expert.
—Virgil (70–19 BCE) Roman Poet
The prompter the refusal, the less the disappointment.
—Publilius Syrus (fl.85–43 BCE) Syrian-born Roman Latin Writer
Faith begins as an experiment and ends as an experience.
—William Ralph Inge (1860–1954) English Anglican Clergyman, Priest, Mystic
Men freely believe that which they desire.
—Julius Caesar (c.100–44BCE) Roman Statesman, Military General
What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are.
—Tony Robbins (b.1960) American Self-Help Author, Entrepreneur
People don’t believe what you tell them. They rarely believe what you show them. They often believe what their friends tell them. They always believe what they tell themselves.
—Seth Godin (b.1960) American Entrepreneur
The man who appeals to the best side of his fellows is rarely disappointed.
Believe only half of what you see and nothing that you hear.
—Dinah Craik (1826–87) British Novelist, Essayist, Poet
Faith in oneself is the best and safest course.
—Michelangelo (1475–1564) Italian Painter, Sculptor, Architect, Poet, Engineer
He who does not know how to believe, should not know.
—Antonio Porchia (1885–1968) Italian Poet
The curse of man, and the cause of nearly all his woe, is his stupendous capacity for believing the incredible.
—H. L. Mencken (1880–1956) American Journalist, Literary Critic
What distinguishes the majority of men from the few is their inability to act according to their beliefs.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
To believe in God is to yearn for His existence, and furthermore, it is to act as if He did exist.
—Miguel de Unamuno (1864–1936) Spanish Educator, Philosopher, Author
All the great ages have been ages of belief.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
I don’t think of myself as a poor deprived ghetto girl who made good. I think of myself as somebody who from an early age knew I was responsible for myself, and I had to make good.
—Oprah Winfrey (b.1954) American TV Personality
The person who has a firm trust in the Supreme Being is powerful in his power, wise by his wisdom, happy by his happiness.
—Joseph Addison (1672–1719) English Essayist, Poet, Playwright, Politician
It is impossible on reasonable grounds to disbelieve miracles.
—Blaise Pascal (1623–62) French Mathematician, Physicist, Theologian
In our course we teach that “no thought lives in your head rent-free”. Each thought you have will either be an investment or a cost. It will either move you toward happiness and success or away from it. It will either empower you or disempower you. That’s why it is imperative you choose your thoughts and beliefs wisely.
—T. Harv Eker (b.1954) American Motivational Speaker, Lecturer, Author
As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use.
—William James (1842–1910) American Philosopher, Psychologist, Physician
Your enthusiasm will be infectious, stimulating and attractive to others. They will love you for it. They will go for you and with you.
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) American Clergyman, Self-Help Author
There lies at the back of every creed something terrible and hard for which the worshipper may one day be required to suffer.
—E. M. Forster (1879–1970) English Novelist, Short Story Writer, Essayist
Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore seek not to understand that thou mayest believe, but believe, that thou mayest understand.
—Augustine of Hippo (354–430) Roman-African Christian Philosopher
You have to believe in gods to see them.
—American Indian Proverb
A man is literally what he thinks.
—James Lane Allen (1849–1925) American Novelist, Short Story Writer
Man often becomes what he believes himself to be. If I keep on saying to myself that I cannot do a certain thing, it is possible that I may end by really becoming incapable of doing it. On the contrary, if I shall have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it, even if I may not have it at the beginning.
—Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869–1948) Indian Hindu Political leader
The very act of believing creates strength of its own.
There is one inevitable criterion of judgment touching religious faith . .. Can you reduce it to practice? If not, have none of it.
—Hosea Ballou (1771–1852) American Theologian
We have only to believe. And the more threatening and irreducible reality appears, the more firmly and desperately we must believe. Then, little by little, we shall see the universal horror unbend, and then smile upon us, and then take us in its more than human arms.
—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881–1955) French Jesuit Philosopher, Paleontologist
Our faith triumphant o’er our fears.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
The historic glory of America lies in the fact that it is the one nation that was founded like a church. That is, it was founded on a faith that was not merely summed up after it had existed; it was defined before it existed.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
The will to do springs from the knowledge that we can do.
—James Allen (1864–1912) British Philosophical Writer
Some like to understand what they believe in. Others like to believe in what they understand.
—Stanislaw Jerzy Lec (1909–1966) Polish Aphorist, Poet
It is a singular fact that many men of action incline to the theory of fatalism, while the greater part of men of thought believe in a divine providence.
—Honore de Balzac (1799–1850) French Novelist
Vain are the thousand creeds that move men’s hearts, unutterably vain; Worthless as withered weeds, or idlest froth amid the boundless main.
—Emily Bronte (1818–48) English Novelist, Poet
He does not believe who does not live according to his belief.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian