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Happiness Quotes


Top 50 Happiness Quotes


No 1 (Best quote!)Happiness Quotes

There is no happiness without action.

- William James (1842-1910), American psychologist and philosopher, pictured right


So James also says:

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



No 2Happiness Quotes

Life is an opportunity not an obligation.

- Lao Tzu (c604-c531 BC), Chinese philosopher), pictured right.


Lao Tzu also advises

He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty.



No 3Happiness Quotes

To thine ownself be true,

(Polonius in Hamlet)

 - William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English playwright, pictured right.

 Happiness Quotes

Soren Kierkegaard (1813-55), the Danish philosopher, pictured right puts it this way:

 Be that self which one truly is



No 4Happiness Quotes

Happiness lies not in the mere possession of money, it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.

- Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945), American president, pictured right.

(Vincent van Gogh ,1853-90, the Dutch painter, says something similar).

 Happiness Quotes

So Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), American writer and philosopher, pictured right, says:

Learn to do without luxuries and you are free. Poor in money but rich in sunny hours and sunny days.


No 5Happiness Quotes

Good conscience, good health, occupation, knowledge and freedom

(definition of happiness)

- Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826), the American president, pictured right.

Happiness Quotes


This is confirmed by St. Augustine (354-430), pictured right:

The happy man is one who possesses what he wants and wants nothing that is evil.



No 6Happiness Quotes

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved. That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.

(from the novel War and Peace)

- Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910), pictured right, Russian writer.


Two philosophers agree:


I went to the woods to lHappiness Quotesive deliberately...I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.

(from the 1854 novel Walden)

- Henry David Thoreau (1817-62), American writer and philosopher, pictured right.

 Happiness Quotes

Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.

- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), English philosopher, pictured right.



No 7

It is more blessed to give than to receive,

(Acts 20:35 in the Bible)

- Jesus (c4 BC-c30 AD), founder of Christianity


St. Paul also says in II Corinthians 9:7

God loveth a cheerful giver.


Two other English writers agree:

 Happiness Quotes

A man there was, tho’ some did call him mad, the more he cast away, the more he had,

(from the novel The Pilgrim's Progress)

- John Bunyan (1628-88), pictured right, English writer.

 Happiness Quotes

It [mercy] is twice blessed - it blesseth him that gives and him that takes,

(Portia in The Merchant of Venice)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), pictured right, English playwright.

 Happiness Quotes

This is confirmed by recent research by Richard Layard, pictured right, in his book, Happiness (2005):

People are happier if they are compassionate, and they are happier if they are thankful for what they have.

 Happiness Quotes

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45), German minister and theologian, pictured right, also comments:

In normal life we hardly realize how much more we receive than we give; life can be rich only with such realization.



No 8

Happy are the pure in heart

(from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5:8)

- Jesus (c4 BC-c30 AD), founder of Christianity


Two Buddhists agree:Happiness Quotes

If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him like a shadow that never leaves him.

- Gautama Buddha (563-483 BC), founder of Buddhism, pictured right.

 Happiness Quotes

True happiness comes from a sense of inner peace and contentment,

- Dalai Lama (1935- ), pictured right, the Tibetan spiritual leader.



No 9Happiness Quotes

The happiness of your life depends on the quality of your thoughts.

- Marcus Aurelius (121-180) philosopher and Roman emperor), pictured right.


Happiness Quotes

Sophocles (496-406 BC), the Greek playwright, pictured right agrees:

Happiness depends on wisdom.



No 10Happiness Quotes

Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.

- Albert Einstein (1879-1955) German-born American scientist, pictured right.

Happiness QuotesSeneca (c. 4 BC-65 AD), the Roman philosopher, pictured right, gives similar advice:

Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.



No 11Happiness Quotes

The secret of happiness is this: let your interest be as wide as possible and let your reactions to the things and persons who interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile

- Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), English philosopher, pictured right.


Happiness Quotes

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2008), the Russian writer (pictured right), in his 1968 novel The First Circle, agrees:

It doesn't depend on the actual number of blessings we manage to scratch from life, but only our attitude towards them.



No 12Happiness Quotes

The greatest happiness of the greatest number is the foundation of morals and legislation.

- Jeremy Bentham (1748–1832) English philosopher), pictured right.



No 13Happiness Quotes

What is this life if, full of care,

We have no time to stand and stare.

(from the 1911 poem Leisure)

- W.H. Davies (1871-1940), pictured right above, Welsh poet.



No 14Happiness Quotes

Happy the man, and happy he alone,

He, who can call to-day his own:

He who, secure within, can say,

Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.

(from the 1685 poem Happy the Man)

- John Dryden (1631-1700), pictured right above, English poet.



No 15Happiness Quotes

It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself.

- Thomas (Tom) Paine (1737-1809) English philosopher), pictured right.



No 16Happiness Quotes

Pleasure is the beginning and the goal of a happy life.

- Epicurus (341-270 BC) ,Greek philosopher, pictured right.

 Happiness Quotes

Aristotle 384–322 BC, Greek philosopher, pictured right, also says:

Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life


Happiness Quotes

But Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962) ,the American civil rights campaigner, pictured right says that happiness comes from aiming for something else:

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product



No 17Happiness Quotes

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,

Healthy, free, the world before me,

The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

(from the 1867 poem Song of the Open Road)

- Walt Whitman (1819-92), pictured right above, American poet.



No 18Happiness Quotes

Happiness seems less a matter of getting what we want than of wanting what we have,

- David Myers (1942- ), American psychology professor), pictured right.

 Happiness Quotes

Marcus Aurelius (121-180), the Roman emperor and philosopher, pictured right , said similarly:

Be content with what you are


Happiness Quotes

The Greek philosopher, Epicurus (341-270 BC), pictured right , agrees:

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not,



No 19Happiness Quotes

If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.

- Samuel Johnson 1709–84 English writer), pictured right.



No 20Happiness Quotes

If I am what I have and what I have is lost, who am I?,

- Erich Fromm (1900-80), pictured right, German-born American psychiatrist and philosopher.


No 21Happiness Quotes

We live in a fantasy world, a world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality.

- Iris Murdoch 1919–99 English writer, pictured right



No 22Happiness Quotes

Oft-times nothing profits more than self esteem, grounded on just and right well managed.

(from the 1667 poem Paradise Lost)

- John Milton (1608-74), pictured right, English poet.



No 23Happiness Quotes

The secret of reaping the greatest fruitfulness and the greatest enjoyment from life is to live dangerously!

- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) German philosopher), pictured right.



No 24Happiness Quotes

Take care to get what you like or you will be forced to like what you get,

(from the 1903 play Man and Superman)

- George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), pictured right, Irish writer.



No 25Happiness Quotes

My chief concern is me; I want another life and I don't know how to go about it.

(quoted in Charles Handy, pictured right, Beyond Certainty, 1995)

- Business executive.   



No 26Happiness Quotes

Life appears to be too short to be spent in pursuing animosity, or registering wrong.

(Helen Burns in the 1847 novel Jane Eyre)

- Charlotte Brontë (1816-55), English writer, pictured right



No 27Happiness Quotes

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.

- Walt Disney (1901-1966), film maker, pictured right.



No 28Happiness Quotes

I would trade all my technology for an afternoon with Socrates.

- Steve Jobs (1955- 2011), co-founder of Apple, pictured right.



No 29Happiness Quotes

A happy life consists not in the absence but in the mastery of hardships.

- Helen Keller (1880-1968), American campaigner for the deaf and blind, pictured right.



No 30

The good of man is thHappiness Quotese active exercise of his soul's faculties in conformity with excellence or virtue…Moreover this activity must occupy a complete lifetime; for one swallow does not make spring, nor does one fine day; and similarly one day or a brief period of happiness does not make a man supremely blessed and happy.

- Aristotle (384–322 BC), Greek philosopher, pictured right.



No 31Happiness Quotes

Far better to dare mighty things...than live in the grey twilight that knows not victory, nor defeat.

- Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) ,American president, pictured right.



No 32

A man should endeavour to be as pliant as a reed, yet hard as cedar wood.

- the Talmud, the Jewish holy book.


No 33Happiness Quotes

Be reborn in courage, in intellect, in happiness, and in all else. Dare to renew your brilliance.

- Baltasar Gracián 1601–58 Spanish philosopher, pictured right.



No 34Happiness Quotes

Happiness is secured through virtue.

- St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-74), Italian philosopher, pictured right.


Aquinas also comments:

The things that we love tell us what we are.



No 35Happiness Quotes

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be,

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), pictured right, American president.

 Happiness Quotes

Robert E. Lee, pictured right, the Confederate general in the American Civil War agrees:

All is happy if you make it so,



No 36Happiness Quotes

All that glisters is not gold

(Portia in The Merchant of Venice)

- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), pictured right, English playwright.


Two other of Shakespeare's characters make wise comments about happiness


Poor and content is rich, and rich enough

(Iago in  Othello)


Oh! how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another man's eyes!

(Orlando in As You Like It)



No 37Happiness Quotes

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?,

- Albert Camus (1913-60), pictured right, French writer.



No 38Happiness Quotes

My interest in life comes from setting myself huge, apparently unachievable, challenges and trying to rise above them.

- Richard Branson (1950- ), English founder of Virgin, pictured right.



No 39Happiness Quotes

You've got to have a reason to get up in the morning.

- Charles Handy (1932- ), Irish business writer, pictured right



No 40Happiness Quotes

Other people are the best antidote to the downs of life.

-Martin Seligman (1942- ), American psychologist, pictured right .



No 41Happiness Quotes

Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness,

- William Gladstone (1809-98), pictured right, British prime minister.



No 42Napoleon

We must take things as we find them, and not as we wish them to be,

- Napoleon (1769-1821) , pictured right, French leader.



No 43Happiness Quotes

Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous,

- Pericles (495-429 BC), pictured right, Greek writer.



No 44Happiness Quotes

The value of life can be measured by how many times your soul has been deeply stirred.

- Soichiro Honda (1906-91), Japanese co-founder of Honda, pictured right.



No 45Happiness Quotes

He who is virtuous is wise, and he who is wise is good; and he who is good is happy.

- Boethius (c.470-524), Roman philosopher and politician, pictured right.


No 46Happiness Quotes

When we come to a clearer and more sober estimate of our own limitations and responsibilities that makes it possible more genuinely to love our neighbour.

- Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-45), German minister and theologian (pictured right).



No 47Happiness Quotes

The best and most beautiful things cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.

- Helen Keller (1880-1968), American campaigner for the disabled, pictured right



No 48Happiness Quotes

The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man when he lives.

-Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), German philosopher and doctor, pictured right


No 49Happiness Quotes

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.

- Pablo Picasso (1881-1973), Spanish artist, pictured right.



No 50Happiness Quotes

Life is ..a matter of coming to terms with what you can’t do and what you can do.

- Bernard Levin (1920-2004), English journalist, pictured right.

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