Genuine well being for ourselves and the planet

Happiness Quotations

(Note: these quotes are updated periodically, so please check back and/or send me quotes you’d like to see included.)

Newest quote, summer 2016, from Scottish novelist Alexander McCall Smith’s Number One Ladies Detective Club series: “Mma Ramotswe wrote letters to old friends and prepared accounts for the impending end of the financial year.  She had not made a lot of money, but she had not made a loss, and she had been happy and entertained.  That counted for infinitely more than a vigorously healthy balance sheet.  In fact, she thought, annual accounts should include an item specifically headed Happiness, alongside expenses and receipts and the like.  That figure in her accounts would be a very large one, she thought.”

December 2015, U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy: “If we want to create a healthier country, we need to empower more people to make changes in their lives.  But we also have to empower them to help change their environment.  And that’s the power of  … meditation, gratitude exercises, social connection — it creates a greater sense of well being, which then gives them the fuel and energy, if you will, to go out and make changes in their lives and in their community.”

From Sonja Lyubomirsky, author of The How of Happiness and The Myths of Happiness:  “Women’s magazines will often ask me things like, ‘Alright, I need six five-minute happiness strategies.’ And I say, well, there aren’t any five-minute happiness strategies. This is something you have to do kind of every day for the rest of your life. Just like if you want to raise moral children, or if you want to advance in your career. It’s a goal you pursue your whole life.”

“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.  If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.  If you want happiness for a month — get married.  If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.  If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”

— Chinese Proverb

The quotes below are in no particular order.  My favorites are the more lyrical quotes, like those of Hafiz of Persia and Ralph Waldo Emerson.

These seemed like a good illustration for the “perfume” of happiness.

Which ones do you especially like?  Are there others I should add to this collection? I’d love to get your feedback!  Enjoy, starting with this from John Lennon:

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life.  When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I wrote down ‘happy.’  They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

Thomas Ingersoll, a late nineenth century free thinking agnostic:  “Now is the time to be happy, where ever you are is the place to be happy and the way to be happy is to make others happy.

What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.”
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

“Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.”
–Hafiz of Persia

“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”
— Margaret Lee Runbeck

“No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.”
— Barbara de Angelis

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”
— Albert Einstein

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

“Knowledge of what is possible is the beginning of happiness.”
George Santayana

If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.”
— Andrew Carnegie

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
— Buddha

“A multitude of small delights constitute happiness.”
— Charles Baudelaire

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
— Abraham Lincoln

“The amount of happiness that you have depends on the amount of freedom you have in your heart.”
Thich Nhat Hanh

“Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life.”
— Linus Pauling

“Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy.”
David Steindl-Rast

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
— Marcel Proust

“Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others, cannot keep it from themselves.”
James M. Barrie

“There is no duty we so underrate as the duty of being happy. By being happy we sow anonymous benefits upon the world.”
— Robert Louis Stevenson

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.”
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I never could be good when I was not happy.”
–Julia Ward Howe

“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.”
Peyton Conway March

“I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.”
— Albert Schweitzer

“Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”
— Carl Jung

“Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
— Norman MacEwan

“The Constitution only guarantees you the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
— Benjamin Franklin

“Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Aristotle

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

“Happiness does not come automatically.  It is not a gift that good fortune bestows upon us and a reversal of fortune takes back.  It depends on us alone.   One does not become happy overnight, but with patient labor, day after day.  Happiness is constructed, and that requires effort and time.  In order to become happy, we have to learn how to change ourselves.” — Luca and Francesco Cavalli-Sporza

Comments on: "Happiness Quotations" (6)

  1. Anonymous said:

    What a good collection of poems/sayings! Any to share from the writing workshop last Saturday? Ulrike

  2. There are some haikus from last week’s writing workshop posted on the happiness poetry page. BTW, Anne Loecher left behind some poetry writing information sheets for others to pick up.

  3. Alfonso Olea said:

    happiness may be sometimes something so aparently simple..once in Anctartica, (the only time in my life) I read a quote in a shelter about happiness..”happiness is warm feet”

  4. I love that! One key to happiness I’ve read about is the ability to “savor.” I can only imagine how much one might savor warm feet in Antarctica!

  5. I love this collection of quotes. Thank you for putting it together Ginny.

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