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Happiness Quotes: Straight Up

Ideas & insights into happiness and wellbeing.

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Success is getting what you want; happiness is appreciating what you have.

Some pursue happiness, others create it.

Guillaume Apollinaire
Now and then it's good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy

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

Happiness involves engagement in activities that promote one’s highest potentials.

The activity of happiness must occupy an entire lifetime, for one swallow does not a summer make.

The quality of life is determined by its activities. Happiness is a sort of action.

Different men seek happiness in different ways and by different means.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.

The happy life is thought to be one of excellence; now an excellent life requires exertion, and does not consist in amusement.

St Augustin
Man wishes to be happy even when he so lives to make happiness impossible

Marcus Aurelius
Very little is needed to make a happy life. It is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.

Meher Baba
Don't worry, be happy. All will be well

Francis Bacon
Human relationships double our joys and halve our sorrows

John Barrymore
Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open

Nick Baylis
Happiness worth having is the warm glow that comes from investing ourselves in the world around us, come what may. It cannot be passively consumed or gulped down like a sugary drink. Happiness must be created by own ingenuity.

Happiness depends not on our purchasing power, but on how well we invest our time 

Arnold Bennett
We shall never have more time. We have, and always had, all the time there is. No object is served in waiting until next week or even until tomorrow. Keep going… Concentrate on something useful.

Drake Bennett
When it comes to spending money, we tend to value goods over experiences, ourselves over others, things over people. When it comes to happiness, none of these decisions are right.

Lady Blessington
There is no cosmetic like happiness

Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand nothing brings happiness unless you are content with it

Philip Bobbitt
All life is an experiment. Every important decision is taken with inadequate knowledge by imperfect men and women whom the future will confound. Yet we act nevertheless.

Christian Nestell Bovee
Tranquil pleasures last the longest; we are not fitted to bear the burden of great joy

Russell Brand
I'm famous now. But now that I've got fame and some of the other things I thought would make me happy - it ain't worked

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.

Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.

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

You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes only if you generously consent to share them.

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Willa Cather
One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world’s end somewhere, and holds fast to the days, as to fortune or fame.

Allan Chalmers
The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

Be happy. It's one way of being wise

Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.

William Cowper
Happiness depends, as Nature shows,
Less on exterior things than most suppose

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi: Flow
Happiness is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated and defended privately by each person. People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy

Flow is the process of achieving happiness through control over one’s inner life. The optimal state of inner experience is order in consciousness. This happens when we focus our attention (psychic energy) on realistic goals and when our skills match the challenges we face.

The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile

Whatever the dictates of fashion, it seems that those who take the trouble to gain mastery over what happens in consciousness do lead a happier life

Andrew Delbanco
As people spin faster and faster in the pursuit of merely personal happiness, they become exhausted in the futile effort of chasing themselves

Taisen Deshimaru
If you're not happy in the here and now you never will be

Bemjamin Disraeli
Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.

Fyodor Dostoyevski
Man is fond of counting his troubles, but he does not count his joys.  If he counted them up as he ought to, he would see that every lot has enough happiness provided for it.

John Dryden
First we make our habits, then our habits make us

Albert Einstein
In my experience the best creative work is never done when one is unhappy.

We act as though comfort and luxury are the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us happy is something to be enthusiastic about 

Gustav Flaubert
He was happy now, without a care in the world. A meal alone with her, a stroll along the highway in the evening, the way she touched her hand to her hair, the sight of her straw hat hanging from a window hasp, and many other things in which it had never occurred to him to look for pleasure -- such now formed the steady current of his happiness.

Michael Foley: The Age of Absurdity
The happiness state, when examined more closely, turns out not to be a point but a range, with contentment at the bottom and exaltation at the top...there are probably as many forms of happiness as there are of depression. 

Michael Fordyce
What makes people happy or unhappy? The findings here could fill a volume of books. Yet the simple answer is: almost anything you could think of! The things that cause happiness are as limitless as the Universe itself, and as varied and individual as human beings tend to be...yet the research shows that some happiness strategies are much more effective than others.

Anne Frank
We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.

Viktor Frankl: Man's search for meaning
Success, like happiness, cannot be pursued, it must ensue...as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a cause greater than oneself . 

Benjamin Franklin
Human felicity is produced not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen but by little advantages that occur every day

Ortega Y Gasset
Living is nothing more or less than doing one thing instead of another.

Dan Gilbert
If you want to know if something will make you happy or not, check with someone who's done it & see what effect it had on them.

There are nine requisites for contented living. Health enough to make work a pleasure. Wealth enough to support your needs. Strength enough to battle with difficulties and foresake them. Grace enough to admit your sins and overcome them. Patience enough to toil until some good is accomplished. Charity enough to see some good in your neighbor. Love enough to move you to be useful and helpful to others. Faith enough to make real the things of God. Hope enough to remove all anxious fears concerning the future.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it!
Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.

The person born with a talent they are meant to use will find their greatest happiness in using it.

Aurora Greenway
Work like you don't need the money, love like your heart has never been broken and dance like no one is watching.

Edgar Guest
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn't be done, and he did it.

It is better to have some unhappiness when one is still young, for if a person does not experience some bitterness he will not settle down.

Jonathan Haidt
Happiness is not the shallow state of feeling pleased and chipper all the time. Happiness is the state of a human being that has achieved cross-level coherence within herself, and between herself and the people, challenges, and institutions around her. Happiness comes from between.

Dan Hardy (UFC fighter)
The cage is a very special place. Time really does slow down; everything is enhanced, from the smell to the feeling of the canvas under your toes. As the adrenaline pumps, so time slows, so your reactions sharpen. Your do have time to think things through. The truth is, in the ring you live a heightened life. Yes, you're frightened. Yes it's terrifying but people would pay a lot of money if you could bottle the high you get in there.

Nathaniel Hawthorne
Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally. Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us a wild-goose chase, and is never attained. Follow some other object, and very possibly we may find that we have caught happiness without dreaming of it.

Happiness is as a butterfly which, when pursued, is always beyond our grasp but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

Robert Heinlein
Cast me into a dungeon; burn me at the stake, crown me king of kings, I can ‘pursue happiness’ as long as my brain lives – but neither gods nor saints, wise men nor subtle drugs, can insure that I will catch it

From Hinduism
Any worthwhile activity, however ordinary, but done in the right spirit, takes us one step closer to happiness.

Oliver Wendell Holmes
I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity the other side of complexity

Elbert Hubbard
The thing we fear we bring to pass
The greatest mistake a man can make is to be afraid of making one.

Victor Hugo
The supreme happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, in spite of ourselves.

Wilhelm von Humboldt
When we are not too anxious about happiness and unhappiness, but devote ourselves to the strict and unsparing performance of duty, then happiness comes of itself — nay, even springs from the midst of a life of troubles and anxieties and privations

Holbrook Jackson
Happiness is a form of courage

William James
The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitude of mind....If you change your mind you can change your life.

Dr Samuel Johnson
Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks.

Life affords no higher pleasure than that of surmounting difficulties, passing from one step of success to another, forming new wishes and seeing them gratified

Carl Jung
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.

Franz Kafka
In theory there is a possibility of perfect happiness. To believe in the indestructable element within one, and not to stride towards it

Daniel Kahneman
Happiness is a skill

Nothing in life is quite as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it (the Focussing Illusion)

Immanuel Kant
We find that the more a cultivated reason devotes itself to the aim of enjoying life and happiness, the furher does man get away from true contentment

Nikos Kazantzakis
How simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. . . . All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart

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

Many people have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

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

Most people measure their happiness in terms of physical pleasure and material possession. Could they win some visible goal which they have set on the horizon, how happy they could be! Lacking this gift or that circumstance, they would be miserable. If happiness is to be so measured, I who cannot hear or see have every reason to sit in a corner with folded hands and weep. If I am happy in spite of my deprivations, if my happiness is so deep that it is a faith, so thoughtful that it becomes a philosophy of life, — if, in short, I am an optimist, my testimony to the creed of optimism is worth hearing

Dalai Lama
Whether one believes in religion or not, whether one believes in this religion or that religion, the very purpose of our life is happiness, the very motion of our life is towards happiness.

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion

Janet Lane
Of all the things you wear your expression is the most important

C S Lewis
They had the talent for happiness in a high degree — went straight for it as experienced travelers go for the best seat in a train.

Lao Tzu
Seek not happiness too greedily, and be not fearful of unhappiness.

Doug Larson
The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment

Robert Lynd
Most of us believe in trying to make other people happy only if they can be happy in ways which we approve

Mike Martin
The most enriching enjoyments are tied to activities and relationships valued for their own sake and not merely for the pleasures they produce

Robert McPhillips
Happiness is the experience of loving life. Being happy is being in love with that momentary experience. And love is looking at someone or even something and seeing the absolute best in him/her or it. Love is happiness with what you see. So love and happiness really are the same thing... just expressed differently

Milkman & Sunderwirth
Not a day should pass without consciously seeking out some activity that helps perk up the neurotransmitters

John Stuart Mill
Those only are happy (I thought) who have their minds fixed on some object other than their own happiness; on the happiness of others, on the improvement of mankind, even on some art or pursuit, followed not as a means, but as itself an ideal end. Aiming thus at something else, they find happiness by the way

Charles Morgan
The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a particular mode of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change its form without being disappointed by the change; happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.

Iris Murdoch
Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary and everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self.

Freidrich Nietzsche
Rejoicing in our joy, not suffering over our suffering makes someone a friend

Daniel Nettle
The basis of many gratifications is the challenge required to get them

James Openheim
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.

Scott Peck
The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers

Andrew Pooley
This is my life. This is what I do well

Alexander Pope
The soul's calm sunshine

Jane Porter
Happiness is not perfected until it is shared

Boleslaw Prus
Perfect the Will, the Mind, Feeling, their corporeal organs and their material tools; be useful to yourselves, to your own ones, and to others; and Happiness, insofar as it exists on this earth, will come of itself

Francesca Reigler
Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.

Agnes Repplier
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere

Matthieu Ricard
By happiness I mean here a deep sense of flourishing that arises from an exceptionally healthy mind. This is not a mere pleasurable feeling, a fleeting emotion, or a mood, but an optimal state of being. Happiness is also a way of interpreting the world, since while it may be difficult to change the world, it is always possible to change the way we look at it

Happiness is a state of inner fulfilment, not the gratification of inexhaustible desires for outward things

Carl Rogers
The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.

Bertrand Russell
To like many people spontaneously and without effort is perhaps the greatest of all sources of personal happiness

To be without some of the things you want is an essential part of happiness

Anything you're good at contributes to happiness

The secrets to happiness include enterprise, exploration of one's interests and the overcoming of obstacles

Arthur Schopenauer
The two enemies of human happiness are pain and boredom

E. F. Schumacher
The Buddhist point of view takes the function of work to be at least 3 fold: to give a man a chance to utilize and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome his ego centeredness by joining with people in a common purpose; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence.

Sheldon et al 2004
People seeking greater well-being would be well advised to focus on the pursuit of (a) goals involving growth, connection, and contribution rather than goals involving money, beauty, and popularity and (b) goals that are interesting and personally important to them rather than goals they feel forced or pressured to pursue.

Freya Stark
There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.

Sufi Proverb
This too shall pass

Leonid Sukhorukov
Happiness divided by two is multiplied.

Stanley Sunderwirth
The most pleasure that life has to offer is an adequate flow of dopamine into the nucleus accumbens

John Templeton
Happiness pursued eludes, happiness given returns.

Henry Thoreau
If you have built castles in the air your work need not be lost. There is where they should be. Now put foundations under them.

Leo Tolstoy
Joy can be real only if people look upon their life as a service and have a definite in life outside themselves and their personal happiness

Mark Twain
Whoever is happy will make others happy too

The perfect is the enemy of the good

Lavetta Sue Wegman
You need to learn to be happy by nature, because you'll seldom have the chance to be happy by circumstance.

W. Beran Wolfe
If you observe a really happy man, you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under a radiator.

From Yoga
Get busy with your works.

Margaret Young
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want.

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