Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.
LEO TOLSTOY, War and Peace
One feels inclined to say that the intention that man should be “happy” is not included in the plan of “Creation.”
SIGMUND FREUD, Civilization and Its Discontents
Call no man happy till he is dead.
If one scheme of happiness fails, human nature turns to another; if the first calculation is wrong, we make a second better: we find comfort somewhere.
JANE AUSTEN, Mansfield Park
- We ne'er can be
- Made happy by compulsion.
SAMUEL TAYLOR COLERIDGE, The Three Graves
Happiness hates the timid! So does science!
EUGENE O'NEILL, Strange Interlude
- Every object, every being,
- is a jar full of delight.
It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.
- If it makes you happy
- It can't be that bad
- If it makes you happy
- Then why the hell are you so sad
SHERYL CROW, "If It Makes You Happy"
No one ever does live happily ever after, but we leave the children to find that out for themselves.
STEPHEN KING, Wolves of the Calla
Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.
MAXIM GORKY, John Mason's Know Your Limits
We have no more right to consume happiness without producing it than to consume wealth without producing it.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Candida
- What is the worth of anything,
- But for the happiness 'twill bring?
RICHARD OWEN CAMBRIDGE, Learning
Happiness consumes itself like a flame. It cannot burn for ever, it must go out, and the presentiment of its end destroys it at its very peak.
AUGUST STRINDBERG, A Dream Play
There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists in the economy and course of nature an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness.
GEORGE WASHINGTON, First Inaugural Address, Apr. 30, 1789
Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one's values.
Perfect happiness, I believe, was never intended by the Deity to be the lot of one of his creatures in this world; but that he has very much put in our power the nearness of our approaches to it, is what I have steadfastly believed.
THOMAS JEFFERSON, letter to John Page, Jul. 15, 1763
To be conscious of happiness is to hear Nemesis rapping at the portals.
PHILIP MOELLER, The Roadhouse in Arden
Who can tell where happiness may come, or where, though an expected guest, it may never show its face?
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, The Marble Faun
Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.
ROBERT FROST, as quoted in Vernon McLellan's Wise Words and Quotes
Happiness is an imaginary condition, formerly attributed by the living to the dead, now usually attributed by adults to children, and by children to adults.
THOMAS SZASZ, The Second Sin
Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.
That pit of blackness that lies beneath us, everywhere ... the firmest substance of human happiness is but a thin crust spread over it, with just reality enough to bear up the illusive stage-scenery amid which we tread. It needs no earthquake to open the chasm.
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, The Marble Faun
- He who has once been happy is for aye
- Out of destruction's reach. His fortune then
- Holds nothing secret; and Eternity,
- Which is a mystery to other men,
- Has like a woman given him its joy.
WILFRID SCAWEN BLUNT, With Esther
Give a man health and a course to steer; and he’ll never stop to trouble about whether he’s happy or not.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Captain Brassbound's Conversion
We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive.
THICH NHAT HANH, Peace is Every Step
What we need for our happiness is often close at hand, if we knew but how to seek for it.
NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE, American Note-Books, Aug. 22, 1837
I kept looking for happiness, and then I realized: This is it. It's a moment, and it comes, and it goes, and it'll come back again. I yearn for things, but at the same time I'm just peaceful.
NICOLE KIDMAN, Vanity Fair, Oct. 2007
What is earthly happiness? that phantom of which we hear so much, and see so little; whose promises are constantly given and constantly broken, but as constantly believed; that cheats us with the sound instead of the substance, and with the blossom instead of the fruit. Like Juno, she is a goddess in pursuit, but a cloud in possession.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
Happiness expanded like an explosion inside me--so extreme, so violent that I wasn't sure I'd survive it.
STEPHENIE MEYER, Breaking Dawn
- Those who possess that treasure which no thief can take away,
- Which, though on suppliants freely spent, increaseth day by day,
- The source of inward happiness which shall outlast the earth--
- To them e'en kings should yield the palm, and own their higher worth.
BHARTRHARI, "The Praise of the Wise Man"
How to gain, how to keep, how to recover happiness, is in fact for most men at all times the secret motive of all they do, and of all they are willing to endure.
WILLIAM JAMES, The Varieties of Religious Experience
Human nature, at its best, had always been based on a deep heroic restlessness, on wanting something--something else, something more, whether it be true love or a glimpse just beyond the horizon. It was the promise of happiness, not the attainment of it, that had driven the entire engine, the folly and glory of who we are.
If kings would only determine not to extend their dominions until they had filled them with happiness, they would find the smallest territories too large, but the longest life too short for the full accomplishment of so grand and so noble an ambition.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
Whatever the philosophers may say, it remains true that, from the first hour of man's waking consciousness until that consciousness ceases, his most ardent desire is to be happy, and that the moment of his most profound regret is when he becomes convinced that on this earth perfect happiness cannot be found. Here is the problem which gives to the various ages of human history their special characters. Blithe are those ages when young and progressive nations still hope for happiness, or when men believe that in some new formula of philosophy, or of religion, or perhaps in some new industrial programme, the secret of human happiness has at last been found. Gloomy are those ages in which, as in our time, great masses of people are burdened with the conviction that all these familiar formulas have been illusions, and when persons of the keenest insight say--as they are now saying--that the very word happiness has in it a note of melancholy. No sooner, we are told, does one speak of happiness than it flees from him. In its very nature it lies beyond the sphere of practical realization.
KARL HILTY, Happiness: Essays on the Meaning of Life
The duty of happiness becomes clearer when we see how it affects others. It is the merry heart that makes the cheerful countenance, and it is the cheerful countenance that spreads cheer to make other hearts merry. The sunny soul brings sunshine everywhere. A bright and happy temperament is a great social asset, adding to the happiness of the world.
As the sea is beautiful not only in calm but also in storm, so is happiness found not only in peace but also in strife.
The journey to true happiness and to happiness now is not a journey of physical distance or time; it is one of personal "self-recovery," where we remember and reconnect consciously to an inner potential for joy--a paradise lost--waiting to be found.
ROBERT HOLDEN, Happiness Now: Timeless Wisdom for Feeling Good Fast
So long as men strive for their individual happiness only, so long they shall strive for it in vain, because they strive for something which does not exist. When one will strive for all and all for one, then, and then only, general happiness will be possible. Until then men will remain savages, in constant war with each other, like fools destroying the very house that shelters them.
NORBERT LAFAYETTE SAVAY, Emancipation
Happiness is a tiger in your tank and a pussycat in your back seat.
JOHNNY CARSON, Happiness Is a Dry Martini
Men spend their lives in anticipations, in determining to be vastly happy at some period or other, when they have the time. But the present time has one advantage over every other--it is our own. Past opportunities are gone, future are not come. We may lay in a stock of pleasures, as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we defer tasting them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age.
CHARLES CALEB COLTON, Lacon
Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. It is only after you have faced up to this fundamental rule and learned to distinguish between what you can and can't control that inner tranquility and outer effectiveness become possible.
EPICTETUS, The Art of Living
Nothing prevents happiness like the memory of happiness.
ANDRE GIDE, Autumn Leaves
Point me out the happy man and I will point you out either extreme egotism, selfishness, evil -- or else an absolute ignorance.
GRAHAM GREENE, The Heart of the Matter
Surely happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven; and every countenance, bright with smiles, and glowing with innocent enjoyment, is a mirror transmitting to others the rays of a supreme and ever-shining benevolence.
WASHINGTON IRVING, Old Christmas
Happiness is a thing to be practiced, like the violin.
JOHN LUBBOCK, The Use of Life
The idea has been transmitted from generation to generation, that happiness is one large and beautiful precious stone--a single gem, so rare that all search for it is vain, all effort for it hopeless. It is not so. Happiness is a mosaic, composed of many smaller stones. Each taken apart and viewed singly, may be of little value; but when all are grouped together and judiciously combined and set, they form a graceful whole--a costly jewel. Trample not under foot, then, the little pleasures that appear along the daily path, while you look for some great joy which may never be attained.
T. L. HAINES & L. W. YAGGY, Royal Path of Life
Happiness is the harvest of a quiet eye.
AUSTIN O'MALLEY, Keystones of Thought
- Happiness and unhappiness
- differ as a bucket hammered from gold differs from one pressed in tin ...
- Each carries the same water.
JANE HIRSHFIELD, "Late Self-Portrait By Rembrandt"
Happiness is German engineering, Italian cooking, and Belgian chocolate.
PATRICIA BRIGGS, Moon Called
To be happy you must be your own sunshine.
CHARLES EDWARD JERNINGHAM, The Maxims of Marmaduke
No man is happy who does not think himself so.
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