Happiness
Flourishing, Satisfaction, Goodness, Pleasures, Fulfillment, Eudemonia

 

Quotations, Sayings, Aphorisms, Quips, Quotes, Wisdom, Poetry


Compiled by Michael P. Garofalo
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California

 

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"The chief part of a person's happiness consists of pleasure."
-  Thomas More,
Utopia, 1516

 

"Little is needed to make a wise man happy, but nothing can content a fool.  That is why nearly all men are miserable."
-  La Rochefoucauld

 

"It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness."
-  Charles Spurgeon

 

“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.” 
-  Bertrand Russell, The Conquest of Happiness

 

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” 
-  Friedrich Nietzsche

 

“Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get” 
-  W.P. Kinsella

 

"Happiness is good health and a bad memory."
-  Ingrid Bergman

 

“The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.”
-  Ashley Montagu

 

“There are random moments - tossing a salad, coming up the driveway to the house, ironing the seams flat on a quilt square, standing at the kitchen window and looking out at the delphiniums, hearing a burst of laughter from one of my children's rooms - when I feel a wavelike rush of joy.  This is my true religion: arbitrary moments of of nearly painful happiness for a life I feel privileged to lead.” 
-  Elizabeth Berg  

 

“Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.” 
-  Leo Tolstoy  

 

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

 

"When happiness was a matter of pleasure, and pleasure a matter of taste, one could be happy simply by rolling in filth."
-  Darrin M. McMahon, Happiness: A History

 

"Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed.  Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude."
-  Denis Waitley

 

“Happiness is a warm puppy.” 
-  Charles M. Schulz

 

 

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"Happiness is a complex path that becomes easy only as we walk it."
-  Andrea Polard

 

"Enjoy everything that happens in your life, but never make your happiness or success dependent on an attachment to any person, place, or thing."
-  Wayne Dyer

 

“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.” 
-  Gabriel Garcia Márquez

 

“Actual happiness always looks pretty squalid in comparison with the overcompensations for misery.  And, of course, stability isn't nearly so spectacular as instability.  And being contented has none of the glamour of a good fight against misfortune, none of the picturesqueness of a struggle with temptation, or a fatal overthrow by passion or doubt.  Happiness is never grand.” 
-  Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

 

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.” 
-  Leo Tolstoy

 

“Don’t rely on someone else for your happiness and self-worth.  Only you can be responsible for that.  If you can’t love and respect yourself – no one else will be able to make that happen.  Accept who you are – completely; the good and the bad – and make changes as you see fit – not because you think someone else wants you to be different.” -  Stacey Charter

 

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy.  It is what you think about.”
-  Dale Carnegie  

 

“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” 
-  Lucius Annaeus Seneca 

 

“To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.”
-  Mary Stuart

 

"And now I take my pleasure in my garden.  There is a gate but it is rarely opened.  I lean on my staff as I wander about or sit down to rest.  I raise my head and contemplate the lovely scene.  Clouds rise, unwillingly, from the bottom of the hills.  The weary bird seeks its nest again.  Shadows vanish, but still I linger around my lonely pine.  Home once more!  I’ll have no employment to distract me hence.  The times are out of joint for me; and what have I to seek from men?  In the pure enjoyment of the family circle I will pass my days cheering my idle hours with lute and book. 

Glad is this renewal of life in due season; but for me, I rejoice that my journey is over.  Ah!  How short a time it is that we are here!  Why then not set our hearts at rest, ceasing to trouble whether we remain or go?  What benefits it to wear out the soul with anxious thoughts?  I want not wealth.  I want not power.  Heaven is beyond my hopes.  Let me stroll through the bright hours as they pass, in my garden, among my flowers.  Or, I will mount the hill and sing my song; or weave my verse beside the limpid brook.  Thus will I work out my allotted span, content with the appointments of fate, my spirit free from care."
-  T'ao Yung-Ming, 450 BCE

 

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” 
-  Aristotle

 

“I'd far rather be happy than right any day.” 
-  Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

 

“I believe compassion to be one of the few things we can practice that will bring immediate and long-term happiness to our lives.”
-  Dalai Lama

 

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
-  Mark Twain

 

“Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
-  Joseph Campbell

 

“Whoever is happy will make others happy.” 
-  Anne Frank

 

“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

 

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

 

"My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I'm happy. I can't figure it out. What am I doing right?"
-  Charles Schulz

 

“I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.” 
-  Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek

 

"To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others."
-  Albert Camus

 

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 
-  J.R.R. Tolkien

 

"Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn't stop to enjoy it."
-  William Feather

 

"Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony."
-  Thomas Merton

 

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
-  George Bernard Shaw

 

“Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow.  It only saps today of its joy.”
-  Leo Buscaglia

 

“A well-developed sense of humor is the pole that adds balance to your steps as you walk the tightrope of life.”
-  William Arthur Ward

 

"I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself.  For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition."
-  Martha Washington

 

“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.” 
-  Ayn Rand

 

“I felt my lungs inflate with the onrush of scenery—air, mountains, trees, people. I thought, "This is what it is to be happy.” 
-  Sylvia Plath

 

“The trick is in what one emphasizes.  We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy.  The amount of work is the same.” 
-  Carlos Castaneda  

 

“Expectations make people miserable, so whatever yours are, lower them.  You'll definitely be happier.” 
-  Simone Elkeles 

 

“Happiness consists of living each day as if it were the first day of your honeymoon and the last day of your vacation.”
-  Leo Tolstoy

 

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

 

"As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life -- delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay -- I hold this question as a guiding light: 'What do I really need right now to be happy?' What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way."
-  Sharon Salzberg

 

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of.  You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.” 
-  Albert Camus

 

“Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length.” 
-  Robert Frost

 

“Sometimes life knocks you on your ass... get up, get up, get up!!!  Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them.” 
-  Steve Maraboli

 

 

Advice     Beauty     Bibliography     Blog     Body-Mind     Broad Minded     Cheerfulness       

Contemplation     Desires     Dharmapada Sutra     Education     Epicureanism     Equanimity    

Feeling     Fitness     Five Senses     Friendship     Gardening     Generosity 

Happiness     Hedonism    Hospitality     Independence     Kindness    Learning     Links    

Memory     Mindfulness     Moderation     Open Minded     Paramitas    

Patience     Philosophy     Play     Pleasures     Qigong     Self-Reliance    

Sensory Pleasures     Simplicity    Somaesthetics     Stoicism    Taijiquan    

Tao Te Ching     Thinking     Tolerance     Touching     Tranquility    Vigor     Vision    

Walking    Willpower     Wisdom     Wonder     Zen Precepts      

 

 

 

“If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine.”
-  Morris West

 

“Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy." 
-  Milton Erickson

 

"What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful."
-  Tenzin Gyatso

 

 

"Happy people plan actions, they don't plan results."
-  Dennis Waitley

 

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”
-  Epictetus

 

"One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child."
-  Maria Montessori 

 

"Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness."
-  Harold Kushner

 

"People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they are happy."
-  Anton Chekhov

 

"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
-  Mohandas K. Gandhi

 

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.”
-  Robert A. Heinlein

 

 “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”
-  Thich Nhat Hanh

 

“And therein lies the whole of man's plight.  Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line.  That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition.” 
-  Milan Kunders  

 

“Memory is the happiness of being alone.” 
-  Lois Lowry  

 

“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
-  Lucille Ball  

 

“Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.”
-  Winnie the Pooh  

 

“Happiness is an accident of nature, a beautiful and flawless aberration.” 
-  Pat Conroy

 

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

 

“Optimism is a happiness magnet.  If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.”
-  Mary Lou Retton

 

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”
-  Andy Rooney

 

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“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.”
-  James Oppenheim

 

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.” 
-  J. M. Barrie  

 

“To be stupid, and selfish, and to have good health are the three requirements for happiness - though if stupidity is lacking, the others are useless.” 
-  Julian Barnes 

 

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.”
-  Benjamin Disraeli “

 

“It's like Tolstoy said. Happiness is an allegory, unhappiness a story.” 
-  Haruki Murakami

 

"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

 

“All happiness depends on courage and work.” 
-  Honoré de Balzac

 

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see in truth that you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
-  Kahlil Gibran  

 

“The happiest people in the world are those who feel absolutely terrific about themselves, and this is the natural outgrowth of accepting total responsibility for every part of their life.”
-  Brian Tracy

 

“One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.” 
-  Aristotle  

 

“Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections.” 
-  Bob Marley  

 

“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.”
-  Andre Maurois 

 

“The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” 
-  George Washington Burnap

 

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within."
-  Horace Friess

 

“My happiness is not the means to any end.  It is the end.  It is its own goal.  It is its own purpose.” 
-  Ayn Rand  

 

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself in your way of thinking.” 
-  Marcus Aurelius   

 

“Man only likes to count his troubles; he doesn't calculate his happiness.” 
-  Fyodor Dostoyevsky

 

“Many people think excitement is happiness.  But when you are excited you are not peaceful.  True happiness is based on peace.” 
-  Thich Nhat Hanh  

 

“Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.” 
-  Dalai Lama XIV 

 

“Art is unquestionably one of the purest and highest elements in human happiness.  It trains the mind through the eye, and the eye through the mind.  As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life.” 
-  John Lubbock 

 

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power or our will. ”
-  Epictetus  

 

“There are two ways to be happy: improve your reality, or lower your expectations.” 
-  Jodi Picoult  

 

“Later she remembered all the hours of the afternoon as happy -- one of those uneventful times that seem at the moment only a link between past and future pleasure, but turn out to have been the pleasure itself.” 
-  F. Scott Fitzgerald  

 

“The grass is not greener on the other side of the fence─ where you don't water.”
-  Mike Garofalo, Pulling Onions

 

"1) We often exaggerate in imagining the long-term emotional effects certain events will have on us.  2) Most of us tend to have a basic level of happiness which we revert to eventually.  3) People generally err in imagining what will make them happy.  4) People tend to find ways of rationalizing unhappy outcomes so as to make them more acceptable to themselves.  5) People tend to repeat the same errors in imagining what will make them happy.  6) Events and outcomes which we dread may when they come about turn into new opportunities for happiness.  7) Many of the most productive and creative people are those who are continually unhappy with the world- and thus strive to change it.  8) Happiness is rarely as good as we imagine it to be, and rarely lasts as long as we think it will.  The same mistaken expectations apply to unhappiness."
-  Shalom Freedman's review of Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

 

 

 

Recommended Reading:

 

The Art of Happiness.  By Epicurus.  Translation and commentary by George K. Strodach.  Penguin Classics, 2012.  272 pages. 


The Conquest of Happiness   By Bertrand Russell.  Introduction by Daniel Dennett.  Liveright, 1930, 2013.  224 pages.


Epicurean and Hedonistic Philosophy: Bibliography, Resources, Quotations, Information 


Epicureanism: A Very Short Introduction   By Catherine Wilson.  Oxford University Press, 2016.  144 pages. 


The Five Senses and Pleasure


Happiness: A Philosopher's Guide.  By Frederic Lenoir.  Melville House, 2015.  208 pages.


The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom.  By Jonathan Haidt.  Basic Books, 2006.  320 pages.


Happiness: A History  By Darrin M. McMahon.  Grove Press, 2006.  526 pages. 


Hedonism:  Bibliography, Links, Quotations, Resources, Notes


The How of Happiness: A New Approach to Getting the Life You Want  By Sonja Lyubomirsky.  Penguin Books, 2008.  384 pages. 


How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons 


Life's Little Instruction Book  By H. Jackson Brown, Jr.  Thomas Nelson, Revised edition, 2000.  160 pages. 


Nicomachean Ethics   By Aristotle.  Translated by Christopher Rowe.  Commentary and notes by Sarah Broadie.  Oxford University Press, 2002.  480 pages.


On Desire: Why We Want What We Want  By William B. Irvine.  Oxford University Press, 2006.  322 pages. 


Pleasures, Desires and Enjoyment:  Quotations, Poems, Sayings


Somaesthetics:  Body-Mind Practices and Theories 


Time and the Art of Living  By Robert Grudin.  Mariner Books, 1997.  Index, 250 pages.  ISBN: 978039689814.  VSCL. 


Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life  By Daniel Klein.  New York, Penguin Books, 2012.  164 pages.


Virtues and a Good Life

 

Cloud Hands Blog.  By Michael P. Garofalo.  Over 2,400 indexed posts on well being, philosophy, somaesthetics, taijiquan, qigong, walking, gardening, yoga, Taoism, hedonism, and spirituality.  Over 700,000 page views as of 6/1/2016.  

 

 

 

 

Advice     Beauty     Bibliography     Blog     Body-Mind     Broad Minded     Cheerfulness       

Contemplation     Desires     Dharmapada Sutra     Education     Epicureanism     Equanimity    

Feeling     Fitness     Five Senses     Friendship     Gardening     Generosity 

Happiness     Hedonism    Hospitality     Independence     Kindness    Learning     Links    

Meditation     Memory     Mindfulness     Moderation     Open Minded     Paramitas    

Patience     Philosophy     Play     Pleasures     Qigong     Reading     Self-Reliance    

Sensory Pleasures     Simplicity     Solitude    Somaesthetics     Stoicism    Taijiquan    

Tao Te Ching     Thinking     Tolerance     Touching     Tranquility    Vigor     Vision    

Walking     Willpower     Wisdom     Wonder     Zen Precepts      

 

 

 

 

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Michael P. Garofalo, A Brief Biography

Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California

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This webpage was last modified and updated on June 4, 2016.   

This webpage was first distributed online on February 26, 2014.     

 

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