happiness  - happiness 2happiness 3

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

Freya Madeline Stark


It is not the level of prosperity that makes for happiness but the kinship of heart to heart and the way we look at the world.  Both attitudes are within our power, so that people are happy so long as they choose to be happy, and no one can stop them.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn


Happiness is a present attitude--not a future condition.

Hugh Prather


The people who are unhappy when they are poor would be unhappy if they were rich, and they who are happy in a palace in Paris would be happy in a dug-out on the frontier of Dakota.  There are as many unhappy rich people as there are unhappy poor people.  Every heart knows its own bitterness and its own joy.  Not that wealth and what it brings is not desirable—books, travel, leisure, comfort, the best food and clothing, agreeable companionship—but all these do not necessarily bring happiness and may coexist with the deepest wretchedness, while adversity and penury, exile and privation are not incompatible with the loftiest exaltation of the soul.

John J. Ingalls
The foolish person seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grow it under their feet.

James Oppenheim


A happiness that is sought for ourselves alone can never be found; for a happiness that is diminished by being shared is not big enough to make us happy.

Thomas Merton


The art of living does not consist in preserving and clinging to a
particular mood of happiness, but in allowing happiness to change
its form. . . happiness, like a child, must be allowed to grow up.

Charles L. Morgan


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Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies
in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used,
the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which,
shirking pain, misses happiness as well.

Mary Cholmondeley


We can make countless journeys to find happiness, and engage
in countless strategies to rid ourselves of unhappiness, but the
key traveler on all the journeys and the central player in all the
strategies is ourselves, and it is to ourselves we always return. . . .
We discover happiness through making peace with ourselves and
the circumstances of our lives, not through trying to escape from
them, nor through living in fantasies about the future.

Christina Feldman


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

Charles Kingsley

The real secret of happiness is simply this: to be willing to live and
let live, and to know very clearly in one's own mind that
the unpardonable sin is to be an unpleasant person.

Galen Starr Ross

Happiness is the greatest paradox in nature.  It can grow in any soil,
live under any conditions.  It defies environment.  The reason for this
is that it does not come from without but from within.  Whenever
you see people seeking happiness outside themselves, you can be sure
they have never yet found it.

Forman Lincicome

happiness  - happiness 2happiness 3

Someone once asked me what I regarded as the three most important
requirements for happiness.  My answer was: “A feeling that you have
been honest with yourself and those around you; a feeling that you have
done the best you could both in your personal life and in your work;
and the ability to love others.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Happiness in this world, when it comes, comes incidentally.
Make it the object of pursuit, and it leads us on 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.

Nathaniel Hawthorne




When we recognize that nothing has to go right for us to be happy,
that people do not have to behave for us to love them, our walk home
can be surprisingly simple.  We have enormous power not to manipulate
the world, but to be happy and to know peace.

Hugh Prather


Every morning when we wake up we’ve been given a wonderful
gift—another day of life—so let’s make the most of it.  No one
can do it for us. . . . Genuine happiness can only be realized once
we commit to making it a personal priority in our lives.  This may be
a new behavior for some of us and a bit intimidating.  Be gentle with
yourself.  It will all unfold.  Like any new behavior, happiness can be learned.

Sarah Ban Breathnach


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

Marcus Aurelius


Happiness grows at our own firesides,
and is not to be picked in strangers' gardens.

Douglas Jerrold


Begin each morning by resolving to find something in the day
to enjoy.  Look into each experience which comes
to you for some grain of happiness.




Happiness is only available with total acceptance of who you are,
including all your fears, worries, and anxiety.  It will be there for you
when you can see your own inner beauty.  You cannot achieve happiness
without using your past, your flaws, insecurities, and imperfections in a
positive way.  It is about letting go and detaching from unhealthy people,
ideas, and lifestyle choices, and replacing them with interdependent,
pro-active ways of thinking and responding.

Lucinda Bassett


Why should the search for happiness be only or essentially
material and mental?  Aren’t there untold riches too
in the moral, the sentimental and the spiritual realms?

Robert Muller

No matter what may be one's nationality, sex, age, philosophy, or religion, everyone wishes either to become or remain happy.  Hence definitions of happiness are interesting.  One of the best was given in my senior year at college by President Timothy Dwight.  "The happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts."

This definition places happiness where it belongs--within and not without.  The principle of happiness should be like the principle of virtue:  it should not be dependent upon things, but be a part of personality.

If the happiest person is the person who thinks the most interesting thoughts, we are bound to grow happier as we advance in years, because our minds have more and more interesting thoughts.  A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands.

William Lyon Phelps

No mockery in the world ever sounds to me as hollow as that of
being told to cultivate happiness. . . . Happiness is not a
potato, to be planted in mold, and tilled with manure.

Charlotte Bronte


"Take my own father!  You know what he said in his last moments?
On his deathbed, he defied me to name a man who had enjoyed a
better life.  In spite of the dreadful pain, his face radiated happiness,"
said Mother, nodding her head comfortably.  "Happiness drives
out pain, as fire burns out fire."

Mary Lavin

Happiness is a choice that requires effort at times.



To describe happiness is to diminish it.

Henri Strendhal



The necessity of pursuing true happiness is the foundation of all liberty--
Happiness, in its full extent, is the utmost pleasure we are capable of.

John Locke


Do not let a desire for wealth cause you to become so consumed by
your work that you prevent happiness for yourself and your family
in the present moment.  Happiness is foremost.
A look filled with understanding, an accepting smile, a loving word,
a meal shared in warmth and awareness are the things which create
happiness in the present moment.  By nourishing awareness in the
present moment, you can avoid causing suffering to yourself and those
around you.  The way you look at others, your smile, and your small
acts of caring can create happiness.  True happiness
does not depend on wealth or fame.

Thich Nhat Hanh


Happiness is like a cat.  If you try to coax it or call it, it will
avoid you, it will never come.  But if you pay no attention to it
and go about your business, you'll find it rubbing against
your legs and jumping into your lap.

William Bennett



There is great happiness in not wanting, in not being
something, in not going somewhere.

J. Krishnamurti


Humankind is interdependent, and the happiness of each depends
upon the happiness of all, and it is this lesson that humanity has to
learn today as the first and last lesson.

Hazrat Inayat Khan


For the first time, the first, I laid my heart open to the benign
indifference of the universe.  To feel it so like myself, indeed so
brotherly, made me realize that I'd been happy,
and that I was happy still.

Albert Camus

I have lived large parts of my life in wonderful circumstances that I utterly
failed to appreciate.  Reasons to be happy were everywhere, but somehow I
didn't connect with them.  It was as though I was eating but couldn't taste
the food.  Finally, I've learned to celebrate the good while it's happening.
I feel gratitude and praise today for what are sometimes such simple pleasures.
I have learned that happiness is not determined by circumstances.  Happiness
is not what happens when everything goes the way you think it should go;
happiness is what happens when you decide to be happy.

Marianne Williamson
Everyday Grace

happiness  - happiness 2happiness 3

Those who never sacrificed a present to a future good, or a personal to a
general one, can speak of happiness only as the blind do of colors.

Horace Mann


The tragedy of too many people is that they cannot allow happiness
just to be there; they cannot leave it alone.  Their sense of who they
are and of what their destiny is cannot accommodate happiness.
So they are drive to find ways to sabotage it.

Nathaniel Branden
Self-Esteem Every Day

In order to fight for our happiness, we must
consider ourselves worthy of happiness.

The belief that unhappiness is selfless and happiness is selfish is
misguided. It's more selfless to act happy. It takes energy,
generosity, and discipline to be unfailingly lighthearted, yet
everyone takes the happy people for granted. No one is
careful of their feelings or tries to keep their spirits high. They seem
self-sufficient; they become a cushion for others. And because
happiness seems unforced, those people usually gets no credit.

Gretchen Rubin
The Happiness Project

A choice of ultimate happiness in preference to proximate happiness,
when the element of chance is given due consideration, is, I believe,
the wisest course for people to follow under the sun.  Those that
choose proximate happiness are brutes; those who choose immortal
happiness are asses; but those who choose ultimate
happiness know their business.

Jack London



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The habit of being uniformly considerate toward others will
bring increased happiness to you.  As you put into practice
the qualities of patience, punctuality, sincerity, and solicitude,
you will have a better opinion of the world around you.

Grenville Kleiser

The paths by which people journey toward happiness lie in part through
the world about them and in part through the experience of their own soul.

Carl Hilty

Happy people are not their own enemies, do not carry on an endless
war with their souls.  We may be fiercely at odds with the wrongs of
the world around us.  But inside ourselves, near the core,
if we are happy, we are at peace.

Lewis B. Smedes


One of the best ways to worship
God is simply to be happy.

Traditional Hindu saying


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I'm happier.  I guess I made up my mind to be that way.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but rather a manner of traveling.

Samuel Johnson


An effort made for the happiness of others lifts us above ourselves.

Lydia Maria Child


Happiness is a reward for worthy services to others, for heroic
endeavor in trying to do our part in the world, to perform our
duty.  There must be the desire to be helpful, to make the world
a better place to live in, because of our efforts.  Little kindnesses,
pleasant words, little helps by the way, trifling courtesies, little
encouragements, duties faithfully done, unselfish service, work
that we enjoy, friendships, love and affection—all these are simple
things, yet this, perhaps, is as near as we can come to finding and
capturing elusive Happiness.

Orison Swett Marden
The Joys of Living 

The Art of Happiness

There was never a time when so much official effort was being expended to produce happiness, and probably never a time when so little attention was paid by the individual to creating the personal qualities that make for it.  What one misses most today is the evidence of widespread personal determination to develop a character that will, in itself, given any reasonable odds, make for happiness.  Our whole emphasis is on the reform of living conditions, of increased wages, of controls on the economic structure--the government approach--and so little on people improving themselves.

The ingredients of happiness are so simple that they can be counted on one hand.  Happiness comes from within, and rests most securely on simple goodness and clear conscience.  Religion may not be essential to it, but no one is known to have gained it without a philosophy resting on ethical principles.  Selfishness is its enemy; to make another happy is to be happy one's self.  It is quiet, seldom found for long in crowds, most easily won in moments of solitude and reflection.  It cannot be bought; indeed, money has very little to do with it.

No one is happy unless they are reasonably well satisfied with themselves, so that the quest for tranquility must of necessity begin with self-examination.  We shall not often be content with what we discover in this scrutiny.  There is much to do, and so little done.  Upon this searching self-analysis, however, depends the discovery of those qualities that make each person unique, and whose development alone can bring satisfaction.

Of all those who have tried, down the ages, to outline a program for happiness, few have succeeded so well as William Henry Channing, chaplain of the House of Representatives in the middle of the last century:

"To live content with small means; so seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy . . . to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common."

It will be noted that no government can do this for you; you must do it for yourself.

William S. Ogdon
New York Times, 12/30/1945



Found online:

(Found online images come from a variety of unattributed
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not to share!)


When Walker first steps onto the road, he has no thoughts, no history, no memories, and no clothes. As he travels and meets people and learns from them, he comes to know more about life, living, and becoming the person he's meant to be. Walker is a parable for all of us who wonder what might be the purpose of life, why bad things happen with almost as much regularity as good things, and how we can learn from the bad examples and experiences in our lives as much as we can learn from the good things. Tom Walsh's parable is a story of the ages, a timeless exploration of ideas and thoughts that all of us wonder about, a sincere and heartfelt portrait of a man who has no past and no future, but who learns to make the most of each precious present moment as it comes.


Yes--You Can Be Happy
Zig Ziglar

Rose Barthel said, "Happiness is a conscious choice.  It is not an automatic response."  Happiness is an attitude--not a when and a where but a here and a now.

Dennis Prager said, "Fun is what we experience during an act.  Happiness is what we experience after an act.  It is a deeper, more abiding emotion."  Going to an amusement park or ball game, or watching a movie or television program, helps us relax and temporarily forget our problems and maybe even laugh.  But these activities do not bring happiness because their positive effect ends when the fun ends.

Prager also observed that people who claim to believe that a fun-filled, pain-free life equals happiness actually diminish their chances of attaining real happiness.  If fun and pleasure equate with happiness, then it stands to reason that pain must equate with unhappiness.  But the opposite is true.  More times than not, things that lead to happiness involve some pain.  He's right.  Happiness is not pleasure; it's victory over odds that seem to be insurmountable.

For the last three decades Americans have pursued the almighty dollar, and our real purchasing power has gone up significantly.  However, all studies indicate that the quality of life has not improved.  In short, the pursuit of the money does not produce the happiness that most people seek.  Kids say they prefer their parents' presence over their presents.  Husbands and wives say they want more time together, yet stay so busy either earning more money or watching television that time spent with friends and family has declined.  By contrast, the Amish people, who are a religious, close-knit family group with few material goods, are much happier because they have the security of family and friends when difficulties come.

Cultivate friendships and stay close to your family because one of these days you will say either, "I'm glad I did," or "I wish I had."


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