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Quotes about Happiness & Joy

Inspirational Quotes about Happiness and Joy

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“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”

– Mark Twain 

“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
– Dr. Seuss

“There is only one inborn erroneous notion … that we exist in order to be happy … So long as we persist in this inborn error … the world seems to us full of contradictions. For at every step, in great things and small, we are bound to experience that the world and life are certainly not arranged for the purpose of maintaining a happy existence … hence the countenances of almost all elderly persons wear the expression of … disappointment.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, as quoted in The World as Will and Representation

“You think that you exist because you’re unhappy. Other people exist merely as a function of their problems and spend all their time talking compulsively about their children, their wives and husbands, school, work, friends. They never stop to think: I’m here. I am the result of everything that happened and will happen, but I’m here. If I did something wrong, I can put it right or at least ask forgiveness. If I did something right, that leaves me happier and more connected with the now.”

– Paulo Coelho about Happiness

“Men who are unhappy, like men who sleep badly, are always proud of the fact.”

Bertrand Russell, as quoted in The Conquest of Happiness

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
– Abraham Lincoln

“It is very simple to be happy, but it is very difficult to be simple.”

– Rabindranath Tagore

“The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. Happiness is never better exhibited than by young animals, such as puppies, kittens, lambs, &c., when playing together, like our own children. Even insects play together, as has been described by that excellent observer, P. Huber, who saw ants chasing and pretending to bite each other, like so many puppies.”

– Charles Robert Darwin, as quoted in The Descent of Man

“I think people who are unhappy are always proud of being so, and therefore do not like to be told that there is nothing grand about their unhappiness. A man who is melancholy because lack of exercise has upset his liver always believes that it is the loss of God, or the menace of Bolshevism, or some such dignified cause that makes him sad. When you tell people that happiness is a simple matter, they get annoyed with you.”

– Bertrand Russell, as quoted in Letter to W. W. Norton

“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.”

– Helen Keller, about Happiness in Optimism

“The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation, because occupation means pre-occupation; and the pre-occupied person is neither happy nor unhappy, but simply alive and active, which is pleasanter than any happiness until you are tired of it.”

George Bernard Shaw, Quote about happiness from  A Treatise on Parents and Children

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

“For some identify happiness with virtue, some with practical wisdom, others with a kind of philosophic wisdom, others with these, or one of these, accompanied by pleasure or not without pleasure; while others include also external prosperity. Now … it is not probable that these should be entirely mistaken, but rather that they should be right in at least some one respect or even in most respects.”

– Aristotle, as quoted in Nicomachean Ethics

“I give you joy of your free and brave thought. I have great joy in it. I find incomparable things said incomparably well, as they must be. I find the courage of treatment which so delights us, and which large perception only can inspire.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I know not if this earth on which I stand is the core of the universe or if it is but a speck of dust lost in eternity. I know not and I care not. For I know what happiness is possible to me on earth. And my happiness needs no higher aim to vindicate it. My happiness is not the means to any end. It is the end . It is its own goal. It is its own purpose. Neither am I the means to any end others may wish to accomplish. I am not a tool for their use. I am not a servant of their needs. I am not a bandage for their wounds. I am not a sacrifice on their altars.”

– Ayn Rand, Quotes from Anthem

Motivational Quotes about Laughter and Joy

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

– Linus Pauling

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”

– Unknown

“Only it takes time to be happy. A lot of time. Happiness, too, is a long patience.”

– Albert Camus

“Remember Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination.”

– Roy Joodman

 “Theoretically there is a perfect possibility of happiness: believing in the indestructible element in oneself and not striving towards it.”

– Franz Kafka, Aphorisms

“Happiness is not an on or off switch that flips back and forth, it is a spectrum that you cultivate your position on.”

– Alexander Di Fortitudo

“The pursuit of happiness is a most ridiculous phrase; if you pursue happiness you’ll never find it.”

– P. Snow

“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

“Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”

― John Lennon

“The good life, as I conceive it, is a happy life. I do not mean that if you are good you will be happy; I mean that if you are happy you will be good.”

– Bertrand Russell, as quoted in New Hopes for a Changing World

“If there ever was a pursuit which stultified itself by its very conditions, it is the pursuit of pleasure as the all-sufficing end of life. Happiness cannot come to any man capable of enjoying true happiness unless it comes as the sequel to duty well and honestly done. To do that duty you need to have more than one trait. From the greatest to the smallest, happiness and usefulness are largely found in the same soul, and the joy of life is won in its deepest and truest sense only by those who have not shirked life’s burdens.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

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

– James Oppenheim

Inspirational Quotes about Happiness and Joy

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“Her work was all she had or wanted. But there were times, like tonight, when she felt that sudden, peculiar emptiness, which was not emptiness, but silence, not despair, but immobility, as if nothing within her were destroyed, but everything stood still. Then she felt the wish to find a moment’s joy outside, the wish to be held as a passive spectator by some work or sight of greatness. Not to make it, she thought, but to accept; not to begin, but to respond; not to create, but to admire. I need it to let me go on, she thought, because joy is one’s fuel. She had always been—she closed her eyes with a faint smile of amusement and pain—the motive power of her own happiness. For once, she wanted to feel herself carried by the power of someone else’s achievement.”

– Ayn Rand, Quotes from Atlas Shrugged

“Some people appear to be happy, but they simply don’t give the matter much thought. Others make plans: I’m going to have a husband, a home, two children, a house in the country. As long as they’re busy doing that, they’re like bulls looking for the bullfighter: they react instinctively, they blunder on, with no idea where the target is. They get their car, sometimes they even get a Ferrari, and they think that’s the meaning of life, and they never question it. Yet their eyes betray the sadness that even they don’t know they carry in their soul. Are you happy?”

– Paulo Coelho, about happiness in The Zahir

“I’ve grown to realize the joy that comes from little victories is preferable to the fun that comes from ease and the pursuit of pleasure.”

– Lawana Blackwell, The Courtship of the Vicar’s Daughter

“He felt that he could forgive anything to anyone, because happiness was the greatest agent of purification.”

– Ayn Rand, about happiness in Quotes from Atlas Shrugged

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

– Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948)

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”

– Helen Keller, about happiness in We Bereaved (1929)

“The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Personality; or, What a Man Is

“True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self, and in the next from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions.”

– Joseph Addison

“Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.”

– George Washington, about happiness in a Letter, dated August 19th, 1789, To the Bishops, Clergy

“For pleasure is a state of soul, and to each man that which he is said to be a lover of is pleasant…. Now for most men their pleasures are in conflict with one another because these are not by nature pleasant, but the lovers of what is noble find pleasant the things that are by nature pleasant; and virtuous actions are such… Happiness then is the best, noblest, and most pleasant thing in the world, and these attributes are not severed as in the inscription at Delos: Most noble is that which is justest, and best is health; but pleasantest is it to win what we love.”

– Aristotle, as quoted in Nicomachean Ethics

“I wish I had never been born,” she said. “What are we born for?” “For infinite happiness,” said the Spirit. “You can step out into it at any moment…”

– Clive Staples (C.S.) Lewis, The Great Divorce

“When I was 5 years old my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they ask 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.”

– John Lennon quotes about Happiness

“We cannot really love anybody with whom we never laugh.”

– Agnes Repplier

“There is no more mistaken path to happiness than worldliness, revelry, high life.”

– Arthur Schopenhauer, Our Relation to Others, § 24

“Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are highly cultivated in their minds and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities.”

– Aristotle, as quoted in Economics

“Happiness is the final and perfect fruit of obedience to the laws of life.”

– Helen Keller, The Simplest Way to be Happy

“If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or things.”

– Albert Einstein

“To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.”

– Bertrand Russell, as quoted in The Conquest of Happiness

“A happy life consists not in the absence, but in the mastery of hardships.”

– Helen Keller, The Simplest Way to be Happy

“All who are not lunatics are agreed about certain things. That it is better to be alive than dead, better to be adequately fed than starved, better to be free than a slave. Many people desire those things only for themselves and their friends; they are quite content that their enemies should suffer. These people can only be refuted by science: Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.”

– Bertrand Russell, as quoted in “The Science to Save Us from Science,” The New York Times Magazine (19 March 1950).

“Every form of happiness is one, every desire is driven by the same motor— by our love for a single value, for the highest potentiality of our own existence— and every achievement is an expression of it.”

– Ayn Rand, Quotes from Atlas Shrugged