The 111 Most Inspiring Quotes about Happiness

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Happiness is truly a remarkable thing. When you’re happy, the whole world shines in a much brighter light. Happiness makes you feel good and is the very foundation for a joyful and fulfilled life. Unfortunately, there are also times in life when setbacks and difficulties abound. During these challenging times, it can make quite a difference to have a couple of inspiring happiness quotes at hand that lift you up. For this reason, we’ve created a hand-picked collection of the most inspiring quotes about happiness. These are the quotes that lift your spirits and brighten your mood.

The pursuit of happiness can be quite challenging at times. Things do not always go as planned. To make things worse, life confronts us with quite challenging situations on a regular basis. But when there’s one thing that is important in life, it’s the ability to get back up on your feet whenever life knocks you down. This is, of course, easier said than done.

“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

Whenever you’re confronted with a situation that seems to suck all the happiness out of you, it can be quite helpful to read some quotes about happiness.

Quotes about happiness

Enjoy the following collection of the best quotes about happiness.

Enjoy the following collection of inspiring quotes about happiness!

The 111 Most Inspiring Quotes about Happiness

The amazing thing about these happiness quotes is that many of these sayings stem from some of the wisest men and women that have ever walked on this planet. Their quotes about happiness show that they were confronted with similar challenges and difficulties during their own lifetime. What is even more interesting is the fact that these inspiring people found excellent ways to live happily despite the occasional struggles of life.

But how does one unearth all this wisdom about happiness that accumulated over centuries? Discovering excellent quotes about happiness is definitely not easy. Usually, one would have to read a vast number of books to find some precious gems here and there. Luckily for you, the following collection of happiness quotes gives you an excellent overview of the most important ideas about happiness.

If you so want, the following quotes about happiness condense the brilliant wisdom about happiness of centuries into a reader-friendly article. Enjoy!

1. Marcus Aurelius on the way you think

“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.”
Marcus Aurelius

Your thoughts shape your entire reality. How you think has a great impact on your life. In many instances, it is not so important what happens to you in life. What is important is how you choose to think about it and how you respond to it. With this philosophy in mind, you always get to choose between accepting defeats and fighting against struggles to turn them into something better.

2. Alfred Tennyson on happiness and passion

“The happiness of a man in this life does not consist in the absence but in the mastery of his passions.”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Let’s face it, we all have desires and passions. And many of us know that it is almost impossible to fulfill each and every desire. In fact, once one certain desire is fulfilled, many others will take its place.

The great problem, however, is that unfulfilled passions and desires can reduce our happiness significantly. Therefore, the one who has learned to become a master of passions and desires is most likely the one who is truly happy and fulfilled.

3. Albert Schweitzer on the key to happiness

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Albert Schweizer

It’s of the greatest importance to really love what you are doing. It will help you to go the extra mile wherever necessary and allows you to peak performance. If you really love what you’re doing, you will not only be happy but also successful.

4. Jackson Brown, Jr. on the happiest people

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The first essential step to happiness is to want less. This greatly helps you to feel more content with what you have and allows you to avoid frustration over not getting all your material wishes fulfilled. The second step lies in realizing that a great part of happiness lies in giving unconditionally. In fact, helping others will even further increase your happiness.

5. Stacy Charter on relying on others

“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

No one else is responsible for your happiness. No one else can significantly increase your long-term happiness if you don’t want to. This may sound harsh at first, but it allows you to take responsibility when it comes to living a happy life.

6. Epicurus on riches, happiness, and desires

“If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.”
Epicurus

As already addressed, desires can be a major source of frustration. This is especially the case when many of our boundless desires are not fulfilled. Therefore, happiness does not depend on riches. It depends on our ability to make the best of what we have and to reduce the number of desires we have.

7. Frederick Keonig on appreciating what you have

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”
Frederick Keonig

Cultivating gratitude for what you have is a major milestone to happiness. It will help you to realize how beautiful your life already is, which greatly increases your happiness.

8. Guillaume Apollinaire on pursuing happiness

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

Millions of people make great sacrifices each day in order to pursue happiness. In their case, happiness lies far in the future and can only be felt once certain material wishes have been fulfilled. This approach, however, greatly deprives the present moment of its joy and happiness.

9. Helen Keller on closing doors

“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 that has been opened for us.”
Helen Keller

It cannot be avoided that certain doors close and never open again. However, wasting your time in front of these doors, complaining about the fact that they have shut won’t lead you anywhere. All it does is prevent you from seeing new opportunities that are introduced to your life.

10. Benjamin Disraeli on happiness and action

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

Not all your actions will manifest happiness in your life. But if you don’t actively do something about your happiness, it is unlikely that positive change can be affected.

11. Leo Buscaglia on the secret of happiness

“What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.”
Leo Buscaglia

Indeed.

12. Marcel Pagnol on the difficulty of being happy

“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.”
Marcel Pagnol

It is quite important to understand that we have a natural tendency to overestimate the importance of the past. Doing so will make the present look far worse than it actually is and the future even less attractive. Instead of clinging on to the past, try to make the best of the present moment.

13. Leon Kass on being content

“If you have easy self-contentment, you might have a very, very cheap source of happiness.”
Leon Kass

True happiness does not stem from acquiring ever more. Instead, it is a result of being content with what you already have.

14. Dale Carnegie on the way you think

“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

The way you think has a great impact on your happiness. There are always two ways of thinking about things that happen to you in life. One is to consider everything negative that happens as a great punishment. The other way is to consider struggles and difficulties as important challenges that help you to grow as a person and to become stronger.

15. Sydney J. Harris on what happiness is

“Happiness is a direction, not a place.”
Sydney J. Harris

Many people seek to arrive at the destination called happiness. What they don’t realize is that happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey. So enjoy the journey and try to derive their happiness from traveling on this path.

16. Buddha on learning to let go

“Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.”
Buddha

Being not attached to the things you cannot influence is an important ability when it comes to learning to increase happiness.

17. Lupe Fiasco on measuring success

“That should be the measure of success for everyone. It’s not money, it’s not fame, it’s not celebrity; my index of success is happiness.”
Lupe Fiasco

Money, fame, and power do not necessarily make people happy. So in order to measure a person’s success, their individual happiness should definitely be considered. There are many people who have little to nothing but are able to live a happy and grateful life. Yet at the same time, there are many who have great levels of wealth but are not able to derive happiness from it.

18. Henry Beecher on being happy

“The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”
Henry Ward Beecher

In most cases, we falsely assume that only the big things in life can make us truly happy. But once we are able to find happiness in the little things, we are finally learning to master the art of happiness.

19. Epictetus on worrying too much

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

Not everything that bothers you can be changed. For this reason, it is of the greatest importance to learn to think differently about these things. You shouldn’t allow the things you cannot change to reduce your happiness. Instead, try to let go of that which is beyond your control.

20. Elizabeth Phelps on cultivating happiness

“Happiness must be cultivated. It is like character. It is not a thing to be safely let alone for a moment, or it will run to weeds.”
Elizabeth Stuart Phelps

Happiness is like a muscle: if it isn’t exercised, it will atrophy.

21. Charles Spurgeon on enjoying happiness

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

Many of us falsely assume that only by acquiring material wealth we will ever be happy. This, however, is not necessarily true as many examples of dysfunctional and depressed celebrities show. Instead of making your happiness dependent on material possessions, try to be happy right in this moment.

22. George Sand on the only happiness that matters

“There is only one happiness in this life, to love and be loved.”
George Sand

This is another remarkable quote about happiness and it is so true.

23. Leo Tolstoy on being happy

“If you want to be happy, be.”
Leo Tolstoy

Happiness most definitely is a choice. If you don’t decide to be happy despite the circumstances of your life, what happens in life will always impact your happiness negatively.

24. Arnold Bennett on being satisfied

“Happiness includes chiefly the idea of satisfaction after full honest effort. No one can possibly be satisfied and no one can be happy who feels that in some paramount affairs he failed to take up the challenge of life.”
Arnold Bennett

Of all the quotes about happiness, this one is particularly remarkable.

25. L.M. Montgomery on enjoying what happens in life

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”
L.M. Montgomery

Being happy is not so much about what happens to you in life. It is all about finding ways to be happy despite what happens.

26. Martha Washington on her determination

“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

27. Richard Bach on happiness that is dependent

“If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem.”
Richard Bach

28. Mahatma Gandhi on harmony and happiness

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

29. William Feather on finding happiness

“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

30. Groucho Marx on the power to be happy

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”
Groucho Marx

31. Dalai Lama on taking action

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama

32. Zhuangzi on striving for happiness

“Happiness is the absence of the striving for happiness.”
Zhuangzi

33. Thomas Jefferson on what makes you happy

“It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.”
Thomas Jefferson

34. Dalai Lama on the pursuit of happiness

“We begin from the recognition that all beings cherish happiness and do not want suffering. It then becomes both morally wrong and pragmatically unwise to pursue only one’s own happiness oblivious to the feelings and aspirations of all others who surround us as members of the same human family. The wiser course is to think of others when pursuing our own happiness.”
Dalai Lama

35. Linus Pauling on the sources of happiness

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

36. Denis Waitley on acquiring happiness

“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

37. Antoine de Saint-Exupery on true happiness

“True happiness comes from the joy of deeds well done, the zest of creating things new.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

38. Mary Lou Retton on optimism

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

39. Bertolt Brecht on chasing happiness

“Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.”
Bertolt Brecht

40. William E. Gladstone on hunting for happiness

“Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.”
William E. Gladstone

41. Saul Bellow on finding happiness

“Happiness can only be found if you can free yourself of all other distractions.”
Saul Bellow

42. Nathaniel Hawthorne on trying to pursue happiness

“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.”
Nathaniel Hawthorne

43. Eleanor Roosevelt on the creation of happiness

“Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

44. Dalai Lama on making others happy

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”
Dalai Lama

45. Pierre Corneille on sharing happiness

“Happiness seems made to be shared.”
Pierre Corneille

46. John Barrymore on unexpected happiness

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”
John Barrymore

47. Robert Green Ingersoll on the best time to be happy

“Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so.”
Robert Green Ingersoll

48. Aristotle on taking responsibility for happiness

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.”
Aristotle

49. Hermann Hesse on enjoying the moment

“To be able to throw one’s self away for the sake of a moment, to be able to sacrifice years for a woman’s smile – that is happiness.”
Hermann Hesse

50. Mark Twain on the courage to live

“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

51. Ovid on those who are truly happy

“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.”
Ovid

52. Eleanor Roosevelt on giving to others

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

53. Dennis Prager on happiness and self-discipline

“Happiness is dependent on self-discipline. We are the biggest obstacles to our own happiness. It is much easier to do battle with society and with others than to fight our own nature.”
Dennis Prager

54. Zhuangzi on the joy of nature

“I know the joy of fishes in the river through my own joy, as I go walking along the same river.”
Zhuangzi

55. Tom Bodett on being truly happy

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”
Tom Bodett

56. Ayn Rand on what happiness really is

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.”
Ayn Rand

57. Abraham Lincoln on allowing yourself to be happy

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

58. Oscar Wilde on the people that cause happiness

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”
Oscar Wilde

59. J.D. Salinger on being paranoid

“I am a kind of paranoid in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.”
J.D. Salinger

60. Marcus Aurelius on the way you think

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

61. Robert Baden-Powell on what is worthwhile

“The most worth-while thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.”
Robert Baden-Powell

62. Ayn Rand on accomplishing happiness

“Achievement of your happiness is the only moral purpose of your life, and that happiness, not pain or mindless self-indulgence, is the proof of your moral integrity, since it is the proof and the result of your loyalty to the achievement of your values.”
Ayn Rand

63. Helen Keller on being content

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.”
Helen Keller

64. Maurice Chevalier on the perfect moment

“If you wait for the perfect moment when all is safe and assured, it may never arrive. Mountains will not be climbed, races won, or lasting happiness achieved.”
Maurice Chevalier

65. Fyodor Dostoevsky on achieving happiness

“Happiness does not lie in happiness, but in the achievement of it.”
Fyodor Dostoevsky

66. John Burroughs on the secret of happiness

“The secret of happiness is something to do.”
John Burroughs

67. Marquis de Sade on ideal happiness

“Happiness is ideal, it is the work of the imagination.”
Marquis de Sade

68. Bernard Meltzer on enjoying happiness

“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.”
Bernard Meltzer

69. George Orwell on the existence of happiness

“Happiness can exist only in acceptance.”
George Orwell

70. Antoine de Saint-Exupery on finding joy

“It is in the compelling zest of high adventure and of victory, and in creative action, that man finds his supreme joys.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery

71. Andy Rooney on climbing to the top

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

72. Denis Diderot on the passion for happiness

“There is only one passion, the passion for happiness.”
Denis Diderot

73. Thomas Merton on the beginning of happiness

“When ambition ends, happiness begins.”
Thomas Merton

74. Bertrand Russell on not having everything

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

75. Ashley Montagu on moments of happiness

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

76. Benjamin Franklin on the pursuit of happiness

“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
Benjamin Franklin

77. David Brainerd on hoping for happiness

“If you hope for happiness in the world, hope for it from God, and not from the world.”
David Brainerd

78. Richard Bach on precious gifts

“Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.”
Richard Bach

79. Ernest Hemingway on happiness and intelligence

“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”
Ernest Hemingway

80. Robert Frost on the height of happiness

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

81. Bertrand Russell on living a happy life

“A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.”
Bertrand Russell

82. Albert Camus on happiness and harmony

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

83. Helen Keller on true happiness

“True happiness… is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.”
Helen Keller

84. Jose Marti on generosity

“Happiness exists on earth, and it is won through prudent exercise of reason, knowledge of the harmony of the universe, and constant practice of generosity.”
Jose Marti

85. James Oppenheim on being grateful

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

86. Mother Teresa on joy

“Joy is prayer; joy is strength: joy is love; joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.”
Mother Teresa

87. Lydia M. Child on making others happy

“An effort made for the happiness of others lifts above ourselves.”
Lydia M. Child

88. Epictetus on worrying too much

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

89. Henry Drummond on happiness

“Happiness… consists in giving, and in serving others.”
Henry Drummond

90. Rabindranath Tagore on sleeping and dreaming

“I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
Rabindranath Tagore

91. Thomas Merton on balance

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

92. Omar Khayyam on being happy right now

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
Omar Khayyam

93. Bil Keane on hugs

“A hug is like a boomerang – you get it back right away.”
Bil Keane

94. Hosea Ballou on real happiness

“Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.”
Hosea Ballou

95. Seneca on true happiness

“True happiness is… to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future.”
Seneca

96. Leo Rosten on pushing things to the limit

“Happiness comes only when we push our brains and hearts to the farthest reaches of which we are capable.”
Leo Rosten

97. Plutarch on speaking about happiness

“Do not speak of your happiness to one less fortunate than yourself.”
Plutarch

98. Albert Einstein on simple pleasures

“A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?”
Albert Einstein

99. Maxim Gorky on letting go

“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

100. Lawrence G. Lovasik on making others happy

“Try to make at least one person happy every day. If you cannot do a kind deed, speak a kind word. If you cannot speak a kind word, think a kind thought. Count up, if you can, the treasure of happiness that you would dispense in a week, in a year, in a lifetime!”
Lawrence G. Lovasik

101. Blaise Pascal on happiness within

“Happiness is neither without us nor within us. It is in God, both without us and within us.”
Blaise Pascal

102. Nicolas Chamfort on wasted days

“The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”
Nicolas Chamfort

103. Carl Sandburg on the secret of happiness

“The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.”
Carl Sandburg

104. Bette Davis on losing happiness

“A sure way to lose happiness, I found, is to want it at the expense of everything else.”
Bette Davis

105. Ben Jonson on true happiness

“True happiness consists not in the multitude of friends, but in the worth and choice.”
Ben Jonson

106. Nicholas Sparks on rolling back the clock

“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.”
Nicholas Sparks

107. Richard Bach on enjoying each moment

“The best way to pay for a lovely moment is to enjoy it.”
Richard Bach

108. Rollo May on joy

“Joy, rather than happiness, is the goal of life, for joy is the emotion which accompanies our fulfilling our natures as human beings. It is based on the experience of one’s identity as a being of worth and dignity.”
Rollo May

109. Immanuel Kant on becoming happy

“It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.”
Immanuel Kant

110. Malcolm Forbes on being who you are

“When what we are is what we want to be, that’s happiness.”
Malcolm Forbes

111. Thomas Jefferson on the greatest happiness

“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.”
Thomas Jefferson

I hope you enjoyed these quotes about happiness.

Stay victorious!


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Steve is the founder of Planet of Success, the #1 choice when it comes to motivation, self-growth and empowerment. This world does not need followers. What it needs is people who stand in their own sovereignty. Join us in the quest to live life to the fullest!

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