Happiness Quotes - Quotes about Life
How to be happy
I’ve been thinking lately about how to be happy. In fact, I wrote about it yesterday. I know how to be happy, so I wasn’t really contemplating happiness for me. I know some folks, however, who need to learn how to be happy, and I thought perhaps some happiness quotes might help. I've included quotes from the Bible, from famous authors, and from philosophers, scientists, actors, and comedians. There are even a couple from that famous writer, Unknown. Some of these are happy quotes about life that will give you a smile. Others seem to address the question, “What is happiness?” Some of the happiness quotes I found are pretty deep, and I hope they make you think. You probably won’t agree with all the happy quotes about life that I’ve included, but like I said, I hope they at least give you pause for contemplation. If you have your own happiness quotes, please add them in the comment section!
Quotes about life
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Jesus Christ
The Bible, especially the New Testament, contains numerous quotes about happiness and joy, but I think this one is my favorite. and even if you're not a believer, I think the good book offers sound advice for leading a good life.
That it will never come again is what makes life so sweet. Emily Dickinson
Emily is right on target here. This quote reminds me of the Seals and Crofts song, "We May Never Pass this Way Again."
I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing. Agatha Christie
Right. If you're not happy with your life, consider the alternative!
And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years. Abraham Lincoln
Had you rather have 100 years of awful, or 50 years of wonderful?
The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have. Woody Allen
I think that most of us aren't usually happy with what we have, and we always seem to want something more or something different. I suppose that's a flaw of human nature.
Happiness is not in our circumstance but in ourselves. It is not something we see, like a rainbow, or feel, like the heat of a fire. Happiness is something we are. John B. Sheerin
Being happy comes from within - not from external events or situations.
Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible. St. Augustine
I think St. Augustine is saying that we sometimes seem to throw away happiness with both hands. Maybe we struggle so hard to be happy that we don't realize how happy we could be if we just slow down and appreciate life.
Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. Albert Einstein
Wow. A humanitarian and a genius! We need more humans like Einstein.
Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens. Circumstances and situations do color life but you have been given the mind to choose what the color shall be. John Homer Miller
I like the color analogy here. Again, happiness is all about perception.
To get up each morning with the resolve to be happy…is to set our own conditions to the events of each day. To do this is to condition circumstances instead of being conditioned by them. Ralph Waldo Emerson
I agree with Mr. Emerson. Some people have to make a conscious effort in order to be happy, but it's definitely worth the effort involved.
You’ve got to sing like you don’t need the money. You’ve got to love like you’ll never get hurt. You’ve got to dance like there’s nobody watching. You’ve got to come from the heart, if you want it to work. Susanna Clark
This is sort of like the song, "Live Like You Were Dying."
The greater part of our happiness or misery depends on our dispositions, and not our circumstances. Martha Washington
From our brilliant first First Lady. Wonder why George didn't let her speak to the public more often?
I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life. Eleanor Roosevelt
Too true, Lady Eleanor! As I explain in my hub about how to be happy, I find awe and wonder in life every single day. These are often just little things, but isn't that what our lives are comprised of?
Optimism is the one quality more associated with success and happiness than any other. Brian Tracy
I did not know this, but it makes perfect sense. Are optimistic people happy because they're successful, or are they successful because they're happy? Hmmm...
He is rich or poor according to what he is, not according to what he has. Henry Ward Beecher
I know from firsthand experience that money cannot make you happy. This is something I tried to teach my high school students.
We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give. Norman MacEwan
Giving to others is twice-blessed. It provides happiness to both the giver and the recipient.
It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere. Agnes Repplier
True, but if we can't be happy with ourselves, we'll never be happy with anything or with anyone else, either.
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 M Schulz
I love this one, but not as much as I love Mr. Schulz's "puppy" quote. Sounds like Charles had a stress-free life.
For most of life, nothing wonderful happens. If you don't enjoy getting up and working and finishing your work and sitting down to a meal with family or friends, then the chances are that you're not going to be very happy. If someone bases his happiness or unhappiness on major events like a great new job, huge amounts of money, a flawlessly happy marriage or a trip to Paris, that person isn't going to be happy much of the time. If, on the other hand, happiness depends on a good breakfast, flowers in the yard, a drink or a nap, then we are more likely to live with quite a bit of happiness. Andy Rooney
Don't ya just love ol' Andy? He's like the modern version of Will Rogers, combining deep philosophical truths with down-home humor.
There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness. Carl Jung
I've thought about this many times. If our lives were filled with happiness every minute of every day, would we appreciate it? Would we know the difference in happiness and sadness?
Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them. Tolstoy
Like I said in my hub on this subject, I think happiness is mostly about attitude. The exact same event will affect two people in vastly different ways.
The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is. Erasmus
You might remember Erasmus as a great Humanist.
Live and work but do not forget to play, to have fun in life and really enjoy it. Eileen Caddy
I certainly follow this advice to the hilt! I really enjoy my life. As they say, "Work hard and play hard."
Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. Aristotle
And we've all been wondering for eons about the meaning of life. Now we know!
Remember, happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. Dale Carnegie
So...that means we can "think" ourselves happy, right? Well, that's pretty much what I've been saying all along!
Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day. Henri Nouwen
This seems to be a recurring theme, and I agree with it. I'll choose joy over sadness or anger any day.
If you want your life to be a magnificent story, then begin by realizing that you are the author and everyday you have the opportunity to write a new page. Mark Houlahan
Very apropos for the writers among us, huh? We writers should be really good at being happy, based on Mr. Houlahan's quote.
Seek to do good, and you will find that happiness will run after you James Freeman Clarke
True. Helping others is a great way to learn how to be happy.
Happiness is a direction, not a place. Sydney J. Harris
I believe if you work toward being happy, you will be happy. Some of us, however, might have to work harder than others to get to our "happy place."
He who enjoys doing and enjoys what he has done is happy. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
This reminds me of something else I used to teach my students: Choose a career that you love, and not just one based on how much money you'll make. And yes, I followed my own advice. I had always wanted to be a teacher, but when I graduated from college, I was courted by some PR firms that offered me jobs making three times what I was going to make as a teacher. I chose teaching, and I never regretted my decision.
Man must search for what is right, and let happiness come on its own. Johann Pestalozzi
This quote seems to say that if we always choose the right path of action, happiness will come naturally. I guess this is like karma.
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 G. Ingersoll
Why wait to be happy? None of us knows how many days we have left on Earth. We should grab our happiness now, and we can do that by making others happy.
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
I can totally understand why people choose to become Buddhists. When we spread happiness, not only does it not decrease - I think it actually increases.
The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.
What a smart guy was Twain. How can one remain sad when trying to bring joy to a friend?
If only we'd stop trying to be happy we could have a pretty good time. Edith Wharton
Edith Wharton won the Pulitzer Prize for The Age of Innocence. My favorite of her novels, however, has always been Ethan Frome.
Can anything be so elegant as to have few wants, and to serve them one's self? Ralph Waldo Emerson
This definitely goes along with the idea of self-reliance.
If you want happiness for an hour, take a nap. If you want happiness for a day, go fishing. If you want happiness for a year, inherit a fortune. If you want happiness for a lifetime, help somebody. Chinese Proverb
I found this to be a beautiful old saying!
It's pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness. Poverty and wealth have both failed. Frank McKinney Hubbard
I hope this quotation brought a smile to your face. It did to mine!
Happiness is like a butterfly: the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder. Henry David Thoreau
Sorry, I should have put Thoreau's quote next to Emerson's. This is a striking analogy, a great simile, and powerful imagery.
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
Pleasure is very seldom found where it is sought. Our brightest blazes are commonly kindled by unexpected sparks. Samuel Johnson
Would you apply the term "serendipity" here? Sounds like what JOhnson was talking about in this quote.
You make the world a better place by making yourself a better person. Scott Sorrell
The world should be a better place that a man has lived. And by "man," I mean woman, too, of course.
Life is too short to spend your precious time trying to convince a person who wants to live in gloom and doom otherwise. Give lifting that person your best shot, but don't hang around long enough for his or her bad attitude to pull you down. Instead, surround yourself with optimistic people. Zig Ziglar
Yes! That's my philosophy, too! I really try to "hang out" with happy, upbeat people.
Only I can change my life. No one can do it for me. Carol Burnett
Happiness begins on the inside, and no one can spark that inner drive and joy but ourselves.
So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. Christopher Reeve
Some folks think dreams are foolish and are only for young people. Well, I'm over fifty years old, and I still have dreams!
To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first. Shakespeare
The bard is saying, I think, to set small goals on the way to achieving your big dreams.
What a wonderful life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner. Colette
This one made me smile, but when you think about it, it's actually pretty sad.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they're not on your road doesn't mean they've gotten lost. H. Jackson Browne
Everyone has a different idea of being happy. Thanks goodness!
Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it. Danny Kaye
I never knew Danny Kaye was so philosophical! Wow - a singer/dancer/philosopher!
Nothing contributes so much to tranquilize the mind as a steady purpose - a point on which the soul may fix its intellectual eye. Mary Shelley
Everyone needs a purpose, along with goals. Ms. Shelley achieved one of her goals when she wrote Frankenstein.
Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. John Barrymore
Sometimes happiness catches us quite by surprise, which is usually even better than "planned" happiness.
Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad. Norm Papernick
Okay, this one actually made me laugh. Sometimes when I read or see something really funny on my computer screen and laugh aloud, I always feel sort of funny about laughing in private.
Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln
And some folks say there are no wise Republicans!
It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis. Margaret Bonnano
That's true enough, but now we'll have to change the endings to all the fairy tales.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood. Berke Breathed
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
Of all the things you wear, your expression is the most important. Janet Lane
Okay, now I'm singing those lines from Annie - "You're never fully dressed without a smile."
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion. Dalai Lama
Tranquil pleasures last the longest; we are not fitted to bear the burden of great joys. Christian Nestell Bovee
Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower. Unknown
There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness. Lady Blessington
Inner happiness can be visible on the outside. Maybe that's why pregant women have that famous "glow."
Happiness and sadness run parallel to each other. When one takes a rest, the other one tends to take up the slack. Hazelmarie Elliott
If you don't keep yourself busy being happy, sadness will see an opening and will jump in!
A great obstacle to happiness is to expect too much happiness. Bernard de Fontenelle
I agree with this quote. Don't you think many of us expect too much out of life - especially when it comes to material things?
Happiness is not an ideal of reason, but of imagination. Immanuel Kant
This is a common theme seen among the works of the English romantic poets.
There are some days when I think I'm going to die from an overdose of satisfaction. Salvador Dali
Well, Senor Dali, that would certainly be a great way to go! Actually, I feel the same way on some days.
The only way to avoid being miserable is not to have enough leisure to wonder whether you are happy or not. George Bernard Shaw
Many humans are too easily bored. Maybe if we stay busy enough, we won't have time to be unhappy.
We either make ourselves happy or miserable. The amount of work is the same. Carlos Castaneda
I absolutely love this quotation! It's just as easy to be happy as it is to be angry or sad. Think about it.
If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more than they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years. Bertrand Russell
Truer words were never spoken. People are so busy trying to tell others how to live their lives, they don't take care of their own "back yards."
Most of us believe in trying to make other people happy only if they can be happy in ways which we approve. Robert S. Lynd
For some reason, this Lynd quote reminds me of the political system in the United States!
There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life - happiness, freedom, and peace of mind - are always attained by giving them to someone else. Peyton Conway
Okay, this is pretty deep, and it really made me think. He uses the word "mythical." Does that mean he thinks that law of nature isn't true?
Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length. Robert Frost
I'm a big Frost fan, but this quote is rather confusing to me. I think it would be more appropriate to use "depth" and "width" instead of "height" and "length."
For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness. Unknown
Too true! That's why I don't waste much time on anger. Does that mean I'm lazy?
A useless life is an early death. Goethe
Goethe always was kind of dark, so I'm not surprised at all by this quotation. It does make a lot of sense, however.
I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy. J.D. Salinger
You probably "met" Salinger in high school when you had to read Catcher in the Rye.
Happiness is your dentist telling you it won't hurt and then having him catch his hand in the drill. Johnny Carson
I really miss Johnny Carson! This is a great quote. After all, who likes dentists?? I hope Smiledoc isn't reading this.
Happiness consists more in conveniences of pleasure that occur every day than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom. Benjamin Franklin
Learn to appreciate and enjoy the small pleasures in life - a comfy bed, a hot cup of coffee, conversation with a good friend, and a hearty belly laugh.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something completely great. Willa Cather
This quote by Cather echoes something else I believe about being happy - you need to be a part of something "larger" than yourself.
On the whole, the happiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so. William R. Inge
I've noticed this before, too. I've known people who seem to be happy all the time, even though from the outside looking in, it looks like there's little reason for them to be happy.
Eden is that old-fashioned house we dwell in every day
Without suspecting our abode until we drive away.
I think Emily is saying here that we don't realize what we have until it's gone. Sad but true, most of us don't realize how fortunate we really are when compared to the rest of the world.
My happy quotes about life: habeeisms
All these happiness quotes have really inspired me! In fact, they inspired me so much that I created some of my own happy quotes about life. Some of the quotes are based on my experiences with retirement, some are based on being a grandparent, and some are based on being a teacher. I nicknamed them “habeeisms.” Hope you enjoy them!
A retiree's version of Happiness Is
When someone else makes the coffee.
Finding a full roll under the bathroom sink when you thought you were on the very last sheet.
Finding a store that doubles coupons.
A shoe sale.
A week without a doctor’s appointment.
Going out to breakfast on a weekday.
When your husband says those three little words…”You were right.”
Not having to hear that blaring alarm clock.
When you wake up early to go to work and realize you don’t have to.
Staying up all night whenever you want to.
Not having to wear makeup every day.
Realizing the bathroom mirror’s fogged up and that you’re not completely losing your vision.
Your own TV.
Forgetting why you don’t like someone.
Not being too worried about what people think.
Spending the whole day in your pajamas – on a Monday.
Not having to go out when it’s cold/raining/hot/windy/damp/cloudy.
Not finding a friend’s obituary in the newspaper.
Not finding your own obituary in the newspaper.
Discovering that everyone else at your class reunion looks just as old as you do.
A grandparent's version of Happiness Is
Watching the birth of a grandchild.
Realizing that if you had strangled your offspring when they were teenagers, you wouldn’t have the joy of grankids.
Not having to potty train the grandkids yourself.
Singing and rocking a grandchild to sleep.
When the grandkids arrive at your house.
When the grandkids leave your house.
Being “Nanaclaus” at Christmas.
Having the excuse to do "kid stuff" again.
Watching your grandchildren learn to walk.
Being hard of hearing when all eight grandkids are yelling at once.
Grandkids who beg you to let them sweep and dust.
Hearing your grandkids say that you’re the best nana in the world.
Giving the kids lots of chocolate and then sending them home.
Having the authority to spoil the grands rotten.
Realizing that the mother’s curse works. (I hope when you grow up, you have a child who’s just like you!)
A teacher's version of Happiness Is
Having a crisp dollar bill that the vending machine will actually accept.
Finding plenty of paper in the copier.
An administrator who remembers what it’s like to be a teacher.
A weekend without 120 essays to grade.
Playing tic-tac-toe with a fellow sufferer during a boring seminar.
Avoiding food fights in the cafeteria.
Finding parents who support you.
When a former student visits you after becoming an adult to thank you for making a difference.
Not having to sit at the lunch table and watch thirty kids eat.
Being able to pronounce the names on your student roster.
Finding no line at the faculty restroom in between classes.
Male teachers who understand about putting the seat down.
Male teachers with good restroom aim.
Discovering that there are no convicted felons on your class rolls.
ISS. (in-school suspension)
Understanding all the school acronyms: ISS, OSS, PDOA, ITBS, SAT, PSAT, GTEP, GTOI, IEP, etc.
Making up meanings for the acronyms: ISS = in serious $h!t; OSS = overwhelmingly serious $h!t.
June and July. (August used to be included here.)
More about how to be happy:
- How To Be Happy: A Plan
This article discusses tips for how to be happy with yourself and how to be happy in life.