Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Happy

"If we would keep filling our minds with the picture of happy things ahead, many of the worries and anxieties, and perhaps ill health, would naturally melt away... If we lived in the atmosphere of expectancy, so many of our petty problems would be no problems at all! Always expect the best." - George Matthew Adams

"Better is bread with a happy heart than riches with vexation." - Amen-em-apt NULL

"Man does not choose of necessity... in all particular goods, the reason can consider an aspect of some good, and the lack of some good, which has the aspect of evil; and in this respect, it can apprehend any single one of such goods as to be chosen or to be avoided. The perfect good alone which is Happiness, cannot be apprehended by the reason as an evil, or as lacking in any way. Consequently man wills Happiness of necessity, nor can he will not to be happy, or to be unhappy. Now since choice is not of the end, but of the means... it is not of the perfect good, which is Happiness, but of other particular goods. Therefore man chooses not of necessity, but freely." -

"The happy man needs friends... not, indeed, not make use of them, since he suffices himself, nor to delight in them, since he possesses perfect delight in the operation of virtue, but for the purpose of a good operation, namely, that he may do good to them, that he may delight in seeing them do good, and again that he may be helped by them in his good work." -

"Envy destroys peace of mind and happiness. An envious person’s life is full of suffering and resentment. He is never happy with what he himself has." - Michael Barenbaum

"Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold." -

"It is when we detect our own weaknesses that we come to pity or despise mankind. The human nature from which we then turn away is the human nature we have discovered in the depths of our own being. The evil is so well screened, the secret so universally kept, that in this case each individual is the dupe of all: however severely we may profess to judge other men, at bottom we think them better than ourselves. On this happy illusion much of our social life is grounded." - Henri Bergson, aka Henri-Louis Bergson

"Happy is the man who finds wisdom... Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of life to them that lay hold on her." -

"Keep your focus on what you do have. Only then can you be truly happy." - Yosef Leib Bloch, fully R' Yosef Yehudah Leib Bloch

"He who is virtuous is wise; and he who is wise is good; and he who is good is happy." - Boethius, fully Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius NULL

"Not only is there a right to be happy, there is a duty to be happy. So much sadness exists in the world that we are all under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers." - Abel Bonnard

"No man, with a man's heart in him gets far on his way without some bitter, soul-searching disappointment. Happy is he who is brave enough to push on to another stage of the journey." -

"What happiness is, no person can say for another. But no one, I am convinced, can be happy who lives only for himself. The joy of living comes from immersion in something we know to be bigger, better, more enduring and worthier than we are." -

"To be happy you must forget yourself. Learn benevolence; it is the only cure of a morbid temper." -

"One of the mistakes in the conduct of human life is to suppose that other men's opinions are to make us happy." - Richard Francis Burton, fully Sir Richard Francis Burton

"There are two things which will make us happy in this life, if we attend to them. The first is, never to vex ourselves about what we cannot help; and the second, never to vex ourselves about what we can help." - Paul Chatfield, pseudonym for Horace Smith

"Every human soul has the germ of some flowers within; and they would open, if they could only find sunshine and free air to expand in. I always told you that not having enough of sunshine was what ailed the world. Make people happy, and there will not be half the quarreling, or a tenth part of the wickedness there is." -

"The only way to have a happy life is to keep your eyes focused on what you have and not on what you are lacking." -

"Happiness is a hard thing because it is achieved only by making others happy." - Stuart Cloete, fully Edward Fairly Stuart Graham

"The very nearest approach to domestic happiness on earth is in the cultivation on both sides of absolute unselfishness. Never both be angry at once. Never talk at one another, either alone or in company. Never speak loud to one another unless the house is on fire. Let each; one strive to yield oftenest to the wishes of the other. Let self-denial be the daily aim and practice of each. Never find fault unless it is perfectly certain that a fault has been committed, and always speak lovingly. Never taunt with a past mistake. Neglect the whole world besides rather than one another. Never allow a request to be repeated. Never make a remark at the expense of each other, it is a meanness. Never part for a day without loving words to think of during absence. Never meet without a loving welcome. Never let the sun go down upon any anger or grievance. Never let any fault you have committed go by until you have frankly confessed it and asked forgiveness. Never forget the happy hours of early love. Never sigh over what might have been, but make the best of what is. Never forget that marriage is ordained of God, and that His blessing alone can make it what it should ever be. Never be contented till you know you are both walking in the narrow way. Never let your hopes stop short of the eternal home." - Edward Watke, Jr.

"To make a man happy, fill his hands with work, his heart with affection, his mind with purpose, his memory with useful knowledge, his future with hope, and his stomach with food. The devil never enters a man except one of these rooms be vacant." - Frederick Evan Crane

"There is no greater pain than to recall a happy time in wretchedness." - Alighieri Dante

"Fortunate is the person whose ambition is to acquire personal growth that is independent of external factors. Such a person will lead a happy and rewarding life." - Eliyahu Eliezer Dessler

"Indolence is the dry rot of even a good mind and a good character; the practical uselessness of both. It is the waste of what might be a happy and useful life." - Tyron Edwards

"Be unselfish. That is the first and final commandment for those who would be useful, and happy in their usefulness. If you think of yourself only, you cannot develop because you are choking the source of development, which is spiritual expansion through thought for others." - Charles W. Eliot

"Laziness is the one common deficiency in mankind that blocks the establishment of a perfect world in which everyone leads a happy life." - William Feather

"He that always waits upon God is ready whenever He calls. Neglect not to set your accounts even; he is a happy man who so lives as that death at all times may find him at leisure to die." - Owen Feltham

"If we cannot live so as to be happy, let us at least live so as to deserve it." - Immanuel Hermass von Fitche

"Happy were men if they but understood there is no safety but in doing good." - John Fountain

"Virtue alone is sufficient to make a man great, glorious, and happy." - Benjamin Franklin

"It seems not to be true that there is a power in the universe, which watches over the well-being of every individual with parental care and brings all his concerns to a happy ending. On the contrary, the destinies of man are incompatible with a universal principle of benevolence or with - what is to some degree contradictory - a universal principle of justice... Dark, unfeeling, and unloving powers determine human destiny; the system of rewards and punishments, which according to religion, governs the world, seems to have no existence." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The sort of marriage where the couple never have a row, cannot bear “unpleasantness,” the sort of family that is endlessly and determinedly “happy” cannot lead to growth, nor any genuine form of “being.” “Being” is about acknowledging one’s pain, and not trying to conceal it from oneself, or inflict it upon others." - Monica Furlong

"A person who is sincerely humble will be constantly happy. A humble person realizes that nothing is owed him, and therefore feels satisfied with what he has. He does not raise his sights to receive what is above him. He constantly has peace of mind and always feels the joy of life." - Rabbi Chayim Meir Hagar

"A happy life is made up of little things in which smiles and small favors are given habitually. A gift sent, a letter written, a call made, a recommendation given, transportation provided, a cake made, a book lent, a check sent - things which are done without hesitation. Kindness isn't sacrifice so much as it is being considerate for the feelings of others, sharing happiness, the unselfish thought, the spontaneous and friendly act, forgetfulness of our own present interests." - Carl Holmes

"He is happy whose circumstances suit his temper; but he is more excellent who can suit his temper to any circumstances." - David Hume

"On the whole, the unhappiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so." - William Ralph Inge

"The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so." - William Ralph Inge

"The happy people are those who are producing something; the bored people are those who are consuming much and producing nothing. Boredom is a certain sign that we are allowing our faculties to rust in idleness. When people are bored, they generally look about for a new pleasure, or take a holiday. There is no greater mistake: what they want is some hard piece of work, some productive drudgery. Doctors are fond of sending their fashionable patients to take a rest cure. In nine cases out of ten a work cure would do them far more good." - William Ralph Inge

"The first thing to learn in intercourse with others is noninterference with their own peculiar ways of being happy, provided those ways do not assume to interfere by violence with ours." - William James

"Let him that desires to see others happy, make haste to give while his gift can be enjoyed, and remember that every moment of delay takes away something from the value of his benefaction." -

"Prudence keeps life safe, but does not often make it happy." -

"That kind of life is most happy which affords us most opportunities of gaining our own esteem." -

"The present is never a happy state to any human being." -

"To be happy at home is the ultimate result of all ambition, the end to which every enterprise and labor tends and of which every desire prompts the prosecution." -

"Happy is he who is engaged in controversy with his own passions, and comes off superior; who makes it his endeavor that his follies and weakenesses may die before himself, and who daily meditates on mortality and immortality." - John Jortin

"Let all your views of life be directed to a solid, however moderate, independence; without it no man can be happy, nor even honest." -

"We deem those happy who, from the experience of life, have learned to bear its ills, without being overcome by them. A father may turn his back on his child, brothers and sisters may become inveterate enemies, husbands may desert their wives, wives their husbands. But a mother’s love endures through all; in good repute, in bad repute, in the face of the world’s condemnation, a mother still loves on and still hopes that her child may turn from his evil ways, and repent; still she remembers the infant smiles that once filled her bosom with rapture, the merry laugh, the joyful shout of his childhood, the opening promise of his youth; and she can never be brought to think him all unworthy." - Juvenal, fully Decimus Junius Juvenalis NULL

"I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden. I can see a God-made world, not a man-made world." - Garrison Keillor, fully Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor