Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Unhappiness

"It is indifference which is the cause of most of our unhappiness. Indifference to religion, to the happiness of others, and to the precious gift of freedom, and the wide liberty that is the inheritance of all in a free land. Are we our "Brother's Keeper"? We certainly are! If we had no regard for others' feelings or fortune, we would grow cold and indifferent to life itself. Bound up with selfishness, we could not hope for the success that could easily be ours." - George Matthew Adams

"The purpose of this discipline is to bring man into the habit of applying the insight that has come to him as the result of the preceding disciplines. When one is rising, standing, walking, doing something, stopping, one should constantly concentrate one’s mind on the act and the doing of it, not on one’s relation to the act, or its character or value. One should think: there is walking, there is stopping, there is realizing; not, I am walking, I am doing this, it is a good thing, it is disagreeable, I am gaining merit, it is I who am realizing how wonderful it is. Thence come vagrant thoughts, feelings of elation or of failure and unhappiness. Instead of all this, one should simply practice concentration of the mind on the act itself, understanding it to be an expedient means for attaining tranquillity of mind, realization, insight and Wisdom; and one should follow the practice in faith, willingness and gladness. After long practice the bondage of old habits become weakened and disappears, and in its place appear confidence, satisfaction, awareness and tranquillity. What is the Way of Wisdom designed to accomplish? There are three classes of conditions that hinder one from advancing along the path to Enlightenment. First, there are the allurements arising from the senses, from external conditions and from the discriminating mind. Second, there are the internal conditions of the mind, its thoughts, desires and mood. All these the earlier practices (ethical and mortificatory) are designed to eliminate. In the third class of impediments are placed the individual’s instinctive and fundamental (and therefore most insidious and persistent) urges - the will to live and to enjoy, the will to cherish one’s personality, the will to propagate, which give rise to greed and lust, fear and anger, infatuation, pride and egotism. The practice of the Wisdom Paramita is designed to control and eliminate these fundamental and instinctive hindrances." - Aśvaghoṣa NULL

"The greatest unhappiness is to know the source of unhappiness." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

"Man can only endure a certain degree of unhappiness; what is beyond that either annihilates him or passes by him and leaves him apathetic." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"What do people mean when they talk about unhappiness? It is not so much unhappiness as impatience that from time to time possesses men, and then they choose to call themselves miserable." - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

"Back of tranquillity lies always conquered unhappiness." - David Grayson, pseudonym of Ray Stannard Baker

"What is called affluence - the consequence of the type of rapid economic development which occurred from about the middle of the nineteenth century - is in a real sense an abundance not just of serious problems which machines cannot solve, but of hopeless poverty: the physical insecurity, personal unhappiness, the intensified morality, the sense of being dwarfed by vast and uncontrollable physical, mechanical and corporate structures, the hatred and contempt of other peoples, the lack of opportunity for contemplation, the loss of community life." - Charles Richard Hensman

"I am more and more convinced that our happiness or unhappiness depends far more on the way we meet the events of life, than on the nature of those events themselves." -

"It is worthy of special remark that when we are not too anxious about happiness and unhappiness, but devote ourselves to the strict and unsparing performance of duty, then happiness comes of itself." -

"When we are not too anxious about happiness and unhappiness, but devote ourselves to the strict and unsparing performance of duty, then happiness comes of itself - nay, even springs from the midst of a life of troubles and anxieties and privations." -

"Personal relationships are a major cause of unhappiness... Trying to find successful ways of dealing with people according to their personality traits is futile and time-consuming, and it puts the emphasis on outer characteristics rather than where it belongs, which is on the inner... There is an underlying sameness to us all... Operating from the space-time continuum, it is too easy to see others as different from us, to see boundaries, to be exclusive. Operating from our spiritual center, however, is to see others as part of ourselves, to see no boundaries, to be inclusive." - Richard and Mary-Alice Jafolla

"Whether happiness or unhappiness, freedom or slavery, in short whether good or evil results from an improved environment depends largely upon how the change has been brought about, upon the methods by which the physical results have been reached, and in what spirit and for what purpose the fruits of that change are used. Because a higher standard of living, a greater productiveness and a command over nature are not good in and of themselves do not mean that we cannot make good of them, that they cannot be a source of inner strength." -

"We can never be despised as much as we deserve. Pity and commiseration are mingled with some esteem for the thing we pity; the things we laugh at we consider worthless. I do not think there is as much unhappiness in us as vanity, nor as much malice as stupidity. We are not so full of evil as of inanity; we are not as wretched as we are worthless." - Michel de Montaigne, fully Lord Michel Eyquem de Montaigne

"It is no happiness to live long, nor unhappiness to die soon; happy is he that hath lived long enough to die well." - Francis Quarles

"All weaknesses are just fabrications of mind. If I am not happy with myself, how can you make me happy? It takes time to see that my unhappiness stems from myself and not from you. We love to blame others as the source of our unhappiness because that is how we feel good about ourselves. But when we go deeper, we realize that no one in the whole world can make us happy or unhappy. It depends on our own integrity." - Shantananda Saraswathi, fully Swami Shantananda Saraswathi, born Chandrashekar

"Never believe that a man can become happy through the unhappiness of another." -

"There is nothing in the world so much admired as a man who knows how to bear unhappiness with courage." -

"What leads to unhappiness is making pleasure the chief aim." - William Shenstone

"One of the prime causes of unhappiness in the world is approval-seeking." - Chayim Efrayim Zaichyk

"Unhappiness indicates wrong thinking; just as ill health indicates bad regimen." - Paul Bourget, fully Paul Charles Joseph Bourget

"We degrade life by our follies and vices, and then complain that the unhappiness which is only their accompaniment is self-distrust is the cause of most of our failures. In the assurance of strength there is strength; and they are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith in themselves or their powers." - John Christian Bovee

"Never fear spoiling children by making them too happy. Happiness is the atmosphere in which all good affections grow - the wholesome warmth necessary to make the heart-blood circulate healthily and freely; unhappiness - the chilling pressure which produces here an inflammation, there an excrescence and worst, of all, "the mind's green and yellow sickness" - ill temper." -

"Much unhappiness has come into the world because of bewilderment and things left unsaid." - Fyodor Dostoevsky, fully Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoevsky or Feodor Mikhailovich Dostoevski

"True happiness is exotic; its birthplace is in heaven; unhappiness is of native growth." - Du Coeur NULL

"The underlying cause of all weakness and unhappiness is man has always been, and still is, weak habit-of-thought." - Horace Fletcher, nicknamed "The Great Masticator"

"Seek not happiness too greedily, and be not fearful of unhappiness." -

"The more we search for an alibi, the more we discover that unhappiness on earth is man-made." - D. H. Lawrence, fully David Herbert "D.H." Lawrence

"The happiness and unhappiness of men depend as much on their turn of mind as on fortune." -

"Too much sensibility creates unhappiness; too much insensibility leads to crime." - Talleyrand, fully Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, 1st Prince de Bénévent NULL

"Selfishness is the deepest root of all unhappiness... It feeds an insatiable hunger that first eats up everything belonging to others and then causes a creature to devour itself." - Hélder Câmara, fully Dom Hélder Pessoa Câmara

"Like produces like. Good produces good. If our all day thinking is positive, constructive, kindly, we produce health, success, and freedom. If our hour-to-hour thinking is negative, pessimistic, mean, we produce sickness, failure, and unhappiness. If our life is governed by Faith we become younger, more prosperous, and more joyous, as the years pass. If our life is governed by fear, the fleeting years bring age, decrepitude, and frustration." - Emmet Fox

"The food of events is thought. Your habitual thoughts nourish your conditions and cause them to increase and multiply. Fear thoughts, gloomy and critical thoughts, selfish thoughts, are the food of unhappiness, sickness, and failure. When you supply this food in abundance these things come into your life – because they seek their food. Thoughts of God, thoughts of kindness, of optimism, and good will, are the food of health, joy, and success; and if you furnish a bountiful supply of this food you will attract these things instead." - Emmet Fox

"The common element of most fears is that they are based on the illusion that happiness is dependent on externals and therefore vulnerable… Cessation of fear is the result of learning that the source of happiness and joy is from within. It stems from recognizing that its source is the joy of one’s own existence, which is continuous and not dependent on externals. This results from surrendering expectations and demands on one’s self, the world, and others. The thought “I can only be happy if I win or get what I want” is a guarantee of worry, anxiety, and unhappiness." - David R. Hawkins, fully David Ramon Hawkins

"Much marriage difficulty and unhappiness are due to the failure of the partners to accept the fact of their finiteness and its meaning. Instead, they hold themselves up to ideals of performance possible only to God." - Reuel Howe, fully Reuel Lanphier Howe

"Our happiness or unhappiness depends as much on our temperaments as on our luck." -

"Joy has something within itself which is beyond joy and sorrow. This something is called blessedness... It preserves in itself its opposite, sorrow. It provides the foundation for happiness and pleasure. It is present in all levels of man’s striving for fulfillment. It consecrates and directs them. It does not diminish or weaken them. It does not take away the risks and dangers of the joy of life. It makes the joy of life possible in pleasure and pain, in happiness and unhappiness, in ecstasy and sorrow. Where there is joy, there is fulfillment. And where there is fulfillment, there is joy. In fulfillment and joy the inner aim of life, the meaning of creation, and the end of salvation, are attained." -

"The Master responds to falsehood and truth, bad news and good news, inexactly the same way: “Is that so?” He allows the form of the moment, good or bad, to be as it is and so does not become a participant in human drama. To him there is only this moment, and this moment is as it is. Events are not personalized. He is nobody’s victim. He is so completely at one with what happens that what happens has no power over him anymore. Only if you resist what happens are you at the mercy of what happens, and the world will determine your happiness and unhappiness." - Eckhart Tolle, born Ulrich Leonard Tolle

"I believe half the unhappiness in life comes from people being afraid to go straight at things." - William John Locke

"The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things. This inevitableness of destiny can only be illustrated in terms of human life by incidents which in fact involve unhappiness. For it is only by them that the futility of escape can be made evident in the drama." - Alfred North Whitehead

"Unhappiness lies in not knowing what we want out of life and killing ourselves to get it." - Author Unknown NULL

"The human being who lives only for themselves finally reaps nothing but unhappiness. Selfishness corrodes. Unselfishness ennobles, satisfies. Don't put off the joy derivable from doing helpful, kindly things for others." -

"Life is so mysterious. People are in misery, and they don’t know how to get out, get help or free themselves. Life is total freedom, but we’re trapped in our own civilization, culture, religion, teachings. We’re equipped with fear, ignorance, unhappiness. Desire is the big evil, the big temptation. Many people carry on in life without knowing this. We do so much for our bodies but not for our souls. Pay attention to yourself, monitor your thinking and capture the villains within. Know what it is in you that would make people suffer more, make people suffer less. Know this and you know how to use your thinking and abilities to bring peace. Certain people have certain duties, a talent. The meaning of life is to see this mission, fulfill it and make the maximum use of your life and your benefit and mankind’s." - Bernie S. Siegel

"Unhappiness doesn't grow on the chest like leprosy. Poverty won't fall off the roof like a loose tile, no: poverty and unhappiness are man's doing." - Bertolt Brecht

"Drunkenness is temporary suicide: the happiness that it brings is merely negative, a momentary cessation of unhappiness." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"If there were in the world today any large number of people who desired their own happiness more then they desired the unhappiness of others, we could have a paradise in a few years." - Bertrand Russell, fully Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell

"I have discovered that all the unhappiness of men arises from one single fact, they cannot stay quietly in their own chamber." - Blaise Pascal

"If our condition were truly happy, we should not need to divert ourselves from it. Being unable to cure death, wretchedness, and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things. I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he does not know how to stay quietly in his own room." - Blaise Pascal

"All unhappiness is the result of excessive expectations." - Buddhist Proverbs

"If thou suffer injustice, console thyself; the true unhappiness is in doing it." - Democritus NULL

"Unhappiness is in not knowing what we want and killing ourselves to get it." - Don Herold