Cyclists – Budapest

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. – Mohandas Gandhi

Happiness belongs to those who are sufficient unto themselves. For all external sources of happiness and pleasure are, by their very nature, highly uncertain, precarious, ephemeral and subject to chance. – Arthur Schopenhauer

Existence is a strange bargain. Life owes us little; we owe it everything. The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose. – William Cowper

We are seldom happy with what we now have, but would go to pieces if we lost any part of it. – Mignon McLaughlin

Men spend their lives in anticipations, in determining to be vastly happy at some period or other when they have time. But the present time has one advantage over every other: it is our own. Past opportunities are gone, future have not come. We may lay in a stock of pleasures, as we would lay in a stock of wine; but if we defer the tasting of them too long, we shall find that both are soured by age! – Charles Caleb Colton

Most people their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want, so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You first be who you really are, then do what you need to do, in order to have what you want. – Margaret Young

If we’d only stop trying to be happy we’d have a pretty good time. – Edith Wharton

Most people are searching for happiness. They’re looking for it. They’re trying to find it in someone or something outside of themselves. That’s a fundamental mistake. Happiness is something that you are, and it comes from the way you think. – Wayne Dyer

Happiness is not a reward it is a consequence. Suffering is not a punishment it is a result. – Robert Green Ingersoll

Happiness comes most to persons who seek it least, and think least about it. It is not an object to be sought, it is a state to be induced. It must follow and not lead. It must overtake you, and not you overtake it. – John Lubbock

Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. – Og Mandino

Happiness is often the result of being too busy to be miserable. – Frank Baer

Money is human happiness in the abstract; he, then, who is no longer capable of enjoying human happiness in the concrete devotes himself utterly to money. – Arthur Schopenhauer

Even in the common affairs of life, in love, friendship, and marriage, how little security have we when we trust our happiness in the hands of others! – William Hazlitt

Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don’t set any condition. – Artur Rubinstein

Happiness doesn’t depend on who you are or what you have; it depends solely upon what you think. – Dale Carnegie

If you want to live a happy life, tie it to a goal, not to people or objects. – Albert Einstein

It is the people who can do nothing who find nothing to do, and the secret to happiness in this world is not only to be useful, but to be forever elevating one’s uses. – Sarah Orne Jewett

Money and time are the heaviest burdens in life: and among mortals, those who are most unhappy are the ones who have more than they need. – Samuel Johnson

Success is getting what you want, happiness is wanting what you get. – Charles F. Kettering

Only the fairy tale equates changelessness with happiness. Permanence means paralysis and death. Only in movement, with all its pain, is life. – Jakob Burkhardt

People far prefer happiness to wisdom, but that is like wanting to be immortal without getting older. – Sydney J. Harris

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

Seek happiness and you may or may not find it; seek grievances and you are guaranteed success. – Gregg Easterbrook

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

There’s an old line that goes like this: An optimist is usually happy. And a pessimist is usually right. Maybe so. But which would you rather be, anyway? – Joe Posnanski

Success is not they key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. – Albert Schweitzer

Thank heaven you can’t buy happiness. We couldn’t stand the commercials. – Rick Jones

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

Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for. – Allan K. Chalmers

The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness. – Fyodor Dostoevsky

The man with toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound. The poverty stricken man makes the same mistake about the rich man. – George Bernard Shaw

The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes. – Leo Tolstoy

There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience or none at all. – Ogden Nash

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness. – Eric Hoffer

The supreme happiness of life is the conviction of being loved for yourself, or, more correctly, being loved in spite of yourself. – Victor Hugo

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

We find no real satisfaction or happiness in life without obstacles to conquer and goals to achieve. – Maxwell Maltz

Never pursue happiness, for you will find it hard to catch. It will always be just beyond your grasp. Produce warm, friendly thoughts of others, and happiness will come to you. You will get out of life exactly what your thought-pattern guides your Inner-consciousness to express. Stop living life haphazardly. Start planning for happiness and contentment. – Forrest Shaklee

Always leave something to wish for; otherwise you will be miserable from your very happiness. – Baltasar Gracián

The belief that youth is the happiest time of life is founded on a fallacy. The happiest people are those who think the most interesting thoughts. Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good pictures, good company, good conversation, are the happiest people in the world. And they are not only happy in themselves; they are the cause of happiness in others. – William Lyon Phelps

Man is unhappy because he doesn’t know he’s happy. If anyone finds out he’ll become happy at once. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make you a far happier and more productive person. – David M. Burns

Men can only be happy when they do not assume that the object of life is happiness. – George Orwell

Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness. – Robertson Davies

We seek our happiness outside ourselves, and in the opinion of men who we know to be flatterers, insincere, unjust, full of envy, caprice, and prejudice. How absurd. – Jean de La Bruyère

You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime. – Dale Carnegie


Credit goes to: where many of these quotes are listed. Please visit their page for more.

This selection by Jean-Jacques M.


Explorer, Philosopher, Photographer


  1. Emily

    What a wonderful collection of thought provoking quotes. I especially liked the last one by Carnegie because it is so very true. Over and over for the past 6 months I’ve been directed by all different sources to look within and not seek answers from the outside world. I’ve done my very best to learn how and it’s finally starting to come together for me, like finally understanding a foreign language that you’ve been immersed in for years.

    I have some very special and unique friends to thank for that understanding, you in particular, Jacques!

  2. Jean-Jacques @ Gypsy Café

    Thanks so much Em, I left Dale Carnegie’s quote for last, because it sums it all up in terms of OUR (everyone’s) purpose…

    I got these from Wikipedia:

    “In the order of nature we cannot render benefits to those from whom we receive them, or only seldom. But the benefit we receive must be rendered again, line for line, deed for deed, cent for cent, to somebody.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

    “You don’t pay love back; you pay it forward.”
    – Lily Hardy Hammond

    Oh and by the way, don’t forget that you have also been paying it forward… whether you realise it or not (including to me, for which I’m very grateful!).

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