Quotes for
the Journey:

Happiness



  
One must never look
for happiness:  one meets
it by the way. . .

Isabelle Eberhardt

Happiness 2    

If you want to be happy, be.        -Henry David Thoreau

   
Sometimes our thoughts turn back toward a corner in a forest, or the end of a bank, or an orchard powdered with flowers, seen but a single time on some happy day, yet remaining in our hearts and leaving in soul and body an unappeased desire which is not to be forgotten, a feeling that we have just rubbed elbows with happiness.       -Guy de Maupassant
   
Happiness not only needs no justification, but it is also the only final test of whether what I am doing is right for me.  Only of course happiness is not the same as pleasure; it includes the pain of losing as well as the pleasure of finding.        -Joanna Field
   

How simple and frugal a thing is happiness:  a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. . . . All that is required to feel that here and now is happiness is a simple, frugal heart.       -Nikos Kazantzakis,  from Zorba the Greek

   

Many run about after happiness like an absent-minded man hunting for his hat, while it is in his hand or on his head.       -James Sharp

    
If you observe really happy people you will find them building a boat, writing a symphony, educating their children, growing double dahlias in their gardens, or looking for dinosaur eggs in the Gobi desert. They will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar button that has rolled under the radiator. They will not be striving for it as a goal in itself. They will have become aware that they are happy in the course of living life twenty-four crowded hours of the day.       -W. Beran Wolfe

  
Most true happiness comes from one's inner life, from the disposition of the mind and soul.  Admittedly, a good inner life is difficult to achieve, especially in these trying times.  It takes reflection, and contemplation and self-discipline.       -W.L. Shirer
   
One is happy as a result of one's own efforts--once one knows the necessary ingredients of happiness--simple tastes, a certain degree of courage, self-denial to a point, love of work, and, above all, a clear conscience.       -George Sand
   
Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness.       -Rabbi Harold Kushner
   
To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.       -Mary Roberts Rinehart
   

The secret to happiness is this: Let your interest be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.       -Bertrand Russell

   

Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.      -Daphne DuMaurier

   

We should tell ourselves once and for all that it is the first duty of the soul to become as happy, complete, independent, and great as lies in its power.
   To this end we may sacrifice even the passion for sacrifice, for sacrifice never should be the means of
ennoblement, but only the sign of being ennobled.        -Maurice Maeterlinck

   

    

If one only wished to be happy, this could be easily accomplished; but we wish to be happier than other people, and this is always difficult, for we believe others to be happier than they are.       -Montesquieu

   

Happiness is a sunbeam which may pass through a thousand bosoms without losing a particle of its original ray; nay, when it strikes a kindred heart, like the converged light upon a mirror, it reflects itself with redoubled brightness.  It is not perfected till it is shared.        -Jane Porter

   

Happiness comes of the capacity
to feel deeply, to enjoy simply, to think
freely, to risk life, to be needed.

Storm Jameson

To be able to find joy in
another's joy:  that is
the secret of happiness.

George Bernanos

   

I accept life unconditionally.  Life holds so much--so much to be happy about always.  Most people ask for happiness on condition.  Happiness can be felt only if you don't set conditions.        -Artur Rubinstein

   
One road to happiness is to cultivate curiosity about everything.  Not only about people but about subjects, not only about the arts but about history and foreign customs.  Not only about countries and cities, but about plants and animals.  Not only about lichened rocks and curious markings on the bark of trees, but about stars and atoms.  Not only about your friends but about that strange labyrinth we inhabit which we call ourselves.  Then, if we do that, we will never suffer a moment's boredom.       -Gerald Brenan
   

The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions--the little soon forgotten charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment, and the countless infinitesimals of pleasurable and genial feeling.       -Samuel Taylor Coleridge

    

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

   
It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.
With sadness there is something to rub against,
a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.
When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,
something to hold in your hands,
   like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.
It doesn't need you to hold it down.
It doesn't need anything.
Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,
and disappears when it wants to.
You are happy either way.
Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house
and now live over a quarry of noise and dust
cannot make you unhappy.
Everything has a life of its own, it too could
wake up filled with possibilities
of coffee cake and ripe peaches,
and love even the floor which needs to be swept,
the soiled linens and scratched records. . . 
Since there is no place large enough
to contain so much happiness,
you shrug, you raise your hands,
and it flows out of you
into everything you touch.  You are not responsible.
You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it, and in that way, be known.

Naomi Shihab Nye
from "So Much Happiness"

Happiness 2    

Why is it that so many people are afraid to admit they are happy?       -William Lyon Phelps
   
May we never let the things we canít have or donít have or shouldnít have spoil our enjoyment of the things we do have and can have.  As we value our happiness, let us not forget it.  One of the greatest lessons in life is learning to be happy without the things we cannot or should not have.       -Richard L. Evans
    
Those who decide to use leisure as a means of mental development, who love good music, good books, good plays, good company, good conversation--what are they?  They are the happiest people in the world.       -William Lyon Phelps
   

    
Happiness is a wine of the rarest vintage and seems insipid to a vulgar taste.       -Logan Pearsall Smith
   
My creed is this:
Happiness is the only good.
The place to be happy is here.
The time to be happy is now.
The way to be happy is to make others so.

Robert G. Ingersoll
   
But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a person and the life he or she leads?       -Albert Camus
    
It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.       -Charles Haddon Spurgeon
   
Unquestionably, it is possible to do without happiness; it is done voluntarily by nineteen-twentieths of humankind.       -John Stuart Mill
    
Happiness is not in our circumstances, 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
   
    
Just as a cautious businessperson avoids investing all his or her capital in one concern, so wisdom would probably admonish us also not to anticipate all our happiness from one quarter.        -Sigmund Freud
   
People who postpone happiness are like children who try chasing rainbows in an effort to find the pot of gold at the rainbow's end. . . . Your life will never be fulfilled until you are happy here and now.        -Ken Keyes, Jr.
   
Happiness is at once the best, the noblest, and the pleasantest of things.       -Aristotle
   
To live happily is an inward power of the soul.        -Marcus Aurelius
   
It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation, which give happiness.        -Thomas Jefferson
   
Happiness is intrinsic, it's an internal thing.  When you build it into yourself, no external circumstances can take it away.        -Leo Buscaglia
   
Buried deep in the maze of commonplace, the pearl of true happiness lies.  And those who rejoice in little things, find the pathway that leads to the prize.        -Lucy M. Thompson
   
Simply to have all the necessities of life and three meals a day will not bring happiness.  Happiness is hidden in the unnecessary and in those impractical things that bring delight to the inner person. . . . When we lack proper time for the simple pleasures of life, for the enjoyment of eating, drinking, playing, creating, visiting friends, and watching children at play, then we have missed the purpose of life.  Not on bread alone do we live but on all these human and heart-hungry luxuries.        -Ed Hays
   
I try very hard to learn from people who are unhappy, for I believe that they are the people who can best teach me how to be happy.  Ironically enough, these are often the people who put up the greatest facade of happiness--always bright and cheerful among company, but when you talk to them alone, you find a great deal of discontent or frustration or anger or discouragement.

I've found that happiness isn't all that difficult.  It's been very important for me to do several things on my path to happiness, and here they are, in no particular order:

Be true to myself, my principles, and my faith.  This faithfulness to myself keeps me from beating myself up over actions that I'm not proud of.  If i base my actions on principle and truly follow that principle, I won't engage in the self-denigration that Ive seen so many others (especially alcoholics) engage in.

Give up the thoughts of being HAPPY.  Somehow our culture has turned happiness into this unobtainable permanently ecstatic state--a result of too many people in entertainment and advertising who have no idea of what happiness truly is trying to tell us how to be happy. They're not the problem--the problem is, we listen.

Not worry about things or events.  As Andy Rooney says above, happiness has less to do with major events or the versions of success fed to us by unhappy people from Hollywood or Madison Avenue than with acceptance and awareness and appreciation of the little things in our lives, like this wonderful computer that allows me to build this website and share these great people's words with so many others.  And it's one of the cheaper computers, certainly not a top-of-the-line model.  But it does a great job, and I love it, and I don't spend time wishing for anything more. 

Focus on others and their needs, without getting obsessive about it and robbing myself of quiet time and recreational time.  I'm useless to others if I'm not rested and in full command of my senses.  I work at balancing what I give of time and effort with what I need to keep going and to stay happy.  I often say yes when people ask me to help, but I often say no, too.  It depends on where I am and how it will affect other aspects of my life.  Some of the least happy people I know give so much of themselves that they're always tired and cranky, and they often start resenting the very people they're supposed to help.

Find my niches.  I would love to play the guitar and piano, but I'm not that good at either.  I am good at other things, so instead of spending tons of time trying to learn a little bit of everything, I try to focus on my strengths.  I can play chords on the guitar and enjoy it, but to spend hours and hours trying to get really good--well, there are plenty of great guitar players out there who can make up for my absence in the world of music.

All in all, I know that happiness is obtainable, and the first quotation of this page is a very telling one.  Ask yourself if you don't have everything in your life that can make you happy, and then ask yourself if you're happy.  Look at yourself through the eyes of someone who doesn't have what you have--material goods, health, intelligence, ability, creativity--and hear that person telling you, "I would be so happy if I had only a part of what you have." 

And don't answer, "Yes, but. . ."  answer, "You're right--I do have many gifts.  I'll try to be happy with them."

tom walsh
   

   

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Happiness 2   

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