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Happiness: What Is It & How Do You Get It?

2 Comments 01 December 2010

Are you happy? Are you as happy as you would like to be? What does happiness mean to you?

Epicurus said, “Happiness is man’s greatest aim in life,” but what is happiness?

Philosophers, authors and poets fill volumes on the subject of happiness. Some people seem to live their entire lives in a state of blissful happiness, while happiness seems to elude others. The founding fathers of the United States of America believed happiness was important enough to include its mention in the Declaration of Independence. They declared that the “pursuit of Happiness” was an “unalienable Right.”

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

I love reading and saving quotes from the great minds of our day and the ones who came before us. The following are a 39 notable quotes from wise people on the subject of happiness. I have organized them in three sections. First what is happiness? Then, how do we obtain happiness? And finally, inspirational quotes about happiness. Learn from the wise.

First the Wikipedia definition:

“Happiness is a state of mind or feeling characterized by contentment, love, satisfaction, pleasure, or joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources.”

What is Happiness?

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.
~Mahatma Gandhi

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads.
~Albert Camus

Happiness is an inner state of well being. A state of well being enables you to profit from your highest: thoughts, wisdom, intelligence, common sense, emotions, health, and spiritual values in your life.
~Lionel Ketchian

Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.
~Ayn Rand

Happiness… is not a destination: it is a manner of traveling. Happiness is not an end in itself. It is a by-product of working, playing, loving and living.
~Haim Ginott.

Happiness is something that you are and it comes from the way you think.
Wayne Dyer

Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation.
~William H. Sheldon

Happiness is mostly a by-product of doing what makes us feel fulfilled.
~Dr. Benjamin Spock

Happiness is not a reward–it is a consequence.
~Robert Ingersoll

Happiness is different from pleasure. Happiness has something to do with struggling and enduring and accomplishing.
~George Sheehan

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.

Happiness is not something you experience; it’s something you remember.
~Oscar Levant

Happiness is when your mind is thinking through your heart.
~Judi Singleton

Happiness is not a station you arrive at, but a manner of traveling.
~Margaret Lee Runbeck

Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.
~Denis Waitley

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.
~Hugh Downs

Happiness ain’t a thing in itself—it’s only a contrast with something that ain’t pleasant.
~Mark Twain

Happiness for me is to know that my life has meaning and purpose, and that every day my life touches others in a positive way—whether to make them laugh or learn or both at once!
~Deanna Mascle

Hope is itself a species of happiness, and, perhaps, the chief happiness which this world affords.
~Samuel Johnson

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.
~Dale Carnegie

Happiness is not merely a life lived by accumulating moments of pleasure. On the contrary, happiness is a long lasting enduring enjoyment of life, it is being in love with living. It is your reward for achieving a good character and personal rational values in life. Some important values are a productive career, romance, friendship and hobbies.
~Dr. Ellen Kenner.

Happiness is living in a state of freely choosing to create and exchange one’s rational values with others.
~John Roberts

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.
~Albert Schweitzer

How do we obtain happiness?

Finding happiness is like finding yourself. You don’t find happiness, you make happiness. You choose happiness. Self-actualization is a process of discovering who you are, who you want to be and paving the way to happiness by doing what brings YOU the most meaning and contentment to your life over the long run.
~David Leonhardt

“Remember happiness doesn’t depend upon who you are or what you have; it depends solely on what you think.”
~Dale Carnegie

The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.
~James M. Barrie

To be truly happy and contented, you must let go of what it means to be happy or content.

The true way to render ourselves happy is to love our work and find in it our pleasure.
~Francoise de Motteville

True happiness is not attained through self-gratification, but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
~Helen Keller

You will never be happier than you expect. To change your happiness, change your expectation.
~Bette Davis

Happiness comes only from appreciating what you have right now. You can even be happy by appreciating your troubles because they are helping to build your character.
~Harriet Meyerson

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

Happiness is contagious…when you reflect happiness, then all others around you catch the happy bug and are happy, too.
~Jennifer Leese

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

Inspirational quotes about Happiness

Being happy doesn’t mean that everything is perfect. It means you’ve decided to look beyond the imperfections.

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.

Whoever is happy will make others happy, too.
~Mark Twain

Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.
~William Feather

Happiness is to be found along the way, not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it is too late. Today, this hour, this minute is the day, the hour, the minute for each of us to sense the fact that life is good, with all of its trials and troubles, and perhaps more interesting because of them.
~Robert R. Updegraff

For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved.
~Victor Hugo

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

Please leave your comments on happiness.
What does happiness mean to you?
What makes you happy or unhappy?

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