Quotes About Happiness


One friend in a life-time is much; two are many; three are hardly possible. Friendship needs a certain parallelism of life, a community of thought, a rivalry of aim.
Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918) – The Education of Henry Adams, Ch. 20, 1907

The greatest sweetener of human life is friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment, is a secret which but few discover.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) – Quoted in Hugs for Girlfriends by Philis Boultinghouse and LeAnn Weiss p7, but there appears to be no published sources for this statement prior to 2001.

True happiness is of a retired nature, and an enemy to pomp and noise; it arises, in the first place, from the enjoyment of one’s self, and, in the next, from the friendship and conversation of a few select companions.
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) – The Spectator (1711-12), No. 15, March 17, 1711.

Great souls by instinct to each other turn,
Demand alliance, and in friendship burn;
Joseph Addison (1672-1719) – “The Campaign,” 1704, line 102.

Happiness is a perfume that one cannot shed over another without a few drops falling on oneself.
Anon – but often attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson but cannot be found in any of his works. See a discussion here: http://www.firstnerve.com/2008/10/happiness-is-perfume.html.

Wealth and poverty do not lie in a man’s estate, but in men’s souls.
Antisthenes (445 BC – 365 BC)- Xenophon, Symposium, iv. 34

Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) – Nicomachean Ethics (4th C. B.C.), I.8,Tr. Thompson

Happiness, whether consisting in pleasure or virtue, or both, is more often found with those who are highly cultivated in their minds and in their character, and have only a moderate share of external goods, than among those who possess external goods to a useless extent but are deficient in higher qualities.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) – in Politics

To live happily is an inward power of the soul.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – Meditations Book XI, XV

Very little is needed to make a happy life.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – Meditations Book VII, 67

The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts, therefore guard accordingly; and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.
Marcus Aurelius (121-180) – Quoted in A Dictionary of Thoughts, ed. T. Edwards, Cassell Publishing Co., 1891, p. 572

Action is the antidote to despair.
Joan Baez (1941 -) – Rolling Stone, 1983

Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how deeply we pay for its counterfeit.
Hosea Ballou (1771-1852) – Quoted in Hoyt’s Cyclopedia of Practical Quotations, Funk & Wagnalls Co., 1922, p350, sourced as MS, Sermons.

Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.
John Barrymore (1882-1942) – Quoted in Wisdom for the Soul: Five Millennia of Prescriptions for Spiritual Healing, 2006

In this world, full often, our joys are only the tender shadows which our sorrows cast.
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) – Proverbs from Plymouth Pulpit (1887)

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity’s sun rise.
William Blake (1757-1827) – “Eternity” (1793-99)

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