Lock with gold key and Happiness tag

What does it mean to be happy?  What does it take to create and sustain happiness?  People have had their opinions on this since human thought began, most likely. 

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Play is the royal road to childhood happiness and adult brilliance.

— Joseph Chilton Pearce

Moderation. Small helpings. Sample a little bit of everything. These are the secrets of happiness and good health.

— Julia Child

Listen to the Exhortation of the Dawn!
Look to this Day!
For it is Life, the very Life of Life.
In its brief course lie all the
Verities and Realities of your Existence;
The Bliss of Growth,
The Glory of Action,
The Splendor of Beauty;
For Yesterday is but a Dream,
And Tomorrow is only a Vision;
But Today well lived makes every
Yesterday a Dream of Happiness, and every
Tomorrow a Vision of Hope.
Look well therefore to this Day!
Such is the Salutation of the Dawn.

— Kalidasa, from the Sanskrit

It is time for a return to childhood, to simplicity, to running and climbing and laughing in the sunshine, to experiencing happiness instead of being trained for a lifetime of pursuing happiness. It is time to let children be children again.

— L. R. Knost

Beauty for some provides escape, who gain a happiness in eyeing the gorgeous buttocks of the ape or Autumn sunsets exquisitely dying.

— Langston Hughes

Throw away sacredness and wisdom, and people will be one hundred times happier.

— Laozi (Lao Tzu)

What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.

— Leo Buscaglia

Human beings need pleasure the way they need vitamins.

— Lionel Tiger

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.

— Marcel Proust

It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis.

— Margaret Bonnano

One test of the correctness of educational procedure is the happiness of the child.

— Maria Montessori

The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer somebody else up.

— Mark Twain

The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities, we will then be a happy and a virtuous people.

— Mark Twain

The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.

— Martha Washington

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

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

The ultimate end of education is happiness or a good human life, a life enriched by the possession of every kind of good, by the enjoyment of every type of satisfaction.

— Mortimer Adler

Happiness is not so much in having as sharing. We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.

— Norman MacEwan

The world has to learn that the actual pleasure derived from material things is of rather low quality on the whole and less even in quantity than it looks to those who have not tried it.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

Every journey, honestly undertaken, stands a chance of taking us toward the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.

— Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation

Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.

— Pearl S. Buck

There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.

— Peyton Conway March

To fill the hour — that is happiness.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year. No man has learned anything rightly, until he knows that every day is Doomsday.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

People spend a lifetime searching for happiness; looking for peace. They chase idle dreams, addictions, religions, even other people, hoping to fill the emptiness that plagues them. The irony is the only place they ever needed to search was within.

— Ramona L. Anderson

We need to attach a reason to our emotional states. At the high end of the emotional spectrum, we believe that true joy is an effect rather than a cause. Because of this deep-seated belief, we spend most of our lives chasing whatever we think causes the effect of joy — it may be a perfect relationship, lots of money, fame, the perfect place to live, even our God. At the low end of the emotional spectrum, the game we play is blame. We blame anything from the food we have just eaten to our partners to the government for the reason that we feel bad.

— Richard Rudd

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

— Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

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 help make others so.

— Robert Ingersoll

There is no duty we so much underrate as the duty of being happy.

— Robert Louis Stevenson

To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.

— Robert Muller

It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust.

— Samuel Johnson

Symptoms of Inner Peace
• A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experience
• An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment
• A loss of interest in judging other people
• A loss of interest in judging self

— Saskia Davis, Symptoms of Inner Peace

For, so long as there are interesting books to read, it seems to me that neither I nor anyone else, for that matter, need be unhappy.

— Selma Lagerlöf

As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: ‘What do I really need right now to be happy?’ What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.

— Sharon Salzberg

We can travel a long way and do many things, but our deepest happiness is not born from accumulating new experiences. it is born from letting go of what is unnecessary, and knowing ourselves to be always at home.

— Sharon Salzberg

It doesn’t matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn’t matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years — we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on.

— Sharon Salzberg

Who is wise? One who learns from everyone…. Who is strong? One who overpowers his inclinations…. Who is rich? One who is happy with his lot…. Who is honorable? One who honors his fellows….

— Simeon Ben Zoma, Pirkei Avot

Since I was 21, I have never been lonely. The opportunities granted to me at the beginning helped me not only to lead a happy life but to be happy in the life I led. I have been aware of my shortcomings and my limits, but I have made the best of them. When I was tormented by what was happening in the world, it was the world I wanted to change, not my place in it.

— Simone de Beauvoir

The ideal of happiness has always taken material form in the house, whether cottage or castle. It stands for permanence and separation from the world.

— Simone de Beauvoir

Wisdom is the supreme part of happiness.

— Sophocles

The late Dr. Hans Selye, in his monumental research on stress, basically says that a long, healthy, and happy life is the result of making contributions, of having meaningful projects that are personally exciting and contribute to and bless the lives of others. His ethic was ‘earn thy neighbor’s love.’

— Stephen R. Covey

One of the most crippling things we can do to ourselves is expect someone else to make us happy.

— Sue Patton Thoele, The Courage to Be Yourself

Independence is happiness.

— Susan B. Anthony

The modern fairy tale ending is the reverse of the traditional one: A woman does not wait for Prince Charming to bring her happiness; she lives happily ever after only by refusing to wait for him — or by actually rejecting him. It is those who persist in hoping for a Prince Charming who are setting themselves up for disillusionment and unhappiness.

— Susan Faludi

Feminism’s agenda is basic: It asks that women not be forced to “choose” between public justice and private happiness. It asks that women be free to define themselves—instead of having their identity defined for them, time and again, by their culture and their men.

— Susan Faludi

Those who wish to sing, always find a song.

— Swedish proverb

Try to make at least one person happy every day, and then in ten years you may have made three thousand, six hundred and fifty persons happy, or brightened a small town by your contribution to the fund of general enjoyment.

— Sydney Smith

When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.

— Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

What is the meaning of life? To be happy and useful.

— Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

The greatest degree of inner tranquility comes from the development of love and compassion. The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater is our own sense of well-being.

— Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama
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