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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The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.

— A. A. Milne

I have now reigned about 50 years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, and respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have waited on my call, nor does any earthly blessing appear to have been wanting to my felicity. In this situation, I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness which have fallen to my lot. They amount to fourteen.

— Abd Er-Rahman III of Spain

The Holy Prophet Mohammed came into this world and taught us: ‘That man is a Muslim who never hurts anyone by word or deed, but who works for the benefit and happiness of God’s creatures. Belief in God is to love one’s fellow men.’

— Abdul Ghaffar Khan

People are just about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

— Abraham Lincoln

My father taught me to work; he did not teach me to love it.

— Abraham Lincoln

Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.

— Abraham Lincoln

It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.

— Agnes Repplier

In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that ….
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy.
For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

— Albert Camus

You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.

— Albert Camus

I don’t know what your destiny will be, but one thing I do know: the only ones among you who will be really happy are those who have sought and found how to serve.

— Albert Schweitzer

All looks yellow to a jaundiced eye that habitually compares everything to something better. But by changing that habit to comparing everything to something worse, even making it a game, that person can find gratitude, relief and happiness where-ever they go and whatever they experience, guaranteed!

— Alexander Pope

Amusement is the happiness of those who cannot think.

— Alexander Pope

There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.

— Alexandre Dumas

A key to happiness is deciding to be a source of it for others.

— Allison Massari

We Africans, having rejected the idea of begging for freedom, which was contrary to our dignity and our sacred right to freedom and independence, reaffirmed our steadfast decision to end colonial domination of our country, no matter what the sacrifices involved, and to conquer for ourselves the opportunity to achieve in peace our own progress and happiness.

— Amilcar Cabral

Our ancestors derived less from life than we do, but they also expected much less and were less intent on controlling the future. We are of the arrogant generations who believe a lasting happiness was promised to us at birth. Promised? By whom?

— Amin Maalouf

In a true partnership, the kind worth striving for, the kind worth insisting on, and even, frankly, worth divorcing over, both people try to give as much or even a little more than they get. ‘Deserves’ is not the point. And ‘owes’ is certainly not the point. The pont is to make the other person as happy as we can, because their happiness adds to ours. The point is — in the right hands, everything that you give, you get.

— Amy Bloom

The right to happiness is fundamental.

— Anna Pavlova

We all live with the objective of being happy; our lives are all different and yet the same.

— Anne Frank

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.

— Anne Frank

True holiness is completely unself-conscious. You wouldn’t have the slightest awareness of its existence in you. Besides you will not care, for even the ambition to be holy will have dropped as you live from moment to moment a life made full and happy and transparent through awareness.

— Anthony de Mello

People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.

— Anton Chekhov

Life does not agree with philosophy: There is no happiness that is not idleness, and only what is useless is pleasurable.

— Anton Chekhov

There is no happiness for people at the expense of other people.

— Anwar El-Sadat

Happiness depends upon ourselves.

— Aristotle

One swallow does not make a summer, neither does one fine day; similarly one day or brief time of happiness does not make a person entirely happy.

— Aristotle

The life of theoretical philosophy is the best and happiest a man can lead. Few men are capable of it and then only intermittently. For the rest there is a second-best way of life, that of moral virtue and practical wisdom.

— Aristotle

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

— Aristotle

The two foes of human happiness are pain and boredom.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

Among us, on the other hand, ‘the righteous man lives by faith.’ Now, if you take away positive affirmation, you take away faith, for without positive affirmation nothing is believed. And there are truths about things unseen, and unless they are believed, we cannot attain to the happy life, which is nothing less than life eternal.

— Augustine of Hippo

Ideally, we would rise to the occasion and transform the adversity into an opportunity for greater happiness. We would use the adversity to deepen our own wisdom and compassion, and transform it into something we can embrace. We would chew it up, swallow, and digest it, and be closer to enlightenment as a result. That’s the ideal, as the Tibetans say: transform adversity into spiritual growth.

— B. Alan Wallace

No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.

— Barbara de Angelis

We will not succeed at all these things, certainly not all at once, but–if I may end with my own personal secret of happiness–we can have a good time trying.

— Barbara Ehrenreich

Happy people have two things in common. They know exactly what they want and they feel they’re moving toward getting it. That’s what makes life feel good: when it has direction, when you are heading straight for what you love.

— Barbara Sher

Gratitude is one of the sweet shortcuts to finding peace of mind and happiness inside. No matter what is going on outside of us, there’s always something we could be grateful for.

— Barry Neil Kaufman

Happiness is a virtue, not its reward.

— Baruch Spinoza

All happiness or unhappiness solely depends upon the quality of the object to which we are attached by love.

— Baruch Spinoza

The world would be happier if men had the same capacity to be silent that they have to speak.

— Baruch Spinoza

All who are not lunatics are agreed about certain things. That it is better to be alive than dead, better to be adequately fed than starved, better to be free than a slave. Many people desire those things only for themselves and their friends; they are quite content that their enemies should suffer. These people can only be refuted by science: Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.

— Bertrand Russell, The Science to Save Us from Science, The New York Times Magazine (19 March 1950)

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

— Bible, Ecclesiastes

Everyone, without exception, is searching for happiness.

— Blaise Pascal

Imagination disposes of everything; it creates beauty, justice, and happiness, which are everything in this world.

— Blaise Pascal

Happiness comes when you believe in what you are doing, know what you are doing, and love what you are doing.

— Brian Tracy

Now, Kalamas, don’t go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, ‘This contemplative is our teacher.’ When you know for yourselves that, ‘These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness’ — then you should enter & remain in them.

(Sometimes translated: Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. )

— Buddha

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.

— Buddha

Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a polluted mind, suffering will follow you, as the wheels of the oxcart follow the footsteps of the ox. Everything is based on mind, is led by mind, is fashioned by mind. If you speak and act with a pure mind, happiness will follow you, as a shadow clings to a form.

— Buddha

To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.

— Buddha

If something starts bothering me, I do something about it, because I’m really uncomfortable being unhappy. I try to keep my nose on the joy trail.

— Buffy Sainte-Marie

Art is a kind of innate drive that seizes a human being and makes him its instrument. To perform this difficult office it is sometimes necessary for him to sacrifice happiness and everything that makes life worth living for the ordinary human being.

— Carl Jung

There are as many nights as days, and the one is just as long as the other in the year’s course. Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word ‘happy’ would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.

— Carl Jung
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