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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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

Most people are 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

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

— Abraham Lincoln

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

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

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

Amusement is the happiness of those who cannot think.

— Alexander Pope

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

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

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

— Anne Frank

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

— Anton Chekhov

Happiness depends upon ourselves.

— 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

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

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

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

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

— Blaise Pascal

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

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

My life has no purpose, no direction, no aim, no meaning, and yet I’m happy. I can’t figure it out. What am I doing right?

— Charles Schulz

You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world’s happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime.

— Dale Carnegie

Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.

— Denis Waitley

The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom in a happy mind.

— Ella Wheeler Wilcox

You can never get enough of what you don’t need to make you happy.

— Eric Hoffer

The purpose of a man’s life is not happiness, but worthiness. Happiness may come as an accessory; we dare never make it the end.

— Felix Adler

The truth which has made us free will in the end make us glad also.

— Felix Adler

The purpose of life is not happiness but worthiness. Happiness may come as an accessory; we dare never make it the end.

— Felix Adler

There is work that is work and there is play that is play; there is play that is work and work that is play. And in only one of these lies happiness.

— Gelett Burgess

Trust yourself. Create the kind of self that you will be happy to live with all your life. Make the most of yourself by fanning the tiny, inner sparks of possibility into flames of achievement.

— Golda Meir

Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.

— Guillaume Apollinaire

I caught the happiness virus last night
When I was out singing beneath the stars.

— Hafiz of Persia

Ever since happiness heard your name, it has been running through the streets trying to find you.

— Hafiz of Persia

Caring about others, running the risk of feeling, and leaving an impact on people, brings happiness.

— Harold Kushner

Many persons have no idea of what constitutes true happiness. It is not attained through self-gratification but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.

— Helen Keller

The most I can do for my friend is simply to be his friend. I have no wealth to bestow on him. If he knows that I am happy in loving him, he will want no other reward. Is not friendship divine in this?

— Henry David Thoreau

Do not look back on happiness or dream of it in the future. You are only sure of today; do not let yourself be cheated out of it.

— Henry Ward Beecher

All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within.

— Horace Friess

Sam: It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going, because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding on to, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.

— J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Happiness comes when your work and words are of benefit to yourself and others.

— Jack Kornfield, (an attempt to characterize the Buddha’s teachings)

The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.

— James Oppenheim

When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.

— Jean Shinoda Bolen

There’s a sunrise and a sunset every single day, and they’re absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them.

— Jo Walton

People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.

— Joan Rivers

The secret to happiness is being able to distinguish between what you need and what you want; what you have and what you desire.

— John P. Gawlak

The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.

— Joseph Addison
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