What is happiness and what are some great happiness quotes that can inspire us?
Poets, philosophers and others have defined happiness in many ways, but most of us can tell when we are happy. What is so important about happiness quotes, or quotes that are inspiring? They can teach us to look at life in a different, more positive way. They can remind us to change our attitude when we are feeling down or negative.
So here are some well known -any some lesser known- quotes on the subject of happiness, followed by some comments on how this may apply to your life.
“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 (1913-1960)
Camus wrote some rather heavy and often depressing literature, but in this quote he makes an interesting point about happiness. Does searching for happiness make it impossible to find? I would not necessarily agree with this, but up to a point it’s probably true. If you are always looking for something, it can be hard to find. Many of the happiest people know how to just live or go with the flow.
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
This is a fairly straightforward, but wise observation about the human condition. It’s also consistent with traditional, as well as recent positive thinking and self-improvement ideas. It puts the ball in your court -you can decide to be happy.
“A lifetime of happiness! No man alive could bear it; it would be hell on earth.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Shaw was a satirist and all around wise-guy, so we can’t always tell how seriously he meant something. But the point here may be worth making. If we were happy all of the time, would it get boring and tedious? Most people never have this problem, but it raises the possibility that maybe we need a balance of good and bad to appreciate the good.
“Very little is needed to make a happy life.” Marcus Aurelius (121-180 A.D.)
Marcus Aurelius was a Roman stoic philosopher. The stoic ideal is pretty well summed up in the above quote. If we are satisfied with what we have, and don’t require wealth, luxury and status, we can more easily find happiness.
“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from the achievement of one’s values.” Ayn Rand (1905-1982)
Ayn Rand was the Russian born novelist and Objectivist philosopher who wrote Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. She was rather controversial, and had a very gung ho, pro-capitalist philosophy. She was also an admirer of Aristotle, one of the earliest philosophers to write on happiness, from whom we will take the final quote.
“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence” Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)
This may seem obvious, but it’s something worth remembering. Often, we lose sight of this and make decisions that are not consistent with our happiness. Aristotle was also very interested in society and politics, so happiness can be applied to society as a whole as well as to the individual. smile quotes