An aphorism is nothing else but the slightest
form of writing raised to the highest level of expressive communication. Carl William Brown




Do you prefer that you be right, or that you be happy?

A Course In Miracles (Course on forgiveness based on Christianity, Eastern philosophy)

Author's website:


I have now reigned above fifty years in victory or peace, beloved by my subjects, dreaded by my enemies, respected by my allies. Riches and honors, power and pleasure, have awaited my call, nor does any earthly blessing seem to have been wanting.... I have diligently numbered the days of pure and genuine happiness that have fallen to my lot; they amount to fourteen.



Happiness is a tide: it carries you only a little way at a time; but you have covered a vast space before you know that you are moving at all.

Mary Adams


Irresolution on the schemes of life which offer themselves to our choice, and inconstancy in pursuing them, are the greatest causes of all unhappiness.

Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


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

Joseph Addison (1672-1719, British essayist, poet, statesman)


True happiness 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, British essayist, poet, statesman)


Happiness is a positive cash flow.

Fred Adler (Mathematician and biologist)


Happy is the son whose faith in his mother remains unchallenged.

Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888, American author)


It isn't necessary to be rich and famous to be happy. It's only necessary to be rich.

Alan Alda (1936-, American actor)


Have a variety of interests... These interests relax the mind and lessen tension on the nervous system. People with many interests live, not only longest, but happiest.

George Matthew Allen


To live we must conquer incessantly; we must have the courage to be happy.

Henri Frederic Amiel (1821-1881, Swiss philosopher, poet, critic)


To be of use in the world is the only way to happiness.

Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875, Danish children stories writer)


Only one thing has to change for us to know happiness in our lives: where we focus our attention.

Greg Anderson (American author, "The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness")


For me it is sufficient to have a corner by my hearth, a book and a friend, and a nap undisturbed by creditors or grief.

Fernandez de Andrada


Happiness, it is said, is seldom found by those who seek it, and never by those who seek it for themselves.

Emerson F. Andrews


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 (American expert on relationship & love, author)


Most people would rather be certain they're miserable, than risk being happy.

Dr. Robert Anthony (American educator)


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

Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918, Italian-born French poet, critic)


Different men seek happiness in different ways and by different means.

Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Happiness depends upon ourselves.

Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Happiness is a sort of action.

Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Happiness is activity.

Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Happiness is an expression of the soul in considered actions.

Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


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

Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


Happiness seems to require a modicum of external prosperity.

Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


If happiness is activity in accordance with excellence, it is reasonable that it should be in accordance with the highest excellence.

Aristotle (BC 384-322, Greek philosopher)


No social system will bring us happiness, health and prosperity unless it is inspired by something greater than materialism.

Clement R. Attlee (British earl)


For years I wanted to be older, and now I am.

Margaret Atwood (1939-, Canadian novelist, poet, critic)


Time is compressed like the fist I close on my knee ... I hold inside it the clues and solutions and the power for what I must do now.

Margaret Atwood (1939-, Canadian novelist, poet, critic)


To be happy means to be free, not from pain or fear, but from care or anxiety.

W.H. Auden


A man's happiness: to do the things proper to man.

Marcus Aurelius (121-12180, Roman emperor, philosopher)


Remember that very little is needed to make a happy life.

Marcus Aurelius (121-12180, Roman emperor, philosopher)


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 (121-12180, Roman emperor, philosopher)


That sanguine expectation of happiness which is happiness itself.

Jane Austen (1775-1817, British novelist)


The really happy man never laughs -- seldom -- though he may smile. He does not need to laugh, for laughter, like weeping is a relief of mental tension -- and the happy are not over strung.

Professor Aveling (American professor)


They are happy men whose natures sort with their vocations.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626, British philosopher, essayist, statesman)


Real happiness is cheap enough, yet how dearly we pay for its counterfeit.

Hosea Ballou (1771-1852, American theologian, founder of "Universalism")


Each moment in time we have it all, even when we think we don't.

Melody Beattie (American author)


We have as much time as we need.

Melody Beattie (American author)


Happiness is a result of the relative strengths of positive and negative feelings, rather than an absolute amount of one or the other.

Norman Bradburn


The major job was getting people to understand that they had something within their power that they could use.

Ella Baker


Happiness is a small and unworthy goal for something as big and fancy as a whole lifetime, and should be taken in small doses.

Russell Wayne Baker (1925-, American journalist)


All happiness depends on courage and work.

Honore De Balzac (1799-1850, French novelist)


This is wisdom: to love wine, beauty, and the heavenly spring. That's sufficient -- the rest is worthless.

Theodore De Banville


Joy has nothing to do with material things, or with a man's outward circumstance... a man living in the lap of luxury can be wretched, and a man in the depths of poverty can overflow with joy.

William Barclay (1907-1978, Scottish theologian, religious writer, broadcaster)


The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.

James M. Barrie (1860-1937, British playwright)


Happiness sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open.


John Barrymore (1882-1942, American actor)


The older you get, the more you realize that kindness is synonymous with happiness.


Lionel Barrymore


Having a goal is a state of happiness.


E.J. Bartek


Happiness is a conscious choice, not an automatic response.


Mildred Barthel


A multitude of small delights constitute happiness.


Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867, French poet)


We find greatest joy, not in getting, but in expressing what we are. Men do not really live for honors or for pay; their gladness is not the taking and holding, but in doing, the striving, the building, the living. It is a higher joy to teach than to be taught. It is good to get justice, but better to do it; fun to have things but more to make them. The happy man is he who lives the life of love, not for the honors it may bring, but for the life itself.


R.J. Baughan


Nothing is funnier than unhappiness, I grant you that. Yes, yes, it's the most comical thing in the world.


Samuel Beckett (1906-1989, Irish dramatist, novelist)


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 (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Happiness is not the end of life; character is.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


No man is more cheated than the selfish man.


Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887, American preacher, orator, writer)


Happiness includes chiefly the idea of satisfaction after full honest effort. No one can possibly be satisfied and no one can be happy who feels that in some paramount affairs he failed to take up the challenge of life.


Arnold Bennett (1867-1931, British novelist)


Happiness is like a cat, If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you; it will never come. But if you pay not attention to it and go about your business, you'll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap.


William John Bennett (1943-, American federal official)


Congenial labor is the secret of happiness.


Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925, British author, poet)


When one is happy there is no time to be fatigued; being happy engrosses the whole attention.


Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940, American author)


The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.


Jeremy Bentham (1748-1832, British philosopher, jurist, political theorist)


The idea came to me that I was, am, and will be, but perhaps will not become. This did not scare me. There was for me in being an intensity I did not feel in becoming.


Nina Berberova


Happiness is good health and a bad memory.


Ingrid Bergman (1915-1982, Swedish-born American screen, stage actress)


There is no greater joy than that of feeling oneself a creator. The triumph of life is expressed by creation.


Henri L. Bergson (1859-1941, French philosopher)


To seek after beauty as an end, is a wild goose chase, a will-o'-the-wisp, because it is to misunderstand the very nature of beauty, which is the normal condition of a thing being as it should be.


Ada Bethune


Happiness is an agreeable sensation, arising from contemplating the misery of others.


Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914, American author, editor, journalist, "The Devil's Dictionary")


A good way I know to find happiness, is to not bore a hole to fit the plug.


Josh Billings (1815-1885, American humorist, lecturer)


If you ever find happiness by hunting for it, you will find it as the old woman did her lost spectacles. Safe on her own nose all the time.


Josh Billings (1815-1885, American humorist, lecturer)


The world's literature and folklore are full of stories that point out how futile it can be to seek happiness. Rather, happiness is a blessing that comes to you as you go along; a treasure that you incidentally find.


Louis Binstock (American minister)


It is the paradox of life that the way to miss pleasure is to seek it first. The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.


Hugo Black (1886-1971, American Supreme Court judge)


Life delights in life.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


Mirth is better than fun, and happiness is better than mirth.


William Blake (1757-1827, British poet, painter)


The truth is that all of us attain the greatest success and happiness possible in this life whenever we use our native capacities to their greatest extent.


Smiley Blanton (1882-1966, American author)


The truth is that all of us attain the greatest success and happiness possible in this life whenever we use our native capacities to their greatest extent.


Smiley Blanton (1882-1966, American author)


Happiness consists not in having much, but in being content with little.


Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington (1789-1849, Irish writer and socialite)


They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world. Someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.


Tom Bodett (American author, TV host)


Not only is there a right to be happy, there is a duty to be happy. So much sadness exists in the world that we are all under obligation to contribute as much joy as lies within our powers.


John S. Bonnell


Unhappiness is best defined as the difference between our talents and our expectations.


Edward De Bono (1933-, British writer on thinking process)


All you need for happiness is a good gun, a good horse, and a good wife.


Daniel Boone (1734-1820, American pioneer, frontiersman)


Unhappiness indicates wrong thinking, just as ill health indicates a bad regimen.


Paul Bourge


Contentment is not happiness. An oyster may be contented. Happiness is compounded of richer elements.


John Christian Bovee (1820-1904, American author, lawyer)


We all want to be happy, and we're all going to die. You might say those are the only two unchallengeably true facts that apply to every human being on this planet.


William Boyd (1952-, British novelist)


Celebrate the happiness that friends are always giving, make every day a holiday and celebrate just living!


Amanda Bradley


There are seeds of self-destruction in all of us that will bear only unhappiness if allowed to grow.


Dorothea Brande (American success writer)


Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.


Robert Brault


Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is at their heels.


Bertolt Brecht (1898-1956, German dramatist, poet)


The opportunities for enjoyment in your life are limitless. If you feel you are not experiencing enough joy, you have only yourself to blame.


David E. Bresler


The full-grown modern human being... is conscious of touching the highest pinnacle of fulfillment... when he is consumed in the service of an idea, in the conquest of the goal pursued.


R. Briffault


Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.


Charlotte Bronte (1816-1855, British novelist)


Happiness is the natural flower of duty.


Phillips Brooks (1835-1893, American minister, poet)


Those who are the most happy appear to know it the least; happiness is something that for the most part seems to mainly consist in not knowing it.


Dr. Joyce Brothers (1927-, American psychologist, television and radio personality)


The Greeks said grandly in their tragic phrase, ''Let no one be called happy till his death;'' to which I would add, ''Let no one, till his death be called unhappy.''


Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861, British poet)


Make us happy and you make us good.


Robert Browning (1812-1889, British poet)


What would you call the highest happiness? Wratislaw was asked. The sense of competence, was the answer, given without hesitation.


John Buchan (1875-1940, Scottish writer, statesman)


Happiness comes more from loving than being loved; and often when our affection seems wounded it is only our vanity bleeding. To love, and to be hurt often, and to love again -- this is the brave and happy life.


J.E Buckrose


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 (568-488 BC, Indian born, founder of Buddhism)


Happiness and virtue rest upon each other; the best are not only the happiest, but the happiest are usually the best.


Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)


To be happy, you must forget yourself. Learn benevolence.


Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)


What ever our wandering our happiness will always be found within a narrow compass, and in the middle of the objects more immediately within our reach.


Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873, British novelist, poet)


If we cannot meet our everyday surroundings with equanimity and pleasure and grow each day in some useful direction, then... life is on the road toward misfortune, misery and destruction.


Luther Burbank (1849-1926, American horticulturist)


 Back to Daimon Library English Quotes Search Page


website tracking