HAPPY QUOTES: What You Haven’t Read

happy quotes

I think you’ll agree that happy quotes can change our life. They can get us out of bed on a bad morning. They can encourage us to reach out to an old friend. They can take us from surviving to thriving.

There’re more lessons about being happy than a random happy quote can provide. Yes, most happy quotes we stumble upon are awesome. But if that’s all we read – we’re missing out.

So along with finding the best happy quotes I have three questions to answer.

1. Who are the happiest people, the experts on happiness, turning to for advice? Where do they get their happy quotes from?

2. What can we learn from everyday people like us? What small things bring us great pleasure?

3. What are the most significant happy quotes from history and cultural icons?

This post is comprised of three parts to answer the above three questions.


What can you learn about being happy?

Part 1: Who is influencing today’s top happiness experts?

To answer the first question, I personally reached out to the most influential people teaching happiness today. I asked, “Which blogger/ writer/ creator positively influences you? And why are you grateful for them?” Part 1 comprises their responses. Exactly as they wrote them.

For example:

> “I have a lot of influences, but the one that comes to mind right now is Seth Godin. The biggest thing I’ve gotten out of his work is to just ship it. Don’t think too hard about your art. Don’t take forever. Getting it out there is more important than making it flawless. So get it so it’s good enough, then share it. Widely. Done is better than perfect.” – Melanie Curtin

Part 2: What are our happiness secrets that we don’t admit to our friends?

I was worried about getting answers to the second question. I wanted to know the little things that make us happy, but they can seem silly to us, so we keep them to ourselves. So I turned to the one place where millions of people have anonymity and can share their personal secrets. Reddit. You can read their personal responses in part 2.

For example:

> My dog. Always my dog.

> Taking my bra off at the end of the day, best feeling ever.

> I saw chickens full on sprint across a yard. Chickens running is always funny.


Part 3: What are the best of the best happy quotes from history?

Finally, I couldn’t ignore the titans, leaders, and trendsetters that have influenced our culture so heavily. But sharing the thousands of happy quotes would be an overload. I wanted to find the needles in the haystacks. The best of the best happy quotes. And what is the best way to find a needle in a haystack? A magnet. That’s right, I used a metaphorical magnet – you. I scoured many sites and forums to see what thousands of people like you credit as the quotes that have the most impact. This created part 3 – the top 100 happy quotes from history.

For example:

> “Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Emperor Of Rome

> “The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.”
― Woody Allen

> “If you want to be happy, be.”
― Leo Tolstoy

PART 1: Who is influencing today’s top happiness experts?

I asked the top experts on happiness the following question:

“Which blogger/ writer/ creator positively influences you? And why are you grateful for them?”

Here are their responses…

Monica River

Hands down — Steve Olsher. I worked for Steve for less than a year promoting his speaking services and his book, Journey to You: A Step by Step Guide to Becoming Who You Were Born To Be. Steve taught me relentless optimism and determination. He taught me that we all have a passion in life, and about the pursuit of one’s passion. Years later, I was motivated to start my own How to Be Happy Happiness Blog, Happinessblog.net, to help people overcome the most common barriers to happiness. Steve is a mentor and a friend. I consider him to be one of the most influential people of our time for finding one’s purpose and for bringing meaning to life. Cheers to Steve for helping me along my own pursuit of passion and happiness!

Connect with Monica via Twitter or her site http://happinessblog.net/.

Gary van Warmerdam

Miguel Ruiz, author of the best selling book, The Four Agreements.  I’ve known and worked with him personally for many years and his teachings have completely transformed me, and the way I see the world.

What I share is largely based on his body of work.

Connect with Gary via Twitter or his site http://pathwaytohappiness.com/.  

Waylon Lewis

Michael Pollan. The man took a decade (the 90s) where the fitness level of the fittest state in the US would have made it the fattest state only 10 years prior—a nation drowning in plastic-packaged chemical-saturated monocrops and sugar—a nation with collapsing small farms and…through his writing for the New York Times, and then his books—led the charge that led to the blooming of 10,000s of new farmers markets around the country. His was a voice of accessibility, thoughtfulness, values, commonsense—one we all benefited from.

Connect with Waylon via Twitter or his site https://www.elephantjournal.com/.

Dani DiPirro

Countless creators have inspired and influenced me over time, but one who is currently keeping my mind moving in new, positive directions is Caroline at Made Vibrant. Her weekly emails always make me think in new ways or reaffirm a truth I already knew but had forgotten (or perhaps both, at once!). I’m grateful not only for her emails, but also her creative, kind spirit that shines through in her written words and her artistic endeavors.

Connect with Dani via Instagram or her site http://www.positivelypresent.com/.

Melanie Curtin

I have a lot of influences, but the one that comes to mind right now is Seth Godin. The biggest thing I’ve gotten out of his work is to just ship it. Don’t think too hard about your art. Don’t take forever. Getting it out there is more important than making it flawless. So get it so it’s good enough, then share it. Widely. Done is better than perfect.

Connect with Melanie via Twitter or her site http://www.melaniecurtin.com/.

Erin Falconer

It’s very rare in this uber competitive online world to feel supported by peers – either they are just too busy or view you as competition. That’s why I’m so grateful to Steven Aitchison, of Change Your Thoughts for being a true leader and somebody who embodies the true essence of what this self-improvement world is supposed to be about: a genuine person who is invested in other’s success as much as his own. While he has personally reached out a helping hand to me, it is his larger presence in this space that continues to make a positive impact that is definitely worth a shout-out!

Connect with Erin via Twitter or her site http://www.pickthebrain.com.

Kelli Cooper

At the moment, I am very positively influenced by Marianne Williamson. I started studying A
Course in Miracles last year, and it has had a profound impact on my life. But anyone familiar
with this book knows it isn’t the easiest read! Her teachings are based on ACIM, and have
helped me gain a much better understanding of the text. If you want to begin living a life based
on love,and not fear, if you want to see the world, and yourself, as they really are, and cut
through the illusion, I highly recommend her work, especially if you are studying the Course.

Connect with Kellie via Twitter or her site https://www.livelifemadetoorder.com/blog/.

Kate Courageous

The bloggers who I turn to most often for beautiful writing and sound personal growth wisdom are Andrea Scher of Superhero Life, Danielle LaPorte, and Dr. Brene Brown. However, I often find myself with my nose in a book (or two, or ten) and love reading the work of Carl Rogers, Irvin Yalom, Iyanla VanZant, Shawn Achor, Pema Chodron, and Cheri Huber. It’s a mashup of intuitive truth + practical wisdom + research-backed pragmatism + existentialist leanings + courageous living.

Connect with Kate via Instagram or her site http://www.yourcourageouslife.com/.

Susanna Halonen

Susannah Conway is one of my big positive influences. She writes with such beauty and raw authenticity it’s impossible not to get sucked in. Her honesty and personal truths shine strong, reminding and empowering me to be my truest self too. Her way of doing heartfelt business is also refreshing in a world where most businesses are all about shouting the loudest. Following her work and reading her words calms me, inspires me, and gives me the courage to stay true on my path.

Connect with Susanna Halonen, The Happyologist®, a happiness life coach, speaker and author of Screw Finding Your Passion. Find her at www.happyologist.co.uk and on social media as @TheHappyologist.

Tony Latter

Shawn Achor – Positive psychologist, Author & Speaker.

Much of the research from Shawn’s book The Happiness Advantage seemed to cement the practices and theory I was trying to weave into our survey programmes and our company culture.

We now use The Happiness Advantage as part of our onboarding process. It helps to cement the importance of having a happy and engaged workforce to achieve organisational growth and improve business.

Shawn’s thoughts on “happiness being a pre-cursor to success” really hits home for us; as it underpins a lot of the work that we do. This is also true of his thoughts around positive outliers and bringing up the average – “By studying the patterns and habits of those above the curve, we can glean information about not just how to move up to average, but how to move the entire average up.” We have adopted these approaches for our own team and advise our clients to do the same.

Thanks to Shawn’s research and a lot of our own, we can now promote that employee happiness is tangible, measurable and profitable.

Connect with Tony via Twitter, or The Happiness Index via Twitter or their site https://the-happiness-index.com/.

PART 2: What are our happiness secrets that we don’t admit to our friends?

To find out what really makes everyday people like you and me happy, I turned to the social media platform, Reddit. The difference between Reddit and other social media, such as Facebook, is that people on Reddit post anonymously. They feel like they’re in private. And in private, they share what they wouldn’t in public. So here are some personal responses of what actually makes people happy.

1. What small thing made you happy today?


> I saw chickens full on sprint across a yard. Chickens running is always funny.

> IFriend bought me lunch since he knew I’m falling on hard times but didn’t bring up the fact. I know he did it for that reason though. Thanks dude.

> IBeen working with a personal trainer at my gym for almost 8 months. Gotten insane results, amazing guy, completely changed my life around. This is my last month with him because I’m having some bad financial troubles. He suggested I get a new pair of gym shoes offhandedly a few weeks ago and I told him I just couldn’t afford it right now. Today I walked into the gym and out of nowhere he pulls me aside to give me a Nike gift card for shoes… I almost cried. Made my day.

> II got a box of condoms shipped to my apartment accidentally.

> I Finally got a huge restock of hearing aid batteries after going without for about 2 weeks – I can hear again!

> IThe intern who sits in the next cubicle was messaging me about how bored he was. I messaged back “Stand up for a high five in 3.. 2.. 1..”. We both stood up at the same moment, had a really loud high five for our quiet work area, and immediately Sat back down. Most successful moment of my whole day!

> II hit the trifecta for things I tell myself to do but don’t do often enough: I flossed last night, I woke up this morning to run before work, and I practiced playing my guitar.

> I just heard that I won an auction yesterday. A big box filled with old Reader’s Digest (1950-1960). I know it’s a weird thing to collect but I love all the old stories and ads.

> My 4Y/o Labrador retriever swam today, something he has feared with all his being his entire life.

> A girl at work obviously couldn’t afford to pay her deposit for the work Christmas party (we always put in money and in advance to ensure we get a proper catered party). We recently changed the frequency of pay so money is tight for some until the end of the month. It’s not much money but she obviously didn’t have it and was trying to play it cool and act like she didn’t care much.

I didn’t want to embarrass her by telling her I even knew, nevermind offering, so I put in her deposit and told the girl who’s organising it to just say it was her and that she can just pay her back on payday. Turns out the girl was overwhelmed that we did that for her and put a status on Facebook about her co workers being amazing. I don’t care if she ever knows it was me, but it was awesome knowing it made her day.

> Got an email confirming the background check and drug screen was completed, clearing me to start my new job next Monday. I’ve been unemployed for almost 3 months.

> A stranger complimented my dogs behavior on our afternoon walk.

> My work just brought back 2-ply toilet paper after over a year of single ply

> I’m almost always in the shower when my husband gets home from work and he always tries to scare me. Today when he pulled up I turned on the shower and hid in the next room over. He tried to scare me as usual and I went in behind him and scared him instead and then we laughed together for at least ten minutes.

> I woke up, looked at my alarm, and it was only 2am. I snuggled back down into my pillow with a big ol’ smile on my face!

Edit: Thank you kind stranger for my first Reddit gold!! 😀 I wish happy sleeping to all!

> My dog. Always my dog.

> I was able to rock my jeans jacket this afternoon before it got too warm

> I saw my baby kicking during an Ultrasound. That was cool.

> I commented on an AskReddit post and got over 1500 upvotes! A first for me!

Edit: This is crazy! In 24 hours, I went from approximately 200 to 5000 karma! Thanks everyone!

2. What makes you happy?


> When somebody says “Oh, I finally get it!!”

I am a Math Teacher.

> Creating. I love putting a lot of work into sewing or sculpting or painting something, and being able to see the end result.

On a very related note, seeing self-improvement. I can put two things I’ve made together and see a definite change, and that’s awesome.

> Having my head scratched, I just melt.

> Those days where your brain is just running super-efficient, pumping out high quality stuff at a million miles an hour. You feel ready for anything, creative, strong, upbeat.

Also, sitting down in the shower of a morning and taking some very, very deep breaths to relax and reflect before you face the day.

> When I hear a song that I haven’t heard in awhile that perfectly describes or relates to what i’m feeling.

> Once a month, our children and their spouses and their children come home for dinner. We crowd the place up, with tables in at least three different rooms, especially now that the grandchildren have started bringing their boyfriends and girlfriends. There is almost always singing — almost always a birthday to celebrate. The ten-years-old and younger bunch have little interest in dinner — we’ve debated on whether or not we should set up a table for them at all. They make a beeline for the backdoor; for the sandbox, the jungle gym, and the swing set. My children and their spouses crowd up at the kitchen table. Where the kids once jockeyed for elbow room and provoked each other on general principle, they now squeeze up to be together and provoke each other to laughter. Even after they all leave, the house has the feel of their presence, and I am happy.

> Taking my bra off at the end of the day, best feeling ever.

> Interesting conversations with fun people.

> I’m a simple man. I enjoy pretty dark-haired women, and breakfast foods.

3. Reddit, what was the last thing to make you insanely happy?


> My friend ran into the room screaming that he got a new job, and his pants fell down. He lurched down to pull up his pants, and managed to fall over the couch. Funniest thing I’ve seen all year. I just about pissed myself laughing.

> A girl in a bar last night told me that I was really cute. I mean, she later said “you’re so awkward that you’re making me feel awkward” but I’ll just remember that first part.

> My 3yo daughter cuddling up in the crook of my arm while reading a book. While flipping a page she just squeezes me and says “I love you daddy” without even looking away from the book.

> I got myself a publishing deal for my first novel.

> Today, my brother comes home from afghanistan!

> I watched a video of dogs that had been in laboratorys their whole lives experience grass and sunlight for the first time.

> Failed out of college four years ago and pretty much though I’d never graduate or accomplish much of anything. Finally went back to school 2 years ago and now have a six figure offer before I’ve graduated.

> I kissed my girlfriend for the first time this weekend 🙂

> My wife getting great PET scan results. She is almost done with chemo!

> A couple days ago my son pointed at me and said his first word: “Dad”.

> I gave birth to a healthy and beautiful baby girl yesterday. I’m still in awe of how perfect she is.

> My wife said we have enough saved up, that we can both retire now!

> Came out to my friends and colleagues. They all accepted me.


> My 6 year old son read me a book before bed the other night. Doesn’t sound like a lot, but just knowing that I made this little guy, and now he can read is crazy.

4. What makes you happy to be alive?


> I love that feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and there’s still time to sleep, and it’s still dark, and you don’t need to pee, and you aren’t thirsty, and you can just roll over into your own warmth and fall back asleep with your face half in the pillow. That makes me 10/10 happy every single time.

> Nature. A clear night sky, the sound of the ocean, a peaceful river, dense forests, etc. Just being outside, especially alone, makes me feel really at peace. I can be having the worst day imaginable and all I need to do is find a quiet place outside alone where I can look up at the stars and everything feels perfect and beautiful again for a while.

> Satisfying natural desires. Eating and drinking great food and wine when I am hungry, falling asleep when I am exhausted, seeing loved ones when I am lonely, learning something new or accomplishing a task when I am bored.

PART 3: The Best 100 Happy Quotes From History


happy quotes

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”

Marcus Aurelius, Emperor Of Rome


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

Marcel Proust, 19th century French writer


“One of the luckiest things that can happen to you in life is, I think, to have a happy childhood.” ― Agatha Christie, 20th century crime writer  


“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”

Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance polymath


“If you don’t embrace who you are and accept who you are, you won’t be able to live a happy life.”

Ciara, American singer


“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the


 Jim Rohn, American entrepeneur


happy quotes

“The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.”      

Woody Allen


“Happy is entirely up to you and always has been.”

Janette Rallison


“If you want to be happy, be.”

Leo Tolstoy


“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.”


happy quotes

“Be the reason someone smiles today.”


“If you want happiness for an hour — take a nap.’

If you want happiness for a day — go fishing.

If you want happiness for a year — inherit a fortune.

If you want happiness for a lifetime — help someone else.”

― Chinese Proverb


“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.”



“Happy people plan actions, they don’t plan results.”

Dennis Waitley


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

Mahatma Gandhi


“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”

Helen Keller


“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.”

Marcel Pagnol


“Do not set aside your happiness. Do not wait to be happy in the future. The best time to be happy is always now.”

Roy T. Bennett


“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson


happiness quotes

“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


“No medicine cures what happiness cannot.”

Gabriel García Márquez


“Happiness [is] only real when shared”

Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild


“Don’t wait for everything to be normal before your decide to enjoy your life.”

Joyce Meyer


“Happiness is an inside job.”

― Anonymous


“Take responsibility of your own happiness, never put it in other people’s hands.”

Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart


“The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts.”

Marcus Aurelius,


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

Guillaume Apollinaire


“When I am myself, I am happy and have a good result.”

Jack Ma

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

Omar Khayyam


“I think it’s important to find the little things in everyday life that make you happy.”

Paula Cole


“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.”

Tom Wilson


“The most simple things can bring the most happiness.”

Izabella Scorupco


happy quotes

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”

Dalai Lama


“We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.”

Winston Churchill


“Happiness is a state of activity.”



“Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object.”

Herman Hesse


happy messages

“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.”

Andre Mauroisc


“Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.”



“If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.”

― Proverb


“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

Anne Frank


“It is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.”

Benjamin Franklin


“The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky


“I am happy because I’m grateful. I choose to be grateful. That gratitude allows me to be happy.”

Will Arnett


“A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy dare live.”

Bertrand Russell


“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.”

Groucho Marx


“If you think sunshine brings you happiness, then you haven’t danced in the rain.”

– unknown


“When I was in grade school, they told me to write down what I wanted to be when I grew up.

I wrote down happy.

They told me I didn’t understand the assignment,

I told them they didn’t understand life.”

―  Unknown


“You cannot always have happiness, but you can always give happiness.”

― Author Unknown


“Learn to value yourself, which means: fight for your happiness.”

Ayn Rand


“Happiness is not the absence of problems; but the ability to deal with them.”

― Jack Brown


“I feel the best when I am happy.”

― Anonymous


happy quote

“Optimism is a happiness magnet. If you stay positive, good things and good people will be drawn to you.”

Mary Lou Retton


“The secret of happiness is freedom, the secret of freedom is courage.”

Carrie Jones, Need


happiness quotes

“Happiness is not a goal…it’s a by-product of a life well lived.”

Eleanor Roosevelt


“Just because you are happy it does not mean that the day is perfect but that you have looked beyond its imperfections”

Bob Marley


In the morning, don’t forget to wear your smile and remember “A day without laughter is a day wasted.”

Charlie Chaplin


“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

Marcus Aurelius


quotes happy

“I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health.”



“Happy people don’t have the best of everything, they just make the best of everything.”


“Happiness is like a kiss. You must share it to enjoy it.”

Bernard Meltzer


“It is neither wealth nor splendor but tranquility and occupation which give you HAPPINESS.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Happiness is the art of never holding in your mind the memory of any unpleasant thing that has passed.”


“Happy people don’t go through life collecting and seeking recognition. They go through life giving it away.”



“There is no waiting for happiness. It’s now or never. I choose NOW.”

Zia Holte


inspiring quotes

“You never regret being kind.”

Nicole Shepherd


“The happiness of life is made up of the little charities of a kiss or smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge


“Live for the moments you can’t put into words.”


“One of the simplest ways to stay happy is letting go of the things that make you sad.”


“Happy People Are Beautiful. They Become Like A Mirror And They Reflect That Happiness.”

–  Drew Barrymore


“Life’s greatest happiness is to be convinced we are loved.”

Victor Hugo


“That action is best which procures the greatest happiness for the greatest numbers.”

Francis Hutcheson


“It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”

Lucille Ball


“To be kind to all, to like many and love a few, to be needed and wanted by those we love, is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.”

Mary Stuart


“The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.”    ― Doug Larson


“It’s never too late to start over. If you weren’t happy with yesterday, try something different today. Don’t stay stuck, do better.”

Alex Elle


Act the way you want to feel.”  

Gretchen Rubin


“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

Omar Khayyam


“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”

H. Jackson Brown, Jr.


“The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”  

Louisa May Alcott


“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times. If one only remembers to turn on the light.”

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban


“Every day is a new day, you’ll never be able to find happiness if you don’t move on.”

Carrie Underwood


“If you can do what you do best and be happy, you are further along in life than most people.”

Leonardo Dicaprio


“You don’t need too many people to be happy; just a few real ones who appreciate you for who you are.”

Wiz Khalifa


“I discovered that joy is not the negation of pain, but rather acknowledging the presence of pain and feeling happiness in spite of it.”

Lupita Nyong’o


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


“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”

Phyllis Diller


“The measure of the mortal worth of a man is in his happiness. The better the man, the more happiness. Happiness is a synonym of well being.”

Bruce Lee.

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”

H.Jackson Brown,Jr.


“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”

Thich Nhat Hanh


“Life only comes around once, so do what makes you happy, and be with whoever makes you smile.”


“Create a life you don’t need a vacation from.”


“Happiness is the secret to all beauty. There is no beauty without happiness.”

Christian Dior


“Growth itself contains the germs of happiness.”

Pearl S. Buck


“Happiness is there for the taking-and making.”



“Happiness is in your ability to love others.”

Leo Tolstoy


“Happiness is a form of courage.”

Holbrook Jackson


“There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.”

Lady Blessington


“The best vitamin to be a happy person is B1.”

― Author Unknown


“We are no longer happy so soon as we wish to be happier.”

Walter Savage Landor


“Man must search for what is right, and let happiness come on its own.”

Johann Pestalozzi