33 Quotes on Happiness

 

March 20 is officially the International Day of Happiness.  Somehow I missed the announcement, but in 2012 the General Assembly of the United Nations created this day to recognize “the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world and the importance of their recognition in public policy objectives.”

I’m all for celebrating and for happiness.  With that in mind, I selected some of my favorite quotes on all things happiness.

 

“It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that makes happiness.” -Charles Spurgeon

 

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

 

Happy people plan actions; they don’t plan results.” -Denis Waitley

 

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

 

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” -Aristotle

 

“Happiness . . . is governed by our mental attitude.” -Dale Carnegie

 

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

 

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

 

“Learn to value yourself, which means fight for your happiness.” -Ayn Rand

 

“Happiness is a byproduct of making someone else happy.” -Gretta Brooker Palmer

 

“Happiness is having a scratch for every itch.” -Ogden Nash

 

“The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring.” -Carl Sandburg

 

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.” -Abraham Lincoln

 

“Happiness is a large, close-knit family…in another city.” -George Burns

 

“Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory.” -Albert Schweitzer

 

“Happiness depends more on how life strikes you than on what happens.” -Andy Rooney

 

“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.” -John Barrymore

 

“Nobody cares if you’re miserable so you might as well be happy.” -Cynthia Nelms

 

“When what we are is what we want to be, that’s happiness.” -Malcolm Forbes

 

“The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.” -Mark Twain

 

“My happiness grows in direct proportion to my acceptance, and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” -Michael J. Fox

 

“If one speaks with a pure mind, happiness follows like a shadow.” -Buddha

Improve Your Happiness At Work

Kevin Kruse is a New York Times bestselling author, former CEO, speaker, and a blogger.  His newest book is Employee Engagement for Everyone.

Kevin, thanks for talking with me about your new work.  Previously, you’ve written for companies and managers.  Your latest book is aimed at everyone who wants to be happier at work.

What is “engagement” and why should anyone care?

Engagement is similar to being happy at work, but it’s a little deeper. Engagement is the emotional commitment someone has to their organization and the organization’s objectives. When we care more, we give more discretionary effort. Whether we are in sales, service, manufacturing or leadership, we will give more, the more engaged we are. Not only is this good for a company’s bottom line, but when we are engaged at work, we also end up being a better spouse and parent, and we have improved health outcomes.

How is commSpeechunication connected to engagement?

Communication is one of the top drivers of engagement. It is sort of the “backbone” that runs through the other primary drivers of Growth, Recognition and Trust.

What are your top three tips for improving communication?

Are You Living or Existing?

Photo by ’James Wheeler on flickr.

I met Kimanzi Constable somewhere between the blogging and Twitter worlds and heard his story.  He was stuck in a dead-end job, unhappy, and going through life in a way that was existing, but not thriving.  He decided to do something about it and began to change his life.  As he describes it, he decided to “stop settling, stop making excuses.”

As he began to change his life, he self-published two ebooks, which sold over 80,000 copies.  A short time later, a publisher called and he ended up with a book deal.  He quit his job, becoming a speaker and a coach.  His first published book is Are You Living or Existing? 9 Steps to Change Your Life.

9 Steps to Changing Your Life

  1. Identify Your Dreams
  2. Get Fit
  3. Get Rid of the Negative
  4. Fix Your Money
  5. Nail Down Your Plans
  6. Make the First Moves
  7. Tie Up Loose Ends
  8. Make Radical Changes
  9. Pay it Forward

Why did you write this book?

I wrote this book because for twelve years I had settled and made so many excuses to not live the life I truly wanted to lead. After many struggles and victories and tears I realized a lot of truths that I thought could really help people who were and are in the same position I was in. I wanted to show everyone that anyone can live the life of his or her dreams with the proper plan. I’m living proof; this book is my game plan on paper.

What’s the difference between living and existing?

The difference is realization, attitude and action. You start by realizing that time is one resource we’ll never get back, so we can’t afford to waste it doing things that won’t better our life. Then have the right attitude towards everything you do, viewing opportunities as a blessing and not another task on your to do list. Action means not wasting your life away watching the latest prime time shows. It means getting out and creating amazing experiences. At the end of your life you won’t remember all of the stuff you got or shows you watched. You’ll remember incredible experiences and times you impacted the lives of others.

Describe the moment when you had enough and decided to go for your dreams.

Simplify Your Life

Copyright Skip Prichard

The Beauty of the Simple

Sam Davidson met me one January day in a hip new coffee shop in Nashville.  As he shared stories about his life and his books, I listened intently while still managing to watch the painting and construction of a stage.  (If you’re in Nashville, this is a requirement.)  As my schedule allows, I try to meet interesting people in person to learn their stories.  Sam is an author, speaker and the cofounder of Cool People Care.5Mfd3lB_0xfSiuGZavtpq0wOpP9xhONr197wV2mw6uo,Bdyzc_sNHB0bFZOu1V7NWtzpLmLj4J0wLM6I03w0Fsg

Leaving the little café, I tucked the book Sam gave me under my arm and made my way back to my car.  Not needing much sleep, I average a book a day.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is that I’m sent so many books, I can’t keep up with them.  But any book with tips on reducing stress has to go right to the top of the pile.  I found a very practical and somewhat surprising book on how to Simplify Your Life.

I decided to follow-up with Sam to talk about his ideas on how to live a simple life.

Determine your values and passions

Sam, you have a very different approach to simplifying life.  When I first saw the book cover, I thought “minimalism.”  Any thoughts of minimalist advice were quickly cast aside when I saw your first chapter begins with the words, “Down with Minimalism.”  You say, “Minimalism is boring.”

What is minimalism and why is that not the right place to start?

Minimalism puts the focus on quantity, perhaps to a fault. In the rush to minimize, I fear we miss out on a reflective or introspective process that gets to the heart of why it is we have too much stuff or feel too stressed. Instead, I encourage people to first determine their values and passions. Then, everything that doesn’t enable or enhance one of those can go.

Eliminate things that don’t match your purpose

Getting rid of things for the sake of minimalism may mean we miss out on a valuable tool needed to achieve a great dream. Furthermore, if all we have helps makes us better, the amount of things around us matters less since it’s all beneficial and important.

How Will You Measure Your Life?

Image courtesy of istockphoto/wakila

Clay Christensen is one of the world’s authorities on disruptive innovation.  His book The Innovator’s Dilemma won the Global Business Book Award for the Best Business Book of the Year in 1997, and it went on to be one of the top selling business books for years.  Recently, Professor Christensen teamed up with a former student, James Allworth and the editor of the Harvard Business Review, Karen Dillon to write How Will You Measure Your Life?  It’s about applying business principles to create a better life.

You end your courses—and began this book—with a set of three fundamental “How can I be sure that…” questions.  Can you give us some background of how your thinking led to these three specific questions?

Clay: The questions actually emerged from two of my experiences at Harvard Business School. The first was as a result of being a student here. Every five years, the school hosts reunions and it’s a wonderful opportunity to catch up with old friends. At our first reunion — five years out from graduation — everyone seemed to be so successful, prosperous and happy: the promise of our years at school seemed destined to pay off. But at subsequent reunions, things started to change. Cracks in that promise started to become apparent.

Now, I don’t want to mislead you — many of my classmates have gone on to incredible successes, have happy families and have raised wonderful children. But more of us than I would have hoped seemed to have made choices that haven’t led us to those outcomes. That led to the questions: how can I be sure that I find happiness in my career, find happiness in my relationships, and be sure that I live a life of integrity? Those seemed to be the questions that some of us had either never thought to ask, or had lost track of.

Now, with that as context, the second source was the class that I teach today at the Harvard Business School. Using the business theory that we’ve gone through all semester, I’ve enlisted my students to help answer—both for my benefit, and for theirs—the questions that so many of my classmates seemed to have lost track of.