26 Secrets of Happiness: Quotable Quotes

Find inspiration and joy from these leading thinkers.

By Reader's Digest Editors
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    The Dalai Lama

    "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."

    Brad Pitt, actor

    "I think happiness is overrated. Satisfied, at peace—those would be more realistic goals."

    John Barrowman, actor

    "I've always thought people would find a lot more pleasure in their routines if they burst into song at significant moments."

    Drew Barrymore, actress

    "I think happiness is what makes you pretty. Period. Happy people are beautiful. They become like a mirror and they reflect that happiness."

    Joan Rivers, comedian

    "People say that money isn't the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made."

    Gretchen Rubin, author

    "I think self-knowledge is a key to happiness. We can build happy lives only on the foundation of our own natures, our own values, and our own interests."

    J. K. Rowling, novelist

    "Personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications are not your life."

    Stephen Fry, actor and writer

    "Stop feeling sorry for yourself and you will be happy."

    Richard Bach, author

    "If your happiness depends on what somebody else does, I guess you do have a problem."

    Marianne Williamson, spiritual teacher

    "Children are happy because they don't have a file in their minds called 'all the things that could go wrong.'"

    Rita Mae Brown, feminist author

    "One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory."

    Paul Simon, musician

    "I've got nothing to do today but smile."

    The Dalai Lama

    "I find hope in the darkest of days, and focus in the brightest. I do not judge the universe."

    Sarah McLachlan, musician

    "Happiness is like a cloud—if you stare at it long enough, it evaporates."

    Harrison Ford, actor

    "Being happy is something you have to learn. I often surprise myself by saying, 'Wow, this is it. I guess I'm happy. I got a home I love. A career that I love. I'm even feeling more and more at peace with myself.' If there's something else to happiness, let me know. I'm ambitious for that, too."

    Keira Knightley, actress

    "Be happy in your body. It's the only one you've got, so you might as well like it."

    Steven Kloves, screenwriter

    "Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light."

    Daniel Gilbert, social psychologist

    "The good news is that going blind is not going to make you as unhappy as you think it will. The bad news is that winning the lottery will not make you as happy as you expect."

    Leslie Caron, actress and dancer

    "In order to have great happiness, you have to have great pain and unhappiness—otherwise, how would you know when you're happy?"

    Audrey Niffenegger, writer

    "Don't you think it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?"

    Ann Brashares, author

    "Maybe happiness didn't have to be about the big sweeping circumstances, about having everything in your life in place. Maybe it was about stringing together a bunch of small pleasures."

    Joanne Harris, author

    "Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive."

    Jodi Picoult, author

    "A mathematical formula for happiness: reality divided by expectations. There were two ways to be happy: improve your reality or lower your expectations."

    Steve Maraboli, speaker and author

    "Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them."

    Lauren Oliver, author

    "You can't be really happy unless you're unhappy sometimes."

    Russell Baker, hunmorist

    "A solved problem creates two new problems, and the best prescription for happy living is not to solve any more problems."

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