26 Secrets of Happiness: Quotable Quotes

Find inspiration and joy from these leading thinkers.

View as Slideshow

The Dalai Lama

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

Brad Pitt, actor

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

John Barrowman, actor

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."

Content continues below ad

Drew Barrymore, actress

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

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

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."

Content continues below ad

J. K. Rowling, novelist

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

Stephen Fry, actor and writer
"Stop feeling sorry for yourself and you will be happy."

Richard Bach, author

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

Content continues below ad

Marianne Williamson, spiritual teacher

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

Rita Mae Brown, feminist author
"One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory."

Paul Simon, musician

Paul Simon, musician
"I've got nothing to do today but smile."

Content continues below ad

The Dalai Lama

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

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

Harrison Ford, actor

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."

Content continues below ad

Keira Knightley, actress

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

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

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."

Content continues below ad

Leslie Caron, actress and dancer

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

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

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."

Content continues below ad

Joanne Harris, author

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

Jodi Picoult, author

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

Steve Maraboli, speaker and author
"Happiness is not the absence of problems, it's the ability to deal with them."

Content continues below ad

Lauren Oliver, author

Lauren Oliver, author
"You can't be really happy unless you're unhappy sometimes."

Russell Baker, hunmorist

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

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram

@kristencarney

Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.

@sixthformpoet

Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”

@NicCageMatch

Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 
—Alcohol

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.