Happiness as a choice

In addition to the comments I made on happiness at Happiness Comes From Within, I would like to offer the following quotes and a few comments.

Where happiness comes from

No man is happy unless he believes he is.– Publilius Syrus (85 BC- 43BC, Roman writer)

Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on the way we see them. — Count Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910, Russian novelist, philosopher)

Most people ask for happiness on condition. Happiness can only be felt if you don’t set any condition. — Arthur Rubinstein

Happiness is not dependent upon circumstances but upon attitudes; it is not so much environmental as mental. — (William A. Ward)

A man is happy so long as he chooses to be happy and nothing can stop him. — Alexander Solzhenitsyn (1918-, Russian novelist)

Happiness lies in the consciousness we have of it. — George Sand (1804-1876, French novelist)

How we ‘magically’ transform the world with happiness

The world of those who are happy is different from the world of those who are not. — Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951, Austrian philosopher)

When I have been unhappy, I have heard an opera… and it seemed the shrieking of winds; when I am happy, a sparrow’s chirp is delicious to me. But it is not the chirp that makes me happy, but I that make it sweet. — John Ruskin (1819-1900, British critic, social theorist)

Cultivating happiness

Real happiness is not dependent on external things. The pond is fed from within. The kind of happiness that stays with you is the happiness that springs from inward thoughts and emotions. You must cultivate your mind if you wish to achieve enduring happiness. — William Lyon Phelps

Happiness must be cultivated. It is like character. It is not a thing to be safely let alone for a moment, or it will run to weeds. — Elizabeth Stuart Phelps (1844-1911, American writer)

Our happiness depends on the habit of mind we cultivate. So practice happy thinking every day. Cultivate the merry heart, develop the happiness habit, and life will become a continual feast. — Norman Vincent Peale (1898-1993, American Christian reformed pastor, speaker, author)

A few comments of my own

* Happiness is not found by looking for it outside of yourself (material possessions, love, etc.)
* Happiness is not obtained through finding it within yourself (self-development) or throwing off attachments to the world (Stoicism, etc.)
* It is not a matter of calculus where you weigh up your recent history of pleasurable and painful experiences and then determine ‘objectively’ whether you are happy or not
* You can choose to believe the above or you can choose to posit a condition for happiness that ‘lies outside of the individual or is within the individual in such a way that it is not there by virtue of the individual themself’ (Kierkegaard)
* The biggest obstacle to happiness is a self which does not want to identify with it, i.e. pride in being unhappy
* Happiness is found not by looking for it, but by thinking you have already found it
* It is a matter of reflecting on a whole life and the entire universe and making a choice
* Happiness is obtained by choosing it, by choosing to perceive the world with happiness

Final thoughts

There are men who are happy without knowing it. — Marquis De Vauvenargues (1715-1747, French moralist)

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One Response to “Happiness as a choice”

  1. Friendship Poems Says:

    The story unfolds based on the decisions you make, so choose wisely. Friendship Poems

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