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50 Joyful and Inspirational Quotes about Life and Happiness

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I believe that we all need more optimism in our lives.  With all the negativity and sadness in the world, I thought that it was high time to put together a great list of inspirational quotes about life and happiness.   

I love quotes because they give us a boost of inspiration when times are tough or when sadness hits.  To me, they are like a pep talk in a tiny little saying. Everybody can use a coach for one thing or another.  And quotes are an inexpensive, short boost of adrenaline to pick you up when you need it.  

I have found 50 of some really great pep talks.  Pick your favorites and below, you will find an opportunity to print some out and hang them up in places to remind you to seek happiness for your life.  I hope you’ll enjoy these.

Inspirational quotes about life and happiness 

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

“Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”  Abraham Lincoln

Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

“The grass is always greener where you water it.” Unknown

“Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.” Marquis de Condorcet

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

kids playing in grass, george bernard shaw quote

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” George Bernard Shaw

“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Plenty of people miss their share of happiness, not because they never found it, but because they didn’t stop to enjoy it.” William Feather

“It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.” Leo Tolstoy

yellow sunflower field, 50 joyful and inspirational quotes about life and happiness

“That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.” Henry David Thoreau

“Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is.” Maxim Gorky

“Just because it didn’t last forever, doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth your while.” Unknown

Quotes about happiness

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.” Albert Ellis

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” Martha Washington

cute laughing boy running in sprinkler in sun, groucho marz quote

“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

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” Aesop

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

“Action may not always bring happiness; but there is no happiness without action.” Benjamin Disraeli

“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.” Douglas Adams

“Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.” Andy Rooney

woman on swing overlooking ocean sunset, james oppenheim quote

“The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” James Oppenheim

“Happy he who learns to bear what he cannot change.” Friedrich Schiller

“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.” Winston Churchill

“Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others, you should put a good deal of thought into the happiness that you are able to give.” Eleanor Roosevelt

“Happiness is a state of activity.” Aristotle

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassions, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

2 woman holding peace signs over golden gate bridge, marcus antoninus quote

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

“Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.” Dr. Robert Anthony

“The unhappy derive comfort from the misfortunes of others.” Aesop

Quotes about enjoying life

“It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.” L.M. Montgomery

“Happiness is acceptance.” Unknown

“The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.” James M. Barrie

“Happiness is not in the mere possession of money; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

Related post:  The Ultimate Guide to Find Joy in the Journey

“It is more fitting for a man to laugh at life than to lament over it.” Seneca

“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

couple holding hands on bikes at sunset, robert heinlein quote

“Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” Robert A. Heinlein

“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

“Happiness depends upon ourselves.” Aristotle

“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon” Winnie the Pooh

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Herman Cain

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

“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

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” Dale Carnegie

sunflowers in sunshine, frederick koenig quote

“We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Frederick Keonig

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

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

There you have it, my friends.  I’ve just given you 50 of the best inspirational quotes about life and happiness. Which quote is your favorite?  Which quote had the most influence on you and even more importantly, what are you going to do about it?

Do you want even more quotes?  Check out the following posts.


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  1. These are all amazing quotes on life and happiness Wendy it’s hard to pick a favorite so I will list two… “No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”
    You’re always so Inspiring!!

  2. Wow, what a beautiful article. I love the quote you provided that said, “If you are too busy to laugh, you are too busy.” This is so true and it makes you really think of what you’re prioritizing in you’re life. A real eye-opener, so to speak. Keep up the amazing work!

    1. Thank you, LeeAnn. Laughter is s great blessing and it’s so simple. We need to make the time because a life without laughter is like a life without sunshine.

  3. What an awesome collection of inspirational quotes about life and happiness. I feel as if I should print them out and hang them up around the house!

    1. Wouldn’t it be awesome, Heather to have happiness quotes posted everywhere? I hope at the very least you printed off the quote cards that were included.

  4. Such a great list, Wendy. Here’s my favorite: “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 I was told that we were somehow related to Helen Keller (not proven!) so I read everything I could about her when I was a teenager. She does have some great quotes!

    1. That’s an amazing connection, AnnMarie. I would certainly take the same research approach. My brother in law used to say their family tree came from William Wallace from Braveheart. It was never verified, though.

  5. So many good ones in this list of inspirational quotes about life and happiness. My favorite? Let’s go with either Abraham Lincoln or Eleanor Roosevelt. Maybe even Winne the Pooh.

  6. I think my favorite joyful and inspirational quote in this list is this one: ““The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.” James Oppenheim” Thanks for sharing them!!!!

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