Determined To Be Happy Quotes

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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 (The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx)
The Constitution only guarantees the American people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
Benjamin Franklin
The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.
Carlos Castaneda
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance. The wise grows it under his feet.
James Oppenheim
There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Control of consciousness determines the quality of life.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
If happy I can be I will, if suffer I must I can.
William Faulkner (Absalom, Absalom!)
The struggles we endure today will be the ‘good old days’ we laugh about tomorrow.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The condition of your soul will determine the condition of your life. Because it determines how you think, what you feel, and what you choose to do.
Gregory Dickow (Soul Cure: How to Heal Your Pain and Discover Your Purpose)
Whether or not the couple ends up together at the end of a book doesn’t determine whether that book has a happy ending or not. As long as the two people end up happy, it doesn’t really matter if they end up happy together.
Colleen Hoover (November 9)
I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances. a
Martha Washington
Anyone who is steady in his determination for the advanced stage of spiritual realization and can equally tolerate the onslaughts of distress and happiness is certainly a person eligible for liberation.
A.C. Prabhupāda (The Bhagavad-gita (Bhagavadgita))
A happy ending was imperative. I shouldn't have bothered to write otherwise. I was determined that in fiction anyway two men should fall in love and remain in it for the ever and ever that fiction allows, and in this sense, Maurice and Alec still roam the greenwood.
E.M. Forster (Maurice)
Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90% of your happiness or misery.
H. Jackson Brown Jr. (P.S. I Love You)
I know now, after fifty years, that the finding/losing, forgetting/remembering, leaving/returning, never stops. The whole of life is about another chance, and while we are alive, till the very end, there is always another chance.
Jeanette Winterson (Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?)
We are happy when people/things conform and unhappy when they don't. People and events don't disappoint us, our models of reality do. It is my model of reality that determines my happiness or disappointments.
Stefan Zweig (Chess Story)
It's in those quiet little towns, at the edge of the world, that you will find the salt of the earth people who make you feel right at home.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
The devil's happy when the critics run you off.
Criss Jami (Venus in Arms)
Life's trials will test you, and shape you, but don’t let them change who you are.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
In the end, people don't view their life as merely the average of all its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people's minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life maybe empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
The whole value of solitude depends upon oneself; it may be a sanctuary or a prison, a haven of repose or a place of punishment, a heaven or a hell, as we ourselves make it.
John Lubbock (Peace and Happiness)
To build a better world we need to replace the patchwork of lucky breaks and arbitrary advantages today that determine success--the fortunate birth dates and the happy accidents of history--with a society that provides opportunities for all.
Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers: The Story of Success)
True friends don't come with conditions.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Without struggle, success has no value.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
T is not too late to seek a newer world. Push off, and sitting well in order smite The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths Of all the western stars, until I die. It may be that the gulfs will wash us down: It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’ We are not now that strength which in old days Mov’d earth and heaven, that which we are, we are: One equal temper of heroic hearts, Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Alfred Tennyson (Ulysses)
From this point forward, you don’t even know how to quit in life.” ~ Aaron Lauritsen, ‘100 Days Drive
Aaron Lauritsen
Most of what passes for legitimate entertainment is inferior or foolish and only caters to or exploits people's weaknesses. Avoid being one of the mob who indulges in such pastimes. Your life is too short and you have important things to do. Be discriminating about what images and ideas you permit into your mind. If you yourself don't choose what thoughts and images you expose yourself to, someone else will, and their motives may not be the highest. It is the easiest thing in the world to slide imperceptibly into vulgarity. But there's no need for that to happen if you determine not to waste your time and attention on mindless pap.
Epictetus (The Art of Living: The Classical Manual on Virtue, Happiness and Effectiveness)
Even if you fulfill your hearts desire, by sacrificing something important, you may not necessarily be happy. Happiness doesn’t come in one form, it determined by your own heart.
Ai Yazawa
Those who achieve the extraordinary are usually the most ordinary because they have nothing to prove to anybody. Be Humble.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
At some point, you just gotta forgive the past, your happiness hinges on it.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
People who learn to control inner experience will be able to determine the quality of their lives, which is as close as any of us can come to being happy.
Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience)
People and events don't disappoint us, our models of reality do. It is my model of reality that determines my happiness or disappointments.
Stefan Zweig (Chess Story)
No matter what has occurred in your life up to this point, it should have no bearing at all on how you live from now on.’ That you, living in the here and now, are the one who determines your own life.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: How to Free Yourself, Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
happiness is determined more by one's state of mind than by external events.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
Explore, Experience, Then Push Beyond.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Perhaps some people really are born unhappy. I surely hope not. Speaking for my sister and myself: We were born with the capacity and determination to be utterly happy all the time. Perhaps even in this we were freaks. Hi ho.
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Slapstick, or Lonesome No More!)
No experience is in itself a cause of our success or failure. We do not suffer from the shock of our experiences—the so-called trauma—but instead we make out of them whatever suits our purposes. We are not determined by our experiences, but the meaning we give them is self-determining.
Ichiro Kishimi (The Courage to Be Disliked: The Japanese Phenomenon That Shows You How to Change Your Life and Achieve Real Happiness)
I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and human happiness consists. I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body, and to convince them that the soft phrases, susceptibility of heart, delicacy of sentiment, and refinement of taste, are almost synonymous with epithets of weakness, and that those beings are only the objects of pity, and that kind of love which has been termed its sister, will soon become objects of contempt.
Mary Wollstonecraft (A Vindication of the Rights of Woman)
Time is persistent, and we need to make the best of it.
Charlena E. Jackson
If life throws you a few bad notes or vibrations, don't let them interrupt or alter your song.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
The freedom of the open road is seductive, serendipitous and absolutely liberating.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
How aware are we of our own inner life, our spirituality-something so intangible yet so priceless? How much effort do we make to perceive that which is not obvious, which can neither be seen nor heard? I believe the exploration and enrichment of the human spirit is what determines our very humanity. Such enrichment provides an inner compass that can lead civilizations to greatness.
Daisaku Ikeda
In their hearts, they know that we are all created equal in the eyes of God and the universe. Whoever thinks otherwise will never be happy.
Maria Nhambu (America's Daughter (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #2))
Yes, faith; it is my cousin's duty to make curtsy and say 'Father, as it please you.' But yet for all that, cousin, let him be a handsome fellow, or else make another curtsy and say 'Father, as it please me.
William Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing)
Look, America is no more a democracy than Russia is a Communist state. The governments of the U.S. and Russia are practically the same. There's only a difference of degree. We both have the same basic form of government: economic totalitarianism. In other words, the settlement to all questions, the solutions to all issues are determined not by what will make the people most healthy and happy in the bodies and their minds but by economics. Dollars or rubles. Economy uber alles. Let nothing interfere with economic growth, even though that growth is castrating truth, poisoning beauty, turning a continent into a shit-heap and riving an entire civilization insane. Don't spill the Coca-Cola, boys, and keep those monthly payments coming.
Tom Robbins (Another Roadside Attraction)
There's more to a person than flesh. Judge others by the sum of their soul and you'll see that beauty is a force of light that radiates from the inside out.
Aaron Lauritsen
If you didn't earn something, it's not worth flaunting.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
We who bore the mark might well be considered by the rest of the world as strange, even as insane and dangerous. We had awoken, or were awakening, and we were striving for an ever perfect state of wakefulness, whereas the ambition and quest for happiness of the others consisted of linking their opinions, ideals, and duties, their life and happiness, ever more closely with those of the herd. They, too, strove; they, too showed signs of strength and greatness. But as we saw it, whereas we marked men represented Nature's determination to create something new, individual, and forward-looking, the others lived in the determination to stay the same. For them mankind--which they loved as much as we did--was a fully formed entity that had to be preserved and protected. For us mankind was a distant future toward which we were all journeying, whose aspect no one knew, whose laws weren't written down anywhere.
Hermann Hesse (Demian. Die Geschichte von Emil Sinclairs Jugend)
Only bad things happen quickly, . . . Virtually all the happiness-producing processes in our lives take time, usually a long time: learning new things, changing old behaviors, building satisfying relationships, raising children. This is why patience and determination are among life’s primary virtues.
Gordon Livingston
Take risks! That is really what life is about. We must pursue our own happiness. Nobody has ever lived our lives; ther are no guidelines. Trust your instincts. Accept nothing but the best. But then also look for it carefully. Don't allow it to slip between your fingers. Sometimes, good things come to us in a such a quiet fashion. And nothing comes complete. It is what we make of whatever we encounter that determines the outcome. What we choose to see, what we choose to save. And what we choose to remember. Never forget that all the love in your life is there, inside you, always.
Linda Olsson (Astrid and Veronika)
Everybody enjoys what feels good. Everyone wants to live a carefree, happy, and easy life, to fall in love and have amazing sex and relationships, to look perfect and make money and be popular and well-respected and admired and a total baller to the point that people part like the Red Sea when they walk into the room. Everybody wants that. It’s easy to want that. A more interesting question, a question that most people never consider, is, “What pain do you want in your life? What are you willing to struggle for?” Because that seems to be a greater determinant of how our lives turn out. For
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
I love to walk. Walking is a spiritual journey and a reflection of living. Each of us must determine which path to take and how far to walk; we must find our own way, what is right for one may not be for another. There is no single right way to deal with late stage cancer, to live life or approach death, or to walk an old mission trail.
Edie Littlefield Sundby (The Mission Walker: I was given three months to live...)
Self satisfaction alone cannot determine if a desire or action is positive or negative. The demarcation between a positive and a negative desire or action is not whether it gives you a immediate feeling of satisfaction, but whether it ultimately results in positive or negative consequences.
Dalai Lama XIV (The Art of Happiness)
It’s the ‘everyday’ experiences we encounter along the journey to who we wanna be that will define who we are when we get there.
Aaron Lauritsen (100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip)
Children should be living carefree lives and always smiling – laughing, filled with peace and harmony; not worrying about the troubles of what tomorrow may bring.
Charlena E. Jackson
Children are supposed to be free spirits and dream chasers, thinking of limitless opportunities. They are supposed to be filled with light that shines with happiness and joy that shouldn’t be dimmed or filled with darkness and fear.
Charlena E. Jackson
He wants to laugh out loud or punch a wall. He feels drunk or at least carbonated. Insane. At first, he thinks this is happiness, but then he determines it's love. Fucking love, he thinks. What a bother. It's completely gotten in the way of his plan to drink himself to death, to drive his business to ruin. The most annoying thing about it is that once a person gives a shit about one thing, he finds he has to start giving a shit about everything.
Gabrielle Zevin (The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry)
I already knew our “ever after” wouldn't always be happy or even comfortable―and clearly it couldn't be expected to go according to plan. Still, it was ours. And we were both determined enough to see it through to “the end.
Angela N. Blount (Once Upon an Ever After (Once Upon a Road Trip, #2))
If [God] send me no husband, for the which blessing I am at him upon my knees every morning and evening ...
William Shakespeare (Much Ado About Nothing)
You WILL eventually become what you think. Whether you succeed or fail is determined in your mind long before we see it play out in real-time.
Mandy Hale (The Single Woman: Life, Love, and a Dash of Sass)
Positive thinking is powerful thinking. If you want happiness, fulfillment, success and inner peace, start thinking you have the power to achieve those things. Focus on the bright side of life and expect positive results.
Germany Kent
We were together because we were addicted to each other. I was never as intoxicated as I was when we were happy together, and I knew it was the same for him. We were putting ourselves through the wringer for those moments of perfection between us, but they were so tenuous that only our stubbornness, determination and love kept us fighting for them.
Sylvia Day (Reflected in You (Crossfire, #2))
Building a relationship, foundation and confidence in our children is how they learn to love themselves, accept their flaws, and dance to the beat of their own drum. After all, they are a reflection of us – we are our children’s foundation.
Charlena E. Jackson
I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition.
Martha Washington
Not too long ago thousands spent their lives as recluses to find spiritual vision in the solitude of nature. Modern man need not become a hermit to achieve this goal, for it is neither ecstasy nor world-estranged mysticism his era demands, but a balance between quantitative and qualitative reality. Modern man, with his reduced capacity for intuitive perception, is unlikely to benefit from the contemplative life of a hermit in the wilderness. But what he can do is to give undivided attention, at times, to a natural phenomenon, observing it in detail, and recalling all the scientific facts about it he may remember. Gradually, however, he must silence his thoughts and, for moments at least, forget all his personal cares and desires, until nothing remains in his soul but awe for the miracle before him. Such efforts are like journeys beyond the boundaries of narrow self-love and, although the process of intuitive awakening is laborious and slow, its rewards are noticeable from the very first. If pursued through the course of years, something will begin to stir in the human soul, a sense of kinship with the forces of life consciousness which rule the world of plants and animals, and with the powers which determine the laws of matter. While analytical intellect may well be called the most precious fruit of the Modern Age, it must not be allowed to rule supreme in matters of cognition. If science is to bring happiness and real progress to the world, it needs the warmth of man's heart just as much as the cold inquisitiveness of his brain.
Franz Winkler
We have to save our children. We have to break down our children’s walls patiently with the understanding that they will come around slowly but surely. The silent killer of darkness will not win. We have to bring the light out of our brittle and fragile children.
Charlena E. Jackson
We should always reassure our children that they are never alone. Time flies by so fast that before we know it our children will be grown and living their own lives. With that being said, we should never miss a chance to empower our children. Our children’s individuality is unique and we should teach them to embrace their authentic selves.
Charlena E. Jackson
Woe betide him, and her too, when it comes to things of consequence, when they are placed in circumstances requiring fortitude and strength of mind, if she have not resolution enough to resist idle interference ... It is the worst evil of too yielding and indecisive a character, that no influence over it can be depended on. You are never sure of a good impression being durable; everybody may sway it. Let those who would be happy be firm.
Jane Austen (Persuasion)
I’ve come to think that flourishing consists of putting yourself in situations in which you lose self-consciousness and become fused with other people, experiences, or tasks. It happens sometimes when you are lost in a hard challenge, or when an artist or a craftsman becomes one with the brush or the tool. It happens sometimes while you’re playing sports, or listening to music or lost in a story, or to some people when they feel enveloped by God’s love. And it happens most when we connect with other people. I’ve come to think that happiness isn’t really produced by conscious accomplishments. Happiness is a measure of how thickly the unconscious parts of our minds are intertwined with other people and with activities. Happiness is determined by how much information and affection flows through us covertly every day and year.
David Brooks
Our children begin to drift away because of the scars and burdens. The sharp tongue of the silent killer constantly creates a cloud of confusion and friction over our children’s heads due to the verbal, mental, emotional, and physical abuse.
Charlena E. Jackson
With tears of joy, I recalled Fat Mary’s role in my childhood. She had been my consoler and counselor since the day I understood I was alone in the world and had no one who loved me or wanted me. I had decided back then that I would love me, fat me, just as I was. Her role was also to safeguard the meaningful and happy moments of my childhood and bring them to me when I needed to remember life’s goodness.
Maria Nhambu (America's Daughter (Dancing Soul Trilogy, #2))
People always talk about realizing they’re in love during the happy moments, but I think you realize it in the bad ones. The ones that knock you off center, scaring you when they prove that no matter what kind of logic is in your head, it’s what’s in your heart that determines fucking everything.
Carola Lovering (Tell Me Lies)
Our children should have a wide range of imagination and think about the greatest achievements that they want to accomplish; not making sacrifices by having to give up their clothes, lunch money, or being robbed of their personality and stripped of their self-esteem.
Charlena E. Jackson
Macbeth's self-justifications were feeble – and his conscience devoured him. Yes, even Iago was a little lamb, too. The imagination and spiritual strength of Shakespeare's evildoers stopped short at a dozen corpses. Ideology—that is what gives evildoing its long-sought justification and gives the evildoer the necessary steadfastness and determination. That is the social theory which helps to make his acts seem good instead of bad in his own and others' eyes, so that he won't hear reproaches and curses but will receive praise and honors. That was how the agents of the Inquisition fortified their wills: by invoking Christianity; the conquerors of foreign lands, by extolling the grandeur of their Motherland; the colonizers, by civilization; the Nazis, by race; and the Jacobins (early and late), by equality, brotherhood, and the happiness of future generations.... Without evildoers there would have been no Archipelago.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956 (Abridged))
If a child smiles, if an adult smiles, that is very important. If in our daily lives we can smile, if we can be peaceful and happy, not only we, but everyone will profit from it. If we really know how to live, what better way to start the day than with a smile? Our smile affirms our awareness and determination to live in peace and joy. The source of a true smile is an awakened mind.
Thich Nhat Hanh
You are claiming what is yours, and that is a prosperous life. A prosperous life of peace, joy, love, happiness, inspiration, creativity, hope and guidance. Although it was taken from you because you were brainwashed to put others first, you have found your birthright. Having a prosperous life has always been your birthright!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
Just as there is a moment when the artist must stop, when the sculpture must be left as it is, the painting untouched - just as a determination not to know serves the maker more than all the resources of clairvoyance - so there must be a minimum of ignorance in order to perfect a life in happiness. Those who lack such a thing must set about acquiring it: unintelligence must be earned.
Albert Camus (A Happy Death)
And the whole time, people kept refilling my cup. Determined not to look like an idiot again, I kept drinking until I could finally take the vodka down without coughing or spitting. I stood, finding it much harder to do than I'd expected. The world wobbled, and my stomach wasn't very happy with me. Someone caught a hold of my arm and steadied me. "Easy," said Sydney. "Don't push it." Slowly, carefully, she led me toward the house. "God," I moaned. "Do they use that stuff as rocket fuel?" "No one made you keep drinking it." "Hey, don't get preachy. Besides, I had to be polite." "Sure," she said.
Richelle Mead (Blood Promise (Vampire Academy, #4))
Peace is something like happiness; you cannot say "I will be happy when..." and you can't say "I will be peaceful when..." Your happiness shouldn't depend on the situation you're in nor on the circumstances that surround you. In the same breath, you cannot wait for everything around you to become peaceful in order for you to say "I am peaceful." In both happiness and peace, there is a heart of strength, determination and steadfastness; a heart that has the power to make things happen. You have to be at peace. You have to be happy. Now.
C. JoyBell C.
God has created all things for good; all things for their greatest good; everything for its own good. What is the good of one is not the good of another; what makes one man happy would make another unhappy. God has determined, unless I interfere with His plan, that I should reach that which will be my greatest happiness. He looks on me individually, He calls me by my name, He knows what I can do, what I can best be, what is my greatest happiness, and He means to give it me.
John Henry Newman
We have to commit to the cause. We must discipline ourselves and disclose the silent killer’s tactics. We have to choose to fight for our children and hold everyone accountable for their actions. Parents who are aware and live in denial of their children’s actions should be held accountable for those actions. The parents know exactly what is going on, yet they choose not to do anything about it.
Charlena E. Jackson
To Epictetus, all external events are determined by fate, and are thus beyond our control, but we can accept whatever happens calmly and dispassionately. Individuals, however, are responsible for their own actions which they can examine and control through rigorous self-discipline. Suffering arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable, or from neglecting what is within our power. As part of the universal city that is the universe, human beings have a duty of care to all fellow humans. The person who followed these precepts would achieve happiness.
Epictetus (The Golden Sayings of Epictetus)
am blessed. I am prosperous. I am successful.” “I am victorious. I am talented. I am creative.” “I am wise. I am healthy. I am in shape.” “I am energetic. I am happy. I am positive.” “I am passionate. I am strong. I am confident.” “I am secure. I am beautiful. I am attractive.” “I am valuable. I am free. I am redeemed.” “I am forgiven. I am anointed. I am accepted.” “I am approved. I am prepared. I am qualified.” “I am motivated. I am focused. I am disciplined.” “I am determined. I am patient. I am kind.” “I am generous. I am excellent. I am equipped.” “I am empowered. I am well able.” “I am a child of the Most High God.
Joel Osteen (The Power of I Am: Two Words That Will Change Your Life Today)
The very quality of your life, whether you love it or hate it, is based upon how thankful you are toward God. It is one's attitude that determines whether life unfolds into a place of blessedness or wretchedness. Indeed, looking at the same rose bush, some people complain that the roses have thorns while others rejoice that some thorns come with roses. It all depends on your perspective. This is the only life you will have before you enter eternity. If you want to find joy, you must first find thankfulness. Indeed, the one who is thankful for even a little enjoys much. But the unappreciative soul is always miserable, always complaining. He lives outside the shelter of the Most High God. Perhaps the worst enemy we have is not the devil but our own tongue. James tells us, "The tongue is set among our members as that which . . . sets on fire the course of our life" (James 3:6). He goes on to say this fire is ignited by hell. Consider: with our own words we can enter the spirit of heaven or the agonies of hell! It is hell with its punishments, torments and misery that controls the life of the grumbler and complainer! Paul expands this thought in 1 Corinthians 10:10, where he reminds us of the Jews who "grumble[d] . . . and were destroyed by the destroyer." The fact is, every time we open up to grumbling and complaining, the quality of our life is reduced proportionally -- a destroyer is bringing our life to ruin! People often ask me, "What is the ruling demon over our church or city?" They expect me to answer with the ancient Aramaic or Phoenician name of a fallen angel. What I usually tell them is a lot more practical: one of the most pervasive evil influences over our nation is ingratitude! Do not minimize the strength and cunning of this enemy! Paul said that the Jews who grumbled and complained during their difficult circumstances were "destroyed by the destroyer." Who was this destroyer? If you insist on discerning an ancient world ruler, one of the most powerful spirits mentioned in the Bible is Abaddon, whose Greek name is Apollyon. It means "destroyer" (Rev. 9:11). Paul said the Jews were destroyed by this spirit. In other words, when we are complaining or unthankful, we open the door to the destroyer, Abaddon, the demon king over the abyss of hell! In the Presence of God Multitudes in our nation have become specialists in the "science of misery." They are experts -- moral accountants who can, in a moment, tally all the wrongs society has ever done to them or their group. I have never talked with one of these people who was happy, blessed or content about anything. They expect an imperfect world to treat them perfectly. Truly, there are people in this wounded country of ours who need special attention. However, most of us simply need to repent of ingratitude, for it is ingratitude itself that is keeping wounds alive! We simply need to forgive the wrongs of the past and become thankful for what we have in the present. The moment we become grateful, we actually begin to ascend spiritually into the presence of God. The psalmist wrote, "Serve the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful singing. . . . Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 100:2, 4-5). It does not matter what your circumstances are; the instant you begin to thank God, even though your situation has not changed, you begin to change. The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a thankful heart. Entrance into the courts of God comes as you simply begin to praise the Lord.
Francis Frangipane
Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do. On the one hand the standard of right and wrong, on the other the chain of causes and effects, are fastened to their throne. They govern us in all we do, in all we say, in all we think: every effort we can make to throw off our subjection, will serve but to demonstrate and confirm it. In words a man may pretend to abjure their empire: but in reality he will remain subject to it all the while. The principle of utility recognizes this subjection, and assumes it for the foundation of that system, the object of which is to rear the fabric of felicity by the hands of reason and of law. Systems which attempt to question it, deal in sounds instead of sense, in caprice instead of reason, in darkness instead of light.
Jeremy Bentham (The Principles of Morals and Legislation)
our moral reasoning is plagued by two illusions. The first illusion can be called the wag-the-dog illusion: We believe that our own moral judgment (the dog) is driven by our own moral reasoning (the tail). The second illusion can be called the wag-theother-dog's-tail illusion: In a moral argument, we expect the successful rebuttal of an opponent's arguments to change the opponent's mind. Such a belief is like thinking that forcing a dog's tail to wag by moving it with your hand will make the dog happy.
Sam Harris (The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values)
When will we wake up and see that the silent killer is killing our children? When will we open our eyes to see that we are the reason why the silent killer is powerful? We, the children’s guardians, teachers, school administrators, and higher authorities are the ones who are giving the silent killer its powers because we ignore what we see; we ignore what we hear, we procrastinate by forgiving the silent killer, by giving it too many chances, one after another. When will we realize that the silent killer isn’t only manipulating our children but it is controlling us too?
Charlena E. Jackson
After you give yourself the chance to get to know yourself, love on yourself, and finally put yourself first, you’ll be like a kid in the candy store, because your life is so sweet. This is because you’ve accepted your flaws, you’ve learned how to say no without regret, you’re giving yourself so much attention and are loving yourself to the moon and back. You are in your ‘Ahah’ moment, and goodness gracious, you are in the zone where nobody can interrupt your inner peace. As others’ houses of cards fall down, you press forward because that isn’t your problem. You are taking happy steps, your mind is on cruise control, and you’ve created a new and improved plan for your life. Life is good!
Charlena E. Jackson (A Woman's Love Is Never Good Enough)
No, really, Herr Nietzche, I have great admiration for you. Sympathy. You want to make us able to live with the void. Not lie ourselves into good-naturedness, trust, ordinary middling human considerations, but to question as has never been questioned before, relentlessly, with iron determination, into evil, through evil, past evil, accepting no abject comfort. The most absolute, the most piercing questions. Rejecting mankind as it is, that ordinary, practical, thieving, stinking, unilluminated, sodden rabble, not only the laboring rabble, but even worse the "educated" rabble with its books and concerts and lectures, its liberalism and its romantic theatrical "loves" and "passions"--it all deserves to die, it will die. Okay. Still, your extremists must survive. No survival, no Amor Fati. Your immoralists also eat meat. They ride the bus. They are only the most bus-sick travelers. Humankind lives mainly upon perverted ideas. Perverted, your ideas are no better than those the Christianity you condemn. Any philosopher who wants to keep his contact with mankind should pervert his own system in advance to see how it will really look a few decades after adoption. I send you greetings from this mere border of grassy temporal light, and wish you happiness, wherever you are. Yours, under the veil of Maya, M.E.H.
Saul Bellow (Herzog)
Man’s life is a line that nature commands him to describe upon the surface of the earth, without his ever being able to swerve from it, even for an instant. He is born without his own consent; his organization does in nowise depend upon himself; his ideas come to him involuntarily; his habits are in the power of those who cause him to contract them; he is unceasingly modified by causes, whether visible or concealed, over which he has no control, which necessarily regulate his mode of existence, give the hue to his way of thinking, and determine his manner of acting. He is good or bad, happy or miserable, wise or foolish, reasonable or irrational, without his will being for any thing in these various states.
Paul-Henri Thiry
You guys know I love you, right?" I glance between them, knowing they'll freak, but it has to be said. They look at each other, exchanging a look of alarm, both of them wondering what could've possibly happened to the girl they once pegged as the Ice Queen. "Um, okay..." Haven says, shaking her head. But I just smile and grasp them both to me, squeezing them tightly as I whisper to Miles, "Whatever you do don't stop acting or singing, it's going to bring you great happiness." And before he can respond, I've moved on to Haven, knowing I have to get this over with and quick, so I can get Damen to Ava's, but determined to find a way to urge her to love herself more, and that Josh is worth hanging on to for however long it lasts. "You have so much value," I tell her. "So much to give--I just wish you could see how bright your star truly does shine." "Um, gag!" she says, laughing as she untangles herself from my grip. "Are you okay?
Alyson Noel (Blue Moon (The Immortals, #2))
Hold childhood in reverence, and do not be in any hurry to judge it for good or ill. Leave exceptional cases to show themselves, let their qualities be tested and confirmed, before special methods are adopted. Give nature time to work before you take over her business, lest you interfere with her dealings. You assert that you know the value of time and are afraid to waste it. You fail to perceive that it is a greater waste of time to use it ill than to do nothing, and that a child ill taught is further from virtue than a child who has learnt nothing at all. You are afraid to see him spending his early years doing nothing. What! is it nothing to be happy, nothing to run and jump all day? He will never be so busy again all his life long. Plato, in his Republic, which is considered so stern, teaches the children only through festivals, games, songs, and amusements. It seems as if he had accomplished his purpose when he had taught them to be happy; and Seneca, speaking of the Roman lads in olden days, says, "They were always on their feet, they were never taught anything which kept them sitting." Were they any the worse for it in manhood? Do not be afraid, therefore, of this so-called idleness. What would you think of a man who refused to sleep lest he should waste part of his life? You would say, "He is mad; he is not enjoying his life, he is robbing himself of part of it; to avoid sleep he is hastening his death." Remember that these two cases are alike, and that childhood is the sleep of reason. The apparent ease with which children learn is their ruin. You fail to see that this very facility proves that they are not learning. Their shining, polished brain reflects, as in a mirror, the things you show them, but nothing sinks in. The child remembers the words and the ideas are reflected back; his hearers understand them, but to him they are meaningless. Although memory and reason are wholly different faculties, the one does not really develop apart from the other. Before the age of reason the child receives images, not ideas; and there is this difference between them: images are merely the pictures of external objects, while ideas are notions about those objects determined by their relations.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Emile, or On Education)
A landmark 2010 study from the Massachusetts General Hospital had even more startling findings. The researchers randomly assigned 151 patients with stage IV lung cancer, like Sara’s, to one of two possible approaches to treatment. Half received usual oncology care. The other half received usual oncology care plus parallel visits with a palliative care specialist. These are specialists in preventing and relieving the suffering of patients, and to see one, no determination of whether they are dying or not is required. If a person has serious, complex illness, palliative specialists are happy to help. The ones in the study discussed with the patients their goals and priorities for if and when their condition worsened. The result: those who saw a palliative care specialist stopped chemotherapy sooner, entered hospice far earlier, experienced less suffering at the end of their lives—and they lived 25 percent longer. In other words, our decision making in medicine has failed so spectacularly that we have reached the point of actively inflicting harm on patients rather than confronting the subject of mortality.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
To answer your question as honestly as I can, I've wanted since I was very little to not have to worry about money. I've never been poverty-level poor (I mean, there's been years where I've been officially beneath the poverty line, but that wasn't poverty: that was being a student and living the Student Lifestyle), but I've been in a place where you know you can't afford a better-quality food, where you can't do certain things because of money, and I'd prefer not to have those problems if I can. I sort of have troubles with money in general, with how it determines so much of our lives but with how we all try to ignore it, but I would like to be (and stay) in a place where I can pick up some new comics and games and not worry about how much they cost. This is terrible; you're asking me where I want to be in the future, what I want my life to be like, and the only thing I can tell you is "Man, all I know is I don't want to be POOR.
Ryan North
In the end, people don’t view their life as merely the average of all of its moments—which, after all, is mostly nothing much plus some sleep. For human beings, life is meaningful because it is a story. A story has a sense of a whole, and its arc is determined by the significant moments, the ones where something happens. Measurements of people’s minute-by-minute levels of pleasure and pain miss this fundamental aspect of human existence. A seemingly happy life may be empty. A seemingly difficult life may be devoted to a great cause. We have purposes larger than ourselves. Unlike your experiencing self—which is absorbed in the moment—your remembering self is attempting to recognize not only the peaks of joy and valleys of misery but also how the story works out as a whole. That is profoundly affected by how things ultimately turn out. Why would a football fan let a few flubbed minutes at the end of the game ruin three hours of bliss? Because a football game is a story. And in stories, endings matter. Yet we also recognize that the experiencing self should not be ignored. The peak and the ending are not the only things that count. In favoring the moment of intense joy over steady happiness, the remembering self is hardly always wise. “An inconsistency is built into the design of our minds,” Kahneman observes. “We have strong preferences about the duration of our experiences of pain and pleasure. We want pain to be brief and pleasure to last. But our memory … has evolved to represent the most intense moment of an episode of pain or pleasure (the peak) and the feelings when the episode was at its end. A memory that neglects duration will not serve our preference for long pleasure and short pains.” When our time is limited and we are uncertain about how best to serve our priorities, we are forced to deal with the fact that both the experiencing self and the remembering self matter. We do not want to endure long pain and short pleasure. Yet certain pleasures can make enduring suffering worthwhile. The peaks are important, and so is the ending.
Atul Gawande (Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End)
It was the general opinion of ancient nations, that the divinity alone was adequate to the important office of giving laws to men... and modern nations, in the consecrations of kings, and in several superstitious chimeras of divine rights in princes and nobles, are nearly unanimous in preserving remnants of it... Is the jealousy of power, and the envy of superiority, so strong in all men, that no considerations of public or private utility are sufficient to engage their submission to rules for their own happiness? Or is the disposition to imposture so prevalent in men of experience, that their private views of ambition and avarice can be accomplished only by artifice? — … There is nothing in which mankind have been more unanimous; yet nothing can be inferred from it more than this, that the multitude have always been credulous, and the few artful. The United States of America have exhibited, perhaps, the first example of governments erected on the simple principles of nature: and if men are now sufficiently enlightened to disabuse themselves of artifice, imposture, hypocrisy, and superstition, they will consider this event as an era in their history. Although the detail of the formation of the American governments is at present little known or regarded either in Europe or America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had any interviews with the gods, or were in any degree under the inspiration of heaven, any more than those at work upon ships or houses, or labouring in merchandize or agriculture: it will for ever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reason and the senses. As Copley painted Chatham, West, Wolf, and Trumbull, Warren and Montgomery; as Dwight, Barlow, Trumbull, and Humphries composed their verse, and Belknap and Ramzay history; as Godfrey invented his quadrant, and Rittenhouse his planetarium; as Boylston practised inoculation, and Franklin electricity; as Paine exposed the mistakes of Raynal, and Jefferson those of Buffon, so unphilosophically borrowed from the Recherches Philosophiques sur les Américains those despicable dreams of de Pauw — neither the people, nor their conventions, committees, or sub-committees, considered legislation in any other light than ordinary arts and sciences, only as of more importance. Called without expectation, and compelled without previous inclination, though undoubtedly at the best period of time both for England and America, to erect suddenly new systems of laws for their future government, they adopted the method of a wise architect, in erecting a new palace for the residence of his sovereign. They determined to consult Vitruvius, Palladio, and all other writers of reputation in the art; to examine the most celebrated buildings, whether they remain entire or in ruins; compare these with the principles of writers; and enquire how far both the theories and models were founded in nature, or created by fancy: and, when this should be done, as far as their circumstances would allow, to adopt the advantages, and reject the inconveniences, of all. Unembarrassed by attachments to noble families, hereditary lines and successions, or any considerations of royal blood, even the pious mystery of holy oil had no more influence than that other of holy water: the people universally were too enlightened to be imposed on by artifice; and their leaders, or more properly followers, were men of too much honour to attempt it. Thirteen governments thus founded on the natural authority of the people alone, without a pretence of miracle or mystery, which are destined to spread over the northern part of that whole quarter of the globe, are a great point gained in favour of the rights of mankind. [Preface to 'A Defence of the Constitutions of the United States of America', 1787]
John Adams (A Defence of the Constitutions of Government of the United States of America)
As our appreciation of happiness in relationship increases, we take notice of the things that tend to take us away from this feeling. One major catalyst taking us away is the need to be right. An opinion that is taken too seriously sets up conditions that must be met first before you can be happy. In relationships, this might sound like 'You must agree with or see my point of view in order for me to love and respect you.' In a more positive feeling state, this attitude would seem silly or harmful. We can disagree, even on important issues, and still love one another - when our own thought systems no longer have control over our lives and we see the innocence in our divergent points of view. The need to be right stems from an unhealthy relationship to your own thoughts. Do you believe your thoughts are representative of reality and need to be defended, or do you realize that realities are seen through different eyes? Your answer to this question will determine, to a large extent, your ability to remain in a positive feeling state. Everyone I know, who has put positive feeling above being right on their priority list has come to see that differences of opinion will take care of themselves.
Richard Carlson (You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective)
When I became convinced that the Universe is natural – that all the ghosts and gods are myths, there entered into my brain, into my soul, into every drop of my blood, the sense, the feeling, the joy of freedom. The walls of my prison crumbled and fell, the dungeon was flooded with light and all the bolts, and bars, and manacles became dust. I was no longer a servant, a serf or a slave. There was for me no master in all the wide world -- not even in infinite space. I was free -- free to think, to express my thoughts -- free to live to my own ideal -- free to live for myself and those I loved -- free to use all my faculties, all my senses -- free to spread imagination's wings -- free to investigate, to guess and dream and hope -- free to judge and determine for myself -- free to reject all ignorant and cruel creeds, all the "inspired" books that savages have produced, and all the barbarous legends of the past -- free from popes and priests -- free from all the "called" and "set apart" -- free from sanctified mistakes and holy lies -- free from the fear of eternal pain -- free from the winged monsters of the night -- free from devils, ghosts and gods. For the first time I was free. There were no prohibited places in all the realms of thought -- no air, no space, where fancy could not spread her painted wings -- no chains for my limbs -- no lashes for my back -- no fires for my flesh -- no master's frown or threat – no following another's steps -- no need to bow, or cringe, or crawl, or utter lying words. I was free. I stood erect and fearlessly, joyously, faced all worlds. And then my heart was filled with gratitude, with thankfulness, and went out in love to all the heroes, the thinkers who gave their lives for the liberty of hand and brain -- for the freedom of labor and thought -- to those who fell on the fierce fields of war, to those who died in dungeons bound with chains -- to those who proudly mounted scaffold's stairs -- to those whose bones were crushed, whose flesh was scarred and torn -- to those by fire consumed -- to all the wise, the good, the brave of every land, whose thoughts and deeds have given freedom to the sons of men. And then I vowed to grasp the torch that they had held, and hold it high, that light might conquer darkness still.
Robert G. Ingersoll
I remember going to the British Museum one day to read up the treatment for some slight ailment of which I had a touch – hay fever, I fancy it was. I got down the book, and read all I came to read; and then, in an unthinking moment, I idly turned the leaves, and began to indolently study diseases, generally. I forget which was the first distemper I plunged into – some fearful, devastating scourge, I know – and, before I had glanced half down the list of “premonitory symptoms,” it was borne in upon me that I had fairly got it. I sat for awhile, frozen with horror; and then, in the listlessness of despair, I again turned over the pages. I came to typhoid fever – read the symptoms – discovered that I had typhoid fever, must have had it for months without knowing it – wondered what else I had got; turned up St. Vitus’s Dance – found, as I expected, that I had that too, – began to get interested in my case, and determined to sift it to the bottom, and so started alphabetically – read up ague, and learnt that I was sickening for it, and that the acute stage would commence in about another fortnight. Bright’s disease, I was relieved to find, I had only in a modified form, and, so far as that was concerned, I might live for years. Cholera I had, with severe complications; and diphtheria I seemed to have been born with. I plodded conscientiously through the twenty-six letters, and the only malady I could conclude I had not got was housemaid’s knee. ... I had walked into that reading-room a happy, healthy man. I crawled out a decrepit wreck. I went to my medical man. He is an old chum of mine, and feels my pulse, and looks at my tongue, and talks about the weather, all for nothing, when I fancy I’m ill; so I thought I would do him a good turn by going to him now. “What a doctor wants,” I said, “is practice. He shall have me. He will get more practice out of me than out of seventeen hundred of your ordinary, commonplace patients, with only one or two diseases each.” So I went straight up and saw him, and he said: “Well, what’s the matter with you?” I said: “I will not take up your time, dear boy, with telling you what is the matter with me. Life is brief, and you might pass away before I had finished. But I will tell you what is NOT the matter with me. I have not got housemaid’s knee. Why I have not got housemaid’s knee, I cannot tell you; but the fact remains that I have not got it. Everything else, however, I HAVE got.” And I told him how I came to discover it all. Then he opened me and looked down me, and clutched hold of my wrist, and then he hit me over the chest when I wasn’t expecting it – a cowardly thing to do, I call it – and immediately afterwards butted me with the side of his head. After that, he sat down and wrote out a prescription, and folded it up and gave it me, and I put it in my pocket and went out. I did not open it. I took it to the nearest chemist’s, and handed it in. The man read it, and then handed it back. He said he didn’t keep it. I said: “You are a chemist?” He said: “I am a chemist. If I was a co-operative stores and family hotel combined, I might be able to oblige you. Being only a chemist hampers me.” I read the prescription. It ran: “1 lb. beefsteak, with 1 pt. bitter beer every 6 hours. 1 ten-mile walk every morning. 1 bed at 11 sharp every night. And don’t stuff up your head with things you don’t understand.” I followed the directions, with the happy result – speaking for myself – that my life was preserved, and is still going on.
Jerome K. Jerome (Three Men in a Boat (Three Men, #1))
The all-powerful Zahir seemed to be born with every human being and to gain full strength in childhood, imposing rules that would thereafter always be respected: People who are different are dangerous; they belong to another tribe; they want our lands and our women. We must marry, have children, reproduce the species. Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this may seem perverse. When we are married we are authorised to take possession of the other person, body and soul. We must do jobs we detest because we are part of an organised society, and if everyone did what they wanted to do, the world would come to a standstill. We must buy jewelry; it identifies us with our tribe. We must be amusing at all times and sneer at those who express their real feelings; it's dangerous for a tribe to allow its members to show their feelings. We must at all costs avoid saying no because people prefer those who always say yes, and this allows us to survive in hostile territory. What other people think is more important than what we feel. Never make a fuss--it might attract the attention of an enemy tribe. If you behave differently you will be expelled from the tribe because you could infect others and destroy something that was extremely difficult to organise in the first place. We must always consider the look of our new cave, and if we don't have a clear idea of our own, then we must call a decorator who will do his best to show others what good taste we have. We must eat three meals a day, even if we're not hungry, and when we fail to fit the current ideal of beauty we must fast, even if we're starving. We must dress according to the dictates of fashion, make love whether we feel like it or not, kill in the name of our country, wish time away so that retirement comes more quickly, elect politicians, complain about the cost of living, change our hair-style, criticise anyone who is different, go to a religious service on Sunday, Saturday or Friday, depending on our religion, and there beg forgiveness for our sins and puff ourselves up with pride because we know the truth and despise he other tribe, who worship false gods. Our children must follow in our footsteps; after all we are older and know more about the world. We must have a university degree even if we never get a job in the area of knowledge we were forced to study. We must never make our parents sad, even if this means giving up everything that makes us happy. We must play music quietly, talk quietly, weep in private, because I am the all-powerful Zahir, who lays down the rules and determines the meaning of success, the best way to love, the importance of rewards.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)