18 Quotes From Famous Americans About Finding Happiness In Life

Woman leaning against a hedge enjoying the happiness in life that she’s found.

Which of these quotes inspire you to greater happiness in life?

The pursuit of happiness in life is one of the goals the founding fathers had for each American. Things have really changed a lot since the 1770s, but one thing hasn’t. We each still search for happiness.

The following quotes about finding happiness in life are all from famous American’s – from the founding fathers to media moguls. You’ll probably see some similarities in the sentiments, but you’ll also hear the individual path each of these people took to first define and then find their own version of happiness.

1.   Maya Angelou “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some humor, and some style.

2.   Dale Carnegie “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”

3.   George Washington “Happiness depends more upon the internal frame of a person’s own mind than on the externals in the world.

4.   Ralph Waldo Emerson “Every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Angry man who is losing 60 seconds of happiness for every minute he's angry.

5.   Lady Gaga “At the end of the day, you won’t be happy until you love yourself.”

6.   Franklin D. Roosevelt “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”

7.   Benjamin Franklin “One’s true happiness depends more upon one’s own judgement of one’s self, on a consciousness of rectitude in action and intention, and the approbation of those few who judge impartially, than upon the applause of the unthinking undiscerning multitude, who are apt to cry hosanna today, and tomorrow, crucify him.”

8.   William James “We don’t laugh because we’re happy – we’re happy because we laugh.”

Man taking William James' advice and finding happiness through laughter.

9.   Jackie Kennedy “You have to be doing something you enjoy. That is the definition of happiness!”

10.  Abraham Lincoln “Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

11.  Thomas Jefferson “Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all pursuits.”

12.  Helen Keller “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.”

7 doors closed to happiness.

13.  Kanye West “I refuse to accept other people’s ideas of happiness for me. As if there’s a “one-size-fits-all” standard for happiness.

14.  Bob Hope “When we recall the past, we usually find that it is in the simplest things – not the great occasions – that in retrospect give off the greatest glow of happiness.”

15.  Henry Ford “There is joy in work. There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.”

16.  Oprah Winfrey “The happiness you feel is in direct proportion to the love you give.”

A heart with blocks spelling out love to remind us that happiness and love are connected.

17.  Benjamin Franklin “Happiness consists more in the small conveniences of pleasures that occur every day, than in great pieces of good fortune that happen but seldom to a man in the course of his life.”

18.  Eleanor Roosevelt “Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product.”

Some of these quotes require some study (and maybe a dictionary!) while others are deceivingly simple. Hopefully, you’ve found one or two to help you secure more happiness in life for yourself. And the wonderful thing that happens when you’re genuinely happy is that it can help others to find happiness too.

I’m Dr. Karen Finn, a divorce and life coach. Ready to create more happiness in your life? Join my newsletter list for free weekly advice. Schedule a 30-minute private consultation for personal support.

Looking for more information about how to find more happiness in life? You’ll find what you’re looking for in Building A Happy Life.