101 Inspiring Success and Happiness Quotes

Success and happiness:  which one leads to the other?

We generally hear the word ‘success’ before the word ‘happiness’ because of the popular notion that one must succeed in order to be happy.

It’s the old “I’ll be happy when…” syndrome.

But when you study the lives of truly successful people, those who by most accounts lived or are currently living deeply fulfilled and satisfying lives, a pattern emerges: most of them decided to be happy before they arrived at what is commonly known as success.

Here are 101 quotes from some legendary people either gently hinting or loudly proclaiming that if you want to succeed, you must first make a conscious decision to be happy in the here and now:

Success and Happiness Quotes

  1. “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
    Albert Schweitzer
  2. “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”
    Oprah Winfrey
  3. “It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.”
    Thomas Jefferson
  4. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
    Maya Angelou
  5. “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”
    Henry David Thoreau
  6. “There is little success where there is little laughter.”
    Andrew Carnegie
  7. “If you want to be happy, be.”
    Leo Tolstoy
  8. “Some of us might find happiness if we quit struggling so desperately for it.”
    William Feather
  9. “Your success and happiness lies in you.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.”
    Helen Keller
  10. “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”
    Franklin D. Roosevelt
  11. “What is success? To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; that is to have succeeded.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  12. “Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”
    Arthur Ashe
  13. “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.”
    Bruce Lee
  14. “Success isn’t measured by money or power or social rank. Success is measured by your discipline and inner peace.”
    Mike Ditka
  15. “All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence, and then success is sure.”
    Mark Twain
  16. “Find out who you are and be that person. That’s what your soul was put on this Earth to be. Find that truth, live that truth and everything else will come.”
    Ellen Degeneres
  17. “The real secret of success is enthusiasm.”
    Walter Chrysler
  18. “Happiness is anyone and anything that’s loved by you.”
    Charlie Brown
  19. “If you work just for money, you’ll never make it, but if you love what you’re doing and you always put the customer first, success will be yours.”
    Ray Kroc
  20. “Success must never be measured by how much money you have.”
    Zig Ziglar
  21. “Do what your inner soul tells you to do, regardless of any money or success it will bring you.”
    Etel Adnan
  22. “There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”
    Christopher Morley
  23. “You must try to generate happiness within yourself. If you aren’t happy in one place, chances are you won’t be happy anyplace.”
    Ernie Banks
  24. “Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.”
    Margaret Lee Runbeck
  25. “It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.”
    Agnes Repplier 

    Success and Happiness Quotes

  26. “Happiness must happen, and the same holds for success: you have to let it happen by not caring about it.”
    Viktor E. Frankl
  27. “Happiness is a how; not a what. A talent, not an object.”
    Hermann Hesse
  28. “Imagine how our culture, how our lives, will change when we begin valuing go-givers as much as we value go-getters.”
    Arianna Huffington
  29. “Success to me is only two things: happiness and stability.”
    Kehlani
  30. “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.”
    Democritus
  31. “You might not make it to the top, but if you are doing what you love, there is much more happiness there than being rich or famous.”
    Tony Hawk
  32. “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”
    Nathaniel Hawthorne
  33. “Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
    Abraham Lincoln
  34. “My happiness doesn’t come from money or fame. My happiness comes from seeing life without struggle.”
    Nicki Minaj
  35. “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.”
    Thich Nhat Hanh
  36. “Are you bored with life? Then throw yourself into some work you believe in with all your heart, live for it, die for it, and you will find happiness that you had thought could never be yours.”
    Dale Carnegie
  37. “Independence is happiness.”
    Susan B. Anthony
  38. “Success isn’t about the end result, it’s about what you learn along the way.”
    Vera Wang
  39. “I see nothing wrong with the human trait to desire. In fact, I consider it integral to our success mechanism. Becoming attached to what we desire is what causes the trouble. If you must have it in order to be happy, then you are denying the happiness of the here and now.”
    Peter McWilliams
  40. “Success is finding satisfaction in giving a little more than you take.”
    Christopher Reeve
  41. “One needs more than ambition and talent to make a success of anything, really. There must be love and a vocation.”
    Jessye Norman
  42. “All of us are born for a reason, but all of us don’t discover why. Success in life has nothing to do with what you gain in life or accomplish for yourself. It’s what you do for others.”
    Danny Thomas
  43. “The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.”
    Aesop
  44. “Success is getting and achieving what you want. Happiness is wanting and being content with what you get.”
    Bernard Meltzer
  45. “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”
    Albert Einstein
  46. “I couldn’t wait for success, so I went ahead without it.”
    Jonathan Winters
  47. “Prospering just doesn’t have to do with money.”
    Joel Osteen
  48. “If we get our self-esteem from superficial places, from our popularity, appearance, business success, financial situation, health, any of these, we will be disappointed, because no one can guarantee that we’ll have them tomorrow.”
    Kathy Ireland
  49. “Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.”
    Dale Carnegie
  50. “Greater self-esteem produces greater success, and greater success produces more high self-esteem, so it keeps on spiraling up.”
    Jack Canfield 

    Success and Happiness Quotes

  51. “Happiness is a direction, not a place.”
    Sydney J. Harris
  52. “The reason I’ve been able to be so financially successful is my focus has never, ever for one minute been money.”
    Oprah Winfrey
  53. “One’s happiness depends less on what he knows than on what he feels.”
    Liberty Hyde Bailey
  54. “To describe happiness is to diminish it.”
    Stendhal
  55. “The happiest people seem to be those who have no particular cause for being happy except that they are so.”
    William Ralph Inge
  56. “My aim in life isn’t so much the pursuit of happiness as the happiness of pursuit.”
    Charles Saatchi
  57. “Success in its highest and noblest form calls for peace of mind and enjoyment and happiness which come only to the man who has found the work that he likes best.”
    Napoleon Hill
  58. “As long as you understand that you find happiness through family, friends and love, then money is just a nice bonus.”
    Ioan Gruffudd
  59. “Happiness is your own treasure because it lies within you.”
    Prem Rawat
  60. “Happiness is not a possession to be prized, it is a quality of thought, a state of mind.”
    Daphne du Maurier
  61. “The folly of endless consumerism sends us on a wild goose-chase for happiness through materialism.”
    Bryant H. McGill
  62. “There are no plans that always work in life. For me, the secret to happiness is being positive and looking at the brighter side of my life.”
    Karisma Kapoor
  63. “He who has so little knowledge of human nature as to seek happiness by changing anything but his own disposition will waste his life in fruitless efforts.”
    Samuel Johnson
  64. “For happiness one needs security, but joy can spring like a flower even from the cliffs of despair.”
    Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  65. “He who avoids complaint invites happiness.”
    Abu Bakr
  66. “We think, mistakenly, that success is the result of the amount of time we put in at work, instead of the quality of time we put in.”
    Arianna Huffington
  67. “The greatest happiness is to know the source of unhappiness.”
    Fyodor Dostoevsky
  68. “For me, success is a state of mind.  I feel like success isn’t about conquering something; it’s about being happy with who you are.”
    Britney Spears
  69. “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
  70. “It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”
    Lucille Ball
  71. “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
  72. “The key to realizing a dream is to focus not on success but on significance — and then even the small steps and little victories along your path will take on greater meaning.”
    Oprah Winfrey
  73. “I’m an inherently happy person. It comes from the inside, which means you can achieve happiness under any circumstance.”
    Patrick Duffy
  74. “The very first step towards success in any occupation is to become interested in it.”
    William Osler
  75. “Success is not a function of the size of your title but the richness of your contribution.”
    Robin H. Sharma 

    Success and Happiness Quotes

  76. “I’m not hungry for success. I am only hungry for good work, and that is how it is with most superstars. Every day I tell myself how fortunate I am to be where I am.”
    Akshay Kumar
  77. “Be happy with what you have and are, be generous with both, and you won’t have to hunt for happiness.”
    William E. Gladstone
  78. “The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.”
    Henry Ward Beecher
  79. “Everyone chases after happiness, not noticing that happiness is right at their heels.”
    Bertolt Brecht
  80. “The thing everyone should realize is that the key to happiness is being happy by yourself and for yourself.”
    Ellen DeGeneres
  81. “Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.”
    Bertrand Russell
  82. “I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
    Henry David Thoreau
  83. “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
    Mahatma Gandhi
  84. “The secret of happiness is not in doing what one likes, but in liking what one does.”
    James M. Barrie
  85. “Most people would rather be certain they’re miserable, than risk being happy.”
    Dr. Robert Anthony
  86. “I’d far rather be happy than right any day.”
    Douglas Adams
  87. “Everyone wants to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you’re climbing it.”
    Andy Rooney
  88. “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  89. “The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
    Martha Washington
  90. “That man is richest whose pleasures are cheapest.”
    Henry David Thoreau
  91. “Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature…. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
    Helen Keller
  92. ““Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”
    Dolly Parton
  93. “Learn to let go. That is the key to happiness.”
    Buddha
  94. “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.”
    George Bernard Shaw
  95. “Follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
    Joseph Campbell
  96. “Life will bring you pain all by itself. Your responsibility is to create joy.”
    Milton Erickson
  97. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
    Mark Twain
  98. “To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to do.”
    Khalil Gibran
  99. “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
  100. “I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.”
    Oprah Winfrey
  101. “People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”
    H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

And with that last quote, always remember, this is your life, your success, your happiness. Never let anyone else define what these things mean for you.  Peace.