101 Inspiring Success and Happiness Quotes

Success and happiness:  does one lead to the other or do they go hand in hand?

I pose the question because so many of us go around saying to ourselves something like:

“I’ll be happy  when…..”

  • I get that promotion.
  • I make more money.
  • I get out of this situation.
  • I have the ‘perfect’ relationship.
  • I move out of this place.
  • I have more stuff.
  • I lose more weight.

These are all great aspirations but why not be happy now?!

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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 successful people decided to be happy before they arrived at what is commonly known as ‘success’.

success quotes


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:

happiness quotes

1. “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”  Maya Angelou

2. “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

3. “Do what your inner soul tells you to do, regardless of any money or success it will bring you.”  Etel Adnan

4.  “It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.”  Thomas Jefferson

5. “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

6. “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

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. “One needs more than ambition and talent to make a success of anything, really. There must be love and a vocation.”  Jessye Norman

success quotes

11.  “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

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

happiness quotes

21.  “You know you are on the road to success if you would do your job and not be paid for it.”  Oprah Winfrey

22. “Anything you’re good at contributes to happiness.”  Bertrand Russell

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

25.  “It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.”  Agnes Repplier

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.  “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  Eleanor Roosevelt

30.  “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.”  Democritus

famous people happiness quotes

31.  “Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.”  Henry David Thoreau

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. “The folly of endless consumerism sends us on a wild goose-chase for happiness through materialism.”  Bryant H. McGill

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

famous people success quotes

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

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 quotes

51.  “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”  Dolly Parton

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

happiness quotes

61.  “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

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

success quotes

71.  “There is little success where there is little laughter.”  Andrew Carnegie

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

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

happiness quotes

81.  “There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”  Christopher Morley

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

famous people success quotes

91.  “Happiness is not a state to arrive at but a manner of travelling.”  Margaret Lee Runbeck

92. “Happiness is a direction, not a place.”  Sydney J. Harris

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.

Meet the Author

Rick Huggins

Spiritual awakening, personal growth, and the conscious lifestyle are fascinating topics to me. I love connecting with those of you diving deeper into the mysteries and meaning of Life. I am NOT a Guru but I do love sharing what I learn as I go along.

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