Thought for Today - Happiness

"Happiness is not a goal; it's the natural byproduct of a purpose-driven life. If you have a life full of purpose, you will feel content and feel good about yourself."

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, from his Oprah Radio show Take Control of Your Happiness

“Whatever you focus on will become more apparent and will grow. ... If you focus on happiness, that's what you become more aware of."

Robert Holden, PhD, from O, The Oprah Magazine January 2008  

“Mental happiness is more important than physical comfort. Physical comfort comes from the material. But material facilities cannot provide you with peace of mind.”

The Dalai Lama, from O, The Oprah Magazine August 2001 

“People don't devote enough time to thinking seriously about how they spend their life and how much of it they actually enjoy.”

David Schkade, PhD, from O, The Oprah Magazine March 2008

“Happiness manifests itself through generosity.”

Suze Orman, from O, The Oprah Magazine June 2007

“I've come to believe that seeking happiness is not a frivolous pursuit. It's honorable and necessary. And most people forget even to think about it.”

Goldie Hawn, from O, The Oprah Magazine March 2004

"[Happiness] is about claiming what's yours. If you want a positive life, you need to think positively and act positively.”

Lachelle, a married 27-year-old working two jobs, from the show How Happy Are You?

"Happiness is like a butterfly: The more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder."

Henry David Thoreau, from an exclusive

“People who are happy with their jobs are four times more likely to be very happy with their lives.”

Jean Chatzky, from an exclusive

"Even if you are born an unhappy person, that doesn't mean you are doomed to be unhappy. It just means you have to work a little bit harder to be happy than the average person."

Sonja Lyubomirsky, from Jean Chatzky's Oprah Radio show Becoming a Happy Person

“Most of us are happier with a sense of community inside the larger, less-friendly world. Life gets a little harder as we get older. ...You have to make sure you have someone looking after you."

Bella M. DePaulo, PhD, from an exclusive

“Sex is better for your happiness than money.”

Sid Kirchheimer, from an exclusive

"Our peace of mind and our happiness is not dependent on external things, but it is dependent on how we look inside and the thoughts we put in our mind."

Gerald Jampolsky, from Dr. Oz's Oprah Radio show Attitudinal Healing

“Although an individual may be born with a predisposition toward gloominess or anxiety, the emotional floor plan can be altered, the brain's furniture moved to a more felicitous arrangement; with a little training, you can coax a fretful mind toward a happier outlook.”

Penelope Green, from O, The Oprah Magazine March 2008

"The average human being thinks that happiness lies in stability, in tying up all the loose ends and having things under control. But actually, happiness lies in being able to relax with our true condition, which is basically fleeting, dynamic, fluid, not in any way solid, not in any way permanent. It's transient by nature."

Pema Chödrön, from O, The Oprah Magazine October 2001

“As we watch someone else partake of the stockpile of joy, our hearts may sink—we're not going to get our share. But someone else's pleasure doesn't cause our unhappiness—we make ourselves unhappy.”

Sharon Salzberg, from O, The Oprah Magazine May 2001

“Love buys happiness. ... If you don't have friends and family, you don't have anything."

Lynn, a mother from rural New Jersey, from the show Wife Swapping  

“Don't seek happiness. If you seek it, you won't find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness.”

Eckhart Tolle, from O, The Oprah Magazine September 2001

“At a critical time in my life, [prayer] pushed me to take responsibility for my own happiness—to stop waiting for that elusive someone or something to mend and define my life.”

Elizabeth Lesser, excerpted from Broken Open, from the show When Life Breaks You Open 

“God's will is perfect happiness for me. And I can suffer but from the belief there is another will apart from his.”

Marianne Williamson, from her Oprah Radio show A Course in Miracles, Lesson 116

“Don't delay your happiness until some nonexistent utopia finds you. Focus on the present, and enhance your time and life now rather than always working toward tomorrow.”

Dr. Laura Berman, excerpted from Real Sex for Real Women, from the show Sex Therapy 2: Fears, Fantasies, Faking It

“In general, we're social animals, so people without good relationships tend to be less happy; the same is true if you're not doing work or other activities that bring out your strengths. Those are the sources of real happiness, not external things like money or beauty.”

Nancy Etcoff, PhD, from O, The Oprah Magazine January 2008

“The way to choose happiness is to follow what is right and real and the truth for you. You can never be happy living someone else's dream. Live your own. And you will for sure know the meaning of happiness.”

Oprah, from O, The Oprah Magazine March 2004

“Happiness is an inside job, and if you care about yourself, you take better care of yourself.”

Barbara, a recently divorced mother of four, from Bob Greene's Oprah Radio special After the Best Life Weight Loss Challenge

“When you become more faithful, you become more present, you become happier and, therefore, greater contributors.”

Russell Simmons, from Gayle King's Oprah Radio show Hip-Hop Mogul Russell Simmons

“When we get in touch with this higher self and we cultivate it each day, it's tremendously good for the people around us, but it's wonderful for our own happiness and our own health and our own well-being.”

Stephen Post, from Dr. Oz's Oprah Radio special Altruism and Happiness

“Begin making choices based on what makes you feel freer and happier, rather than how you think an ideal life should look. It's the process of feeling our way toward happiness, not the realization of some platonic ideal, that creates our best lives.”

Martha Beck, from O, The Oprah Magazine January 2009

“The pursuit of happiness makes the child a burden to himself, but the pursuit of purpose liberates his talents and brings him joy.”

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, from his Oprah Radio show Raising Outstanding Children