Quotenik
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happiness

“I would rather be excused from your banquet of happiness.”

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source: The Table Talk and Omniana of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (London: Oxford University Press, 1917), 153.

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“Happiness is a hound dog in the sun. We aren’t on Earth to be happy, but to experience incredible things.”

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source: Special Topics in Calamity Physics (New York: Viking Penguin, 2006), 102.

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notes: Pessl and others attribute this quote to Samuel Taylor Coleridge though I have yet to find the source.

“You may depend upon it, that a slight contrast of character is very material to happiness in marriage.”

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source: The Table Talk and Omniana of Samuel Taylor Coleridge (London: Oxford University Press, 1917), 59.

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“Don’t aim at success—the more you aim at it and make it a target, the more you are going to miss it. For success, like happiness, cannot be pursued; it must ensue…as the unintended side-effect of one’s personal dedication to a course greater than oneself…”

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source: Man’s Search for Meaning (Boston: Beacon Press, 1959 ), 12.

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medium: nonfiction (psychology)

“Happiness is not something that happens. It is not the result of good fortune or random chance. It is not something that money can buy or power command. It does not depend on outside events, but, rather, on how we interpret them. Happiness, in fact, is a condition that must be prepared for, cultivated, and defended privately by each person. 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.”

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source: Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (New York: Harper Perennial, 2008), 2.

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medium: nonfiction (psychology/self-help)

“When it finally briefly happens, happiness can feel very worrying.”

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source: Twitter, 11:59 PM Apr 14, 2010 via mobile web

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“I would tell my twenty-one year old self that personal happiness lies in knowing that life is not a checklist of acquisition or achievement. Your qualifications, your C.V., are not your life, though you will meet many people of my age and older who confuse the two. Life is difficult and complicated and beyond anyone’s total control, and the humility to know that will enable you to survive its vicissitudes.”

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source: Harvard commencement speech, June 2008

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medium: speech

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