If we get everything that we want, we will soon want nothing that we get.
—Vernon Luchies (1927–2012) American Clergyman
While you fear missing a meal, you aren’t fully aware of the meals you do eat.
—Dan Millman (b.1946) American Children’s Books Writer, Sportsperson
Were a man to order his life by the rules of true reason, a frugal substance joined to a contented mind is for him great riches.
—Lucretius Roman Poet, Philosopher
The beginning of men’s rebellion against God was, and is, the lack of a thankful heart.
—Francis Schaeffer (1912–84) American Presbyterian Religious Leader, Theologian, Philosopher
I have the greatest of all riches: that of not desiring them.
—Eleonora Duse (1858–1924) Italian Actress
He is rich that is satisfied.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Clergyman, Writer
The average man is rich enough when he has a little more than he has got.
—William Ralph Inge (1860–1954) English Anglican Clergyman, Priest, Mystic
Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
Every man is valued in this world as he shows by his conduct that he wishes to be valued.
—Jean de La Bruyere
Be content with what thou hast received, and smooth thy frowning forehead.
—Hafez (1325–89) Persian Poet, Mystic
That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
When I’m not thank’d at all, I’m thank’d enough. I’ve done my duty, and I’ve done no more.
—Henry Fielding (1707–54) English Novelist, Dramatist
To be content with little is hard; to be content with much is impossible.
—Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830–1916) Austrian Novelist
We must never undervalue any person.—The workman loves not to have his work despised in his presence. Now God is present everywhere, and every person is his work.
—Francis de Sales (1567–1622) French Catholic Saint
If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Welcome everything that comes to you, but do not long for anything else.
—Andre Gide (1869–1951) French Novelist
The way to love anything is to realize that it may be lost.
—G. K. Chesterton (1874–1936) English Journalist, Novelist, Essayist, Poet
Like when I’m in the bathroom looking at my toilet paper, I’m like ‘Wow! That’s toilet paper?’ I don’t know if we appreciate how much we have.
I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.
This only grant me, that my means may lie too low for envy, for contempt too high.
—Abraham Cowley (1618–67) English Poet
Scarcity creates value.
—Seth Godin (b.1960) American Entrepreneur
To be able to dispense with good things is tantamount to possessing them.
The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.
—Woody Allen (b.1935) American Film Actor, Director
It is always possible to be thankful for what is given rather than to complain about what is not given.
—Elisabeth Elliot (b.1926) American Christian Author, Speaker
The greedy man is incontinent with a whole world set before him.
—Sa’Di (Musharrif Od-Din Muslih Od-Din) (1184–1283) Persian Poet
When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.
—Stephen Hawking (b.1942) English Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Academic
If thou covetest riches, ask not but for contentment, which is an immense treasure.
—Sa’Di (Musharrif Od-Din Muslih Od-Din) (1184–1283) Persian Poet
Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
—Karl Barth (1886–1968) Swiss Reformed Theologian, Author
All fortune belongs to him who has a contented mind.
—The Panchatantra Indian (Sanskrit) Collection of Fables
Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.
—Jean Antoine Petit-Senn (1792–1870) Swiss Poet
The covetous man is always poor.
—Claudian (c.370–c.404 CE) Roman Poet
My crown is in my heart, not on my head, Nor decked with diamonds and Indian stones, Nor to be seen: My crown is called content: A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
The half is greater than the whole.
—Hesiod (b.1493) Greek Poet, Economist
There is a serious defect in the thinking of someone who wants — more than anything else — to become rich. As long as they don’t have the money, it’ll seem like a worthwhile goal. Once they do, they’ll understand how important other things are — and have always been.
—Anita Loos (1888–1981) American Actor, Novelist, Screenwriter
The real tragedy of life is not being limited to one talent, but in failing to use that one talent.
—E. W. Howe (1853–1937) American Novelist, Editor
I consider my ability to arouse enthusiasm among men the greatest asset I possess. The way to develop the best that is in a man is by appreciation and encouragement.
—Charles M. Schwab (1862–1939) American Businessperson
Moderation is the key to lasting enjoyment.
—Hosea Ballou (1771–1852) American Universalist Clergyman, Writer
Cherish your visions. Cherish your ideals. Cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built.
Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family.
—Barbara Bush (1925–2018) American First Lady
Philosophy can add to our happiness in no other manner but by diminishing our misery; it should not pretend to increase our present stock, but make us economists of what we are possessed of. Happy were we all born philosophers; all born with a talent of thus dissipating our own cares by spreading them upon all mankind.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Author, Playwright, Poet, Physician
The true way to gain much, is never to desire to gain too much. He is not rich that possesses much, but he that covets no more; and he is not poor that enjoys little, but he that wants too much.
—Francis Beaumont (1584–1616) English Dramatist
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
—Anne Frank (1929–45) Holocaust Victim
It is not customary to love what one has.
—Anatole France (1844–1924) French Novelist
A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.
—Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) Norwegian Playwright
Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.
—Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–72) American Jewish Rabbi
Anyone is to be pitied who has just sense enough to perceive his deficiencies.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
What you really value is what you miss, not what you have.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
So long as we can lose any happiness, we possess some.
—Booth Tarkington (1869–1946) American Novelist, Dramatist
Too much is unwholesome.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–99) German Scientist, Critic, Writer
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.