Whatever you do, make it an offering to me—the food you eat, the sacrifices you make, the help you give, even your suffering.
—The Bhagavad Gita Hindu Scripture
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
In an audience of rough people a generous sentiment always brings down the house. — In the tumult of war both sides applaud a heroic deed.
—Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911) American Social Reformer, Clergyman
I have the greatest of all riches: that of not desiring them.
—Eleonora Duse (1859–1924) Italian Actress
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
The covetous man is always poor.
—Claudian (c.370–c.404 CE) Roman Poet
A thousand words leave not the same deep impression as does a single deed.
—Henrik Ibsen (1828–1906) Norwegian Playwright
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
Cherish your human connections: your relationships with friends and family.
—Barbara Bush (1925–2018) American First Lady
Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.
—Karl Barth (1886–1968) Swiss Reformed Theologian, Author
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
All fortune belongs to him who has a contented mind.
—The Panchatantra Indian Collection of Fables and Folktales
The half is greater than the whole.
—Hesiod (f.700 BCE) Greek Poet
He who is greedy is always in want.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
Moderation is the key to lasting enjoyment.
—Hosea Ballou (1771–1852) American Theologian
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.
—Cicero (106BCE–43BCE) Roman Philosopher, Orator, Politician, Lawyer
Life is a progress from want to want, not from enjoyment to enjoyment.
—Samuel Johnson (1709–84) British Essayist
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
He is incapable of a truly good action who finds not a pleasure in contemplating the good actions of others.
—Johann Kaspar Lavater (1741–1801) Swiss Theologian, Poet
The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough.
—William Blake (1757–1827) English Poet, Painter, Printmaker
If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
—Yogi Berra (1925–2015) American Sportsperson
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
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.
—James Allen (1864–1912) British Philosophical Writer
So long as we can lose any happiness, we possess some.
—Booth Tarkington (1869–1946) American Novelist, Dramatist
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
Too much is unwholesome.
—Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–99) German Philosopher, Physicist
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
I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.
Be content with what thou hast received, and smooth thy frowning forehead.
—Hafez (1325–89) Persian Poet, Mystic
The world is full of people looking for spectacular happiness while they snub contentment.
—Doug Larson (1926–2017) American Columnist
Who is content with nothing possesses all things.
—Nicolas Boileau-Despreaux (1636–1711) French Poet, Satirist, Literary Critic
When one’s expectations are reduced to zero, one really appreciates everything one does have.
—Stephen Hawking (1942–2018) English Theoretical Physicist, Cosmologist, Academic
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
He is rich that is satisfied.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
There is no banquet but some dislike something in it.
—Thomas Fuller (1608–61) English Cleric, Historian
To be able to dispense with good things is tantamount to possessing them.
—Jean-Francois Regnard (1655–1709) French Dramatist
If we get everything that we want, we will soon want nothing that we get.
—Vernon Luchies (1927–2012) American Clergyman
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
Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.
—Voltaire (1694–1778) French Philosopher, Author
Getting used to our blessings is one of the most important nonevil generators of human evil, tragedy and suffering.
—Abraham Maslow (1908–70) American Psychologist, Academic, Humanist
Scarcity creates value.
—Seth Godin (b.1960) American Entrepreneur
Every man is valued in this world as he shows by his conduct that he wishes to be valued.
—Jean de La Bruyere (1645–96) French Satiric Moralist, Author
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
What you really value is what you miss, not what you have.
—Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) Argentine Writer, Essayist, Poet
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 Novelist, Playwright, Poet
Just to be is a blessing. Just to live is holy.
—Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907–72) American Jewish Rabbi
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 (c.99–55 BCE) Roman Epicurean Poet, Philosopher
Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
—Anne Frank (1929–45) Holocaust Victim
This only grant me, that my means may lie too low for envy, for contempt too high.
—Abraham Cowley (1618–67) English Poet, Essayist
That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
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
Anyone is to be pitied who has just sense enough to perceive his deficiencies.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
It is not customary to love what one has.
—Anatole France (1844–1924) French Novelist
If you desire many things, many things will seem but a few.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth is unhappy, though he is master of the world.
—Epicurus (c.341–270 BCE) Greek Philosopher