India Knight on Houses

“What ultimately matters isn’t how grand a house is, or how much it impresses. Who cares, really? What matters most in any home is the happiness of the people in it. It’s a lifelong project.”

~ India Knight / The Times, October 20th, 2019

William Irvine on Fame and Fortune

“In particular, we should use reason to convince ourselves that things such as fame and fortune aren’t worth having—not, at any rate, if what we seek is tranquility—and therefore aren’t worth pursuing. Likewise, we should use our reasoning ability to convince ourselves that even though certain activities are pleasurable, engaging in those activities will disrupt our tranquility, and the tranquility lost will outweigh the pleasure gained.”

~ Irvine, William B. / A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (p. 227). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

William Irvine on Happiness

“Many of us have been persuaded that happiness is something that someone else, a therapist or a politician, must confer on us. Stoicism rejects this notion. It teaches us that we are very much responsible for our happiness as well as our unhappiness. It also teaches us that it is only when we assume responsibility for our happiness that we will have a reasonable chance of gaining it.”

~ Irvine, William B. / A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (pp. 221-222). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

Jarvis Cocker on Excess

There is a famous quote from his drinking, druggy days that sounds embarrassingly self-congratulatory. I recite it back to him. “I had access to the most quality fanny available.” Ah, he says, that’s taken out of context. “It is a bit embarrassing, I suppose, but it wasn’t meant in a show-off way. It was more that they’re the rock’n’roll cliches; they’re the things that are supposed to bring you happiness, aren’t they? You make it, and you’re bathing in champagne and you can snort as much cocaine as you want and fuck as many beautiful women as you want. Then you find you can do those things, but they don’t actually make you very happy.”

How long did it take him to realise? “About six months.”

~ Jarvis Cocker / The Guardian, 24th November, 2008

Professor Green on Success

I thought success would bring me happiness – fuck me, was I wrong. Attaching your happiness to your goals is like a game of pin the tail on the donkey. You’re happy for a second, then you pin your happiness on something or, worse, someone else.

~ Professor Green / Guardian, 27th July 2019

Ralph Waldo Emerson on Happiness

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hunter Thompson on Peace

“I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone.”

~ Hunter Thompson

Prue Leith on Luck

“But the other thing I think of more and more — when people say, ‘You’re so jolly and cheerful,’ I think, well, that’s luck too, because it’s all to do with serotonin levels in your brain. It’s all chemical, it’s all luck.”

~ Prue Leith

Richard Feynman on Work and Joy

“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Do what you get the most pleasure from.”

~ Richard Feynman