Quotes from The Conquest of Happiness

Bertrand Russell ·  183 pages

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“Of all forms of caution, caution in love is perhaps the most fatal to true happiness.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“These illustrations suggest four general maxims[...].
The first is: remember that your motives are not always as altruistic as they seem to yourself.
The second is: don't over-estimate your own merits.
The third is: don't expect others to take as much interest in you as you do yourself.
And the fourth is: don't imagine that most people give enough thought to you to have any special desire to persecute you.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“Dogmatism is the greatest of mental obstacles to human happiness.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“If we were all given by magic the power to read each other’s thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be almost all friendships would be dissolved; the second effect, however, might be excellent, for a world without any friends would be felt to be intolerable, and we should learn to like each other without needing a veil of illusion to conceal from ourselves that we did not think each other absolutely perfect.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness



“A happy life must be to a great extent a quiet life, for it is only in an atmosphere of quiet that true joy can live.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“The wise man thinks about his troubles only when there is some purpose in doing so; at other times he thinks about other things, or, if it is night, about nothing at all.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“To all the talented young men who wander about feeling that there is nothing in the world for them to do, I should say: 'Give up trying to write, and, instead, try not to write. Go out into the world; become a pirate, a king in Borneo, a labourer in Soviet Russia; give yourself an existence in which the satisfaction of elementary physical needs will occupy almost all your energies.' I do not recommend this course of action to everyone, but only to those who suffer from the disease which Mr Krutch diagnoses. I believe that, after some years of such an existence, the ex-intellectual will fin that in spite of is efforts he can no longer refrain from writing, and when this time comes his writing will not seem to him futile.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“Boredom is therefore a vital problem for the moralist, since at least half the sins of mankind are caused by the fear of it.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness



“The secret of happiness is very simply this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“Having made the decision, do not revise it unless some new fact comes to your knowledge. Nothing is so exhausting as indecision, and nothing is so futile.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“Altogether it will be found that a quiet life is characteristic of great men, and that their pleasures have not been of the sort that would look exciting to the outward eye.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“The wise man will be as happy as circumstances permit, and if he finds the contemplation of the universe painful beyond a point, he will contemplate something else instead.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“The man who pursues happiness wisely will aim at the possession of a number of subsidiary interests in addition to those central ones upon which his life is built.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness



“One should as a rule r espect public opinion in so far as is necessary to avoid starvation and to keep out of
prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny, and is likely to interfere with happiness in all kinds of ways.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“Fidelity purchased with money, money can destroy.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“A life too full of excitement is an exhausting life, in which continually stronger stimuli are needed to give the thrill that has come to be thought an essential part of pleasure.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“What I do maintain is that success can only be one ingredient in happiness,
and is too dearly purchased if all the other ingredients have been sacrificed to obtain
it.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“The trouble arises from the generally received philosophy of life, according to which life is a contest, a competition, in which respect is to be a ccorded to the victor. This view leads to an undue cultivation of the will at the expense of the senses and the intellect.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness



“I do not myself think there is any superior rationality in being unhappy. The wise man will be as happy as circumstances permit, and if he finds contemplation of the universe painful beyond a point, he will contemplate something else instead.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“Very many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin, merely because the respect of their neighbors depends upon their possession of a good car and their ability to give good dinners. As a matter of fact, any man who can obviously afford a car but genuinely prefers travel or a good library will in the end be much more respected than if he behaved exactly like everyone else.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“Why is propaganda so much more successful when it stirs up hatred than when it tries to stir up friendly feeling? The reason is clearly that the human heart as modern civilisation has made it is more prone to hatred than to friendship. And it is prone to hatred because it is dissatisfied, because it feels deply, perhaps even unconsciously, that it has somehow missed the meaning of life, that perhaps others, but not we ourselves, have secured the good things which nature offers man's enjoyment.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“The feeling is one born of a too easy satisfaction of natural needs. The human animal, like others, is adapted to a certain amount of struggle for life, and when by means of great wealth homo sapiens can gratify all his whims without effort, the mere absence
of effort from his life removes an essential ingredient of happiness. The man who acquires easily things for which he feels only a very moderate desire concludes that the attainment of desire does not bring happiness. If he is of a philosophic dispositi on, he concludes that human life is essentially wretched, since the man who has all he wants is still unhappy. He forgets that to be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“With the wise man, what he has does not cease to be enjoyable because some one else has something else. Envy, in fact, is one form of vice, partly moral, partly intellectual, which consists in seeing things never in themselves but only in their relations”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness



“All the conditions of happiness are realized in the life of the man of science.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“تنقسم السعاده الى نوعين وهناك درجات تتفاوت يها والنوعين اللذين يمكن تميزهما بسهوله هما العاده الحيوانيه والعاده الروحيه ولست معني الان بتاييد اي من هذه اختيار من هذه البدائل بل بوصف كل منهما فحسب اما الانتقاء فهو وقف على وجهةالنظر التي يمكن اثباتها ولعل اسهل طريقه لوصف الفرق بين نوعي السعاده هو القول ان النوع الواحد مفتوح لاي مخلوق بشري وان الاخير غير مفتوح الا امام من يجيدون القراءه والكتابه”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“To discover a system for the avoidance of war is a vital need for our civ ilisation; but
no such system has a chance while men are so unhappy that mutual extermination
seems to them less dreadful than continued endurance of the light of day”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“جميع حالات السعاده يمكن ادراجها في حياه رجل العلم فهو يملك طاقه يسيطر عليها الاقصى حد ويتوصل لنتائج تظهر اهميتها ليس له شخصيا فحسب بل عند الجمهور العام وحتى وان عجز عن ادنى درجه من درجات فهمها وهو في هذا اكثر حظا من الفنان فحين لا يتمكن الجمهور من فهم لوحه لوحه او قصيده يستنتج انها رديئه اما عندما لا يفهم نظريه النسبيه فانه يستنتج ان تعليمه غير كاف وتبعا لذلك نال اينشتين الشرف مكرما مبجلا في حين ترك اعظم الفنانين للجوع في الحجرات الفقيره”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness


“All that alcohol does for them is to liberate the sense of sin, which reason suppresses in saner moments.”
― Bertrand Russell, quote from The Conquest of Happiness



About the author

Bertrand Russell
Born place: in Trellech, Monmouthshire, Wales, The United Kingdom
Born date May 18, 1872
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