Eric Weiner · 335 pages
Rating: (26.6K votes)
“Money matters but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude.”
“So the greatest source of happiness is other people--and what does money do? It isolates us from other people. It enables us to build walls, literal and figurative, around ourselves. We move from a teeming college dorm to an apartment to a house, and if we're really wealthy, to an estate. We think we're moving up, but really we're walling off ourselves.”
“[Happiness is] a ghost, it’s a shadow. You can’t really chase it. It’s a by-product, a very pleasant side effect to a life lived well.”
“I've always believed that happiness is just around the corner. The trick is fining the right corner.”
“Part of positive psychology is about being positive, but sometimes laughter and clowns are not appropriate. Some people don't want to be happy, and that's okay. They want meaningful lives, and those are not always the same as happy lives.”
“Maybe happiness is this: not feeling that you should be elsewhere, doing something else, being someone else.”
“I would not have done anything differently. All of the moments in my life, everyone I have met, every trip I have taken, every success I have enjoyed, every blunder I have made, every loss I have endured has been just right. I am not saying that they were all good or that they happened for a reason...but they have been right. They have been okay. As far as revelations go its pretty lame, I know. Okay is not bliss or even happiness. Okay is not the basis for a new religion or self help movement. Okay won't get me on Oprah, but okay is a start and for that I am grateful. Can I thank Bhutan for this breakthrough? It's hard to say […] It is a strange place, peculiar in ways large and small. You lose your bearings here and when that happens a crack forms in your armor. A crack large enough, if you're lucky, to let in a few shafts of light.”
“I've spent most of my life trying to think my way to happiness, and my failure to achieve that goal only proves, in my mind, that I am not a good enough thinker. It never occurred to me that the source of my unhappiness is not flawed thinking but thinking itself.”
“a simple question to identify your true home: where do you want to die?”
“We help other people because we can, or because it makes us feel good, not because we're counting on some future payback. There is a word for this; love.”
“Only a fool or philosopher would make sweeping generalizations about the nature of happiness. I am no philosopher, so here goes: Money matters, but less than we think and not in the way that we think. Family is important. So are friends. Envy is toxic. So is excessive thinking. Beaches are optional. Trust is not. Neither is gratitude.”
“For me, a place unvisited is like an unrequited love. A dull ache that- try as you might to think it away, to convince yourself that she really wasn't the right country for you- just won't leave you in peace.”
“There's no one on the island telling them they're not good enough, so they just go ahead and sing and paint and write.”
“Our happiness is completely and utterly intertwined with other people: family and friends and neighbors and the woman you hardly notice who cleans your office. Happiness is not a noun or verb. It's a conjunction. Connective tissue.”
“As I railed on and on, I became increasingly energied and excited by my own misery and misanthropy until I reached a kind of orgasm of negativity.'... The Brits don't merely enjoy misery, they get off on it.”
“Rule number one: wear loose clothing.
Rule number two: no alcohol for the next three days.
Slight problem. I'll miss my evening glass of wine but figure I can go for three days without and compensate later.
And the last rule: absolutely no coffee or tea or caffeine of any kind.
Big problem. This rule hits me like a sucker punch and sure would have knocked me to the floor had I not been sitting there already. I'm eying the exits, plotting my escape. I knew enlightenment came at a price, but i had no idea the price was this steep. A sense of real panic sets in. How am I going to survive for the next seventy-two hours without a single cup of coffee?”
“We are shaped not only by our current geography but by our ancestral one as well. Americans, for instance, retain a frontier spirit even though the only frontier that remains is that vast open space between the SUV and strip mall. We are our past.”
“Some places are like family. They annoy us to no end, especially during the holidays, but we keep coming back for more because we know, deep in our hearts, that our destinies are intertwined.”
“what doesn't kill you not only make you stronger, but also more honest.”
“Ketika pohon terakhir ditebang,
Ketika sungai terakhir dikosongkan,
Ketika ikan terakhir ditangkap,
Barulah manusia akan menyadari bahwa dia tidak dapat memakan uang.”
“That's why we feel so disoriented, irritated even, when these touchstones from our past are altered. We don't like it when our hometown changes, even in small ways. It's unsettling. The playground! It used to be right here, I swear. Mess with our hometown, and you're messing with our past, with who we are. Nobody likes that.”
“The late British-born philosopher Alan Watts, in one of his wonderful lectures on eastern philosophy, used this analogy: "If I draw a circle, most people, when asked what I have drawn, will say I have drawn a circle or a disc, or a ball. Very few people will say I've drawn a hole in the wall, because most people think of the inside first, rather than thinking of the outside. But actually these two sides go together--you cannot have what is 'in here' unless you have what is out there.' "
In other words, where we are is vital to who we are.”
“Demikian pula halnya, hanya ketidakbahagiaan yang memiliki makna. Itulah sebabnya mengapa kita merasa terpaksa membicarakannya dan punya banyak kata untuk melukiskannya. Kebahagiaan tidak membutuhkan kata-kata.”
“The word "utopia" has two meanings. It means both "good place" and "nowhere". That's the way it should be. The happiest places, I think, are the ones that reside just this side of paradise. The perfect person would be insufferable to live with; likewise, we wouldn't want to live in the perfect place, either. "A life time of happiness! No man could bear it: It would be hell on earth," wrote George Bernard Shaw, in his play Man and Superman.”
“And yet, over the years I've met so many people like Jared who seem to be more at home, happier, living in a country not of their birth. ... Not political refugees, escaping a repressing regime, nor economic refugees, crossing a border in search of a better-paying job. The are hedonic refugees, moving to a new land, a new culture, because they are happier there. Usually hedonic refugees have an ephiphany, a moment of great clarity when they realize, beyond a doubt, that they were born in the wrong country.”
“Perhaps it's true you can't go back in time, but you can return to the scene of a love, of a crime, of happiness, and of a fateful decision; the places are what remain, are what you can possess, are what is immortal.”
“Until the eighteenth century, people believed that biblical paradise, the Garden of Eden, was a real place. It appeared on maps--located, ironically, at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in what is now modern-day Iraq.”
“Thinking about happiness makes us less happy.”
“Every country has its cocktail-party question. A simple one-sentence query, the answer to which unlocks a motherlode of information about the person you just met.... In Switzerland it is, Where are you from? That is all you need to know about someone.”
“We need to a new word to describe Swiss happiness.”
“some of what she said actually offended me. Caitlin truly was a liberal when she arrived in Natchez, and she routinely chastised me for being too conservative. But now it seems that her liberal “convictions” weren’t convictions at all, but rather easy opinions based on the lectures of Ivy League professors. After a few years in the South, she’s ready to give up on racial harmony and flee to more “enlightened”—read homogenous—environs.”
“My idea of heaven is to be hunting with you in some beautiful park with mountains like here at home but where we won’t need guns or prey but we will just walk together arm in arm in this good world and be by ourselves always together forever and a day.”
“Necessity remains the mother of invention.”
“Everything was temporary; she understood that now. All of this was temporary. It would all be snatched away. It was all on loan. Even the people we love. They were all on loan. One day you see their face across a rickety table or you pass them hurrying from here to there, or you see them leave you in your bed, and their profile passes you by...and you don't know...your thoughts somewhere else. And then they are snatched away forever and you did not know to say goodbye. You did not know.”
If those talks matter
Few done in the clarity of day
Or the many
Done at 3 a.m. in the morning”
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