1. Knowing and feeling are two different things, and feeling is what counts.
2. Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.
3. The basic mistake people make is to think that happiness is the goal!
4. Happiness often comes when least expected.
5. Making comparisons can spoil your happiness.
6. Lesson no. 5: Sometimes happiness is not knowing the whole story.
7. Many people see happiness only in their future.
8. Nobody wants to live with a person who'll never be happy.
9. Women are very complicated, even if you are a psychiatrist.
10. Happiness is feeling useful to others.
11. I'm old enough to ask myself that question, but not so old that I don't care what the answer is.
12. And since he was seeing more and more people who were unhappy for no apparent reason, he was becoming more and more tired, and even a little happy himself. He began to wonder whether he was in the right profession, whether he was happy with his life, whether he wasn't missing out on something. And then he felt very afraid because he wondered whether these unhappy people were contagious.
13. Many people think that happiness comes from having more power or more money.
14. Lesson no. 17: Happiness is caring about the happiness of those you love.
15. 'Nature or nurture' said the professor. 'Whichever way the parents are to blame'.
16. Be vary wary of people who declare that they're going to create heaven on earth, they almost invariably create hell.
17. But, in reality, being unhappy might also teach him something about happiness.
18. The only shadow on my happiness is when I tell myself sometimes that as it's all going well, it can't last, that one day things won't be so good.
19. Happiness. We're tearing our hair out to try to find a definition of it, for heaven's sake. Is it joy? People will tell you that it isn't, that joy is a fleeting emotion, a moment of happiness, which is always welcome, mind you. And then what about pleasure, huh? Oh, yes, that's easy, everybody knows what that is, but there again it doesn't last. But is happiness not the sum total of lots of small joys and pleasures, huh?
20. Edouard said that he didn't take Hector for a fool, but he could see that Hector had fallen in love, which was worse than being a fool.
21. Or rather, he was sad because that morning he'd understood that he'd understood nothing, because while he still understood nothing he wasn't sad at all, but now that he'd understood that he'd understood nothing he felt sad, if you follow.
22. It's one thing thinking something and another thing knowing it.
23. Happiness is a different thing altogether. If you try to achieve it, you have every chance of failing. And besides, how would you ever know that you’d achieved it? Of course one can’t blame people, especially unhappy people, for wanting to be happier and setting themselves goals in order to try to escape from their unhappiness.
24. Adeline was really rather charming, she always had a man in her life, but it never worked out: either they were nice but she didn't find them very exciting; or they were exciting but she didn't find them particularly nice, or they were neither nice nor exciting and she wondered why she was with them at all. She found a way of making the exciting men nicer and that was by leaving them. But then, they weren't exciting anymore either.
25. Happiness. We're tearing our hair out to try to find a definition of it, for heaven's sake. Is it joy? People will tell you that it isn't, that joy is a fleeting emotion, a moment of happiness, which is always welcome, mind you. And then what about pleasure, huh? Oh, yes, that's easy, everybody knows what that is, but there again it doesn't last.
26. He had fallen in love with her emotions, and that was a very profound feeling indeed.
27. He had realised that it was Clara he loved, and that he loved her in many different ways. (Because there are even more ways of loving than there are ways of being happy, but it would take another book to explain them all.)
28. True wisdom would be the ability to live without this scenery, to be the same person even at the bottom of a well. But that, it has to be said, is not so easy.
29. And since he was seeing more and more people who were unhappy for no apparent reason, he was becoming more and more tired, and even a little unhappy himself. He began to wonder if he was in the right profession, whether he was happy with life, whether he wasn't missing out on something. And then he felt very afraid because he wondered whether these unhappy people were contagious.
30. Lesson no. 20: Happiness is a certain way of seeing things.
31. Nostalgia is not what it used to be.
32. He didn't necessarily think that it was okay, but when a psychiatrist says 'okay', it just means 'I understand what you're saying.
33. (Be very wary of people who declare that they’re going to create heaven on earth, they almost invariably create hell.)
34. He looked at Hector's list and told him that, thanks to a lot of studies and calculations, they'd shown that if you compared yourself to others and didn't find yourself wanting, if you had no money or health problems, if you had friends, a close-knit family, a job you liked, if you were religious and practised your religion, if you felt useful, if you went for a little stroll from time to time, and all of this in a country that was run by not very bad people, where you were taken care of when things went wrong, your chances of bring happy were greatly increased.
35. But the reasons why Hector was unhappy were quite complex. He didn't really want to think about it, perhaps because those reasons weren't so easy to accept. It even made him feel a little afraid. He knew this fear too well, it was what stopped his patients from being able to really think about their problems, and it was his job to help them overcome this fear and understand what was happening to them.
36. Did the squirrel realize how lucky he was to be there? Or on the contrary did he spend his life wondering whether he might not be better off somewhere else, or feeling that he didn't have the life he deserved? In the end, it depended on the comparisons the squirrel was able to make.
37. Some people, very many actually, both men and women, complained of having enjoyed a very loving relationship with someone, but of no longer feeling the same way despite still being very fond of that person, with whom they generally lived.
38. He knew his love for her was more a desire to save her, to be her superhero, and it was partly a desire to do what people who are in love do, and partly a desire to feel young again with her, because Ying Li was very young, and she looked even younger.
39. Because there are times when getting up to mischief isn’t mischievous and other times when it is and you shouldn’t do it.
40. There’s no point in looking before crossing the road if you don’t look in the right direction.
41. People who are afraid of death are afraid of life.
42. Basically, having a gift for happiness was a bit like being good at maths or games: it depended partly on the development of the brain after you were born, ad even before, but also on how your parents or other adults had brought you up when you were small. And of course on your own efforts and subsequent encounters.
'Nature or nurture,' said the professor. 'Whichever way, the parents are to blame!
43. Exciting happiness is joy, celebration, travelling, being in bed with a woman you desire.
Listening is loving - wishing you're here...