weareliterarycritics

Debate with other literary critics.

Quote of the Day: William Butler Yeats

A photograph of William Butler Yeats on 24 Jan...

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“Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure nor this thing nor that but simply growth, We are happy when we are growing” (William Butler Yeats).”

Hey guys,

Today I thought I would focus my quote of the day around happiness.  I thought Yeats made an interesting observation.  He says we are happy when we are growing, but does not specify what type of growth.  In my opinion, I think he means when we gain experience, and learn more about ourselves, we can become happier.  For example, I learned that by setting goals for yourself and making personal deadlines it will make workload easier.  I used to be a procrastinator and leave all my work to the last-minute.  I will admit, I still procrastinate from time to time, but I have better control over my actions.  I will start my homework on Saturday instead of leaving it until Sunday night and make myself start larger projects in advance.  Because of my new-found discipline, I am less stressed, get better sleep and have more time to do activities I enjoy.  I am beginning to have a new and better mindset therefore making me a happier person.  There are many examples of how people can grow, but my new outlook on organization has made me extremely happy.  What has made you happy recently?

What do you think Yeats meant by “growing”?  How do you personally define happiness?

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11 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: William Butler Yeats

  1. I have found that as I get older I learn what truly makes me happy, what love really means for me, and how important family is.What really makes my life joyous now is my relationship with my children

  2. Yeats, the Lake poets and such. You resurrect my English lit classes of over 40 years ago. I remember a bit of John Donne, Milton and Bunyan. Liked Kipling and Tennyson too.

  3. Pingback: Daybreak, and a candle-end « white pebble

  4. When you stop growing you stop living…

  5. I interpret it the same way, as personal growth and development.

    I would agree that appreciating your family – loving and cherishing them – brings a great deal of happiness. But for me, that would also fall into the category of personal growth, because as I’ve aged and matured, I’ve come to understand just how important these relationships are to my well-being, how important the people are to me. For most of my life, I loved my friends and family, but I did not truly appreciate them as I do now.

    In general, I find myself the most happy when I am growing. Making positive changes in my life, foreseeing a brighter future, being pro-active (as you were talking about) and taking charge all bring out an inner happiness in me. I think that is as much about feeling accomplishment, pride, successful…feeling powerful and in control of myself and my destiny.

  6. I agree with your accessment. To me growth means always learning, stretching beyond our current capacity. To clarify further, the learning is not necessarily formal education. It can be a simple as taking up a new hobby, something that makes you happy and fulfilled.

  7. amazing work, continue the great webpage.

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