The Architecture of Happiness

by Alain de Botton
Switzerland
Born on 20 Dec 1969
Writer / Philosopher

Quotes

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Clashes of taste are an inevitable by-product of a world where forces continually fragment and deplete us in new ways.

The Architecture of Happiness
With no attempt there can be no failure; with no failure no humiliation. So our self-esteem in this world depends entirely on what we back ourselves to be and do. It is determined by the ratio of our actualities to our supposed potentialities.

The Architecture of Happiness
It is in dialogue with pain that many beautiful things acquire their value.

The Architecture of Happiness
Beauty, then, is a fragment of the divine, and the sight of it saddens us by evoking our sense of loss and our yearning for the life denied us.

The Architecture of Happiness
Beauty is a promise of happiness.

The Architecture of Happiness
Our jobs make relentless calls on a narrow band of our faculties, reducing our chances of achieving rounded personalities and leaving us to suspect (often in the gathering darkness of a Sunday evening) that much of who we are, or could be, has gone unexplored.

The Architecture of Happiness
What we call a home is merely any place that succeeds in making more consistenly available to us the important truths which the wider world ignores, or which our distracted and irresolute selves have trouble holding onto.

The Architecture of Happiness
Our homes do not have to offer us permanent occupancy or store our clothes to merit the name. To speak of home in relation to a building is simply to recognise its harmony with our own prized internal song. Home can be an airport or a library, a garden or a motorway diner.

The Architecture of Happiness
Endeavoring to purchase something we think beautiful may in fact be the most unimaginative way of dealing with the longing it excites in us, just as trying to sleep with someone may be the bluntest response to a feeling of love.

The Architecture of Happiness
It is perhaps when our lives are at their most problematic that we are likely to be most receptive to beautiful things.

The Architecture of Happiness
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The Architecture of Happiness

Alain de Botton

 

On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays