50 inspiring quotes and words of wisdom about gratitude and contentment

Dankbarkeit Zufriedenheit Zitate Astronaut Schwarz Weiß

I consider gratitude to be the basic building block of a meaningful, happy life.

The more grateful a person is, the more optimistic and positive they live their lives. Numerous studies confirm these correlations (McCullough, M. E., Emmons, R. A., & Tsang, J. (2002). The grateful disposition: A conceptual and empirical topography. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 82, 112-127))1https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S01918869080007672Kashdan, T.B., Uswatte, G., & Julian, T. (2006). Gratitude and hedonic and eudaimonic well-being in Vietnam War veterans. Behavior Research and Therapy, 44, 177-1993https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/giving-thanks-can-make-you-happier

They can also reduce many negative emotions such as fear, envy and anger. With good reason, therefore, gratitude is regarded as a virtue and an integral part of all world religions (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism), as a universal religious attitude.

The greatest thing about gratitude is that it can be trained and learned.

I would like to share with you numerous quotes and words of wisdom on gratitude and contentment. I hope you find what you are looking for and what suits your own individual situation.

Content is the philosopher’s stone, that turns all it touches into gold. Who is rich? He that rejoices in his portion.

Benjamin Franklin, founding father of the United States

Gratitude makes the poorest rich.

Andreas Tenzer, German philosopher

A feeling of gratitude mingles with every high joy.

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Austrian writer

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.

Marcus Tullius Cicero (106 – 43 BC), Roman orator, politician and philosopher

Grateful people are like fertile fields. They give back tenfold what they have received.

August von Kotzebue

Gratitude means falling in love with what you already have.


If you are not satisfied with what you have, you would not be satisfied with what you want.

Berthold Auerbach, German writer

Of the things you have, select the best and then reflect how eagerly you would have sought them if you did not have them.

Marcus Aurelius, Roman emperor and philosopher

Not the lucky ones are grateful. It is the grateful who are happy.

Francis Bacon, English philosopher

Rather give thanks for what you have received; wait for the other things and be happy that you don’t have everything yet.

Lucius A. Seneca, Roman philosopher

What is more forgetful than gratitude?

Friedrich von Schiller, German poet

If mother nature gives you a garden and roses, she will also give you caterpillars and aphids so that you forget to be indignant about small things.

Wilhelm Busch, German painter and writer

If you can’t give thanks, you can’t love.

Jeremias Gotthelf, Swiss pastor

When you drink the water, remember the spring.

Chinese proverb

Gratitude is thin on the ground.

German proverb

Thanks is an embrace for the soul.

Gratitude Embrace of the soul Quotes Aphorisms

Being grateful doesn’t break anyone’s leg.

German proverb

It is not usual to love what you own.

Anatole France, French writer

If you are happy, you shouldn’t want to be even happier.

Theodor Fontane, German writer

Happiness is self-sufficient because it needs nothing, only those things that are essential to happiness fall into the class of things needed for civic happiness.

Aristotle, Greek philosopher

Nothing is enough for the man to whom enough is…

Epicurus of Samos, Greek philosopher

Pay attention to the little things in the world, it makes life richer and more satisfying.

Karl Hilty, Swiss constitutional lawyer

It is difficult to find happiness within oneself, but it is impossible to find it anywhere else.

Nicolas Chamfort, French writer

If you cannot be grateful for what you receive, then at least be grateful for what you have escaped.


Happiness is not to be found in an eternally smiling sky, but in the very fine details from which we build our lives.

Carmen Sylva, German writer

Not just thanks for the pleasant things. The unpleasantness helps you to recognize yourself and to develop. So thank you for that too.

Irina Rauthmann, German aphorist

The dissatisfied person cannot find a comfortable chair.

Benjamin Franklin, founding father of the United States

Being content with a little is difficult, being content with a lot is impossible,

Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, German writer

We rarely think about what we have, but always of what we lack.

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

You only become rich through things you don’t desire.

Mahatma Gandhi, Indian pacifist and moral teacher

It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, that is poor. 

Lucius A. Seneca, Roman philosopher

Start the day with thanks for the previous one. Because there is never a day when you don’t encounter something worth thanking.


Giving thanks is a declaration of love for life.

Irina Rauthmann, German aphorist

That’s when things become bright in our lives, when we learn to give thanks for the smallest things.

Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, German theologian

For all external sources of happiness and pleasure are, by their very nature, highly uncertain, precarious, ephemeral and subject to chance.

Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher

Gratitude is the memory of the heart.

Jean-Baptiste Massillon, French theologian

Saying “thank you” for this moment is the only way to perceive the glow of eternity.


Gratitude is a fruit that requires careful nurturing. It doesn’t thrive with unkind people.

Samuel Johnson, English writer

Where is the gratitude for everything we don’t have?

Ernst Ferstl, Austrian aphorist

Gratitude is the magic of a mature soul…

Elmar Kupke, German aphorist

Thank you for the wrong turns. Without them, I might have passed myself by.

Irina Rauthmann, German aphorist

The path to contentment leads right through gratitude

Ernst Festl, Austrian writer

I firmly believe that every flower rejoices in the air it breathes.

William Wordsmith, English poet

Deep gratitude for everything that exists characterizes those who have recognized themselves.

Irina Rauthmann, German aphorist

Grateful people are happy people.


People who cannot give thanks have lost their connection to joy.

Irina Rauthmann, German aphorist

Remember what you have received, forget what you have given.


Tomorrow’s worry steals our thanks for yesterday.


Get used to being grateful for what life has to offer, since death is always on the horizon.

Friedrich von Bodenstedt, German philologist

Give thanks for both, for what we have and for what we don’t need!

Christian Geyer, German theologian

You should not look at the gift, but at the hand.

German proverb
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Tecumseh, Indian chief

You still have to learn to be grateful and enjoy the good moment.

Friedrich Halm, Austrian poet

Every happy moment deserves gratitude.


It is a poor man who can no longer give thanks.

Robert Lerch, Swiss aphorist

What is gratitude for you? Do you have any other quotes or aphorisms you would like to add? Feel free to write it in the comments.


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