Give Yourself Peace of Mind. You Deserve To Be Happy. You Deserve Delight

Hannah Arendt? Mark Victor Hansen? Anonymous?

happy07Dear Quote Investigator: Recently, I read the following upbeat message embracing egoism:

Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight.

I was astonished when I saw it ascribed to the political theorist Hannah Arendt who wrote about the Nazi Adolf Eichmann and popularized the phrase “the banality of evil”. The connection seemed incongruous. What do you think?

Quote Investigator: QI has found no substantive evidence that Hannah Arendt wrote or said the statement above.

The earliest strong match located by QI appeared in a 1980 book titled “Future Diary” by Mark Victor Hansen. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

Dedicate yourself
to the good you deserve
and desire for yourself.
Give yourself peace of mind.
You deserve to be happy.

The phrase “You deserve delight” was later appended to this statement of affirmation by Hansen who today is best known as the co-creator with Jack Canfield of the juggernaut “Chicken Soup for the Soul” which began barreling through the publishing world in 1993. The page with the quotation included a picture of a tree and a suggestion:

Write a minutely detailed description of your primary goal.

The purpose was for readers to “visualize” and “feel” the goal to facilitate its eventual achievement.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.




In 1996 Hansen published “Out of the Blue: Delight Comes Into Our Lives” with Barbara Nichols and Patty Hansen. Chapter three displayed the following extended epigraph and attribution: 2

Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and
desire for yourself.
Give yourself peace of mind.
You deserve to be happy.
You deserve delight.

Mark Victor Hansen

In 2003 the Usenet newsgroup alt.religion.christian.catholic contained a message that ended with an instance of the quotation credited to Arendt. No supporting citation was provided: 3

“Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire for yourself. Give yourself peace of mind. You deserve to be happy. You deserve delight.”
Hannah Arendt

In 2009 “Feeling Pink”, a book of “Comforting, Cozy, and Cheerful Words for Breast Cancer Survivors”, included the statement above with an ascription to Arendt. 4

The connection to Hansen was not forgotten. In 2010 twitter user @deepak_taunk shared a condensed version of the saying with an ascription to the inspirational speaker and author: 5

Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire in yourself. Give yourself piece of mind. You deserve delight & to be happy. –Hansen

In conclusion, this full quotation should be credited to Mark Victor Hansen although fragments occurred earlier. The ascription to Hannah Arendt is unsupported.

(Great thanks to Andrew Old who questioned the ascription to Arendt. His inquiry led QI to formulate this question and perform this exploration.)

Image Notes: Picture of joyful woman shown in silhouette from jill111 at Pixabay. Image has been cropped and resized.

Notes:

  1. 1985 (1980 First Printing, 1983 Introduction), Future Diary by Mark Victor Hansen, Quote Page 70, Mark Victor Hansen Publishing Company, Newport Beach, California. (Verified with scans)
  2. 1996, Out of the Blue: Delight Comes Into Our Lives, Mark Victor Hansen and Barbara Nichols with Patty Hansen, Epigraph for Chapter 3: Reach for the Stars, Quote Page 75, HarperCollins, New York. (Verified on paper)
  3. 2003 May 26, Usenet discussion message, Newsgroup: alt.religion.christian.catholic, From: Bruno Van de Casteele @puam.kotnet.org, Subject: Re: Catholic Church Approves Evolution Theory? (Google Groups Search; Accessed December 9, 2016) link
  4. 2009, Feeling Pink by Michelle Iglesias and Torran Bagamary, Quote Page 162, CCC Books, Westfield, Massachusetts. (Google Books Preview)
  5. Tweet, From: dst121 @deepak_taunk, Time: 11:14 PM, Date: November 14, 2010, Text: Dedicate yourself to the good you deserve and desire in yourself. Give yourself piece of mind. You deserve delight & to be happy. -Hansen. (Accessed on twitter.com on December 9, 2016) link