Hannah Arendt? Mark Victor Hansen? Anonymous?
Dear 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
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. Continue reading
- 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) ↩