In my language we have phrase -

The rescue of a drowning man is the drowning man's own job 

Which you can meet in English too and roughly meaning - taking personal responsibility for your happiness.

I wonder, if there is more common similar phrases exist ?

Thank you!

3 Answers 3


I wouldn't say the idiom you mean is about responsibility for your own happiness. Rather, it's about being responsible for your whole life. The idiom you have given is about a drowning man. I think for him survival is more important than happiness.

As for the English equivalent, I've remembered the words of Audrey Hepburn: "If you ever need a helping hand, it's at the end of your arm", which means help yourself and God will help you.

  • Thank you very much, this is what i want. You are right, "happiness" is not in the spot here. Stackexchange is really need to ask people reason for down voting.
    – user291716
    Apr 6, 2018 at 4:11
  • Thank you! I'm glad I was able to help. You are right about down voting. But after all, it's just one's subjective opinion.
    – Enguroo
    Apr 6, 2018 at 11:07

The following formulation is associated with Eleanor Roosevelt, though she may not have said exactly this: "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." A number of instances of a similar expression, "No one can make you unhappy without your permission," can be found via Google.

  • My mistake to emphasis about happiness. But this phrase "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." is about my question and good one. Thank you!
    – user291716
    Apr 6, 2018 at 4:17

by one's bootstraps TFD or pull oneself up by one's (own) bootstraps

to improve or become a success by one's own efforts


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