Here’s a little song I wrote
You might want to sing it note for note
Don’t worry – Be happy
– Bobby McFerrin
While I consider myself to be a happy person in general, I believe that I could always use more happiness. I’m not talking about having more money to have more things. Oh sure, I would be happy with Christian Louboutin shoes, Balenciaga bags, Prada sunglasses, and Chanel makeup. Those things speak to the girlie in me and make me giggle with delight. But, true happiness comes from within. It’s also a lot of work.
I came across this in another blog. I thought that it should be shared. Some of the tenets sound simple and obvious. But, truly embracing them and living them out is more difficult than it seems.
There’s a lot of crap going on in the world. People are starving, animals are dying, and whole ecosystems are collapsing. Yes, we can make ourselves aware of the problems and throw a lot of money at them in the hope of making them go away. But, perhaps we should try to fix ourselves first. After all, good can only come from good people. Right?
17 Habits of Happy People
1. Forget the past
One of the keys to happiness is a bad memory.
Rita Mae Brown
You won’t be happy if you carry the burden of the past. Did you make mistakes? Did you have terrible experiences? Whatever they are, you should let them go. There’s nothing you can do about the past. So, you should let them go and focus your energy on the present.
2. Take responsibility for your life
The secret of happiness is freedom. And, the secret of freedom is courage.
To be happy you should have freedom – especially the freedom to choose. No matter how bad a situation is, you can always choose how you respond to it. People can annoy you, but it’s up to you whether or not you will resent it.
But, as the quote above says, freedom takes courage. Freedom to choose requires the courage to take responsibility for your life. You shouldn’t blame someone else when something goes wrong. You have the power to choose.
3. Build relationships
Life’s truest happiness is found in friendships we make along the way.
Relationships are where we can get true happiness in life. It is only through relationships that we can love and be loved. When you make relationships your top priority, you will be on your way to true happiness.
4. Develop multiple passions
The more passions and desires one has, the more ways one has of being happy.
Passions lead you to happiness. So, not only should you discover your multiple passions, you should also expand yourself to new ones. This in turn will simply create more paths to happiness.
The key to expanding yourself to new passions is curiosity. When you are curious, you will have an endless stream of exciting things waiting for you.
5. Build your character
Character is the basis of happiness and happiness is the sanction of character.
Building your character is essential for happiness. When you are true to yourself and others, you will be at peace.
The way to start building character is by making promises and keeping them. For example, you make a promise to yourself that you won’t smoke. When you keep it, you are building your character. Or you make a promise to others to be punctual. When you keep it, you build your character.
6. Be who you are
The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is.
You can only be happy if you become who you are. Don’t live another person’s life by trying to meet their expectations. People may expect you to have a certain job or a certain way of living but don’t be intimidated by them. Find who you are and be yourself.
7. Live your life’s true purpose
The only true happiness comes from squandering ourselves for a purpose.
To have a fulfilling life, you should find your own unique life purpose and follow it faithfully. Find out what matters to you and build the courage to follow it.
8. Count your blessings
Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate what they already have.
Being happy is easy if we are grateful. Unfortunately, seeing what we don’t have is often easier than seeing what we do have. Sometimes we need to experience loss before appreciating what we have. So don’t take things for granted. Look at what you have and soon you will have plenty of reasons to be happy.
9. Have a positive mind
It is not the place, nor the condition, but the mind alone that can make anyone happy or miserable.
Happy people know how to control their mind. They don’t let negative thoughts come in. While a situation may seem bad to others, happy people look at them in a positive way. They always believe that no matter how bad a situation seems, there is always something positive to take from it. Your mind can make or break you, so guard it well.
10. Work creatively
Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
You will find happiness when you work creatively on something . There is a well-known phenomenon regarding this called flow. When you are in that state of flow, you are so fully focused on the task at hand that you no longer realize the passage of time. This state of flow allows you to achieve high productivity and be happy at the same time.
11. Start with what you have
The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance. The wise man grows it under his feet.
Happy people don’t need something they don’t have to be happy. They don’t need a certain job or certain level of income. Instead, they learn to be happy with what they already have. They have learned the art of contentment. Be content with what you have and you will be happy.
They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.
Being happy requires you to constantly grow. In fact, the very process of learning is essential for happiness. Have you ever felt the excitement of being enlightened about something? Have you ever felt the excitement of achieving a new level in life?
13. Use your talents
True happiness involves the full use of one’s power and talents.
There are two lessons to take from this quote. First, you should find your talents. Second, you should use them to the fullest. Working in a field that utilizes your talents is more enjoyable because it’s something you are “hardwired” to do. Using your talents fully will make you even happier because of the satisfaction of doing your best.
14. Beware of small things
The happiness of most people we know is not ruined by great catastrophes or fatal errors, but by the repetition of slowly destructive little things.
This is very true. Often it’s not big things that ruin your happiness. It’s the small things that do. Perhaps you don’t like someone or break some “small” promises. But, even small leaks can sink your ship of happiness. Beware of them.
15. Distill your ambitions
Where ambition ends, happiness begins.
While wanting to achieve more in your life is good, being obsessed by it is not. Do your best to improve yourself but don’t be consumed by it.
16. Make others happy
Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
The way to being happy is to make others happy first. The more you help other people and make them happy, the more you will be happy. Happiness doesn’t come through selfishness but through selflessness. You reap what you sow.
17. Practice compassion
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
The Dalai Lama
Compassion is perhaps the highest level of selflessness we can have. As this quote aptly says, practicing compassion can make both others and you happy.
But of course, it requires practice. Start with thinking about the people around you. Look at their needs and find ways to meet them. Even if you don’t do it out of compassion in the beginning, your compassion will grow over time.
All in all, this quote by Aristotle can summarize the lessons above:
Happiness depends upon ourselves.
It’s you who decides whether or not you are happy in life.
I choose to be happy. What about you?