Finding lasting happiness is a lot like getting in shape physically. You have to work your positivity muscles daily; if you do this, over time it will become easier to be happy because your “happy” gets stronger through constant use.
If you’re looking for a nudge or an instant hit of happy, consider these 10 habits of exceptionally happy people from my book,Find Your Happy.
1. They make goals so big they have to grow into them.
The way of the happy warrior: Set a goal so big that you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can.
Do: Ask yourself if you are open for opportunities and setting goals that intimidate you? If not, no worries just give you permission to dream bigger.
2. They don’t believe in luck
When you meet an exceptionally happy person you may say, “They’re so lucky,” but a conversation with these go-getters will reveal that luck is not in their vocabulary. Instead they believe that passion plus persistence equals tremendous results.
Do: Are you waiting for your lucky break to be happy? Instead of waiting for the winning lottery ticket, the soul mate to arrive or the new job to bring you happiness look at what you do have, and be grateful for what is working. Your passion and persistence will carry you along way.
3. If they don’t like something, they change it.
Most exceptionally happy people have been in the dumps, hit rock bottom, or come from an understanding that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. It takes an inner courage and conviction to find a source of inspiration inside of you, but we all have it in us. Happy people don’t complain; if they don’t like something, they change it.
Do: Try going one day or an entire week without complaining. When you get the urge to blame, ask yourself, “What can I change in this situation in order for me to accept it?”
4. They honor the contrast.
Exceptionally happy people understand that spending time debating and arguing with others takes them away from what they care about most, which is usually making a difference and helping others. Most happy people are really at peace with themselves and the world, so they won’t spend time trying to convince you to adopt their beliefs. Happy people honor differences and appreciate each the contrast of varying viewpoints.
Do: When is the last time you accepted a viewpoint that contradicted yours? Just because someone has a different opinion or view of the world does not make him or her wrong or right. Adopt the idea that diversity is what unites us.
5. They turn their expectations into gratitude.
After hitting rock bottom, I realized that the turning point for my own life was transforming my expectations into gratitude. Being thankful for what you have, while you work toward what you want, will help you feel happier in the moment.
Do: For the next week before you go to bed each night, instead of racing through your to-do list or what you did not get done, list the things in your life that went well. For the fast lane to happiness, do this in the morning when you wake up, just smile and say thank you.
6. They are in awe of Earth’s beauty.
Super happy people will turn off the TV and opt for a more peaceful pause, such as a nature hike. Playing with the world is a daily practice for happy people. They see beauty in the small, everyday things around them and appreciate all of the natural wonders of earth.
Do: Pick an object that is close to you right now, and look at it with more attention to detail. Seeing something familiar in a new unfamiliar way helps us become more present, and we can enjoy the wonders of the world more.
7. They are extremely generous to themselves first.
Have you ever noticed that happy people are usually comfortable and financially secure? This happens because they don’t spend a lot of time talking about what isn’t working in their life. Instead of focusing on the lack, they get to work on creative ways to give. This happens because they’ve realized the value of giving to others without having expectations of getting anything in return creates more abundance.
Happy people make sure their basic needs are met because they understand that when they’re healthy and secure, they can fully be there for others, and that serving others actually brings them the most joy and even greater rewards.
Do: Treat yourself to something special: a hot bath, a nature walk, or a cuddle session with a furry friend … you don’t need money to create joy in the moment.
8. They are infinitely patient.
Patience is a key skill of exceptionally happy people. They trust the timing of the universe, and don’t sweat the tiny details of their life; they trust that everything is in divine order.
Do: Repeat the mantra, “Everything is in right order, I am right where I need to be in my life.”
9. They seek risk often.
Happy people have learned that settling in any area of life will hold them back, so they opt for adventure and satisfaction through seeking new experiences. They see risk as growth and are happier because they live a life with no regrets.
Do: Get honest with yourself. Where are you settling in life? Then repeat the mantra, “I am worthy of my desires.”
10. They don’t think about happiness.
Happy people don’t spend a lot of time thinking about happiness. They live in the moment and enjoy the ups and downs of life. Happy people still experience setbacks, but they look at those setbacks as a way to learn more about themselves and to grow. Happiness is not something they seek, as it is a daily practice that never leaves them.
Do: Follow your joy route today. Do something that makes you super happy.
No matter where you are on your path to happiness, know that the journey is where the magic happens.
By: Shannon Kaiser