7 Habits of Happy People
Over the past decade, between the two of us, Marc and I have read 1,000+ books on happiness, coached 10,000+ people who were struggling to find happiness, and interacted with 100,000+ blog subscribers who continue to ask us questions about happiness every single day.
All of this has given us keen insight into the specific behaviors that make human beings happy. We’ve literally watched people go from feeling down in the dumps to being on top of the world in a matter of weeks, simply by making subtle, effective changes to their daily habits.
Not surprisingly though, once these people get it figured out, their “happiness habits” become second nature to them, and thus, they never talk about them. Bystanders may witness their public displays of contentment, but remain clueless as to the source of their happiness. So that’s precisely what I want to discuss today – the habits happy people have, but never talk about.
1. They don’t get caught up in other people’s drama. – Never, ever create unnecessary drama, and don’t put up with those who spew drama your way. The happiest people I’ve ever met care less about what random people say about them, especially if their remarks are rude. In fact, happy people are often thankful for all the rude, obnoxious, and difficult people they meet in life, because these people serve as important reminders of how NOT to be. They simply smile and walk the other way. I challenge you to follow in their footsteps.
2. They give (love) to others whenever they are able. – While giving is considered an unselfish act (and it is), giving can also be more beneficial for the giver than the receiver. In many cases, providing social support is actually more beneficial to our happiness than receiving it. Happy people know this, which is precisely why they are always looking for ways to help others, while unhappy people stand around asking, “What’s in it for me?”
3. They leave space to love themselves too. – The most painful thing is completely losing yourself in the process of loving someone else too much, and completely forgetting that you are special too. Yes, nurture others, but don’t forget about yourself. Happy people know self-love isn’t selfish. They put their needs first because they see the power of showing up fully for others. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to help the people you care about. If you sacrifice all your needs in order to help them, you’re only showing up as a shell of your true self (from the “Self-Love” chapter of our book).
4. They sincerely practice gratitude. – Gratitude is arguably the king of happiness. The more a person is inclined to gratitude, the less likely he or she is to be depressed, anxious, lonely, envious, or neurotic.” Bottom line: Consider how very fortunate you are. Consider it every day. The more you count your blessings, the more blessings there will be to count, and the happier you will be.
5. They develop strategies for coping in hard times. – A happy life and a meaningful life are not necessarily the same thing. It’s hard to be happy when tragedy strikes, for instance. But who lives longer and fares better after problems? I’ve witnessed and experienced enough hardships to confidently know the answer: those who find benefits in their struggles. How you respond to the hard times is what shapes your character. Remember, you become what you believe. Look at things objectively. Find the lesson and move forward. Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart for too long.
6. They are focused on the present. – Never let your past dictate who you are today, but let it be a lesson that’s part of who you will become tomorrow. No regrets. No looking back in anger. Just hold on to life and move forward. We have no way of knowing what lies ahead, but that’s what makes the journey even more exciting – that’s what makes life worth living today. Happy people know this, and that’s precisely why they make the most of the present (from the “Adversity” chapter of our book),
7. They dedicate time to meaningful pursuits. – When the Guardian recently asked a hospice nurse about the top regrets of the dying, one of the most common regrets was that people regretted not being true to their dreams. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it’s easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people do not honor even half of their dreams and end up dying knowing that it was due to choices they made, or didn’t make. Good health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it. As they say, there are seven days in the week, and “someday” isn’t one of them.
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Marc and Angel Chernoff are professional coaches, full-time students of life, admirers of the human spirit, and have been recognized by Forbes magazine as having “one of the most popular personal development blogs.” Through their blogs, books, courses and coaching, they write about and teach proven strategies for finding lasting happiness, success, love and peace.
Visit their website: Marc and Angel Hack Life