If there's one desire that humans universally share,it's happiness. For Americans, "the pursuit of happiness" is even written into the Declaration of Independence.
But the results of the pursuit of happiness vary greatly. Some people remain sunny even in the worst of circumstances; others are unhappy despite being surrounded by blessings. Part of that difference is genetic predisposition, but it's estimated that up to 40 percent of our happiness depends on actions and thoughts we can control.
So what do the happiest people do to foster that happiness?
1. They smell the roses. Those who are happiest know
how to stop and be present in the moment. They slow down and pay
attention and don't live inside their screens. They know that each
moment matters, and they savor all the experiences of life. Even in hard
times, they don't try to escape but instead find something beautiful or
positive to focus on.
2.They don't sweat the small stuff.
The happiest people focus their efforts only on things that meet two
tests: It has to be truly important, and it has to be within their
control. Learning to ignore things you can't do anything about, or that
aren't a good use of your time, is one of the surest ways to being
3. They persist in challenging times. Happy people
thrive on challenges. They see failure not as a bad ending but as the
setup to trying again, to a new and better-informed effort. They
understand that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.
Those who can move past, let go, and work with what they have turn out
to be not only the happiest people but also the most successful, because
they know how to persist in challenging times.
4. They commit to their goals and visions. Those who
are happiest dream big, then turn their dreams into goals and get to
work achieving them. They understand that either of these elements
without the other is cause for frustration and dissatisfaction. You have
to first determine what it is you want and why you want it, then commit
everything you have to attaining it.
5. They surround themselves with happy people. Happy
people know that the company you choose has a huge impact on how you
feel, what you think, and how you act. Being around positive people
gives you a positive outlook, and negative people are just as
infectious. It may not be possible to completely avoid exposure to
negative and chronically unhappy people, but you can minimize the
effects by refusing to engage in their patterns of thinking.
6. They take care of their bodies. The body and the mind are connected, so if you don't take care of your physical energy, your mental energy cannot flourish. When you nourish your body with sound sleep, good food, and exercise, you nurture your soul.
7. They develop coping strategies. Our characters
are shaped by how we react to circumstances--especially when things go
bad. A strong arsenal of coping strategies lets happy people deal
positively with challenges. Being prepared for tough times keeps life's
problems from becoming overwhelming, and good management of bad
experiences leads to growth and happiness.
8. They give more than they take. The happiest
people prefer giving to receiving. They know the more they give, the
more they have. Generosity and a commitment to helping others generates
happiness and drives success. The very best way to be happy is to lose
yourself in giving to others.
9. They stand at the edge of discomfort. Achievement
doesn't happen without taking risks, and the happiest people are never
content to hang around where they're comfortable. They don't wait for
the perfect moment--they make the moment perfect with their willingness
to be uncomfortable.
10. They nurture their relationships. It is almost
impossible to be happy in the absence of deep meaningful relationships.
Connection with others fosters happiness, and nurturing relationships in
a way that builds deep connection--allowing people into your
life--allows them to accept your past, support your present, and
encourage your future.
If you want to be happier--and really, who doesn't want to be
happier?--measure yourself against these 10 habits, pick a starting
place, and get to work. The payoff is tremendous.
Reprinted from Inc. on line magazine -Credit to Lolly Daskal, President and CEO, Lead From Within