Happy People Have These Attributes in Common
If you’re looking to join the few happy people that exist in the world, it’s important to do your research. You may notice that pretty much all happy people have a few traits in common, and you may wonder how you can replicate these attributes in yourself. Unfortunately, emulating the traits of happy people is the most difficult part of becoming happy. However, once you’ve come to understand these traits it should be one of the simplest things in life. The fact is, all it takes to become one of the happy people is to “fake it ’til you make it.” So, let’s discuss the ins and outs of the attributes of happy people.
One of the first things you’ll notice about a lot of happy people is that they’re incredibly kind. Actually, that may not be true. You might find a happy person who isn’t the nicest, and you might find that your incredibly depressed friend is also the most kind person you’ve ever met. The truth is that happy people are appreciative and selfless.
Selflessness is a common trait amongst people that are happy for many reasons. The first is a fact you probably learned as a child: smiles are infectious. A common adage is that the funniest people are also the saddest, and this is for good reason. Comedians often feel happiest when doing well on stage because they are making other people happy. The same is true of happy people that you meet on the street. When they do things for other people, those people are happy, and happy people have their mood elevated in return. Many things that are selfless are the most fulfilling things you can do with your life. If you seek to become a happier person, try charity work. Donate your time to a soup kitchen. As it goes, when you give from the river, you can take from the river in turn. In this case, the river flows with serenity, peace and happiness.
Further, happy people are often some of the most appreciative people you will meet as well. Try saying “thank you” more often. Tip your waitress five percent more than you normally would. It’s an odd quirk of happy people, that they are the most likely to tell you how wonderful you are. This is selflessness striking again, but in a different way than you’d think. By appreciating other people, you can both brighten their day and take a moment to appreciate just how good your life is. Appreciation is a wonderful thing.
Let me ask you a question. You’re not going to answer this honestly, but you’ll know that and it will eat at you. How often do you actually listen when other people are talking? Sure, you hear what they’re saying, but how much are you actually absorbing?
Communication is one of the most intricate things in society. Communication is so intricate, in fact, that it’s the major theme of one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. You may notice that happy people are master communicators. A large part of the communication of happy people is empathy. Gary Vaynerchuk calls it “EQ,” psychologists call it “emotional intelligence.” Happy people go out of their way to listen to, comprehend and really analyze what other people are saying. Happy people will listen to both what your mouth says and infer what you really mean to say, the reasons behind it and more.
A heading or two ago, we discussed how happy people are more appreciative than other people. As a consequence of this, you may notice that happy people complain a lot less than normal people do. This is for good reason.
Think about it like this:
When people are having hard times in their life, some confront it head on. Others turn to a quick fix, a “band-aid,” such as alcohol.
When facing problems, big or small, happy people will never complain, they go out and they confront the problem head on. Complaining does the same thing for your body as “band-aids” do. They quickly release endorphins and let you escape, but they’re just as addictive. You’ll find yourself complaining about the same thing for years. No problem has ever been solved through complaining.
As an addendum to the lack of complaining, you may find that happy people aren’t judgemental either. They’re not quick to say that someone else is ugly, or to say no to something. If you’ve ever seen the Jim Carrey movie “Yes Man,” you’ve seen this in action.
Furthermore, happy people are spontaneous. They execute without contemplation. A common exercise I’ve told people to do is to get out of their house, and get in their car (or take a walk, if weather permits.) Don’t consider where to go. Just pick a direction and start. Go for as long as you want. Take three lefts and quickly turn back if you choose, but go back and do it again tomorrow. It will change your life.
You will find bliss in this activity. Happy people often don’t plan things at all. As John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” By being in the moment, defying John Lennon and enjoying life as it happens, grateful people stay happy.
Additionally, happy people give themselves 100% to the moment. Creating work life balance is very important to becoming a happy person. To create work life balance, happy people have to teach themselves when to put work down and focus on their family and friends.
It’s time for another question: what does your future look like?
If you ask happy people this question, you’ll get a slew of different answers, but if you’re boiling them down to one word, it would be “bright.” Happy people often find themselves in the present and moving toward the future, rarely looking back or wallowing in the problems of today. Happiness lies in tomorrow.
People are often confused about the future. Some will have no plan at all, and others will plan meticulously. What you will find is that people who are either of these ways are not happy people. Happy people see the future in bright colors and broad strokes.
Happy People can accept the fact that they don’t know everything that will happen in the coming years. However, happy people will also accept the fact that they do have some level of control over the future. What I’ve noticed, and what you will, too, is that happy people are constantly working to make tomorrow better. This is truly the key to happiness: understand that you as a human being, can make life better.