Happiness is the goal of human existence – at least that’s what I learned in the philosophy class I was forced to take in my first year of university. Fast forward a few months after that, I spontaneously decided to download a free audible ebook and I chose the The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It was my first major foray into self-help books and I loved it. Gretchen discusses what it takes to find happiness and her own journey into it. Her journey and what I’ve pondered to be happiness has spilled out into this blog post 7 Habits of Happy People
So what do happy people do?
They Let go of the Arrival Fallacy
The arrival fallacy is when we believe that a specific destination- it doesn’t have to be physical- will make us happy. i.e. the next job, the next raise, the next shopping trip etc.The truth is that while these things might bring pleasure upon arrival, it rarely brings genuine wholehearted happiness. Happiness is not in a moment, it’s a state of being. So, getting to where you think will make you happy will feel good for a while but after that, there will always be another destination, or achievement and the cycle begins all over again.
They Live in the Moment
Living in the moment is something many of us take for granted. We place our happiness in tomorrow and with each tomorrow that comes happiness never seems to come with it. As a start, stop freaking out over the little things that are going wrong and try to find joy with wherever you are in life. You can do this by making a gratitude list at the end of each day. If you are like me and can’t commit to daily list try keeping it at the end of each week. This exercise helps you take a step back to reflect on your day and the little things you can be thankful for. Eventually, gratitude even in the little things becomes a daily frame of mind.
They Have Goals
Yes, I know I just talked about the fallacy of arrival but hear me out. The point of having goals is not for you to place your happiness in the end result but to enjoy the process of getting there. It’s about having a sense of purpose every day and growing your potential. It gives you a long term plan for your life, as well as the motivation for going out and achieving it. It allows you to constantly work on improving yourself and in some cases pushes you out of your comfort zone to enable you to live your best life.
TIP: write down a list of things you’d like to accomplish it could be a daily list, an actual life plan or a bucket list (25 before 25 Bucket List).
They Consider the People Factor
one of the fun parts of living life is the people you meet along the way and being able to do and experience things with them. So, it makes sense that cultivating meaningful relationships is one of the keys to happiness. It’s amazing to feel that you To feel that you are contributing meaningfully to someone else’s life and having that be reciprocated. Go out connect with people listen to them and their stories and experiences. It’s so cool how each person is a storybook with their own story to tell and you might never know what you could learn or who you’ll meet.
Similarly while having great people in your life is a plus, there are people who while you love them might not be healthy for you. Knowing when to stay in a relationship and when to let go is important. Sometimes it will hurt but a good aspect of self-love is loving yourself enough to let go of a relationship that is hurting you.
They stop blaming others
As much as I wish Karma was, she/he/it isn’t always a bitch and That’s something I’ve learned to get used to. People will do/say mean things this to you and it can be HARD to let go of it. But for the sake of your sanity, you have to. Letting go means that regardless of whether that person apologizes or not, you don’t even wait around to see if the get their comeuppance (I think that’s a word if not we are going with it). Get used to the fact that sometimes bad things don’t always happen to bad people. Just focus on you and don’t get so consumed with revenge that you lose your joy in the process.
They give back
Happy people know that one of life simple pleasures is being able to give back, it easy to complain about the things we don’t have and not realize that there are many people who would love to be in your shoes. Giving back doesn’t have to be financial, it can be with your time or resources. Donate to a shelter, or food bank, realize that there is a greater world out there that needs you and anything you can contribute no matter how small, build a community garden, read with kids etc .
They know who they are:
Happy people know who they are. They are honest with their flaws, weaknesses, and strengths. They own it and are always open to learning more and becoming better versions of themselves.
Comment below: What makes you happy?
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