It’s the term I most often use when asked what I am looking for in life. A loving partner, a meaningful purpose, a high-paying job, and endless world travel are also some things that come to mind, however all of these are means to that ultimate end: happiness.
It seems to me that a lot of people would answer this same way, and upon thinking about the things that make me happy and talking with those around me, I’ve compiled a list of traits which bring out genuine happiness in people.
1. Belief in a greater meaning to life
Whether you believe in a specific religious belief or a spiritual ideal, the fact that you in something seems to matter in terms of happiness. To me, religion provides a personal creed, a direction in life, and a sense of purpose which allows me to know that once my time on earth is over I will have further meaning.
2. Do not take material objects for true wealth
Money is the root of all types of evil, right? For people who are genuinely happy, material objects are not the only purposes to life. I’m not denying that happy people don’t need money to exist, and that working a job which earns you money is not important. What I am saying is that when it comes down to it, money does not dictate happy peoples lives. Though I am sensible with my earnings, I will never let money or possessions prevent me from pursuing a passion.
3. Love themselves for who they are
I am far from being egotistical, but it truly is important to be comfortable with your own abilities to truly be happy. Even if you continuing to work in certain areas, always accept and embrace yourself in every manner possible. Keep true to yourself and don’t delve in what some may define as weakness.
4. Relationships are not the basis to life
If you’ve ever read my blog, you know that my relations with those around me help turn my world. The saddest time in my life was when I let the presence or absence of someone determine my well-being. Since I’m come to the realization that relationships are an extension to my life rather than a basis, though, my happiness level has soared. I am content with myself, and my friendships are simply an extension of that self-content. I no longer look for people to fill voids in my life or to help me feel a certain way. Instead, I surround myself with people who bring out the characteristics in myself that I like, and I can be happy with knowing that’s enough.
5. Welcome change
Some people cannot even switch from Windows 7 to 8 without a major breakdown. So it’s important to remember that life is a constant lesson with suggestions and criticism being thrown around continuously. You will be a much happier person when you welcome all of life’s random happenings and approach them with consideration and respect, rather than defensively.
6. Figure out own solutions and direction
I have never been afraid of change, but I think I genuinely became happiest when I began to operate under the realization that change starts from within. I have tried so many different mantras and practices for making my life better, and though some may not have became part of my daily routine, the act of consciously deciding to support and attempt them was enough to give me direction and goals for awhile. It’s a case of free will and the fact that I was able to make such decisions increases my happiness.
7. Do not compare themselves to others
Jealousy is not a good thing, guys. Everyone has something different and exciting to offer the world, and when you finally decide to embrace your own talents and specialties you will be so much happier! I am a HUGE perfectionist and tend to compare myself to others quite often. However, I can attest that when I come out of my slump and recognize all I can accomplish myself, my heart feels surprisingly light.
8. Victor, not a victim
Nothing makes me angrier than hearing a person complain about the injustices done to them. I mean, we all go through unexpected break-ups and failures in the workplace. Some of us even experience more serious issues. However, what good does it do to dwell on these things? Being a victim does not strengthen you! Receiving sympathy does not strengthen you!
9. Live in the present
To me, there is no point in reminiscing about the past and fantasizing about the future. I mean, yes, I find myself doing it. A lot. But really, what can I do about either when I’m living right here, right now, in the present? I prefer to realize this fact, and use it as motivation to make the most out of my life. It’s much easier and healthier to live in the present — you can focus on what is happening at hand rather than worrying about regrets from the past or concerns over the future.
10. Engage in purposeful activities
Nothing makes me happier than doing something I love and I know has meaning. Whether that mean I love my job, I’m participating in a volunteer opportunity, or I’m simply sitting down and writing a blog post, I’m happy. So it’s simple; find something you genuinely enjoy doing and do it!
I find myself being happier every day I live. I am surrounded by loving and caring people, I enjoy my work and free time activities, and I strive to be the best person I can to help move that happiness forward. Everyone has bad days, but mine seem to be rare and far between. I am so eternally grateful and humbled.
Do any of these characteristics play a part in your own happiness? I find it amazing how different people can be but yet how similar as well. The world is a big place, but when you stop to think about simple matters (such as what makes you happy) then the world can become a bit smaller.