People love to be around happy people. Happy people also tend to be more successful because they are likable.
There were two college students who were trying to secure a job at the same company for the same position. One student had a 4.0 GPA and the other had a 2.3 GPA. All the hiring managers were after the 2.3 GPA guy. Why? Because they “liked” the 2.3 GPA guy. The 4.0 GPA guy was a book worm, socially awkward and came off as arrogant. The other one was working 3 jobs to pay for college and was down to earth.
We learn skills at school, but our habits form our lifestyle which leads to the quality of life we live irrespective of income. In fact our habits directly affect our happiness, job satisfaction and annual income.
Here are the common habits that I have observed over the years while teaching, training and working with happy people.
1) Healthy Relationships
Of course I would start with relationships! It is actually one of the most important common aspects of happy people.
“Finding Flow” is an interesting book on the psychology of happiness. It reveals national survey data showing that when someone claims to have five or more friends with whom they can discuss important problems, they are 60% more likely to say they are happy.
Relationships with parents also play a very important role on a person’s level of happiness and ability to deal with stress. If possible try calling your mom and/or dad, or persons you might consider parent-like. Just ask how they are doing.
Happy people don’t take their relationships for granted. They constantly nurture these relationships through give and take & love and trust.
2) A Grateful Heart
I could probably talk about the benefits of a grateful heart endlessly! But one of its primary benefits is certainly a happy heart. Happy people are happy because they are constantly looking at what they have and counting their blessings. I keep hearing, “I am so grateful…” from such persons and boy is it a pleasure to work with them!
Without gratitude one only sees what’s not there and complains till they breathe their last unsatisfied breath. – Me :-)
Try to express gratitude in words and in actions. It doesn’t take much to tell someone that you are grateful for their help. Express in action by reciprocating with body language, a hug, a gift or just returning the same favor. You will feel happy and so will the people who interact with you.
3) Giving nature
When you give happiness, you get happiness. Happy people are always eager to lend a helping hand. It is actually very satisfying to be able to serve someone. Without even knowing we are constantly serving, from picking up our dog’s poop to buying flowers for our beloved.
Grumpy people on the other hand are constantly calculating, “what’s in it for me?”
4) Belief System
Even though there is no accurate way to measure happiness, research shows that people with firm faith tend to live a more satisfied life than others. The satisfaction comes from having answers to life’s questions that might not be explained empirically.
For example, the question, “Why bad things happen to good people?” is very simply answered by the concepts of Karma and Reincarnation. So it has been found that people who have faith in such things find it easier to cope with death and other difficult situations in life.
5) Humility & Forgiveness
Humility is a very attractive quality. One can accomplish great things if one can avoid being overburdened by his/her false sense of self-importance.
I am not asking you to be spineless, but some people are just too uptight about their self-worth which comes from insecurity. Insecure people cannot be happy.
Forgiveness comes from humility. When we consider ourselves very important, we cannot tolerate the mistake of another person: “How could you do this to me? YOU did this to ME! I will never forgive you!”. This is like holding on to hot coal. You are the only one getting burnt.
6) Move on
Life is short and sometimes it is not worth struggling over petty things that are possibly not worth our time. Happy people care less about what random people say about them, especially if their remarks are rude. In fact, happy people are often open to criticism as they see it as an opportunity to improve. They always see the silver lining (brighter side of things).
7) Child Within
Children are generally happy because of their simplicity. Happy people tend to retain the child within. They can laugh without inhibition and have their cute moments that make others laugh at their expense. No walking on egg shells or calculated moves.
Simplicity should not be misunderstood for unintelligence. There is a time, place and circumstance for everything. Generally this child within comes out only in intimate settings with near and dear ones.
A good start to cultivate these habits would be to surround yourself with persons who already embody these habits. So which habit do you want to get started with?
Happiness is contagious – be careful!! :-)