Are you ready to discover how to be genuinely happy?
Happiness. Genuine, effortless, unencumbered happiness. It’s the Holy Grail of our pursuits, the quest of our madness in a world bent on having more, more, more.
We work harder, condense the contents of time, and speed up the hamster wheel with every step. All in an effort to be genuinely happy.
Every year, on the International Day of Happiness, the World Happiness Report is released. It ranks countries based on their residents’ life satisfaction, rated on a scale of 1-10.
The telling results? Negative feelings – anger, sadness, worry – have significantly increased over the past decade.
And, for all the bragging rights beheld by “America,” the United States doesn’t even make the top 10. Not even close. (Top honors go to the northern European countries.) Seems there is more to being genuinely happy than “living the American dream.”
So, what is it that all happy people know about being genuinely happy? If nationality, income, social status, and even health status aren’t assured predictors of happiness, what are the predictors?
One thing’s for sure when it comes to the secrets to happiness: Being genuinely happy is a choice…and an inside job.
Here are 9 things that all happy people know about being genuinely happy:
1. Happy people have a positive outlook.
There is an inherent truth in that great perspective your elders used to counter your childhood complaints: There are always going to be people better off and worse off than you.
Happy people know that there are always going to be situations that don’t elicit a “yippee” from their attitude. Everyone suffers loss, everyone experiences personal injustice, and everyone has more than a welcomed share of “those days.”
But when a $6 latte spills down the front of her favourite designer dress, the happy person knows how to choose her response. “Dang it! Well, how fortunate I am that I can afford this coffee and nice clothes to wear.”
2. Happy people are grateful for what they have.
This doesn’t mean they have no ambition to improve their lives. It simply means genuinely happy people are focused on what they do have, not on what they don’t have.
Happy people are more likely to see possessions as fluid than as property that must be hoarded and guarded with their lives. (Yup, even with recent the fears of COVID-19.) They are as happy to share as they are to receive.
And, even as they strive to improve their lives, they are fully satisfied with (and grateful for) what they have.
3. Happy people are happy for others’ success.
We all know what the tug of jealousy feels like. Someone else gets something you’ve always wanted or believe you deserve, and your first thought is, “But I want to win Powerball!”
Happy people know there’s always enough for everyone. Enough success. Enough love. Enough happiness. They also know that pinning others down with jealousy only serves to suppress themselves – and their relationships.
And they don’t fake their excitement for others. It’s genuine. It’s also contagious. Inevitably success finds them, and all that goodwill comes pouring back to them.
4. Happy people don’t compare themselves to others.
There is always that fine line between comparing to get a gauge for progress and comparing as a gauge for the ego.
Genuinely happy people aren’t preoccupied with “keeping up with the Joneses.” They may observe some of the Joneses’ behaviors and decide they are worth emulating. But they don’t attach their self-worth to having the same possessions, titles, or successes.
Comparisons are only for self-improvement, not for competition.
5. Happy people take risks and confront their fears.
We all know someone who’s always the first in line for life’s tallest roller coaster. And they sit in the front seat with their hands in the air and a smile on their faces. It can be downright maddening and intimidating to watch!