Author: Justin Mckibben
My first job in moving to south Florida was being a busser at an espresso bar and Italian café, and regular customers seemed to get along with me pretty well. I was always drawn into conversations that typically got a few laughs, even though most people didn’t usually talk to the bussers, and I made a lot of friends through spontaneous conversations.
Why? Because when people asked me how I was doing, I didn’t just smile and say I was ‘fine’, or shrug them off and say I was ‘OK’. Every time someone asked me how I was doing, without fail I looked them in the eye and said ‘I am incredible’ or ‘I’m having an amazing day!’ WHY?
Besides knowing that better tips come with better service experiences, I knew that I had some level of influence on how happy my day was going to be, regardless of circumstances. Customers always seemed surprised with my answer, but for me it was a simple idea. I have some input on how I feel. In fact, according to University of California researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky,
“40% of our capacity for happiness is within our power to change.”
Assuming that this is correct, which in my experience it is, it should come as inspiring news that researchers believe we can take responsibility for so much of the creation of our own happiness. Whatever it is that makes you truly happy, there are some pretty common traits of those who are typically more smiley-faces than not. Here are 6 habits of the habitually happy people in this world.
- Put Faith in Others
While it is true that being absolutely trusting of everyone and everything can be counter-productive and seem naive and oblivious, most happy people put trust in their fellow man. Habitually happy people believe in the good in people, and are open and kind.
Happy people also adopt a sense of community with the people closest to them, while wholeheartedly opening up to new people, which helps them to create connections with others that give them more happiness.
- Focus on Silver Linings
While there are plenty of storm clouds that crowd our skies in the world today, those who are able to look at these overcast circumstances and seek out the silver linings. Unhappy people can make a point to complain about anything, and they will find things wrong when things are going right.
Happy people notice the issues, but they keep all problems in perspective, and give credit to the good things. Instead of finding the fault in a good thing, they dig through the bad things to find blessings, even if the only thing they get out of a situation is a lesson.
- Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
Happy people don’t make a habit out of comparing themselves to others and drawing negative judgments or make conflict from their conclusions. The belief that there is not enough happiness for the both of you is one that creates resentment from nothing, and holds people back from being happy for themselves and others.
Happy people know that their journey is their own, and instead of ‘hating on’ someone you having something good, they celebrate that person because they believe deep down that we all deserve profound happiness.
- Strive for Completion, Not Control
Trying to control anything and everything to fashion the world in a way that’s convenient for you is one way to guarantee you will not be happy. Because regardless how hard you work to be in control, sometimes that plan back-fires and you are miserable when you don’t get what you want, and even get hurt by the back-lash.
Happy people accept that taking steps toward achieving a goal and feeling completion through their convictions is quite opposite of trying to force the world to bend to their will. Happy people know what they want, and stay focused toward that completion, but they know how to roll with the punches.
Happy people understand that things don’t always go according to plan, but they have faith in their ability to obtain an outcome.
- Look Forward to the Future
Another trait of the habitually happy is that they usually have a great amount of faith in the future. Happy individuals typically can tell the difference between healthy fear and drastic and dreadful delusions, and they appreciate that they can experience it, but when they start living in that stress of the ‘what if’ then they become unhappy.
Happy people take it for what it is, and they either take action to change a fearful situation, or they accept that it is not in their control and they move on. Instead of being unhappy with worry and speculation, they look forward to living out their dreams, not running from their nightmares.
- Love Life
Those who appreciate life for the incredible and amazing thing that it is can see how having a love for life will make you happy beyond belief. They do not see themselves as victims of circumstances, and they do not view life as a pointless endeavor. Habitually happy individuals take responsibility for their lives, and then they move through the tough times with love and gratitude.
Happy people understand that stuff happens, and life is not all sunshine, ice-cream and free WiFi. Life sometimes means you get stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire, but happy people are glad the radio works and they have a couple friends to help them push. Being happy is about appreciation not expectations. It is not about assuming the outcome, but loving the experience.
“Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Whether an everyday individual, or an addict or alcoholic struggling with surviving their compulsions, we all have the choice to change. We decide for ourselves how happy we can be, and we take the appropriate action. We are only as happy as we decide to be, so make a different decision that can change your life. If your or someone you love is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135. We want to help. You are not alone.