7 Things Remarkably Happy People Do Often (B1-B2

Happiness: everyone wants it, yet relatively few seem to get enough of it, especially those
in their early forties. (I'm no psychologist, but that's probably about when many of us start
thinking, "Wait is this all there is!""
#oo$ news an$ ba$ news: unfortunately, appro%imately &' percent of your happiness, your
"happiness set(point," is $etermine$ by personality traits that are largely here$itary. Half of how
happy you feel is basically outsi$e your control.
)ut, that means &' percent of your level of happiness is totally within your control: relationships,
health, career, etc. *o even if you're genetically $ispose$ to be somewhat gloomy, you can still
$o things to make yourself a lot happier.
+ike this:
1. Make good friends.
It's easy to focus on buil$ing a professional network of partners, customers, employees,
connections, etc, because there is (hopefully" a payoff.
)ut there's a $efinite payoff to making real (not ,ust professional or social me$ia" frien$s.
Increasing your number of frien$s correlates to higher sub,ective well being $oubling your
number of frien$s is like increasing your income by &' percent in terms of how happy you feel.
-n$ if that's not enough, people who $on't have strong social relationships are &' percent less
likely to survive at any given time than those who $o. (.hat's a scary thought for loners like me."
/ake frien$s outsi$e of work. /ake frien$s at work. /ake frien$s everywhere.
/ake real frien$s. 0ou'll live a longer, happier life.
2. Actively express thankfulness.
-ccor$ing to one stu$y, couples that e%presse$ gratitu$e in their interactions with each other
resulte$ in increases in relationship connection an$ satisfaction the ne%t $ay((both for the person
e%pressing thankfulness an$ (no big surprise" for the person receiving it. (In fact, the authors of
the stu$y sai$ gratitu$e was like a "booster shot" for relationships."
1f course the same is true at work. 2%press gratitu$e for employee's har$ work an$ you both feel
better about yourselves.
-nother easy metho$ is to write $own a few things you are grateful for every night. 1ne stu$y
showe$ people who wrote $own & things they were thankful for once a week were 3& percent
happier after ten weeks in effect they $ramatically increase$ their happiness set(point.
Happy people focus on what they have, not on what they $on't have. It's motivating to want more
in your career, relationships, bank account, etc. but thinking about what youalready have, an$
e%pressing gratitu$e for it, will make you a lot happier.
-n$ will remin$ you that even if you still have huge $reams you have alrea$y accomplishe$ a
lot((an$ shoul$ feel genuinely prou$.
3. Actively pursue your goals.
#oals you $on't pursue aren't goals, they're $reams, an$ $reams only make you happy when
you're $reaming.
Pursuing goals, though, $oes make you happy. -ccor$ing to 4avi$ 5iven, author of 6'' *imple
*ecrets of the )est Half of +ife, "7eople who coul$ i$entify a goal they were pursuing(my
italics" were 689 more likely to feel satisfie$ with their lives an$ 3: percent more likely to feel
positive about themselves."
*o be grateful for what you have... then actively try to achieve more. If you're pursuing a huge
goal, make sure that every time you take a small step closer to achieving it you pat yourself on
the back.
)ut $on't compare where you are now to where you some$ay hope to be. ;ompare where you
are now to where you were a few $ays ago. .hen you'll get $o<ens of bite(si<e$ chunks of
fulfillment((an$ a never(en$ing supply of things to be thankful for.
4. Do what you excel at as often as you can.
0ou know the ol$ clich= regar$ing the starving yet happy artist! .urns out it's true: artists
are consi$erably more satisfie$ with their work than non(artists((even though the pay ten$s to be
consi$erably lower than in other skille$ fiel$s.
Why! I'm no researcher, but clearly the more you en,oy what you $o an$ the more fulfille$ you
feel by what you $o the happier you will be.
In .he Happiness -$vantage, *hawn -nchor says that when volunteers picke$, "...one of their
signature strengths an$ use$ it in a new way each $ay for a week, they became significantly
happier an$ less $epresse$."
1f course it's unreasonable to think you can chuck it all an$ simply $o what you love. )ut you
can fin$ ways to $o more of what you e%cel at. 4elegate. 1utsource. *tart to shift the pro$ucts
an$ services you provi$e into areas that allow you to bring more of your strengths to bear. If
you're a great trainer, fin$ ways to train more people. If you're a great salesperson, fin$ ways to
streamline your a$min tasks an$ get in front of more customers.
2veryone has at least a few things they $o incre$ibly well. >in$ ways to $o those things more
often. 0ou'll be a lot happier.
-n$ probably a lot more successful.
5. ive.
While giving is usually consi$ere$ to be unselfish, giving can also be more beneficial for the
giver than the receiver. 7rovi$ing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it.
Intuitively I think we all knew that because it feels awesome to help someone who nee$s it. 5ot
only is helping those in nee$ fulfilling, it's also a remin$er of how comparatively fortunate we
are((which is a nice remin$er of how thankful we shoul$ be for what we alrea$y have.
7lus, receiving is something you cannot control. If you nee$ help((or simply want help((you can't
make others help you. )ut you can always control whether you offer an$ provi$e help.
-n$ that means you can always control, at least to a $egree, how happy you are((because giving
makes you happier.
!. Don"t single#$indedly chase %stuff.%
/oney is important. /oney $oes a lot of things. (1ne of the most important is to create choices."
)ut after a certain point, money $oesn't make people happier. -fter about ?@&,''' a year,money
$oesn't buy more (or less" happiness. ")eyon$ ?@&,'''... higher income is neither the roa$ to
e%perience happiness nor the roa$ to relief of unhappiness or stress," say the authors of that
"7erhaps ?@&,''' is the threshol$ beyon$ which further increases in income no longer improve
in$ivi$uals' ability to $o what matters most to their emotional well(being, such as spen$ing time
with people they like, avoi$ing pain an$ $isease, an$ en,oying leisure."
-n$ if you $on't buy that, here's another take: ".he materialistic $rive an$ satisfaction with life
are negatively relate$." 1r, in layman's terms, ";hasing possessions ten$s to make you less
.hink of it as the bigger house syn$rome. 0ou want a bigger house. 0ou need a bigger house.
(5ot really, but it sure feels like you $o." *o you buy it. +ife is goo$... until a couple months later
when your bigger house is now ,ust your house.
5ew always becomes the new normal.
".hings" only provi$e momentary bursts of happiness. .o be happier, $on't chase as many
things. ;hase a few e%periences intea$.
&. 'ive the life you want to live.
)onnie Ware worke$ in palliative care, spen$ing time with patients who ha$ only a few months
to live. .heir most common regret was, "I wish I'$ ha$ the courage to live a life true to myself,
not the life others e%pecte$ of me."
What other people think((especially people you $on't even know(($oesn't matter. What other
people want you to $o $oesn't mater.
0our hopes, your $reams, your goals... live your life your way. *urroun$ yourself with people
who support an$ care not for the "you" they want you to be but for the real you.
/ake choices that are right for you. *ay things you really want to say to the people who most
nee$ to hear them. 2%press your feelings. *top an$ smell a few roses. /ake frien$s, an$ stay in
touch with them.
-n$ most of all, reali<e that happiness is a choice. &' percent of how happy you are lies within
your control, so start $oing more things that will make you happier.