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22 Things Happy People Do Differently

This article is from Chiara Fucarino. Enjoy!

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to address those with clinical depression or other mental illnesses.

happinessThere are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions. Rather, it comes from within. The richest person in the world could be miserable while a person living in the slums of a third world country could be happy and content. I have spent plenty of time amongst both groups to have seen it first hand. Happy people are happy because they make themselves happy. They maintain a positive outlook on life and remain at peace with themselves.

The question is: how do they do that?

It’s quite simple. Happy people have good habits that enhance their lives. They do things differently. Ask any happy person, and they will tell you that they …

1. Don’t hold grudges.

Happy people understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings. Holding a grudge has a lot of detrimental effects on your wellbeing, including increased depression, anxiety, and stress. Why let anyone who has wronged you have power over you? If you let go of all your grudges, you’ll gain a clear conscience and enough energy to enjoy the good things in life.

2. Treat everyone with kindness.

Did you know that it has been scientifically proven that being kind makes you happier? Every time you perform a selfless act, your brain produces serotonin, a hormone that eases tension and lifts your spirits. Not only that, but treating people with love, dignity, and respect also allows you to build stronger relationships.

3. See problems as challenges.

The word “problem” is never part of a happy person’s vocabulary. A problem is viewed as a drawback, a struggle, or an unstable situation while a challenge is viewed as something positive like an opportunity, a task, or a dare. Whenever you face an obstacle, try looking at it as a challenge.

4. Express gratitude for what they already have.

There’s a popular saying that goes something like this: “The happiest people don’t have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.” You will have a deeper sense of contentment if you count your blessings instead of yearning for what you don’t have.

5. Dream big.

People who get into the habit of dreaming big are more likely to accomplish their goals than those who don’t. If you dare to dream big, your mind will put itself in a focused and positive state.

6. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Happy people ask themselves, “Will this problem matter a year from now?” They understand that life’s too short to get worked up over trivial situations. Letting things roll off your back will definitely put you at ease to enjoy the more important things in life.

7. Speak well of others.

Being nice feels better than being mean. As fun as gossiping is, it usually leaves you feeling guilty and resentful. Saying nice things about other people encourages you to think positive, non-judgmental thoughts.

8. Never make excuses.

Benjamin Franklin once said, “He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.” Happy people don’t make excuses or blame others for their own failures in life. Instead, they own up to their mistakes and, by doing so, they proactively try to change for the better.

9. Get absorbed into the present.

Happy people don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future. They savor the present. They let themselves get immersed in whatever they’re doing at the moment. Stop and smell the roses.

10. Wake up at the same time every morning.

Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

11. Avoid social comparison.

Everyone works at his own pace, so why compare yourself to others? If you think you’re better than someone else, you gain an unhealthy sense of superiority. If you think someone else is better than you, you end up feeling bad about yourself. You’ll be happier if you focus on your own progress and praise others on theirs.

12. Choose friends wisely.

Misery loves company. That’s why it’s important to surround yourself with optimistic people who will encourage you to achieve your goals. The more positive energy you have around you, the better you will feel about yourself.

13. Never seek approval from others.

Happy people don’t care what others think of them. They follow their own hearts without letting naysayers discourage them. They understand that it’s impossible to please everyone. Listen to what people have to say, but never seek anyone’s approval but your own.

14. Take the time to listen.

Talk less; listen more. Listening keeps your mind open to others’ wisdoms and outlooks on the world. The more intensely you listen, the quieter your mind gets, and the more content you feel.

15. Nurture social relationships.

A lonely person is a miserable person. Happy people understand how important it is to have strong, healthy relationships. Always take the time to see and talk to your family, friends, or significant other.

16. Meditate.

Meditating silences your mind and helps you find inner peace. You don’t have to be a zen master to pull it off. Happy people know how to silence their minds anywhere and anytime they need to calm their nerves.

17. Eat well.

Junk food makes you sluggish, and it’s difficult to be happy when you’re in that kind of state. Everything you eat directly affects your body’s ability to produce hormones, which will dictate your moods, energy, and mental focus. Be sure to eat foods that will keep your mind and body in good shape.

18. Exercise.

Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. Exercising also boosts your self-esteem and gives you a higher sense of self-accomplishment.

19. Live minimally.

Happy people rarely keep clutter around the house because they know that extra belongings weigh them down and make them feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.

20. Tell the truth.

21 Days to Greater Success!

Get the book that will help you add these habits to your life!

Lying stresses you out, corrodes your self-esteem, and makes you unlikeable. The truth will set you free. Being honest improves your mental health and builds others’ trust in you. Always be truthful, and never apologize for it.

21. Establish personal control.

Happy people have the ability to choose their own destinies. They don’t let others tell them how they should live their lives. Being in complete control of one’s own life brings positive feelings and a great sense of self-worth.

22. Accept what cannot be changed.

Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.
If you’d like to see more posts like these, follow my blog or share with your friends below! Thanks!
Kris

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Here’s the link to the blog where I found this information: 22 Things Happy People Do Differently.

1,192 comments

  1. So So true.. agree with all of the above points :D
    I try … but I really hope I can make sure that I do at least half of them correctly :)

  2. Amazing Article, Thanks for sharing it!

  3. Good article and so true reminds me of a saying, a man is as miserable as he makes his mind up to be Abraham Lincoln

    • Gary, I believe the quote is “People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” The opposite is also true, however.

  4. This is a fantastic article. It is so important to remember that finishing first only constitutes a win if you’ve created happiness for yourself along the way. I would add “Skip the Regrets”

  5. Thanks for this. Think it would be a nice challenge to memorize.

  6. Thank you for reminding us of what’s important.

  7. Thanks for reminding us of what’s important.

  8. Reblogged this on Savvy Blurb and commented:
    Great thoughts!!!

  9. Patrick Asselborn

    Thank you, it is well said and supportive

  10. Amazing, I try and practice a lot which is mentioned here, this has made me think over again. Thanks for sharing.

  11. I try to follow many of these guidelines but sometimes it’s easy to “fall off” the wagon , so to speak . Thank you for the reminders !

  12. I’ve never seen a truly happy homeless person, but maybe that’s because they couldn’t meet #17 (eat well). While much of this is great advice for most westerners who have the basic necessities covered, it’s not entirely universal…

    • Thanks so much for the thoughtful comment! I would say that I have met a number of “happy homeless”. Obviously they would want different circumstances but I have met some really great, happy people who were homeless.
      To your other point, I have traveled and lived in many 3rd world countries and I have found some of the happiest, most content people in the world who were living in what we would consider poverty. Happiness definitely comes from the inside, not the outside.
      Thanks again for the comment. I really appreciate it!

      • Only a white male would look at 3rd world poverty and think the people are happy because they HAVE to act that way. Same way they thought starving Vietnamese women (often prostitutes) actually liked them.

        • yeah, Kris, that statement didnt make sense, came off as if you were speaking from an imperialistic point of view..

          • I understand where you’re coming from and I really appreciate the comment. I had no intention of trying to be imperialistic. I have lived among these people in homes that would make most Americans shudder. And in those circumstances I have found the happiest, most positive people I have met in my life. They are some of my dearest friends.
            My point is that in ANY circumstance we have the choice to be happy or the choice to be miserable. Whichever we choose does not change the external circumstance but it does affect our physical and mental well-being.
            Thanks again for chiming in! I hope to hear from you again in the future!

          • I don’t think you came off as imperialistic at all. I think you all should watch the document “Happy” and see. I am sure like Kris said they would prefer different living conditions but it actually sounds like you all are speaking from your Western knowledge of what people want and need. Things aren’t valued the same all over the world. We may be hungry for big houses and comfort, but that is a very very American value and in no way reflects the rest of the world…

            GREAT ARTICLE!

  13. I agree with most of this article except that the author equates success and dreaming big with happiness, which I find contrary to other points. If success brings happiness then homeless people cannot be happy and successful people must be happy. Dreaming big leads to being unsatisfied with what you have.

    • Thanks for the comment Ingrid. I agree with you if your definition of success is monetary in nature. I believe success to be completely different for everybody. I partially agree with you about dreaming big. It does cause people to be unsatisfied with what they have…if they only dream but never act. I think people should be content with what they have, but never satisfied with who they are. Life is about constant progress and always trying to be better. When we stop moving forward, we start sliding backward.
      Thank you again for your thoughtful insight. I really appreciate it. Do you have a blog that I could visit?
      Kris

      • I can honestly say that when I was homeless I had an amazing sense of freedom. I wasn’t depressed about it because I adopted the attitude that I was camping, not homeless (living in a vehicle). I also counted my blessings because on cold rainy nights I was warm and dry, I saw others who weren’t.

        As for dreaming big. What’s the sense of dreaming small? A small dream is a tuna fish sandwich, a big dream is to be captain of your own tuna boat. A small dream, once accomplished leaves you with nothing. A big dream gives you a reason to get out of bed either to work hard to make your dream come true or to live a grand life.

        When I was a kid I dreamed of owning a farm, now I do. I don’t always enjoy morning chores but animals need to be cared for and watching kids romp or turkeys strut about fills my heart with joy.

        I also take in folks that have set on hard times….Everyone deserves a warm, safe, dry place to sleep. Had I never known homelessness myself I may not be as compassionate for them.

        I have 41 acres, BIG plans, and PTSD. My life and situation are far from perfect but every experience I’ve had in my life has lead me here, and here is good. I’ve come a long way.

      • Miranda Guillot

        Wow, I must say, I just have to say, success truly is measure by the positive and negative; for without one you cannot have the other and without both, how can you tell what success is without trials and tribulations? When you have a balance of each, then can a person really admit to themselves what makes them happy or sad. I only know this through experience, how ever great or small. I agree with every part of your success! Thank you for sharing it with me.

  14. Hi kris! Love this post. Just shared it with my friends and followers and will be on the lookout for more gems:)

  15. Good list, many wise thoughts. I do find it interesting that #10,” Wake up at the same time every morning”, is followed by “Avoid social comparison” (#11). There is science behind the idea that consistent sleep/wake schedules lead to better sleep and better health. But in #10 you emphasize the importance of rising early, which is a different issue from consistency. I believe the early riser bias is merely a cultural and social norm. So #10 tells those of us who are not “morning people” we would be better off if we changed our ways and became early risers. Yet #11 says we should not compare ourselves to others and we are right to follow our natural rhythms. BTW, I have never been an early riser, yet I have accomplished much in life and count myself a happy person.

    • I’m not an early riser either. Morning people like to say it is because we are lazy, but I can’t think in the morning and do all my best work in the afternoon and evening.
      I’m awake for the same amount of time and working for the same amount of time, but somehow it is ‘lazy’ to sleep later.

      I’m very happy. But not when I have to get up at 6 or 7 am!

    • Well said Mel, I would never claim that all successful or happy people are early risers. Success is such a broad term anyway. Most studies do support a high correlation between financial/career success and waking up before 6:00 AM. The important point is that waking up at or near the same time every day leads to a greater sense of well-being and happiness. Thanks so much for the comment.

  16. Reblogged this on withlovedeidrelee and commented:
    I absolutely love this post and had to share!

  17. I like everything but #13. “Happy people don’t care what others think of them.”

    I don’t understand why or how our culture has gotten so enamored with believing that our self-worth and self-esteem should be 100% self-derived, especially in light of #1, 2, 7, 11, 12, 14, and 15 on this same list. Part of having a relationship – any relationship, be it romantic, familial, friendly, business or otherwise – is that it’s conditional on the continued approval of both parties. If you want to continue to have those types of relationships in a healthy way – like #12 and 15 recommend – you have to pay attention to the reactions of the other person in the relationship.

    Further, a person should probably desire and consider the approval of people who his/her actions will directly affect if they want to cultivate #2, 14, and 15. I may want to move to Atlanta, but will my pregnant wife – who is due in June – approve of me taking a job that’s offered to me in Atlanta right this second? What if the starting date were June 1st? Or if the wife example is too much an exception (no one else is my wife, after all), what about if I wanted to paint the outside of my house, which I rent? For reasons financial and social, that action must needs be met with the approval of my landlady. It would not be wrong of her to reconsider whether she wants a person who would paint the outside of her property without asking as a tenant. More importantly, it would be wise of me to reconsider my high regard for my own financial sense and social tact were she to decide she didn’t.

    I should also mention that I’m not arguing in favor of using the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of self-worth/esteem, at all. I do tend to think those things should be mostly self-determined. I’m just not sure I understand why one would or should gauge one’s own worth based entirely on one’s own opinion. Seems like a good way to get trapped in an echo-chamber of either self-loathing or self-aggrandizement.

    The other 21 things are all solid pieces of advice, though. Thanks for your article. I enjoyed reading it.

  18. Excellent points, well-presented. I just wrote a blog post about my new ebook The ABCs of Emotional Mastery and included a short video of Barbara Fredrikson (author of Positivity and Love 2.0) talking about easy ways to increase your ratio of positive to negative emotions, daily. This list would make a good addition.

    May I have your permission to reproduce and/or link to this page? Thank you for considering this request. I’ll spend some more time on successify – for sure

  19. Capitalistic Humanist

    I enjoyed reading this but didn’t agree with #22. “Accept what cannot be changed. Once you accept the fact that life is not fair, you’ll be more at peace with yourself. Instead of obsessing over how unfair life is, just focus on what you can control and change it for the better.”
    To some extent this kind of attitude leads to complacency, ignorance and acceptance of societal and world problems. It’s a bit like ‘any thing outside of my little world is other people’s problem’.
    It’s the great enemy of AWARENESS which in the end leads to unneccessary wars. For example the fact the world’s most powerful democracy, the US, was secretly bombing Laos in a major way for 8 years without the knowledge of the American people is shocking.
    About the comment ‘just focus on what you can control’, well as an individual very little, but with others, a lot. You know, ‘together we stand, divided we fall’ and all that. By raising awareness of problems (outside our immediate control) amongst our peers and beyond, it can have a major impact. So my advice is do get angry about bad stuff happening in this world, talk about it, and in due course with a little bit of luck maybe it will change things for the better!

    • Awesome comment! Thank you so much! This one is a touchy topic because it can be interpreted in different ways and I think your point is very valid. Thanks again!

    • I don’t think you understood. The distinction was made between what we can change and what we can’t. No where did I read ignore problems that can be changed.

      The fact remains MANY people get caught up in the “life’s not fair” attitude. Which leads to apathy more so than the attitude you mentioned.

  20. I have been analyzing this topic of happiness lately and I’d like to present a different perspective. I appreciate some of the qualities you wrote about but I think we tend to over-simplify happiness by polarizing people who are happy and not happy. I propose that it is a more complex discussion. I agree that happiness is a decision but I would say that people’s relationship with happiness exists on a spectrum. Using myself, I have to work very hard towards that decision, harder than my partner, for example. His natural, neutral disposition is closer toward content than mine and generally experiences happiness without having to first shift, ignore or disqualify the barriers that I do. Happiness is a process as well as a decision, one that is on-going, and I believe we all have different natural starting places that are rooted in our chemistry as well as our experiences that require different strategies and levels of effort to achieve. I do find that some general guidelines like the ones you listed can be helpful suggestions and reminders, thank you for posting. Cheers!

    • That’s wonderful Jenny! You are so right that we all have a different relationship with happiness. I’d love to hear more of your thoughts on happiness!

  21. There’s some good advice in here. Why preface it with the lazy, hackneyed and grossly inaccurate “There are two types of people in this world” line?

  22. Russell Johnson

    Awesome!

  23. Brittany Barefield

    This is good advice, but I think anyone that says happiness is a choice has never struggled with clinical depression. In fact, when I focus on all the things I should be grateful for, I feel very guilty for being depressed in the first place, which in turn makes me even more depressed and miserable. There are A LOT of people in this country that try to very hard to be happy, and pay a lot of money for professional advice on how to be happy, and those people realize it is not as simple as a numbered list.

  24. Started reading, blah blah blah, got as far as don’t hold grudges, didn’t bother reading any further. It’s a long way to scroll to the bottom of the page ! Just to comment on what went on, or in my case didn’t go on before. Lead a long life, phillyg. xx

  25. Reblogged this on Mind Heart Journeys and commented:
    Totally agree with these. Actually I like to think that I do most of them, or try my best to. Good advice.

  26. One of my friends posted this on Facebook. I’m so glad I clicked on it to see what it was all about. I’m printing out your list and putting it up on the fridge as a daily reminder. Thank you!

  27. Reblogged this on Cat Killfoil and commented:
    Love reading just what I need to hear just when I need to hear it.

  28. 23. Choose your battles. Don’t fight for everything
    24. Set your priorities, there is not such thing as a free ride. Know the price you paying…

  29. typo…price you are paying..

  30. very well compiled. Hope we can all incorporate all the 22 into our lives.

  31. The richest people can also be extremely happy. Money can ‘buy’ time away from the 9to5 and more time with your family. You can pursue life-enhancing adventures, help others out and spend more time with your family.
    I’ve only ever seen one outwardly happy homeless man. It was about 8:30 in the morning and he was laughing at a bin.

    All good points above. I reckon I hit most of them. I’m about 60% happy.

  32. Well written. Useful ideas for anyone! Thanks

  33. I love how the author is so happy and content with all the replies! Makes this happy person smile!

    Great article!

  34. Kathleen M. Bonk

    I really enjoyed reading this, got a lot out of it and it made a lot of sense. Thank You to my sister, who posted this.More people need to read this…

  35. There is a possibility that the readers may get confused at those points. For example, when it says “Dont hold grudges” it actually means “Happy people dont hold grudges”, and NOT necessarily “You will be happy if you dont hold grudges”.

    I agree with almost all the point, except number 12. Happy people offer (and receive) friendship almost indiscriminately.

  36. Great list. I would not suggest though that people must exert complete control over their lives (# 21). People can easily develop control issues which we all know is a fast track to unhappiness. Instead of exerting control, live life on life’s terms! This goes hand in hand with acceptance. Overall, this is a wonderful list.

    • Yes i agree, being able to be fluid in certain situations can help you achieve and be enjoyable across many people. But, this is when “choose your friends wisely” comes in to play, cause you need to pull away from those people that make u conform.

    • I think you missed the point about #21…….. it’s about personal control and not letting others tell you how to live your life……..Like an adult who keeps living to please his parents and giving up his personal control to them, or a gay person letting others opinions control how they live their life. And then you apply #22 to still live life on life’s terms – this doesn’t mean letting people walk all over you or not changing the things that you can change. I think the list should include self-awareness also, and then you can recognize any unhealthy control issues that do develop and change them.

  37. I life this

  38. There are lots of kinds of people in the world. Some kinds are disdainful of unhappy people, believing it’s always a choice to be unhappy.

  39. I’m a happy nigh owl!

    • Me too! Some people are naturally happier sleeping in, and more productive/creative late at night. I find it interesting that “Wake up at the same time every morning” is followed directly by “Avoid social comparison.” What works for some people doesn’t necessarily work for others, and that applies to sleeping patterns and circadian rhythms too.

      More importantly, successful people aren’t necessarily the happiest. Find an occupation that fits your skills and your hours, and you’ll be successful and happy.

      • Thanks for the post. I agree with you about “successful” people not necessarily being the happiest. I use successful in many ways, the least of which refer to financial success. I would argue that if you aren’t happy, then you aren’t really successful no matter how much you have.

  40. i agree w/ a lot of this — i consider myself a happy person for the most part but, i do get lonely/miserable at times but, i think everyone does — but, this list has put things into perspective and i will try to follow it a bit more.

  41. Love this, and just reading it made me feel more upbeat as I was reminded that I have the power to create my own happiness! I do have to say it over-simplifies the issue a bit, which is really okay for this kind of article I guess. Research is showing that there is a major genetic component to positive/negative mindsets, which is not to say that you are doomed if you have a genetic negative disposition. It is not as simple as saying we all have equal opportunity to choose happiness though; some people are just naturally there and some have to work much much harder to create and maintain a positive outlook. The tips in this article work for just about everyone, though I think some people just need to work harder at it and avoid becoming discouraged if it takes more time and discipline for them. Thanks for the encouraging read:)

  42. I want more information

  43. One of the best lists I have seen in a long time! If we manifest even a few things on this list we begin to understand the true meaning of life! Thanks so much for this, it is helping me realign my life intentions. I am sharing too!

  44. Would like to add having a faith relationship with God helps and fits in with many of these thoughts.
    You are never alone, always have a friend and his promises are sure.

  45. This is great and so true!

  46. if you want a good site to find some meditation/visual guidance cd’s go to
    http://www.healthjourneys.com

  47. This is terrible and wrong. It bends over backwards to defend and perpetuate the idea that anybody who isn’t happy is doing something wrong. Being unhappy isn’t usually a choice. Sure, we all know somebody who’s always cranky and has no sense of perspective… but it is cruel and heartless to close your eyes to real suffering. Pick up a newspaper. Read about gang rape. Cancer. Torture. Poverty. Starvation. War. There are REAL problems in the world, there are REAL victims in the world. A positive attitude doesn’t change that.

    • You are right that there is a lot of suffering in the world. I do not pretend to say that those who suffer are doing something wrong. But I do believe 100% that a positive attitude will make any situation better. Bad things will happen to all of us in life and we can’t change the fact that they happen. But we do control how we choose to react to them.
      I really appreciate you reminding us that there are those in terrible situations our there. I hope this post or my blog don’t come across as flippant or demeaning to anyone’s situation.

    • well, I understand what you are saying; it was something about this article that irritated me, because this isn’t the right things happy people do, its a list of things which are ways to increase happiness – IE methods towards positive thinking. I am clinically depressed, but I have a personal philosophy which means I fulfill almost all the things in this list, thus making me a more healthy person.
      It’s unfair of you and also illogical to start attacking this list because it addresses happiness of a person and doesn’t address how to end torture, cancer, gang rape and the rest of the very serious problems you listed, because it never set out to give ideas on those topics!

      BTW a positive attitude can change many things.

  48. This assumes that a person is well. What if you are enduring a terminal illness, lived in a lot of pain, had a progressive degenerative disorder, etc,etc. There are millions and millions of people like this. How can they overcome their situation??

    • That is a great point Barbara. My sister suffers from a degenerative disease that will eventually take her life. And I know there are millions like her. She is an incredibly positive person and has never complained about her situation. I will see if she has some tips on how to stay positive when dealing with the pain every day. I’m sure to some extent the only way to find happiness in those situations is to stop asking “why is this happening to me?” and get to a point where we can say, “how do I want to spend the rest of my life?”

  49. You are right Kris – all of us have life challenges and it is really a constant throughout life. Knowing that we all struggle, that’s everyone BTW, helps us to be more compassionate. It’s not necessarily the problem but rather the way we choose to handle the problem that ends up being most important. Some choose to roll over in a fetal position and others decide to be proactive in solving their problem and that can contribute significantly to their happiness, regardless of the problem. There is something empowering about taking positive action.

  50. There are some great tips in this post, but as a survivor of trauma I take extreme exception to the first sentence. People who are unhappy do not usually *choose* to be unhappy. They are caught up in situations where happiness is not really an option. And yes, a positive attitude does help in many cases, but it’s kind of hard to be positive when you have someone doing terrible things to your body and mind on a daily basis for an extended period of time. People who are going through stuff like serious illness, domestic violence, homelessness, mental illness and countless other things already have a tendency to blame themselves for things that are not their fault. Please don’t add to it by saying that people “choose to be unhappy.”

    • Becky,
      I am so sorry for what you have been through. I do not blame you for taking extreme exception to that sentence and I hope I didn’t make you feel that I dismiss situations such as yours. There are terrible people out there who destroy the lives of the innocent. I am in awe of the courage you have to keep moving forward and trying to move past the emotional scars. Many of my thoughts on happiness in terrible situations come from the writing of Victor Frankl. I highly recommend reading the story of his life in a Nazi concentration camp. There may be some helpful insights.
      Thank you so much for the comment. I sincerely hope I did not offend you by my over-generalization.

  51. Reblogged this on Loica Marc and commented:
    Love this!

  52. Why are so many people obsessed with pursuing happiness? Happiness is just an emotion. I am rarely happy, but am frequently satisfied with my lot in life. I appreciate the little things, I find joy and wonder in life…but I am not a happy person. Satisfied? Definitely. Oozing happiness? Nope.

    • Smile more. One of the rare things that we can control in this world is our happiness. Happiness comes with being satisfied with who you are and what you have become. Do you enjoy the things that satisfy you? Are you happy when you enjoy something? Happiness is not defined by one person. Happiness differs from person to person. My happiness is right where I’m at, and I’m satisfied with it too. Maybe you need to reevaluate what happiness means to you, instead of what others believe to be happiness.

  53. Fantastic article! Love the simple, clear messages that don’t take much to enact. Appreciate your positive vibe and will be back again soon. Peace and Blessings…

  54. i have to strongly disagree with your 1st statement! as a nurse who has seen a lot of people who are depressed and as a depressed person myself.. i know that there are many who WANTs to be happy but cant. its not a matter of choice. yea.. i wish i can be happy. if i can choose.. why wouldnt i choose to happy. if it was easy.. there wouldnt be a lot of sad people in this world

    • Yes, that was my main objection to this article, it doesn’t take that into account. There are a number of mentally ill and depressed people in my family tree, and I think it can be pretty hard to buck genetics. Personally, I’m pretty sure I have dysthymia, long-term chronic low-grade depression. OTOH, I’m not depressed to the point where I can’t get out of bed and while I can’t choose happiness as such I can certainly make choices that will make me happier as opposed to perfectly happy. I can’t assess that for anybody else, though, and I share your irritation at the notion that it’s simply a choice. I had to do a lot of work in therapy and support groups and lots of people don’t have access to those things or never get to the point where they think to use them. It took suicidal depression to get me there, and quite frankly I could have gone the other way – I may have just been lucky.
      One thing I’m sure of – this stupid US culture of “BE ALL YOU CAN BE” engenders comparison and unhappiness in everyone (this article did an ok job of pointing that out in #11).
      Good luck to all of us on our path.

  55. This is an excellent list of things anyone can choose to do to work towards a greater sense of well-being, personal resilience, and more positive emotions. However, “happiness” is ultimately just a transient emotion, and striving to “be happy” all the time doesn’t allow people to accept that unhappiness at times is a normal part of our emotional experience. The reality is that sometimes people will feel unhappy even if they are doing all of the things on this list. Sometimes we feel unhappy without “choosing” to feel that way, simply because we are experiencing normal reactions to the situations life throws at us. I think these are great tips on how to live life well, but perhaps with the goal of having greater inner well-being rather than “being a happy person”.

  56. As I read the comments, my heart goes out to those who are faced with extraordinary obstacles while they struggle to achieve a happier existence. Just the simple fact that they are looking for ways to make it happen is a very good sign, because that means a decision to make happiness a priority is well underway. It can be very hard work to make changes. And it is definitely worth it. It was for me.
    I am not sold on the idea that dreaming BIG is of major importance for most of us, but I firmly believe that having a dream of your own is essential. It’s like that corny song in the old movie South Pacific – Happy Talk: “You got to have a dream. If you don’t have a dream, then how you gonna have a dream come true?”

  57. This is a fantastic blog – thank you for the reminders!

  58. Reblogged this on Ogden Family Chiropractic and commented:
    Great tips to be healthy!

  59. I’m one of your unhappy people. While I can things in your article that might be helpful to my life I find most of it to be regurgitated BS. You took every happy sappy motivational poster and made a list if crap that no real human could possibly live by.

    • Ryan, I’m sorry you feel that way. I bet there a number of things on the list that you do live by every day. I never intended to make the post sound like regurgitated BS. It is stuff I found helpful and thousands of others are finding helpful as well. It may sound regurgitated because many of the principles of success and happiness have been the same for thousands of years. So as you have read on the subject, you will find the same themes regurgitated over and over in different forms.
      I hope that my future posts will be of more interest to you. Thanks so much for the feedback.

  60. Fabulous. Words to live by. Especially for snarky people like me!

  61. Perhaps some research and fact checking before you write again? There is no evidence whatsoever that early risers are more productive than anyone else. there is plenty of evidence that people who are able to sleep and rise according to their own personal circadian rhythms are more productive. Early risers only seem more productive because present-day industrial society is set up according to this protestant-work-ethic myth. For just one mythbusting study, see http://www.rodale.com/sleeping-late-and-productivity.

    • That first sentence is merely an observation. The rest of that section supports everything you have said. Waking up at the same time is the key element. However, a tendency to lock in your circadian rhythm (which can be changed) to waking up at 12:30 in the afternoon will have detrimental effects on your ability to find certain careers. If you are in a profession that allows such a schedule, congratulations! I wish the world was set up so everyone had that ability.
      Thank you for the reply and the link to the study. Very informative.

  62. Reminds me of this I wrote a bit back :)

  63. What I find interesting here is the evidence of what I teach writers – step out and write it “real”, write with your heart and passion, and people will speak out against your writing. THAT’S how you know when you are really writing. If you’re pleasing everyone, you most likely are not touching any nerves.

    I love the upbeat, progressive tone of this article and much of what is written. I also love your ability to address the criticisms without discounting your point of view. You do not take a defensive stance, but more a proactive stance of validating other people’s perspectives. An article such as this that engages conversations benefits all concerned.

    I do see some of the points of the detractors, yet I don’t necessarily agree with all of them. In truth, we each must winnow out our own paths in this life. Because you wrote a great article, you’ve engaged people to think and to assess. That is writing “success” in my book.

    I have a good iFriend who lives in London but hails from Pakistan. She describes to me the incredible happiness she found back in Pakistan on a recent visit, DESPITE war and death and poverty and disease all around. I chime in on the “choice” to happiness and joy is indeed a choice, albeit often not a simple or easy one. I myself struggle with this very choice daily. This article gives me something to work with and strive for.

    My mentor once told me to take the best and cast off the rest. There are many great points in this article. I will adopt those that enhance my life and move on with a thank you for putting out something intended to be beneficial to others. I also thank those who took the time to challenge the article as they often (not always) made reasonable points.

    Well-written and well-managed post!

  64. Reblogged this on Yoga Daisy and commented: :) I love choosing happiness.

  65. If you believe “we create our own world”, then you must accept there are choices that we make, and we harvest the results.

    • Leigh, I am a big believer harvesting the results of our choices. If you click on the link that says, “Books” you can download a free digital copy of my book “The Law of the Harvest” which I think you would really enjoy.

  66. Reblogged this on F the Desk and commented:
    Fantastic article!

  67. Reblogged this on And so he spoke… and commented:
    I find that the things on this list I’ve done have more or less worked for me. There’s still a few I have to work on though.

  68. Leigh……… I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS!!!! This is amazing! My friend shared this on my personal fb page and I love this and could not agree with you more on this. :) Kudos to you and this post. I love it. I can’t express this more. Thank you for writing this. :)

  69. justin peter richard randall

    i just want to say thank you .this has really been helpful to me.

  70. Yes, what about people who are clinically depressed? Are they supposed to act happy? It requires superhuman strength.

  71. The only problem I have with this is that it is written in absolutes. No one just learns things like this and then does them. People are complex. People suffer from depression. This list would make most of those people feel even worse about themselves. I use all of these tips. But I use them in a way more consistent with reality verses fantasy like they are written. They are ideals to strive for in everyday living. The way they are presented is rather child like and completely unrealistic.

  72. I think happy people spend more time outdoors – if they are exercising, they are doing some or most of it on trails or in the woods or on the water.

    • Stephen Covey, author of the book ” 7 habits of successful people was in German concentration camp. That did’nt affected his happiness

      • That’s definitely not true. Maybe you’re thinking of Viktor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Meaning”?

      • He was a Mormon, born in Salt Lake City, never was in a concentration camp.

      • He was not in any concentration camps! where did you come up with this?

      • this made me laugh out loud.

        • Just to clarify Covey’s NON participation in a German concentration camp… “Stephen Covey introduces the story of Viktor Frankl to emphasize the point that we have the freedom to choose our response to whatever happens to us. Frankl was a psychiatrist and is well known for his theory of Logotherapy and publishing “Man’s Search for Meaning”. While enduring Nazi concentration camps Frankl realized that we can always choose our response, no matter what happens to us. “Man’s Search for Meaning” is essential reading, by the way, and should be high on your list. It’s an easy powerful read.” http://www.change-management-coach.com/stephen-covey.html

    • I tend to agree with you on this one Susan, happy people do like spending more time outdoors.

  73. Point form for good advice and we all need to practices that everyday to make our world a better place to be and our own the same

  74. Love this…share, share, share! Thanks!

  75. I thought I had everything in order, until my father died tragically and suddenly. How does a happy successful person deal with something like that?

    • accept what you cannot change. being a happy person doesn’t mean that you don’t feel or be human. it’s just that you have a measure of resilience, bounce back. sorrow is not the opposite of happiness. “beautiful sadness” it can be called when one is so appreciative, yet choked and longing. sometimes it takes a living being a while to adjust to major shifts in the world such as the disappearance of a loved one, a pillar in our lives …

    • Mike, i am sorry for your liss. I suggest you grieve for your loss with your closest friends. I found taking the time for saddness helps put it aside. Also doing something positive in your father’s name helps ease that sadness back into joy. Time and love work together, even from strangers. Xoxo to you and your family.

      • By remembering what your Father meant to you when he was here, what he taught you and how much he loved you. Time will do the rest. One day you will just remember his good years and be grateful. I lost mine too tragically and needlessly. Now I remember how much he loved and was pleased with me. Talk about him. Even talk TO him.

    • You accept the pain and give yourself time to heal, mentally and physically, and understand you need time. We all get upset and lose people we love in ways that were unexpected. It’s ok to be angry and hurt. Validating that your feelings are ok and giving yourself the time to deal with it is key. Some people try to put on a face so others don’t see their pain. That just drags on the pain. Acknowledge it, face it, deal with it and then you can move on. Focus on all of the happy times you had with your dad. Celebrate his life after you mourn his death.

    • Mike, that is a hard one to bear. I am sorry for your loss. Losing a parent tragically and suddenly throws you for a loop. I lost my mother unexpectedly. One day she was here, the next gone. My father lived almost 20 years without, when he suddenly took a turn and was rushed to the hospital and died within hours. Just last year, my brother died of cancer. I feel robbed. I can only tell you that you must deal with your grief first and don’t put a timer on it. Some of us spring back easier than others. Eventually, you’ll allow yourself to smile again, laugh and remember sweet, happier times with you father. The cutting-to-the-heart sadness will always be there, but it will soften over time.

    • @Mike, first I’m sorry to hear of your profound loss. With an event like that, just staying with those difficult feelings when you can and taking time out for self-care and family support is a huge achievement. Courageously experiencing our felt sense of grief is an enormously powerful growth experience, although we wouldn’t wish it on anyone else. Kahlil Gibran wrote “Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding” and I have come to feel the truth of that. I think a better word than “happy” for a truly centered and healthy person is “joyful” – we can be in contact with the joy and mystery of life even when we aren’t happy, even when grief and loss take center stage in our personal experience. Being present with our experience as much as we can reminds us of our larger belonging, our timeless self.

    • replying to mike march 14 2013
      except that he is in the best place and for you to focus on things good in your life no matter how small. focusing on the things you can change will put you in a better state of mind.

    • Mike, very sorry about your loss. No happy successful person is happy all the time – otherwise, he is a phony. Finding the right approach to deal with tragedy is a very personal thing… You will find yours, I am sure. Pain in the short run is unavoidable, and that’s ok. The goal is to not let the pain break you in the long run. For me (and that’s the personal part which may not work for you), what worked was an intense focus on the present day, and attempting to connect with others meaningfully – also to find outlets to express my frustration and anger – also to spend time in nature – and finally to forget all the silly talk about how every experience can be positive and instead realize that life is a school for the spirit, and not every lesson is pleasant… Take care, and kudos for your journey.

    • any loss like this is not easy…I lost my Dad about 7 years ago. But contentment/happiness is not the same as no trouble come your way. I think these 20 points are really good…Perhaps most important is a belief that God is in control, no matter what.

    • Mike,
      What a terribly hard thing to have to go through. I think some of our other readers have given some great thoughts and insights. I hope you take the time to read them. This is what an online community should be, especially for a site like ours that is all about helping one another. If you’d like to talk more about it, please contact me at krisheap@successify.net.
      Thank you so much for sharing with us. I sincerely hope that you find a way to move forward.

    • It’s very difficult to do. Over time you have to let go of the loss and keep the memories of the time together. I’ve lost both of my parents, and though their loss makes me sad, the memories of the times we did have together remain and make me happy. I am able to share the memories of my parents with my children, and that in its self brings me happiness too. You will find it, it just takes time.

    • the same way sad broke people do, one day at a time. only time will heal the wound.

    • Dear Mike, I don’t know you but I’m sorry for your loss – I struggle with bereavements and accepting the loss of anyone close to me. Always remember that your pain is only ever equal to how much you loved – this is a gift in life, and something to be cherished.

      Good luck and I hope this thought brings you some comfort.

    • I, too, lost my Dad tragically. It wasn’t sudden… he diminished over 10 years with Alzheimer’s, and it was excruciating to watch my friend and mentor waste away to oblivion. The loss is always with me, but I believe the process of grief has strengthened my resolve to live my life fully and to take things “one day at a time,” I believe that prayer is answered when we welcome everything, even the crap that life throws our way. Be strong, be happy, and be aware that everything really does happen for a reason.

    • With a smile,knowing he’s one step ahead of you♥♥
      *smiles*..

    • O totally understand your pain dear.

      Look, the way people, die, has nothing to do with anything dear. Good people, bad people all die, peacefully, or horribely dear. That is not the case

      The way I think, is, if a good person (by Good means ‘have decided to be good’, hence, anyone can be Good, instantly), dies, and if they died in a horrible manner, everyone can think that they that they, paid in Full, for their sins, before they went to Heaven forever, which is a Good thing (as in Heaven, there can be no sin, and all sin, should be paid for), so they can have a peaceful life. If they died peacefully dear one can think that he was a Good man, hence didn’t have any thing else to be paid

      So please be happy to know, that your father paid in Full, for his sins, and is HAPPY, in Heaven

      And don’t forget your father dear. Remember him. It’s ok to cry, etc. If you love him, keep him close to you, remember him. It will make you happy

  76. Happiness – In Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs the very basic needs, that without everything else will falter is – everyone get outside more, breath in fresh air, keep your breath calm, drink lot’s of water, eat healthy and nutritional food, get enough sleep, stay warm, and have sex.

    http://apenny-light.com/2013/01/26/happiness/

  77. I get joy from knowing that everyday I make a difference. It might be a smile to a stranger. Saving someones life. Being able to help a family when their loved one is very sick. Helping someone in need. Looking out my front porch and smiling because each day is such a special gift. Lookin forward at 23 beautiful dog babies looking at me with unconditional love and knowing that just being with them teaches me that its the simple things that make you happy. A dog bisquit, a belly rub, a swim in the pond, lying in the sun, running for the joy of it, and just being with me.

  78. Thanks for keeping it short and to the point. I think if people do some, or most of these suggestions, they are going to feel more successful in life.

  79. love this but… 1 major thing that people need to find most is GOD! find him and u will find TRUE happiness!!

    • This is not true at all. Not for everyone, at least.

    • That may be true for you Lacey, but many people find true happiness without the need to believe in a higher being. Personally I prefer to be responsible for my own actions and happiness and don’t need the approval of a God. At the end of the day I have to answer to my own concience.

  80. This is THE bucket list. Better than any global destination, athletic achievement, or sensory experience. Many thanks for this blog post!!!

  81. forgive others even if they don’t ask or seek forgiveness

  82. I love this list, i wpould add drop religion, it messes up a lot.

  83. Reblogged this on *.

  84. I am so happy to read your post and agree 99%. I am 56 y/o and have a bit of experience in life, so I want to throw out that the ingorant don’t forgive or forget- the naive forgive and forget- the wise are always ready to forgive, but never forget. The reason the wise never forget is because they vow to not make the same mistake twice…

  85. I can relate alot of these points to my husband of 22 years, I guess that is a big part of why we are still committed to each other. Thank you this is going on the fridge as a reminder to myself and my family.

  86. Great article! Make sure to credit photos. Top photo is by Rosie Hardy. http://www.flickr.com/photos/rosie_hardy/3473798222/in/photostream

  87. Lollll:)Thank you
    I m not sure about the 8 …but start Cook ,eat darling and stop being Jalouse and envy then we can talk :)
    Passion is the life

  88. Paula Scott Molokai Girl Studio

    Well said and worth repeating every day! I gotta work on #19 more….

  89. Michael McNamara

    Thank you for the uplifting ideas for happiness, although I don’t believe there are simply two types of people in the world choosing to be happy or unhappy. I think most of us go through periods of both in our lives. Perhaps a title like “22 Helpful Hints for Happiness” might be more accurate.

  90. Fantastic

  91. I felt happier right after I read your posting. Optimistic thinking takes one a long way.

  92. If only people would let you live this way, I try to & find that i invoke jealousy wherever I go because I get on so well with people, it’s hard because you are who you are. Great blog though! A +

  93. I’m reading down this list and I realize these do not apply to me. I wish they did. What can I do to change?

    • Hi :-) My advice to you is to go beyond wishing you could change, and start living the change!
      This list of 22 things can be overwhelming if you don’t feel like you live any of them right now… I’d say, start small. Choose just a few of these 22 things to work on for now (you can always go back and add more as you get more comfortable with the first few changes you make). And, feel good about moving in the right direction, even if not meeting these 22 things all the way.
      For example, #2 says to Treat everyone with kindness. Instead of looking at that and thinking “holy crap, there’s no way I could treat Everyone with kindness!!”, modify this for now and decide to treat a few people with kindness.
      Make an effort to be kind (small things are totally good – smile, say good morning, hold a door for someone, etc) two or three times a day at a minimum, though feel free to do more. Notice how you feel within yourself when you’re kind to others.
      And, just as importantly as being kind to others, be kind to yourself. Make a conscious effort every day to remind yourself of two or three good things about yourself! For example, you just took the time to read this article, noticed that you want to make changes, and have asked for help/suggestions in doing so! Good job! Congratulate yourself on being proactive in making positive changes in your life :-)
      Good luck, have fun, and enjoy your journey toward more and more happiness!
      ~ Lacey

    • Wishing they apply to you is a great start! All good things start as a wish or desire. I think that as you reflect more on this list you will find that they all apply to you in some way. Maybe you have mastered many of them but I’m sure there are some you could improve on just like all of us.

  94. Risktaker Victor Odera

    I love such inspirational advice, that’s what a human being should read daily. Thanks to the writers.

  95. this is a great post. it shpws that there is no one material thing that will suddenly make us happy life is a process of living life right in a sence and this here is bang on lots of simple yet over-looked points. I hope this helps a lot of people wake up and start making some better choices with their emotions the way they rract with them and in life.

  96. Wow!
    This is me ENTIRELY! Don’t believe it? Think I’m just blowing smoke? Check out my blog:
    http://www.cjpwisdomandlife.com and see for yourself.

    Am now following you!

    Chris

  97. Great post. I’ve lived happiness for almost 63 years, one moment at a time…

  98. #23: Laugh at yourself. Everyone trips on their journey, it’s okay to find humor in the situation.

  99. Not clear whether this is talking about successful people or happy ones, both of which are vaguely defined. Moreover, some of these contradict in some ways: e.g. 5 & 9. Also, the article does not cite the studies it judges based on (e.g. see 19). Finally, unlike what the article claims, it doesn’t seem much easy to describe one’s happiness factors. The article has barely a scientific/logical approach to rely on.

  100. I think unhappy people are unable to do these things. Just as happy people are unable to be negative. It’s just.. it’s your nature. It’s one or the other or, most often, some combination therein. But super-negative people.. they’re burrowers. They put their head down and have to dig underground like moles for very little payoff. It’s just who they are. It’s how they think and deal with life. Then there are fliers who just take off like birds.

    There is no skill involved. It’s probably a combination of genetics and upbringing but by the time you reach adulthood, it’s deeply programmed. You can pretend to be “happy” – as in pretend, make the effort to see life in a happier way. But it won’t be real and will always be an effort. The good news is there will be some payoff.

    Being happy all the time isn’t so good either though. I once saw a doctor who was concerned that i didn’t express adequate circumstantial fear or depression, two things that can actually keep you alive in dangerous situations. But like the burrowers, i can’t help it. Everything always works out. I always figure things out. So why worry? To me, worrying is a waste of time. Because i’m not prone to worrying. And i tend to avoid people who are.

    • A lot of people who worry will say “Well i worry because SOMEONE has to solve problems..” as if people who DON’T worry are getting nothing done. What negative worriers don’t realize is that we’re also getting stuff done. We just bypass the effort expended in worrying before we get stuff done.

      In reality we’re doing the same thing. Worrying for them produces a similar effect as thinking does for us. Worriers are more emotional about problem solving than those who don’t worry – I think that’s all it really is. Negative people tend to be very emotionally involved in living life while positive people tend to just enjoy life and manage it as it hits.

  101. It helps to surround yourself with positive people that also have a happy outlook on life

  102. Reblogged this on Mark Unleashed and commented:
    One day, the notion that happiness is created from within rather than something that is found will be self-evident. Until that time, blog posts like this one will have to do. Embrace this and enjoy – life.

  103. nice,….inspiring….TANKS!

  104. Agreed. Happiness is a choice. Here’s what helps me continue to make the choice to smile:
    http://kristin-myers.com/i-choose-to-smile/

  105. While I think most of this is good advice, I find the premise of this post to be incredibly immature.

  106. I believe that happiness is never complete …. because we are always on the move …… so it is important to enjoy every moment and remember those happy moments ….. and put aside what causes us sorrow live for today ….. without thinking about the past and not worry too much about tomorrow ……. understand that everyone is different ….. and always take the good that people give us … .. because everyone has something positive to contribute to our lives …. and that helps us feel good …. live in harmony with everything around us …..

    I really liked this article …. good starting points for a better life … and enjoy life …..

    • Looking around the world causes sorrow, how do you put that aside? I guess I could ignore everything like the majority of people do. What sort of a recipe for the future is that? The natural beauty of the world being brought to heel by greed. Everywhere I look there is garbage and the signs of decay. Wars, clearcutting, climate change, plastic, pipelines, religious fanatics, pesticides, drug addiction, stupid people on the television, etcetera, etcetera.

      What about my father? He is a complete and utter ***hole, still alive, unfortunately. Makes it difficult to be happy when you don’t have a family, but that’s whole different ball of wax.

      I posit that not one person on this planet can be truly happy while we endeavour to destroy it. Pointing out the wrongs, and errors only gets me branded as a negative person. I didn’t put that garbage there, I didn’t spill that oil, I didn’t destroy our indigenous culture, I didn’t pollute the river, I didn’t build big box stores full of crap that we don’t really need. Indeed, the folly of others’ pursuit of happiness seems to be what causes me to be sad.

      Have you noticed that many successful people in this world, not only get up early in the morning, but they also perform tasks that are detrimental to our earth or society? Perhaps we need to re-examine our definition of success?

      Happy people don’t dwell upon the future. Who cares about the future? We are only going to spend the rest of our lives there! Maybe if a few more people had given thought to it the human race wouldn’t find itself in the predicament it now does.

      • Thank you for the well-thought post David. You are right that i we look around us there are definitely a lot of things we can choose to be upset about.
        A few years ago I had to stop listening to talk radio because it was just making me angry at the start of every day.
        You are correct in that you may need to re-examine your definition of success, as do many others. Most people look at it as merely a monetary or status accomplishment. I feel it is completely the opposite. That is the point of this post and most of the posts on this blog.
        Happiness is a choice and it is what you choose it to be. I hope that you find what makes you happy and pursue it with all your energy.
        Thanks again so much for your words. They push us to think deeper.

        • I look out at the world and I see the most beautiful place I can imagine. If trash floats by I see the opportunity to contribute, serve, clean up. I too have turned off the news and tuned into my neighborhood, my community. If someone is struggling, I stop in and say hello and offer a hand to help. If someone is angry at me, I allow them to feel while I quietly meditate on peace, truth and awareness. No one can bring me down, that is not an option as it makes no sense at all to allow that to happen. Magic…synchronicity…miracles…everywhere. I am so grateful to be alive and to be part of creating Good. xo Thank you for your list, Kris, I am passing it along to my awesome 14 year-old to remind her of all that is good. Happiness is a choice. Life is a perspective. Choose…. Peace, Light, Love, Hope.

          • To College Guru: Wonderful paragraph, good enough to change the world. Thanks!

          • I don’t think anyone chooses unhappiness, however I do not believe that everyone can just choose to be happy. Perhaps you are just lucky, or I am just unlucky. Either way, generalizations are meaningless. I am glad that you are happy, and I wish that I was. Perhaps you didn’t have to witness your mother or your sister being beaten by a drunk, or get beaten (no, not just a spanking) yourself by said drunk. Maybe you have never had your own faeces rubbed into your face by your loving, caring father. No praise, ever, even as an honour roll student. Ever been beaten or screamed at for bringing home a ‘B’ on your report card? I played football (soccer) for 9 years and he didn’t come to a single game. The annual $25 fee to play was provided by my mother out of the grocery budget. I do not exaggerate here, I have never had a meaningful conversation with the man and I have tried. What does being psychologically terrorized for the first 18 years of your life do? Ever have your father brandish a knife, a hammer, a piece of 2×4 in your face? How does that affect future relationships? Actually, I think I have handled it relatively well but it is a constant struggle.

            Fast forward 25 years of being denied any relationship with family, and I spend the final week of my mother’s life at her bedside while she fades away with leukemia. How sad is it when your own mother is happy for that release from this world. She gave me her wedding band, I call it the ring of iron will. Sweet magic, sweet miracles, sweet synchronicity indeed.

            I can imagine a far more beautiful place than what I see when I look outside. If it wasn’t for my imagination, I would be long gone from this place.

            Just because it is easy for you to ‘choose’ happiness does not mean that everyone else in the world is blessed with the same choice. Sure wish I lived in the ‘happy’ bubble, but I have to work for every smile, every laugh.

            Peace.

          • David I came to this blog via a link and can relate to what you say. Until you let go of those terrible things that happened you will never be happy. You need to live for the future, and the present otherwise you will always lose out. The only person preventing you being happy is you. You need to make the difference because at the end of the day nobody else is responsible. Do what you can and live for the moment, more importantly let go of anything negative. Do nice stuff for people be the one that makes changes rather than relying on others, and you will feel better.

        • David……to quote you:”Have you noticed that many successful people in this world, not only get up early in the morning, but they also perform tasks that are detrimental to our earth or society? Perhaps we need to re-examine our definition of success?

          These people ONLY care about money. Nobody, or nothing else, only money. Yes, they consider themselves to be successful. I consider them scum. Not a true definition of success for sure! I’m sorry about your father, I have an ex husband like that – piece of dirt and not worthy of the same air we all breathe.

      • David, I hear you loud and clear. For decades I have often replied to, “How are you doing?,” with, “Great. It’s the rest of the world I worry about.” Two quick other ideas: I try to accept the worst (Dale Carnegie 101): Homo sapiens may be going down, sooner than later; second, I try to do what I can about it–I lived off the grid for 15 years, ran for Senate in Utah, work on solar airships, taught elementary school for twenty years. You just never know what’s around the corner or coming along tomorrow. I still get mightily depressed for what we’re leaving behind (I’m 65, but have a grandson who’s 4) and how we are ruining what could be paradise.

        What does encourage me is the many people I come across from literally around the planet who are trying to make changes (both in person and online). You just don’t learn about them in the MSM.

        No final answers obviously, just letting you know you’re not alone. My political platform is still up, and that may interest you: voteutah.us. It’s more a condensation of ideas of others, but ones I can relate to. I received a little over 1% of the vote in Utah, perhaps the reddest of red states, but think I actually could have won if the press didn’t snuff third parties and votes weren’t most likely rigged.

        It is amazing even here how many people do think about things you mention. I could go on and on, but you get the idea. Pick whatever is your garden and work it as well as you can. If nothing else, it helps us fill our lives with brighter days. Now if I can just follow my own advice…. and yes, I do fully agree with the ideas posted above.

        Daniel Geery

      • “Looking around the world causes sorrow, how can you put that aside?” – ..focus and notice only on what you can control. You cannot fix or change the world or your Dad. However, you can BE the change you want to see in the world. Focusing on things beyond our control only stirs the pot and creates an abundance of feelings/emotions (i.e. anxiety, frustration, despair, depression). There is always going to be suffering in the world, because that is life. Happiness can be a choice

      • it seems to be like you are dwelling on other people and/or things. I wouldn’t say that all “successful” people perform tasks that are detrimental to the earth or society. You just aren’t informed about those who do give back or do focus their attentions on environmental/social issues. You say that you can’t be truly happy when there is sorrow in the world, well I maintain that you can be simply by doing your part to make a difference, whether that is picking up a piece of garbage on the side of the road or trying to aid the person who you see addicted to drugs etc. Pointing out problems such as oil spills, pollution, and greed is you focusing on things beyond your control.
        This article isn’t meant to make you go on being ignorant about life and the bad things that happen, it’s meant to get you thinking about what you can do differently to improve your quality of life and in turn creating a contagious effect around you. I know simply by smiling, other people do to. This can actually help solve some of the problems you have described.

        • There is a difference between ‘all’, and ‘many’. Please don’t misquote me. Go back and read.

          Actually, things such as oil spills are within our control. Perhaps, not as individuals, but as a group for sure. For instance, I am actively engaged in the prevention of pipeline expansion in my home province of British Columbia. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. No-one has to pick up garbage if it wasn’t made in the first place! I also walk and ride my bike much more than I drive. Someone said ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’, but sometimes it’s the little things that add up, especially when our population is not so little.

          • Hi David, Still tracking here. The details of your abusive past make it impossible for me to even mentally put myself in your shoes. I once had a severely abused child in my sixth grade class (12 foster homes, every form of abuse possible), and his lifepath had been adversely influenced beyond any solutions I could conceive of. That you are even making these posts and doing the things you are impresses me greatly.

            Coming back to “the rest of the world,” it is as if we are all on the Titanic and trying to redecorate our rooms and have better parties, willfully ignoring our self-evident fate.

            Still, I like to imagine everyone in the world–or at least some critical mass–making serious efforts to do their share in their own lives, starting with things such as those mentioned above. IMO, it would profoundly change the world as we know it in a very short time.

            Here’s two links that may be of interest, one from Open Salon and another piece written by my wife (now as a chapter in her recent and first book):

            http://open.salon.com//blog/pensive_person/2013/03/20/for_mr_rogers_on_his_birthday

            http://connect.everythingzoomer.com/profiles/blogs/on-being-pollyanna

      • David, I wonder where you live? I live in central Virginia, which is quiet, beautiful, filled with friendly people. Am I a Pollyanna, or just someone who tries to look at life’s beauty? I can do some things – smile at strangers, help others, give items and money to charity, cheer up the ill. the list goes on. I can’t stop global warming but I can do my part. You seem to be so overwhelmed and burdened. I’m sorry for you. Accept that you cannot change some things at all but do what you can and find the beauty and joy that surround you.

      • david, I applaud your articulate ability to state a feeling that I’ve had very strongly for a long time…. I’m stunned by how clearly you expressed what I’ve been ruminating about w/o being able to figure out exactly what it was that was bothering me. Thank you so much – I feel like I’ve been enlightened!

      • Beste David, and readers of this enlightening blog.

        Iv read and read and read through all the posts, and there is one important point of happiness that i haven’t seen anyone point out.

        Firstly, props to you David, as it seems you are on the winning side of a battle that people like me will never understand. I have had a fortunate life, and this i am thankful for daily.

        As i read your text, i notice you pointing at two main topics that lead to one. #1 negativity in the world, #2 negativity in your life. Leading back to…… negativity. Your right, its the little things that build up (which is why this sort revolution is brilliant, giving us space to open our bottle and and share) but its also our ability to see the little things, good or bad, that help the build.

        Which brings me to my point, (keep in mind this is not a point to practice, but one to be conscious of). maybe best explained with a personal example.

        ———- I moved to the other side of the world at one point, and im still here. It was a battle. working my way into a new culture. It took lots of energy, the culture i found rather cold compared to my own, and at some point i found myself walking down the street day after day seeing evil. Just as your text said-
        “Everywhere I look there is garbage and the signs of decay. Wars, clearcutting, climate change, plastic, pipelines, religious fanatics, pesticides, drug addiction, stupid people on the television, etcetera, ”
        This went on for a good three years, i questioned it, i really did. As i mentioned, iv grown up a blessed life, this vision was a shock! id come home and bitch to my roommate about the world and all the bad things i was seeing. but at some point things suddenly changed, i found myself coming home and telling him about the smiling children, the flowers, the old lady i flirted with and how i knew it made her day. I accepted this, and let it be as i feared some point my energy would fall back in the other direction. When a year or two later I had a conversation with what i will call a young profit. For some reason i felt compelled to lay this story out for him. As i rounded up my speech of “question” he laughed. and explained his view of what was happening.

        “As humans, it is our nature to mirror ourselves onto the world”

        He said something like “during your integration, you where struggling and full of stress. Of course all you saw was the bad! that’s all you let yourself feel!
        When you got comfortable here, and your life was in order, you where happy, you where happy that you finally crossed the wall and won the game. The struggle was away and your life was running smooth as you had always known it to be in the past. Because you where happy with yourself and your progress, you mirrored that onto the world and saw nothing but joy. Nothing but happy children.

        To contrast. a walk down the street in both energies.
        1. Negative- crying babies, impatient people in the grocery line, homeless people with sad issues.
        2. Positive- happy babies, people helping elders pack their bags, giving change and a smile to the homeless.

        As i mentioned David, this is merely something to be conscious of. Im not ignoring the bad in the world, i am very aware of it. Im in a good place now and i see that reflected in the world surrounding me. i could only imagine the demons you carry that aid your vision to such negativity. and i am sincerely sorry that you must carry them, but know that those birds in your garden represent the world the inner you wants to see. If you find the strength to forgive the harm in your life created by that tortured soul and accept yourself for you not for what he made you feel you are, the world will become beautiful.

        All much as I love this list of 22 points, its useless if your person does now know or want happiness. Eating healthy wont make shit for difference if your canvas is not pure and ready to be painted. Kris has titled this blog “22 things HAPPY PEOPLE do differently”, not “22 ways to become a happy person”.

        Fully accept what you know to be true. That you are you, the past is the past, and the future is now. Come share this world with us, its a rather sunny place *as he walks away to dance in the rain*

      • Accept things you cannot change
        Change the things you can

        Knowing the difference is the hardest part, but arguably the most important.
        The definition of acceptance is also important.

        You’ll be a much happier person if you can live the above. You can’t fight the universe.

  107. ther are a couple of things that stuck in my bullshit filter 1) don’t sweat the small stuff. that could be interpreted as lack of attention to detail 2) I exrcise alot so I can eat what I like. On weekends I do not wake up at 5 AM

    • One size doesn’t fit all; it could help many, and not you specifically. I’m sure the author knows that and respects people’s opinions.
      You sir, didn’t have to be so rude with your choice of words and grammar.
      I’ll just assume you had a bad day. Good day!

  108. Agreed. Waking up the same time every day and avoid clutter need work…. but I know these things to be true~~

  109. On the whole, I like this list. I don’t think I can flat-out disagree with anything on it. I do think, though, that several items deserve to be expanded on. Likewise, I think that it’s worth exploring the nature of “choosing” unhappiness or happiness in a more nuanced way. Frankly, I think that the statement as it is would appear to many to be blaming the victim. Is someone with a serious illness, someone living with chronic pain, or someone who has just lost a loved one “choosing” to be unhappy? Of course not, and I know you don’t mean to say that people with serious problems can just say “tra la” and wish them away. But to someone who is deep in such problems, that’s how the message will appear. Exhorting someone to “see problems as challenges” is a very different matter when the problem is a traffic jam vs. stage 3 cancer.

    Seeing problems as challenges makes sense when they are fixable. When they are not, the “challenge” mentality leads to grief. Acceptance of what can’t be changed, compassion for oneself, rethinking the problem in the hope of finding aspects of it that CAN be changed — that’s what’s needed then.

  110. Where does mental illness, especially clinical depression, fit into all this? This post massively overlooks this.

  111. I lost my home and most contents to a fire in January. Instead of refurnishing a 2600 sq. ft house, my daughter and I moved into a 1300 sq. ft apartment. We are happier than ever with less stuff. It’s very freeing to be satisfied with less – allows focus on the more important things in life.

    • Dear Paula, You sound like a perfect example of someone who is joyous and makes her own happiness. While I am sorry for your loss, I applaud your resilience for finding that silver lining. Blessings!

  112. sharksvssquirrels

    “There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy.”

    I’m sorry, but that first is untrue, and extremely off putting.

    There are lots of people who don’t _choose_ to be unhappy. There are those of us who have slogged through mental health issues or had to deal with real external issues before being able to even _get_ to a point where behavioural aspects are even close to attainable.

    While I do not doubt the usefulness of some of these items, they are used in treatments like CBT and worked into other forms of therapy, I feel this post vastly over simplifies the rather murky road to figuring out happiness and balance in your own life.

    • I completely agree with you. Happiness is very complex and I did not mean to offend by simplifying it for this post. This post should be used as a list of ideas that people might add to their life to increase their feelings of fulfillment.
      I hope that you continue to strive for your personal happiness. It is a great and lifelong struggle but it is definitely worth fighting for.

    • You can choose to be happy. I suffered from depression for years, was on countless medications and was still miserable. I would lie in my bed for an entire day without eating or even noticing the sunshine outside. It was only when I made the decision that I was wasting my life that changes began to happen. I stopped taking anti-depressants and instead focused on what good was in my life… slowly the list became longer and longer. We have to take responsibility for our lives, mental illness is real but too many people hide behind the label instead of fighting it. You can make a choice, happiness can be one of those choices.

  113. Loved the post. It contains so many simple truths yet they are hard to practice. But from today onwards, I will incorporate all of the changes in my day to day life to the greatest extent possible.

  114. #5 and #9 are kind of conflicting with each other. If you never think about the future, how can you plan? I know people who live in the moment, and they spend most of their spare time surfing the internet or playing games. In other words, they’re not making their own lives better, and they’re not making other people’s lives better. They’re doing nothing but the electronic version of smelling the roses. All the time.

    Holding future goals in mind is one of the best ways to get the motivation to do the small and sometimes menial tasks that will eventually improve one’s life in the future. Because then it’s not about *this* task *now*, which may be boring as hell, it’s about *this now* contributing to *that future*.

    Also, until you’ve spent a year living as a penniless homeless person, don’t sit there at your computer in your home or a coffee shop typing that it’s perfectly reasonable for a homeless person to just decide to be happy. I totally get the ‘living with less’ but unless you’ve spent weeks or months sleeping out-of-doors, no climate control, no access to a shower, practically zero personal safety, wondering where your next meal is going to come from, lay off with the ‘you can be homeless and happy’ stuff. It’s insulting to the people who have been there or close to there, not to mention to the people who have kids.

    • Kat,
      Thanks for the comment! Great discourse is what makes a great blog. And I would never want our site to consist of only people who all thought the same.
      As far as living homeless and penniless…been there done that.
      I know it would be easy for you to assume that I just sit at a computer and spout out stuff without ever trying it or experiencing what I’m writing about.
      I’m not that kind of person. I write about the things that I think will help other people and I try my best not to sound preachy. I have lived in deplorable circumstances and the people who were living around me were the ones who taught me how to be truly happy. I’d love to tell you more about it.
      Thanks again for the comment!

    • That was “don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future” which is a lot different than don’t think about the future. # 22 was the hardest and most important one for me. These are guidelines/ suggestions, not rules. If one offends me I will classify it to #6 “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. #13 “Never seek approval from others” is my favorite.

  115. The negative posts that have been made only serve to reinforce the truth of this article. I see people making excuses as to why they can’t be happy, and failing to accept those things they cannot change. I’m fully aware of all the awful things in this world and I sometimes feel sad for a moment when I think of all that is wrong with the world. However, rather than holding onto that sadness or dwelling on those problems, I choose to move on, to do what I can to make the world around me a better place, and to cherish every moment. Being happy is definitely a choice, you simply have to be strong enough to make it!

  116. There are more than two kinds of people, and not every unhappy person chooses to be unhappy. There is real, clinical depression. There is grief. And, if you’re paying attention, there is badness in the world. Sure, you can choose to ignore what’s going on around you and be all blissed out (“be the change”) if that is your only goal. I know of no guarantee of happiness that humankind ever received. I’ve read all the comments above, and I’ve read all the answers. The only way this post could avoid being offensive is to rewrite it. There are some very negative effects of “positive” thinking: http://12most.com/2012/02/23/12-negative-results-positive-thinking/

  117. “13. Never seek approval from others.” This one is flat-out wrong. Deeply self-confident people need little in the way of approval, because they got lots of it as children, and they got plenty as young adults, as they developed their careers. Be aware of how you seek approval, be painfully honest with yourself about how, why and when you seek it, and make sure to enjoy what you get. It benefits one greatly to be conscious of one’s needs and how we fill them. To cut yourself off from a basic need won’t further anyone.

  118. People have different circadian rythyms, some are early risers some at night hawks. I’m always amazed how many “morning people” seem to be of the opinion that getting up early seems to somehow confere a quality of success, and superiority. I’d argue that creative people tend to haunt the nights rather than the morning, and that creative people who stay up until 3am to finish a musical composition or a painting tend to be happier and more fufilled than those who get up early to read every line of the newspaper then walk a dog or go jogging. Just my opinion.

    • I agree with you there! I am a serious nighthawk who does her most creative thinking after 11pm. One of my biggest pet peeves is this notion that one must be an early riser to be happy and successful. I dislike that the word operates for morning people and that is what partially gives them a leg-up on us. I cannot change how my biological clock runs. Does not mean that I’m unhappy.

  119. Reblogged this on Aardvarkian Tales and commented:
    Required reading, my friends, required reading.

  120. Your opening statement put me off right off the bat. I have a medical condition – severe depression – that makes it difficult to be happy. It’s not a matter of choice for everyone. I see the value in the practices you set out, but there are physiological reasons for unhappiness sometimes that you don’t address. Stating unequivocally that happiness is a “choice” just makes those of us for whom it is not feel worse. Also, I have to agree with the sentiment of some of the other posts – we should all be less happy about what is going on in our world with regard to the treatment of others, the environment, the poor, the hungry, the raped, the unclothed, those without clean water, etc. – to ignore all of that is to contribute to the problem. I think a little unhappiness or discontent is a good thing – it motivates us to change our world for the better.

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I basically have to do most of the things on this list just to break even! I think there is a misconception that depressed people aren’t trying hard enough. If only they knew hard it can be at times. Nothing like having someone else’s happiness rubbed in your face to make you feel better. Cheers!

      Nice little ferret, looks just like my little Bwca who passed just this last fall. Going to go find little Finnegan and Peanut now for playtime. They give a spark of happiness, as does my garden full of birds that I am looking out at right now.

  121. Great article. Only thing I dont like is the sentence: “Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does.”
    Zoloft is an antidepressant, which doesnt mean that it makes people who take it happy. It raises the mood in depressed patients to a normal level. It doesnt make them particularly happy, it just makes their depression less unbearable. Same thing with exercise by the way :)

  122. is there a correlation between being happy and having a dog?

  123. sounds extremely similar to the principals of a 12 step program. good post

  124. Reblogged this on Namaste2013 and commented:
    perfect, the manual to being happy. I somehow found out all of these organically; practice them daily. I would agree they are the components to achieving true happiness as your true self

  125. To declare that people “choose” to be unhappy is self-serving and pedantic. The statement is of the most perfect examples of weak inductive reasoning ever to grace Facebook news feeds.

      • Various factors can determine our ability to “be happy.” The few variables that come to mind: Genetics; childhood; programming from parents, teachers, religion, friends; environment; education; job.
        We can’t control what happens to us in life, but we can control how we will feel and what we will do about what happens to us in life.
        Clinical depression aside, there are people who seem to be happy being unhappy. They tend to focus on all the negative things in life, and take great satisfaction in sharing that negativity with anyone who will listen.
        These people, more often than not, will cite “what’s happening in the world” to justify their doomsday attitude. The media’s job is to perpetuate fear and doubt, and it does the job extremely well. The audience that feeds on that negativity are generally unhappy people.
        The first step toward living a happier life for me was to stop listening, watching, and reading mainstream media.
        We become the company we keep, the food we eat, and the thoughts we absorb. The more good news we read, hear, watch, and share the better our lives become. Try a media-fast. It’s the best diet!

  126. Great blog post, especially the comment about living in the moment. St. Ignatius particularly advocated doing this, and it is a wonderful practice, leaving much less time for worry, and more time to be totally present to what’s happening RIGHT NOW. All of our moments in life are leading up to this one moment called NOW, and it is the most sacred one we have.

  127. Thank you for the happy words and wisdom

  128. Sooo close but lost me when I hit the early riser comment which is total BS, negating all this to just a drivel of opinion. I know many, many, usually creative types, who produce tremendous output late, midnight out, pure brilliance, and sleep in. I guess per this article they must be “unhappy” or some crap, but these must be “unhappy” people, many I know CRUSH others I guess [cough] “happy” people that choose to force themselves up early even if that’s not their most productive time for them.

    Nice try. [yawn] Nexxxt crappy article.

    • Colin,
      Thanks so much for the comment. I think you may have misread the post. Here is the wording again:

      “Have you noticed that *a lot* of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.”

      I merely make the observation that a lot of “successful” people are early risers. Not all of them, but a lot of them. The rest of the post says exactly what you are arguing, that it doesn’t matter when you wake up as long as you are consistent.

      I hope that you do not find happiness in demeaning other people’s thoughts in a non-constructive way. You have great thoughts, no need to make yourself sound angry.

  129. “There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy.”

    Wow, way to totally belittle and demean anyone suffering from depression or related forms of mental illness! Let’s not worry about helping them because they’re just CHOOSING to be that way. And we should also hold them personally accountable for their crippling inability to function normally in society, since it’s just what they’ve chosen and they have complete control over it!

    • Thank you for your insight. That phrase from the post has been the topic of a lot of debate along these same lines. Just scroll through the comments to see what others have said.
      Clinical depression should not be taken lightly and this post was not intended to dismiss those suffering from it. There is no way to present this topic while also diving into the hundreds of pages it would take to address the many forms of depression and possible forms of treatment.
      This post was merely intended to give people in general some tips for feeling greater contentment and happiness. I am sorry if my poor choice of wording has offended anyone.

    • Well, obviously those who are clinically depressed aren’t exercising enough, according to point 18.

  130. great stuff…so freaking true….i do most of them…some im not too keen on though lol

  131. so very true…very good post ….and more important follow these rules

  132. very well said …really feel to follow all those points even tho i do follow some …but very inspirational ..keep writing more thanks :)

  133. I really enjoyed reading this. My daughter, Regean, shared this on her F.B. I so believe happy people are happy inside out and through and through. Whether life is smooth sailing or rough waters , I believe people can still keep true to God and theirselves. But I also believe every other person has a little of both within them…people try to be a happy person but also give in to the flip side now and again..we are human. We naturally want to love..we naturally want to be happy. The treasures and lessons sometimes come FROM the flip side but a happy person quickly returns to the 22 things above. ^^^ just sayin.

  134. I’ve read through all the comments, and I’ve noticed the assumption that happy people are happy because they are ignorant of world problems. I do not believe this is a correct assumption. I believe happiness comes from trying to solve these world problems, to make the world better for others and for yourself. Essentially, performing service for others, whether it be great or small, brings happiness. Service makes you look outwards to others and their needs, rather than inwards. Doing this makes you realize what you have that you can be thankful for and appreciate. Cherish the little moments of good and happiness that come, and strive to change the bad.

  135. Hi David, I also had a very similar father to yours who was very demanding and me and my brother, sis and mother went through a hard time, my father is suffering from Cancer and is in his last stages but still not much of his character has changed, to be happy all the time I think would be tell yourself a lie, what I mean is that no one is happy 24 x 7 so there is nothing like happy people, most of the points are quite okay but then there are a few exceptions like e.g Don’t hold a grudge, yeah you shouldn’t be holding a grudge but then what can a person like David do when he has a abusing father, he has to stand up and may be protect himself and his mother, that’s what I did recently and father told me that he will call the police, so maybe you don’t hold a grudge but then you got to act, if everybody sits back and says I am happy then who would change the world?, we all have sometimes to fight and not just sit back, and when you go against the wind sometimes you are stressed and life is difficult but then you are doing good and making a change which will help a lot of other people happy, so I think staying neither happy nor sad, but to be in middle and act rather just sit back and relax and be happy and let the world around you be the same.
    Wish you healing David, I do feel for you for I am in a similar situation and I understand your pain.
    Wish you best of luck.
    Cheers,
    Sam

  136. Having personally “done” depression i have to commend this article for being spot on… Particularly the opening line. I completely agree that we DO have a choice when it comes to being happy or unhappy… Had someone told me this at the time i would have said that they didn’t know what they were talking about, but alas i have learned that it is indeed a choice we have… Through my personal experience the points that resonate with me the most are #’s 1, 3, 6, 9, 11, 16, 17, 18, 21, and 22. However i would build on a couple of the points for instance at #1 I would add the importance of forgiving not only others, but also learning to forgive one’s self (guilt is one hell of a downer). And to #3 i would add that “problems” in and of the past also need to be reframed to be thought of as life experiences. Life experiences, while some are negative and some are positive, provide us with an opportunity to learn, which in turn provides one with a sense of self determination. Finally to anyone out there reading this that is down and out let me say that there is HOPE and while the journey is not an easy one, how does the saying go, “no one ever said life was going to be easy they just said it would be worth it”? I think that’s right! Good luck!!! Joy, light and compassion to all!
    PS. Just a quick question who are THEY any way??? Oh well they come up with some pretty good information at times :)

  137. “happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it” – The Pursuit of Happyness

  138. I was a happy person most of my life, but a major life change about 7 years ago changed all that. Depression and anxiety are an everyday part of my existence. I have found coping mechanisms and medications that help, but there are still very bad days that no amount of “happy thinking” will change. I have so much more of an understanding now for people who suffer from depression. I once thought it was something a person could choose to bat away like a fly, but I know now how difficult — and sometimes impossible — it is.

    • Thank you for writing the only intelligent comment here.

      Depression isn’t something you can “do” for a while and then decide to not have anymore. Feeling a little down in the dumps for a while isn’t even remotely the same as being depressed. Depression is a life long mental affliction, not a term to be used for after your girlfriend ditches you or you lose your job. It was always there and it never goes away.

      Happy people will never understand it, because they simply refuse to believe that this is the case.

  139. I love this and totally put my signature underneath it, as we say in Görman.

    What I don’t like so much is that this puts pressure on those who cannot easily decide to be happy. Chronical health issues can very most definitely make it completely impossible for somebody to be or to stay happy. I know this from personal experience. People and friends will keep on encouriging you to see the light, to decide to be happy, to be thankful. I seriously cannot hear it no more.

    It is like a constant slap into your face. And it seems impossible to make them understand. That you wake up every morning and decide to be happy but again and again your body decides to make your day very difficult and there is no way anybody, no doctor no you, to change this. The disease decides to turn off your energy, your spirit, your motivation, your inspiration, not to speak of your physical energy. This is BEYOND any possible own decision.

    It is NOT POSSIBLE TO INFLUENCE THIS.

    I just read a sentence from a fellow mate saying they can never understand unless they walked in our shoes. Only writing this I can hear people thinking “Oh excuses …” which again doubles the pain.

    I dont wish this to anybody, for sure, but I wish one week of such a life to EVERYBODY for three reasons.

    1. so they can understand and help people with diseases – to really be their friends and family.
    2. To make it easier for them because I can imagine it must be bad for them too
    3. To teach them the biggest happiness of all which is worshipping their own health. Because another truth is: It is impossible to be happy about one’s own health without having felt how it is to be ill.

  140. Paying serious attention to a list of things that will make you happy is a sure sign of an unhappy person who is looking for affirmation from some ‘expert’.

    • Well said! Luckily this is not a post about how to be happy! It is an observation of some behaviors commonly found in “happy” people

      • Oh come on, no excuses now. Of course at the end of the day it is the same. “There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy. ” alone is a very discriminating and one dimensional, black and white, very pathetic perspective. If you want to bring a new dimension into this old discours then elaborate on the —possibilty of joy—. Ask people with chronic “invisible” diseases for example, to which extend they can actually successfully apply the old “There is no way to happiness – happiness is the way.” That would be new, that would be useful. We are facing an epidemic of people with mental and physical conditions that very much limit their capacity to be joyful. What you reblogged here is mainly necessary for people who actually have it all – health, a roof above their head, food – and always see themselves as a victim. Who seek nurture in the outside. There are still those people, for sure. But what about the many who are much more ahead, mostly, because they did and do suffer in ways that makes it impossible for them to solve this?

  141. Reblogged this on regression to the mean and commented:
    I really like this post and I hope most of it is evidence based.

  142. i liked the original post and was going to sit this one out. But having read through the comments to date, here goes. There is much suffering in this world. Buddha had some useful things to say about suffering. Here is the key: you must have both compassion and dispassion. Compassionately see the suffering, do what you can, then dispassionately accept that there is suffering that cannot be ended. Almost 63 years in this life has demonstrated that people will get their suffering needs met, no matter what you do. Respect their need to suffer, and let them. The current situation is unsustainable. If our species survives, most of us will not make it through the turmoil which will cull the population to a sustainable level. The half a billion or less who do will develop a sustainable ethic and live more in balance with a finite planet with finite resources. I intend to continue to be a positive, hopeful, attentive, sentient, and high functional human being. If that increases my chances of surviving, then my outlook will have had survival value.

    I did not create the Cosmos or set up its rules. But I can see the beauty and efficacy of it. Cosmic evolution does not tolerate dysfunction. Our home world will survive, with or without Homo sapiens.

    • Andy, this is the smartest post I’ve seen in a long while. I am dwelling on the concept you frame so nicely…”so we might not survive as a species. Big deal.” Very relaxing thought.

    • Very wise words … and I will write them down to remind me to look at the big picture when I am so confused by all of it … why some of us suffer, and why some of us do the most horrific acts .. and why we will end up extinct in no time when this planet can no longer sustain us … thank you for writing down what I could never state in one sentence …

    • I’m glad you commented. I thought the language in the original post seemed really polarized. It painted suffering and unhappiness as “bad” and choosing to be happy as “good,” even though some of humanity’s greatest minds were continuously unhappy throughout their lives. Also, quotes like, “A lonely person is a miserable person” don’t take into consideration that there are introverted people out there who are mostly happy. Another thing is that much of this advice requires lying to yourself, but then it advises to be honest.

      That said, I think the post does contain some pretty good advice on how to have an attitude that can make you predisposed to general (if shallow) happiness.

    • Beautifully said Andythehomelessguy! I like the sentiments you speak.

    • Love what you wrote Andy. Thank you

    • @andythehomlessguy – brother, this is a nice sentiment, and a good follow up to the post itself. Having covered war and post war societies as a reporter for 8 years now, and having travelled the world to some pretty destitute places, the dharma has been tested over and over again with regards to the scale and nature of the suffering I’ve witnessed. I don’t resign myself to my own suffering or those of others; rather, I observe, help out when I can, and bear witness to the suffering. Humanity is in for even more trying times ahead. Cosmological time is far more certain than human time. And in cosmological terms, suffering we understand is just not part of the equation.

  143. Accept what cannot be changed, and change what you cannot accept.

  144. Reblogged this on Me, My Health, And I and commented:
    You can be happy without being healthy but you cannot truely be healthy without happiness!

  145. I absolutely love this. Thank you!

  146. I would argue that there are not two types of people: rather, there are two types of journey. And we can all choose one path or the other. Some are brought up by those with the knowledge to choose the happy journey. Some are not. But however early or late you are shown the path: only you can choose to take it.

    • That there are only two types of people is true but I heard it different from you. The two types are those looking toward God and those looking away from God. Those looking away are obviously off the path and those looking toward are on the path. :)

    • I too can disagree with this statement – There are thousands of people who are truly happy without “looking toward God”. Now, you can try to say that nobody could possibly be truly happy without God, but that would be just your opinion. Statements like the one you made are very divisive and aren’t going to convince someone to join your “path” because you have that opinion about it. In fact, you already broke several of the tips listed in the article just by stating it. Nevertheless, I respect the opinions of others and I wish you well on your path to understanding.

  147. Love this!! Check out my blog too!!

  148. Reblogged this on Richard Holden and commented:
    It is all about individual choices and we make them everyday. Make good choices.

  149. Yes this is simple stuff but it is really good too, even though its simple many do not follow it.

  150. Reblogged this on Vision Kelowna and commented:
    So … maybe improving the city you live in starts with improving your life choices, philosophy and perspective?

  151. The “problem” (though the degree to which it is problematic depends on our perspective)… is that happiness is completely natural and therefore fundamentally mysterious. It cannot be ‘accessed’ by appearances (externally); it comes suddenly, surprisingly, a thief in the night (from the void if you prefer)… never the result of telling ourselves what to do. Sometimes I wonder how often we stand right on top of the rock we want to lift, inventing problems that aren’t real. QED: if happiness is real then freedom will get you there… and to shackle ourselves to concepts and watch closely and hold tight will only prevent life from getting through, no matter how correct the message looks.

  152. What a thorough and inspiring list. It’s certainly one I’d like to live up to. I have to admit though, sometimes lists like this intimidate me. I agree I should do all of these things …. and my inner critic is only too happy (yes, a pun) to point out how often I fall short. I remind my critic this list can only be an inspiration, a reminder of ways to change my attitude, my mood, if I choose. And that last part is the key. I can choose, even though living up to these ideals can often be harder than staying unhappy.

    • There are many studies and doctors who say that, while your happiness is determined about 50% by your genetics, that only sets the cap for your own comparison. Both happiness and sadness are relative. They are defined by your own experiences. If your happiness “limit” is smaller than someone else’s, you would have almost no way of knowing that.

  153. These pollyanna recipes for “a good life” only work for people who are having good lives. They are absolutely no help at all for a person who’s life has hit the fan. Try to “meditate” your way around your father’s death, or practice “persona’ control” after you have been assaulted or “get absorbed in the present” after you lost your job and can’t pay your mortgage/rent. I do almost all these thing, but because I am dealing with severe emotional trauma from childhood and bi-polar II, nothing here even helps me cope when bad things happen, let alone make me happy. And so sad that honesty has to be sold as something self beneficial, rather than what is right.

    • Hello Kristy,
      I lost it all, home, vehicles, and all of my money, was homeless & walking, had a stroke, then open heart surgery – 3 bypasses – everyone asked me how can you be Happy with all that has happened to you? ( I just said if I look at where I am now – I would be miserable and attending my own pitty party) but if I keep my faith and look at where I will be next year, surely I will overcome this Valley in my life…. I know it is hard to do – but you have to be grateful – at least you have your health? Life makes you humble sometimes – Don’t give up Girl, Life is Good !!

      I wake up everyday Happy that I am alive and living upon this wonderful planet Earth!!

      My life didn’t turn into a great success – YET – but maybe next year it will be even better !!

      Never Give Up !!

      • Awesome stuff. Yes. Faith, is what gets you through. I too at age 45 over a matter of 18 mos. lost my 20 yr old company, my marriage, my home, my retirement. Thankfully, I still had friends and family that cared about me and a deep faith that something different, meaningful and lasting was around the corner. I won’t say there is a happy ending yet, but certainly a happy beginning. 4 years later I have a stable job, a roof over my head, a baby boy. (My first child!) and a great woman who will become my wife next week.

    • I meant to say KiplingKat not Kristy

    • I have had many, many horrible things happen to me as well, and I suffer from PTSD and depression as a result. I also have some very severe medical issues. However, I can still be happy and strive for all the points in the article. It’s not about what happened to me, but how I deal with it that’s important. And with God all things are possible and we will be whole and restored when we go home.

    • KiplingKat, you are correct. This list didn’t make me any happier either. What it did do is make me a little more conscious of my bad habits (of negatively reacting to so many things because my life experiences have been so challenging most of my adult life) so maybe I can start to make new habits. I too had a horrible childhood raised by 2 extremely narcissistic parents who verbally, mentally, & emotionally abused me. My ex-husband of 18 yrs, cheated on me multiple times, was an alcoholic & a habitual liar and gambler. As a single parent I too lost my job & therefore lost my home & watched my car get re-possessed. I have suffered from depression since 1990 and have very low self esteem & when I’m very very down I tend to hurt myself. Because of an anxiety disorder and an inability to blow off stress, at age 45 I had a heart attack. Believe me I don’t walk around w/a smile glued on my face, but each day I just try to let go of the past & focus on finding something that makes me happy. It’s been so long I don’t even know what would make me happy anymore. So when I read the list I caught myself immediately reacting the same way you did. “That’s my bad habit” So I decided to print it out & challenge myself to see if I could do some if not all the 22 suggestions, just a little at a time. I want to be happy & it’s not just gonna happen by itself. My new husband is so happy all the time it’s almost a little annoying lol. But if I let it, maybe a little of it might rub off on me, I hope. When mental illness is part of the equation we’re never gonna walk around happy 24/7 but maybe being determined not to be a “victim” of our circumstances will keep us going. And when you feel like giving up, stop & remember the reasons you have held on for so long & never stop trying. :)

  154. You forgot the key to happiness, faith in a higher power. That’s the source of true peace and happiness!

  155. Reblogged this on It's A Rush World and commented:
    Perfect! :)

  156. They forgot no.1……..have god in your life

  157. Not so sure about the eating healthy one. I’m pretty happy when I’m eating a delicious candy bar.

  158. Great list. Some on here don’t quite get it yet. I have had many terrible and traumatic things happen to me in my lifetime and even recently. How I handled things in the past weren’t always positive or beneficial to me. At one point I would have looked at this list and thought yup half of it is BS! After working very hard to find true peace within myself and applying many of these principles I am truly a better, happier person. I am not rich and do not necessarily believe in a higher power, I believe in me! I found what helped me the most was to think positive. Every time I had a negative or sarcastic thought I then found something positive in that negative. I tried to look at the brighter side of things. It took time but I have turned a corner and am happy with my life.

  159. Actually, the evidence seems to be that there’s a genetic predilection for being happy or not. One can improve one’s mood by exercising and keeping busy (i.e. don’t chase happiness, chase duty), but we ought not to look down on people for “choosing” not to be happy, since mostly, they don’t.

    • “but we ought not to look down on people for “choosing” not to be happy, since mostly, they don’t.”

      Exactly! If people start viewing happiness as entirely a choice, then they will simply tell unhappy and depressed people to ‘snap out of it’; clearly not helpful.

  160. Thanks for this post.. !! It just made my day..!! :D

  161. So true! I need to work on a lot of these things.

  162. This is list is spot on and thanks for posting it. However, I do have one thing to say regarding the comments made that believing in God/Higher power is needed for happiness or that those who do are somehow happier, please refer to number 11. What you choose to believe is your choice but please don’t insinuate that everyone else is missing something or that we are not as happy as you are. We don’t spend that much time thinking about your life, don’t worry about ours.

  163. <3 it. Thank you x

  164. This is great. Thank you!
    I’m especially interested in the line about waking up at a regular time. I recently wrote a post about seven easy steps to get more energy and one of them was to stick to a regular sleep schedule. And now that I think about it, a regular sleep schedule can do more than just help us with our energy levels – it can lead to happiness and more productivity too, which of course are all linked to one another.
    Glad I found your website!
    -Katie

  165. I did not read all of the previous comments but I only object to the statement that there are only two kinds of people. Being someone who suffers from a clinical and chemical Depression (meaning it was not brought on by a specific occurrence) I argue that there is a third group of people who can not CHOOSE to be happy. It is this idea that happiness is always a choice that leaves a lot of people in the lives of those with Depression to truly not understand the extent of it and its hold over a life. I have many good friends, I have a boyfriend who loves me, and I already follow the mentioned list to a great degree in my life but I can not choose to make myself happy. I can choose to do things that make other people happy, but because of my Depression that is not always the case for me. Otherwise good article.

  166. God and faith plus a sense of humor gets me through and keeps me happy even in the worst of circumstances.

  167. Great article! Simple yet powerful! I wonder if an unhappy person reads this and takes it to heart or rolls they eyes and continues on a cynical path?

  168. Reblogged this on suziesecretgarden and commented:
    Love this so much I had to share it!

  169. Reblogged this on Susan E. Hendrich and commented:
    Take a deep breath, settle in, and enjoy this post, like a cup of hot cocoa on a snowy day…

  170. Reblogged this on stephbarrineau and commented:
    This is a really great article. I wish more people would realize this.

  171. Wonderful list! Thanks for sharing. We all need to teach our children to think like this.

  172. Wow, The word “problem” is a power word, it is to be used to wake people up. When people here “challenge” they ignore you, when they hear Problem, they listen.

    The rest of this list reads like “How to get walked on and used by people in life”

  173. Celebrate Life! Be Joyful! & Give thanks! for family,friennds, health,creativity! Ourselves in Body ! Mind, & spirit! Music! Dance! Theatre! Liteture! Like this post.

  174. very meaningful! Thanks.

    23. Life will knock us down. But, we can choose to get back up …
    (The Karate Kid)

  175. i dont do 1 in all cases and 16 too

  176. Secure, contented people discern the ying-yang of life that understands there are many states of mind in the course of a day, week, year, and in the seasons of life, and that it takes all these states of mind in toto make up the whole ying-yang. The contented can look directly at and accept fear, regret, sadness rather than shunning that side of life – it has its value, and how do we understand joy if we don’t have despair to compare it with. The contented also can look at joy, love, and self-expression without needing to greedily cling to it for dear life.

  177. Love the article. WOW !!!!! to all the diff. comments and opinions…really open one’s eyes !!

  178. This is too long. Just shorten it up.
    1) Get good amount of sleep
    2) Meditate
    3) Exercise
    4) Eat Healthy
    5) Think Positive

  179. The last point ain’t cool.. Happy people are patient. They take up responsibility for themselves and make it happen. Hence impossible is nothing. It may not happen tomorrow, but I will make it happen.

  180. This is a great list,, one that has mostly common sense thoughts that everyone can (should) use everyday,,, Thank you !

  181. I question number 19 having lived in both Europe and US . I think you should live comfortable . Not hoarding but also not be a neat freak . Sometimes buying the best will cost less inthe long run and create less hassel . You broke your on rule number 11 by comparing US to Europe . This one needs a re-do . As for the rest they ‘re great . Overall me like !

  182. Hello.
    I admit I did not read all of it. For what I saw I agree with many of those statements. Only why do people want to be happy ? ;-) I got aware a few days ago that when you are sad and distressed you become a great artist. Haven’t you done these wonderful poems or these nice paintings when you felt miserable ? Just to say that unhappiness has something beautiful too.

    • I do my best art work when I am happy. It is exciting and fulfilling.

    • i think happy people are the ones who think and live positive and are very creative with their thoughts, personalities and the way they live also. happy people dont sweat the small stuff and deal wisely with the big stuff. happy people can see through the rose colored glasses as well as reality glasses and know the difference and still be happy with both perspectives. happy people dont let the bad feelings and bad happenings control their lives because they understand that life is too short and precious. everything that a happy person looks at or deals with, KNOWS, that no matter what…it WILL get better…not,… it might get better. WE ARE ALL BLESSED AND WONDERFULLY MADE,….. AND US HAPPY PEOPLE ALWAYS SEES THAT AND KNOWS THAT.

  183. 2 Kindness is contagious :-)
    3. Is a bit of a cliche. Problems/challenges are just stuff that needs to be done.
    5 Live your dream now.
    11 I didn’t FEEL poor until I came back to NA
    10, 17 Sleep when you are tired; eat when you are hungry. Just make sure you know what “tired” and “hungry” are.
    19 Possessions are liabilities as well as assets.

  184. I don’t think there are two typess of people either, or two paths. Actually, these dualities, binary divisions, seeing one way or another is where the “unhappiness” lies. Happy or unhappy, or whatever emotion, reaction, perception we are having or not having, as human beings, in a given moment, is what is going to define where we are at, beyond external circumstances.

    Happiness, from moment to moment or as a state of being, may be ours to choose, and we can give and find the words that point to it, seem to produce it momentarily, but even that choice is beyond our (un)awareness and we need to be careful about advice/words that imply judgment or evaluation of any of our perceptions, feelings, reactions in a given moment. Though that is also part of the whole. And any grand generalizations of states of being, paths, persons in words are in conflict with total awareness, (i.e. peace, happiness…?) which is ineffable.

    It’s not easy, but then it is, and then it isn’t again. Interesting discussion.

    • Absolutely brilliant, I couldn’t agree more. I realize that as humans we have a need to classify and label. However, sometimes that can lead to an oversimplification of complex concepts. It seems to me that we live in a world of multi-layered and ever changing shades of gray. There are few true absolutes; black and white, happy and unhappy, rich and poor,or beauty and ugly. “The human condition” as it is sometimes called is simply too complex to be labeled.

  185. oversimplification “only two types of people… choose to be happy or choose to be unhappy”. That’s like telling someone they “choose” to be gay. Or blond.

    • Otherwise, all interesting points…

    • Not really, Dan. Happiness or unhappiness is a person’s reaction to external events. Sexuality or hair color are innate, unless you have the right colorist. I have, on occasion, chosen to be blond.

    • It is a choice actually. How your feeling is a result of your thoughts. And sure bad things may sometimes happen to you. But how you react to those things is also a choice. I was suicidally depressed for three years until I came to the realization of the illusion of it all. My depression was ultimately my fault. Because you see, in reality depression and anxiety don’t exist. You can’t go fill up a bucket of depression. There’s only people who think depressing thoughts. Which is a choice.

  186. Reblogged this on Taking Flight and commented:
    Today I want to share a fun post from a blog I follow: SUCCESSIFY! Entitled “22 Things Happy People Do Differently”, the author shares a list of tendencies shared amongst happy people. I love the list and noticed several different areas that help my own emotional peace and contentment along with several I would like to work on. My favorites are #2, #7, & #9. What are yours?

  187. Reblogged this on Raven Style and commented:
    This is pretty much perfect!!!

  188. Perfect!!! I am reBlogging….thxs CB

  189. #23 They don’t watch Finding Bigfoot

  190. All of these, are taught by Jesus, and found in the New Testament. these are not new ideas….why are people looking for a new blog for advice, when Jesus gave it so soundly?

  191. Excellent! I think accepting change too!

  192. Nice article.. I consider myself a happy person and can identify with most of the points here. If I may add one that works for me.
    Spend time with nature.

  193. I can’t wait to forward this one!

  194. Love it! 22 is my angel’s number so I might add “Have faith” in whatever makes you happy

  195. Sure, living simply and well helps to make you happy, but that doesn’t mean that unhappy people have chosen to be that way. That logic is false and offensive to people who want to be happy but are not for reasons beyond their control.
    What about unhappy children, say victims of cruelty or neglect – did they choose? What about the same children as they grow up? Once they’re adults at 18, do they then choose to remain unhappy on their birthday? What about unhappy rape victims, should they ‘not sweat the small stuff’ like being raped? What about people displaced by war or famine, or people living in poverty in rich countries? Should they simply ‘avoid social comparison’, and then that will help them to forget that they can’t afford to eat, while their happy, rich neighbours are eating expensive macrobiotic food, meditating, and writing smug blog posts on their iPad next door.
    You could just as easily list 20 things that rich people do, then point to those things as the reason I am not rich, for example because I don’t have a gym membership, or an expensive car.
    There is nothing wrong with the list, yes those things contribute to happiness, but this does not mean that people choose unhappiness.

  196. can someone tell me by experience that being out in green absorbs ur stress?

  197. There’s also that chemical imbalance thing. For some people, “happiness” isn’t something they often experience, regardless of their personal choices.

  198. Reblogged this on khollyretz and commented:
    I love this.

  199. Europeans are happier because they have universal health care, top of the line maternity leave, and free schooling up to and including medical school. I doubt its because they have smaller cars…

  200. Bernie, unhappy people choose to blame everything / everyone else for their unhappiness. Alcoholists, Drug addicts, Children too (although they might can’t help it). Unhappy adults are blaming their parents for them being unhappy. Happiness is about letting go of the past and move forward. Of course if you are sick, or physically challenged that could make you unhappy for a while (I hope we are not talking about terminally ill people here). but sooner or later you have to accept your disability and make the best out of it. Happiness is a mental state. Being a rape victim is also a temporary state, you can be unhappy or angry for a while but the key is to get over it and stop living the past. When you deal with your problems and accept them then you can move on.

  201. Great post that I desperately needed to read right now. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Jen

    http://www.diaryofamadmama.wordpress.com

  202. you do choose to be happy or not happy and the emotions FOLLOW the thoughts not the other way around as most people think.

  203. Easier said than done. And there’s things on this list that seem would make one happy by being an ass. Never seeks anyone’s approval? You’d better, if they’re paying you for a service. Never apologize for being honest? “Sorry to say this, but your breathe smells.” Better than “You stink!”

    While there are good things in this article I feel it is made of many things that might help an individual but would make a group suffer.

  204. Reblogged this on dominiek’s Blog and commented:
    Zeer interessante en herkenbare blogpost. Die kleine kantjes in het dagelijks gedrag die er voor zorgen of iemand zichzelf echt gelukkig kan noemen… of net niet!

  205. Absolutely Spot on! Here’s a little poem for you.

    Smiling is contagious; you catch it like the flu, When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too. I passed around the corner and someone saw me grin When he smiled I realised I’d passed it on to him. I thought about that smile then I realised its worth, A single smile, just like mine could travel round the earth. So, if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected. Let’s start an epidemic quick, and get the world infected!

  206. I agree with it all except number 19. Europans are not as happy as the socialists want you to believe they are. Small cramps living conditions do not equal happiness. Small cars do not equal happiness. Minimal matariel objects do not equal happiness. I agree less clutter is better but there’s a difference between clutter and personal belongings.

    Again, don’t believe the hype that Europeans do things better than Americans. Their broke, unemployment has skyrocketed, people are losing their homes and they share the same issues we have in every way shape and form.

    How about we replace number 19 with this…

    19: Save Money. Ever notice how many happy people have a nice savings account? Is it because they’re greedy and greed makes them happy? Nope, it’s because they know they’ve been responsible and can take care of themselves and their family if something goes wrong. They’re happy because they know they can reward themself with a trip, a shopping spree, buy a gift for someone they love, save for their kids college education or saved for their own retirement. A penny a day keeps the frowns away.

  207. You pretty much say that depression is a life choice. Gee, that’s just SO compassionate!

  208. Reblogged this on Living Success 3D and commented:
    True happiness comes from within…

  209. You forgot one of the most important points – the sense of humour – if you can laugh – you can get through anything. Humour does make people happy too. Lighten up everybody.

  210. Someone shared with me on FB. Love the article!

  211. While having a bigger home or more stuff does not make you happy, I don’t think that this is why Europeans are happier in general than Americans. Europeans have far superior work/life balance. They work fewer hours (generally 35 hours as standard, but more than 48 hours a week in the EU is illegal), they get more vacation time (at least four weeks, usually more), after giving birth European women get more paid family leave than American women get unpaid leave. Europeans also generally don’t have the stresses related to cost and availability of health care.

    Thus, Europeans have more time for friends, family, pursuing interests, travel as well as exercise, mediation and eating well!

    • And we Americans can chose that lifestyle too!

    • Excellent example of a ‘straw man’ proposal.

    • yes! I agree with this assessment of European work/life balance.

    • Well that is partially true, John. Not all Europeans get the same good work conditions you have mentioned in your post. Things differ greatly from a country to another. As a matter of speech, Scandinavian and North European countries have far better work conditions than South European countries. Europeans may have a better quality of life than Americans, but be aware that, due to drastic cutbacks, the welfare system in Europe is changing and is getting rapidly worse than ever..

      • I am from Europe, and the difference is our family, we take more time with our children’s, we take time to cook and have a proper meal sitting on a table, talking, listening.
        In thenUS , no, everything is different, big, but rarely do I see a dressed table.
        We eat on the counter, standing up, ready made food, quit often, or in front of tv.
        And the sizes of the plates, oooooh my.
        Huge houses, big cars, giant shops with fat too much merchandise, that they have to bargain.
        See the closet of a European and an American , waste, waste.

    • I agree John. The one thing left off this list is ‘Become more interested and concerned about the others and largely forget about themselves’.

    • Is there a study that I am not aware of that shows life satisfaction in Europeans is higher than those in the U.S.A.? If so does it use the same measure for both Americans and Europeans, of a similar population? Does it account for cultural factors or the diversity of American lifestyle based on geographic location? Is it all of Europe you speak of or just a country. My point is, there are a lot of happy Americans and a lot of happy Europeans, and probably as many unhappy of each. Also, life satisfaction is one thing, but we can’t compartmentalize one aspect of life and not note the affects it has on the rest of your lifestyle. The European economy, at least in many of the countries using the euro as currency is in worse shape than in the U.S. So if they do work less and get more vacation time, what affect does it have on their production as a whole. We can’t blindly say that Europeans live better than Americans. And that is my crazy person rant for the day.

    • I agree. The Europeans are not as rushed and stressed because of their superior work/life balance. People here are always in such a hurry and forget their manners and seem so angry. Makes me want to move to a farm in a small town.

  212. You make clear all the points ,of succesful living. It appears to be in close allignment with a very succesful 12 step program and it works for those who activley seek the truth of self.Thank you for sharing this with me and many many others, a wonderful recepie for a happy and full life. Keep on keepin on and hope to hear more .

    • These are the basic principles practiced in the AA 12 step program and it took me from the lowest life and made me an unbelievably happy, wholesome human being who contributes to life. Like the program says, it’s about progress not perfection and striving every day to do these things with others in mind. Getting out of self makes the world an amazing place. The one thing I’d add is that faith in a Higher Power is what let’s us tap into an infinite power that can change everything from the inside out. It changed my life :) Happy day to all of you!

  213. 23. appreciate the beauty and awesomeness of nature as often as possible. The flight of a Blue Heron, the colors of a sunset, the flicker of a fire, the power of a thunderstorm, the blossoming of a flower. There is joy in knowing that there is power and beauty all around us that should never be taken for granted. If you can learn to take a moment for that – then you can more easily learn to recognize the power and beauty in other aspects of your life.

  214. could not agree more!!

  215. Can a make a request? I would like to copy this article. ok lang po ba? I want to teach these to my men here at Ft Bonifacio. I will acknowledge you po. Your name is Kris right? tnx in advance

    -Val-

  216. awsm its motvte hoples peopl

  217. Heather R. Casey

    Very inspirational! I feel I live my life by almost all of these points!

  218. Reblogged this on A Girl With Kaleidoscope Eyes and commented:
    Great Thoughts!

  219. Well said…………….Thanks

  220. I would add do not take refuge in consumerism for self gratification… filling the emptiness of your life… acknowledge it and move on…

  221. Terrific ideas, however I would add 1 more, pray consistently, persistently, and most importantly specifically.

    • AMEN!!! Well said.

    • Believe me, it is entirely possible to be a happy atheist. Prayer may feel necessary for your life, but others do just as well without it.

    • Amen to that!!
      Also in meditating, the best is to mediate on God’s word, the Bible!!! You will never go wrong in doing that. Plus it brings life, joy, peace, helps your faith grow, brings hope to make you feel happy and in return fellowship with God & eternal life in Heaven!! Awesome.

    • Zachary von de Vries

      So the Atheists, Agnostics, Ignostics, the religious who don’t pray, etc can’t be happy people now?

  222. My favorite things on the interweb are these lists that claim being happy is as simple a deciding to be happy. Pretty sure that, that notion is false. We think we can control our thoughts and behaviors because of a false conscious narrative. In reality it is the chemical composition of our brains that constitutes mood and behavior.

    • Indeed.

      Recently, one of my dogs had to have a tail amputated after nerve damage, which was a few months of nerve-wracking spinning, pain for him, and cost for me, another dog had a severe attack of arthritis, another caught ringworm from a friend, another scratched his cornea, and the last suffered a puncture wound to his leg. As if the monetary aspect of these predicaments wasn’t enough, my favorite uncle died, I had pneumonia, I had to have a cavity filled which caused the tooth such pain I had to have a root canal, and I caught yet another person stealing my graphic art that I have to now pursue legal action.

      All in the first two months of 2013!

      I’m not going to view this as a “challenge,” or decide that it won’t matter a year from now. I live in the present, I have a sense of realism, and frankly, all this crap sucks. I’m not going to force it down and pretend I’m happy about it. That’s certainly not healthy either. Deal with stuff as it comes up, be glad when it’s over, and move on.

    • On the list is exercise and meditation, both which change the chemical and physical structures of the brain.

    • Thank god someone said something. This is a great list, filled with wonderful suggestions for how to be more content and happy despite circumstances — but sometimes circumstances really suck balls. Sometimes circumstance is clinical depression. Sometimes circumstance is your mom dying. This list would be so much better if it didn’t come brandishing the notion that people can *always* choose to be happy. There is a grey area in which things just suck for you–and maybe you do all the things that will help you deal, like exercising, getting up at the same time every day, etc–but you are still plagued by grief or sadness, even if you’re dealing with it in the most healthy way imaginable. I think a truer notion is that we are all responsible for how we feel. That does not mean that we are always in total control of how we feel.

    • I’m in your camp.

      “The richest person in the world could be miserable while a homeless person could be right outside, smiling and content with their life.”

      But … rich people typically become neurotic from living under all the money, and homeless people are usually already mentally ill — that’s how they ended up becoming homeless in the first place. These psychiatric conditions cause what appear to be “happiness” or “unhappiness,” but those states are illusions. “Happy” and “unhappy” become misnomers and can’t be managed in the absence of psychological health. The article simplifies the topic way too much to take it seriously, because there is a lot more context that is involved.

      For example: “Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers?” Okay … define “successful.” Words like that get thrown around a lot, but they’re very broad, and we’re not always all talking about the same thing.

      And last but not least, there is unhappiness with one’s self and with others, which the article primarily addresses, and there’s unhappiness with larger, more existential matters, which is different. The things listed in the article aren’t involved in every case of a need for inner peace, contentment, and/or satisfaction … they’re actually the most rudimentary issues, which are more superficial in nature and are merely the result, not the root, of genuine problems and difficulties.

      There are several other contentions I have with the bullet points in this piece but my post is already far too lengthy so I’m done. I do appreciate the thought of everything in the article being true (and wouldn’t that be great, and SO much easier?!), but when I think deeper, more thoroughly, and more critically about the human condition, I don’t buy it.

  223. Agree with all of it

  224. Fabulous post! A good reminder!

  225. I agree with absolutely everything you say except the time of rising. I am a late riser as I find this suits me and I get my best sleep between 7am and 9:30am. My thoughts are, it might be better to say that happier, healthier people are those who get plenty of sleep. And some people just need more than others.:)

    • I think the point was that happy people get up at the same time each day, which will stabalize your circadian rhythm. They did say that happy people often get up early, but I think that it’s being regular that’s important for happiness and also for some health issues as well.

  226. Elegantly simple and true…

  227. Great article. As a relationship coach, I would like to add one more. Stop blaming your significant other for your woes. Look at where you are copable. Because if you can see where you had a part or contributed, your anger will be released and replaced with the humility that no one is perfect and you both deserve understanding and forgiveness.

  228. People who are like this really are the most annoying and overwhelming and zap your energy.

  229. Really wonderful article! As for your conclusion that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items. I do doubt that!

    I could think of some reasons why Americans are unhappier than Europeans (way more junk food, way more bad news, way more bad politicians for example..). I come from Germany and I don’t know why you think we have smaller houses or simpler cars. Think about where the cars you drive come from: Germany! And then think about why we should not drive cars made in Germany. :o) And on a personal note, I myself did tend to gather lots of stuff over the years and I know many people who do the same.

    I do agree on your actual point though, that less stuff should make one feel happier. I just don’t agree on your the conclusion.

  230. Love this. I’d count myself as happy and through no planning at all seem to have adopted most of these habits. There’s one more thing that I do and contributes enormously to my sense of well-being, and that’s “keep pets”.

  231. Enjoyed the article. #13 has had a huge impact in my life.

  232. Enjoyed the post, especially #13. It’s made a big impact on my life.

  233. Need to work a bit on point 14 and 15. The rest I easily relate too. Guess i’m there:)

  234. Resonates on a lot of levels, and 22.. like the 22 Major Arcana, and 22 Quineries of the Zodiac. :)

  235. Happiness is a mickey d’s quarter pounder!

  236. This has helped me inprove my life. Thanks!

  237. I want to add “not afraid of taking risks” to the list. I know someone (very well) who is so worried about losing, failing, and not meeting expectations (of self) that she is very afraid to take a risk – overanalyzes every situation and consequence and thus does not take action. She is not satisfied with where she is currently and has set very high goals for herself. It makes her feel like a failure because she is not as successful/living the life that she wants to but takes no action to change it, which leads to a very unhappy person.

    • Perhaps your friend should learn that it isn’t the result that matters in life, but that you act. To act and fail is more honourable than to shrink from action. You cannot set lofty goals for yourself and then be afraid of failure; it will paralyze you. Understand that in taking action you have already won; regardless of the outcome. The outcome is outside your control; the only thing you can ever truly own is your own actions and intentions.

  238. Love this soooooo much! <3

  239. Great article, I think 13 is one most people struggle with

  240. well i’m without friends but not miserable-i find i am happier because i don’t have to get involved in other people’s lives. People become boring to me because humans often repeat themselves and their stories, they need to believe that their lives are busier and more exciting because they are bouncing around from this to that-when i am honest with people i tend to get judged and people try and put me down when i want to show my vulnerable side-always in a sly way to make themselves somehow feel superior and like they are there to help, but can’t get bogged down with what goes on in my life—this despite all the energy they drained out of me when they need an ego boost—i find people to be extremely insecure and most of them are not what the way these see themselves to be-most are afraid just stumbling through hoping no one will find them out and this works for everyone else-not for me, i’m not into play pretense-i am who i claim to be, and i’m not afraid of being alone, i enjoy my own company and really feel drained when i have to engage with others for any length of time. i don’t want to put on a false front to avoid their righteous judgement-i’m a good and cool person so it is too tiring to have to placate those who are too weak to be real— to me life is too short to get caught up in the games people unwittingly play-especially funny for those who always say they want ‘no drama’ then they really need to stay away from themselves ’cause they are usually the one’s who are judging and dramatizing everyone around them-seriously this is not an isolated incident, but a collective gathering of minds known by myself in every corner of the globe-sadly there are very few unique people in the world, after a while the names may change, but people are the same wherever and every where-other than this -list is pretty accurate, just wanted to put my 2 cents in that being alone doesn’t mean one is lonely and miserable-that is a misconstrued perception-some of us need to be because there are too many dipshiz walking around sucking up all the good air with their endless chatter about their ‘interesting’ to them yet lame to me boring escapades-that is when they are not posting it all over social networking sites to validate their importance in black and white.

  241. Definately true yvonne…things to think about and remember every day.

  242. Reblogged this on Life: My Daily Teacher and commented:
    Lessons to take to heart….

  243. I had to share this on my blog. Absolutely true. Wonderfully written! :)

  244. earthspiritwisdom

    Thank you for the insights and taking the time to share them with us, very simple yet profound……!

  245. This is VERY awesome and VERY true! I do practise a lot of these and need to keep working on the rest! Worth the read. But I want to say one thing about ‘choosing to be happy’ … yes, a lot of it is a choice, but when you suffer from depression you can not always, no matter how hard you try, will yourself to be happy. Sometimes you need meds and other means. I also am not sure about ‘Zoloft’ specifically, but my working out has NOT given me more energy or made me happier naturally. (I am happier because I am proud of myself and I like the way I look, but that is different than my exercise making me happier.) For me, there is no amount of exercise that would be able to take the place of my meds. I know this … I have suffered from this depression my whole life and I always will, there is NO cure. I have also gone in phases not needing meds, but they were few. Truthfully though, my depression is the reason I am such an optimistic, happy person. Because of having to work so hard at being positive, I have learned a lot about myself, life and ways to keep myself up. This is absolutely great advice in this article. I hope you not only read it, but definitely try to live these!!!!

  246. Thank you for this article, I am a member of a positive psychology group and we work on this points a lot …

  247. well, i have noticed that being happy does come from within. i was unhappy with where I was and what I was doing….so I changed that…i moved far away , opened a small business in my new local town. Now I am busy with own my own business…and back living in the town of my youth, and re-establishing friendships of my youth.. but guess what…the stuff that was making me unhappy followed me here…I am still unhappy but now in a different place..I realize that i spend a lot of time thinking of the past and worrying about the future..I need to change my attitude not my surroundings, although I am happier here in the town of my youth, but the basic unhappiness comes from how I think of the world…not where in the world I live

  248. Some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items. must be written by an american who has never been in europe, hahaha, simpler cars? must be a joke if you want quality you buy a german car not a plastic teen car with a v8, smaller homes? is some regions maybe yeah, at least they stand their ground in wind and rain, they are not made of wood and plastic (again), we also really own stuff in we dont live a live of debt and slavery. you should not be proud of a country based on debt.

  249. Well said on all accounts! Thank you

  250. Outstanding perspective! Over the past 3 years I’ve incorporated several of those traits mentioned and have never been happier with my life.

    The one that still gives me the most issue is forgiveness, but I’m still on the right track.

    Thanks for posting this!

  251. This is something I want to live by. Thank you for posting.

  252. I believe the title of this article and focus on describing 2 camps of people, “Happy” or “Unhappy” is too simplistic. Here’s where I’m coming from and please bear with me. I feel that having a different title of “22 Guidelines For Happiness” would be a more sensitive and appropriate choice. Also, the phrase, “Happy People” do this or that, can be misleading. Depression is not a choice, whether it is a depressive episode or prolonged depression. Just as the roots of a tree can grow deep and are numerous, so can the basis of depression. It can come from biological, psychological, and social influences. To me, we are not simply Happy or Sad people, black or white, but many shades and colors in between, that can change and mix like the colors of a soap bubble when you blow on it. Having said all that, I think the 22 guidelines or values for living are good. But make no mistake about it, people who are feeling happy or unhappy are BOTH striving to attain these goals, with mixed success from day to day. Please read the descriptions under Biological, Psychological, and Social headings in the Wikipedia article titled “Major Depressive Disorder” for a really good overview of how and why someone can come to feel “Unhappy”. It is not something we choose, and not something you simply snap out of without accessible, professional, personal help.

  253. I’ve been on track for personality modification before and know all these points you mentioned. Better habits will focus your life in different ways. And at one point in my life I had followed all these steps, sought inspiration and tried to be successful in a sales role. Your actions/habits change your outlook and physical condition for sure but I’d like to ask, why? Why do you want to be in a perpetual state of happiness?

    Nowadays I hold with those who are more focused in their lives. Realists so to speak. I don’t seek happiness / contentment anymore but fulfilment. That means that I need stress and conditions that would drive me to action to change my life and environment for the better IMHO. I now have scars from battles within and others but am more satisfied with my life and of those I care about. This pursuit of happiness is BS. You should be pursuing self-worth, affectiveness and actualisation. Happiness will be the byproduct not the means. Cheers.

  254. 23. Taking advice from internet lists.

  255. cheryl watkins jones

    Nice to read and think about.

  256. Thank you for the insight! This is absolutely wonderful.

  257. I think you are trying to sell a book.

    • I can see how you would assume that everything positive would have a monetary motive behind it. Actually, for everyone who signs up on the website I will give away all of my eBooks for free. I’m just a guy trying to do some good.
      Thanks so much for visiting!

      Kris

  258. I wrote all these things down. Some of them I have not been paying attention to – good reminders. One comment I have for #3 is See Problems as Challenges. We have discovered that we react to challenges the same way a problems. So – we changed it to “We have a Situation here!” Now situations always have solutions don’t they? So – we get on with finding a good solution. Voila! No more problem.:)

  259. Great reminders for us all

  260. Helpful to evaluate my self

  261. Excellent insight on happiness! You may have already read this, but just in case, check out Flow by Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi – he writes about the psychology of happiness. Cheers and keep up the great posts!

  262. I really needed to read this. Thank you.

  263. Reblogged this on Sassy Shuga's Place and commented:
    I had to re log this. Beautifully put!

  264. Find me a happy homeless person. Other than that, excellent.

  265. I love this, honestly just opened my eyes!

  266. I don’t disapprove any of the above, but why there’s not a point that says “Care for the ones that really care for you”? Happy people don’t care for others?

  267. Everybody can choose their own way to be happy, whatever feels right to them. No need to follow any prescription or rule

  268. In other words, live the AA way!

  269. Right now i am in the dark hole known as depression and can only focus on one or two of this list. Yes its a nice inspirational list. but right now i am not inspireable

  270. This was a great article. I am inspired and grateful for the share. Have a great day. Hugs, Barbara

  271. This article came to me at the right time in my life. Happiness does come from within oneself. I’m the only one who can make myself happy. I have a problem with social skills and some people try to take advantage of me because of this problem. This article really opened my eyes. Thank you very much for this article.

  272. Zachary von de Vries

    It’s pretty clear this article was written by a person who has a fundamental misunderstanding of how sadness and depression come to be. And a fundamental misunderstanding of how happiness works. Also happy people don’t tell the truth, it’s scientific fact that literally no one does, human nature itself developed brains in ways that make lying easy and relatively un-stressful, contrary to your “insights”. The average person lies 5 times in a 60 second conversation with a stranger. I’d argue many more of your points, but I don’t have the time.

  273. Indivisual Philosophy has been put in 22 points not to be accepted by everybody. In this era, what you see, what you hear, what you face and ultimately what you feel can never be balmed by your personal positivity. Politicians, Bureaucrats,Doctors,Engineers and all the persons are far far away from ethics. To be remembered–Uudhishthir had told Yaksha,only surprising is that everyone has to leave this world, he or she knows but they forget this, so long they are
    in life.
    So,all those 22 points are related to Philanthropists not common man or woman.

    • Lalit Kumar – It almost sounds like your didn’t read the article at all. I know part of you does not want to let go of pain, but you can do it. I am a common man, and I’m very happy, and I follow all of the points above. To me the article wasn’t a “how to” guide, but a simple affirmation of my daily life. Not kidding, Kumar. Read it again, with an open mind. Love you, mean it.
      Mike
      http://www.mikeshawtoday.com

  274. There is a third type of person. They have a mood disorder. There is probably a “spectrum” for that too. So those who can choose to be happy and it results in happiness are blessed, and maybe are a bit uninformed when they think others just aren’t trying.

    • If you’ve every seen ‘A Beautiful Mind’.. it’s possible to have a mental disorder and still have control over it and your life.

      • Right, because everything that happens in movies is possible in real life….

      • I was diagnosed with bipolar1 ( the non mania guide) by numerous doctors – basicallly a “mood disorder”. My experience of it was a dull fuzzy headache and minor anxiety lowered mood and irritability, but I felt like something was wrong in the rest of my body also ( heart rhythm problems, change in complexion muscle tightness fatigue etc). As soon as I cleaned out my gut and liver and got some major sunshine it pretty much went away.. Take the red pill and go to this place in Costa Rica if you can swing it. haciendadelsolcr dot com or theis place in hawaiii: angelfarms dot com chances are your brain will clear you;ll lose 10 lbs and get happy in a week. then figure out how to change your life to adapt to your new knowledge of how your brain and mood is connected to your digestive system and the food you eat.

    • Thank you for this response. If only it were as simple as making the choice.

    • I was diagnosed with bipolar1 ( the non mania guide) by numerous doctors – basicallly a “mood disorder”. My experience of it was a dull fuzzy headache and minor anxiety lowered mood and irritability, but I felt like something was wrong in the rest of my body also ( heart rhythm problems, change in complexion muscle tightness fatigue etc). As soon as I cleaned out my gut and liver and got some major sunshine it pretty much went away.. Take the red pill and go to this place in Costa Rica if you can swing it. haciendadelsolcr dot com or theis place in hawaiii: angelfarms dot com chances are your brain will clear you;ll lose 10 lbs and get happy in a week. then figure out how to change your life to adapt to your new knowledge of how your brain and mood is connected to your digestive system and the food you eat.

  275. hi…Thank you for this wonderful article. I am a manager at a Lucille Roberts Womens Fitness Club….I am printing out this article and hanging it up on our wall. I will give this blog credit, obviously.

  276. its kind of funny your blog is called successify but it looks like this post-apocalyptic wasteland theme haha.

  277. WHAT IF YOU HAVE TRIED ALL THE ABOVE STILL CAN’T REALL BE HAPPY?SEEING A PSYCH & ON MEDS.NOTHING HELPA!!!!!!

    • Change takes time so building the habit of becoming a happier and more contented person requires practice like anything else,so for those who struggle take heart and don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get it right first time!

    • What you are looking for is healing work. It changes/heals the belief system in your subconscious and the resulting feelings and emotions. It has the power to change your DNA. My son and I do this and it can be accomplished in person or over long distances. My email is: dawncampo@gmail.com, if you have any questions or need help. : )

    • I understand what you are saying because I have been in that place a number of times and it seems like a hole you can never crawl out of. I don’t believe there is a simple answer to what you are feeling but something I did that helped me was to create lists — lists of things I wanted to do–not a bucket list but a list of the things cluttering up my head such as “clean the bath tub, do my taxes,” read “To Kill A Mockingbird” etc. It helped me to have it all on a piece of paper (actually it ended up to be about 8 pieces of paper when I really got rolling) and out of my head. Then I could do one thing at a time. Again, I don’t mean to minimize your feelings or give flippant advice I just wanted to share something that helped me when I was in the same place. I hope things get better for you.

  278. People who are really happy don’t have a need to tell everyone else how “simple” it is to be happy — they’re usually smart enough to know that you need to walk a mile in another person’s shoes before you can begin to think that you know enough to make any such suggestion.

    • Ino Bedda – Well, aren’t you yourself guilty of that? Your handle is “I Know Better (Ino Bedda).”

      Okay, that aside- the article wasn’t telling you to do anything. I took it as sharing, and that’s all. It’s you to you to decide if any of the points are valuable to you.

      The article points to “being,” rather than “knowing,” if you want to get technical.

      Don’t be so easily offended. It’s just an article meant to share what works for the writer.
      All the best to you!
      Mike

  279. I would add 1 more==Forgive everyone past and present and seek forgives for the ones u may have wronged

  280. I enjoyed reading the article and it makes a lot of sense. I wish we all could follow these simple rules and be happy, but sometimes life deals us a bad hand! I try to be positive and kind but onece in a while, I just feel like slapping somebody silly! Thanks for the article. Homa

  281. love your article.thank you for being so positive. I love being happy too, when I look into my fearless children’s eyes as they are so excited because were going for ice cream, and you think we won the megmil.,or something, .how it could be the smallest things that make the biggest difference if we just open our eyes to the miraculous horizon. yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery , enjoy the gift of the present.

  282. Yes, a nice article, and thanks for sharing what so many of us have found to work.
    Mike

  283. What a wonderful way to start my day! Thanks for this!!

  284. Excellent post!!! There is a lot of true wisdom in it. I’ve already tried to implement some of the points (that I heard about before) in my life (e.g. no comparison to others, beeing nice to everyone, and accept what you cannot change). This already makes me a happier person but I still catch myself by not following these points…It’s always good to read them again so that they can get a fixed place in mind!!! Thanks for sharing! I’m gonna link your blog from mine cos I think my readers could/should be interested in your stuff as well.

  285. Reblogged this on The Treasure Trove and commented:
    Some people I know claim that “happy” people are simply polly anny-ish and that they themselves aren’t being pessimistic but rather “realistic.” But if each of these 2 categories I mentioned (and those in between) could attempt to follow the guidelines in the blog article I’ve reposted below, I think we could all be much more content. Of course, knowing what could help and DOING it are two completely different things…

  286. Gayathri Prasanth

    very good mind booster!!!! feels good after reading this.God bless you

  287. Eternal wisdom exists in the scriptures of the great world religions. Each of us is a child of God. God loves us each and every one unconditionally. From the Bible, (Isaiah 45:6-7) “I am the Lord, and there is none else. I form the light and create darkness: I make peace and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.” So, if you want true eternal happiness, seek and love God as the only Reality. The world is only a seeming reality; it does not contain the essence of reality. Luke 17:21 … “behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Seek how to go within for eternal happiness that is already in your soul.

  288. While I think you make a lot of great points, I do take issue with the evidence you bring under point 19 “some studies have concluded that Europeans are a lot happier than Americans are, which is interesting because they live in smaller homes, drive simpler cars, and own fewer items.” While studies can tell us that Europeans are happier than Americans, you made a logical jump to think that Europeans are happier BECAUSE they have less stuff. Maybe its because they all are able to obtain fairly priced health insurance, because they have more paid time off, or because they tend to live in more homogenous societies. I think you fail to truly identify the REASON why Europeans are happier in this point.

  289. Going to try and read this every day xx

  290. Reblogged this on Fishbowler and commented:
    To be happy.

  291. This article just made me think about almost every aspect in my life. I have been trying to be a better person over the past few years and really getting myself together. I feel as if you live life to the fullest and realize we are not promised tomorrow you will most certainly be a happier person. I really like this article and it seems to me the people that are not happy reading this are the ones with negative things to say. I am not saying I wake up with a smile every time my eyes open because we all have bad days that feel like our worst days. I am saying though that if you truly look at life as a gift you might just enjoy it more.

  292. I think a lot of your observations are very good, however many people have mental and physical disabilites that creates a good deal of pain and restriction. No one is happy when that is going on in their bodies, you’d have to live it to know it and you may not have had this experience. Physical pain creates mental pain and its a vicious circle.

  293. Optimistic early risers should be avoided.

  294. Thank you for the simple reminders (which seem to offend so many?). Sometimes (often), I forget these simple steps and sweep myself back up into the chaos, setting those damned chattering monkeys free in my brain again. These simple “choices” will always bring me back to happiness. Be the change and the world will follow – you make it so. Thank you for making this – it matters.

  295. A positive outlook as great. Still, an optimist can never be “pleasantly surprised”. (Just a playful monkey in the wrench. Nice article)

  296. Dear Chiara (what a beautiful name!) Thank you, SO much, for those rich words, which are like a treasure chest full of wisdom! I can’t believe the number of NEGATIVE responses to this. Perhaps, if the people who had complaints about this article, “tried” to follow your inspiring words, insteading of blaming things such as mental illness or physical pain (which are REAL and very difficult to deal with for sure) they might just make their lives a little bit healthier and happier.
    They should post these and try to follow at least one a day. It might make them feel better and make them happy they’re not six feet under the dirt! If negative people “TRY” to follow your suggestions for a better life, they might start living a better life!

  297. Hubert N. (Jay) Hoffman, III

    Happy people have great integrity, depth of character and always like what they see in the mirror!

  298. in its simplicity – what you shared is incredibly powerful! thank you!!

  299. Miss Carrie Katherine Boswell

    i like it!

  300. @ Galexia, your comment of NEGATIVE people came across as being, umm, a bit negative and angry to me? Just my perception, no judgment here. Maybe some love and compassion would change it to “my heart goes out to those suffering, may you be blessed to be able to apply some of these steps to your life.”

  301. L’ha ribloggato su Just another holdere ha commentato:
    Add your thoughts here… (optional)

    • a little ?? about these 3 right next to each other seems like 13 is a trick .. how do you do all 3? at least as written..
      13. Never seek approval from others.
      14. Take the time to listen.
      15. Nurture social relationships.

      and as a happy person with an independent life i can agree with the counsel and suggestions for people. i do feel a lot is in place in our conditioning and anyone can be a determined soul and implement shifts .. all completely possible! worth a try !

  302. We need more of this positive energy in the world! Words to live by!

  303. Thanks Chiara – easy read and excellent advice!

  304. Thanks, very inspiring! I took the liberty of translating it into Dutch for my pupils, and I added a line: share. Sharing makes us realise we can do without so much, it helps build social relationships and simply makes you happy…

  305. I think that people are mostly happy or sad due to the choices they have made and are making in their lives……..cause……and effect. When you hear people talk about how something is always somebody else’s fault….If you really think about it…it is usually a result of choice/choices they have made.

  306. Some of this wisdom is very similar to what the 12 steps in Alanon teaches.

  307. I think only Americans need to be reminded this kind of things. Everything in this list is pretty much obvious.

    • I’m not sure if my previous reply to WIll went through, so I’m re-posting it.

      As an American, I have to say, “Everything in this list is pretty much obvious.”

      Do NOT stereotype us, please, that is unfair and insulting. Are you implying that all Europeans do these things with perfect ease all the time? We ALL – no matter what country we hail from – would do well to remind ourselves of Chiara’s points each day and apply and then re-apply them as much as we can.

      Have a good day! :)

  308. 1) Unfortunately, pervasive happiness comes in large part from biological predisposition due to the different productivity of inherited cerebral chemistry. These problems are exacerbated by lack of exercise, diet, low level allergic reaction, and minor illnesses that are often difficult if not impossible to detect until late in life. Thankfully prescription chemistry, exercise, and diet generally fix it for the average person.

    2) Remember that until we mature fully, from the time we start adulthood, in males, lots of possible avenues for positive emotional stimulation are being shut off, and in females, lots of possible avenues for stimulation are being exaggerated. Both by different biochemistry. These changes place extraordinary challenges on the moods as we search for ways to maintain stable pleasurable inputs amidst ether decreasing avenues for getting then, or increasing sensitivity to negatives. The only known way to combate it is actually exercise and socialization. But the school system’s emphasis on keeping people of similar age together instead of mixing agens with majority of adults, makes it very difficult for both teens and twenties.

    3) Eat clean. Get hard exercise just a few times a week. (Yes, two our sessions of very physical sex that makes you sweat do count a little bit). If you get bored with exercise it just isn’t hard enough in a short enough period. And get drugs if you need to. As a side effect, a good deal of them actually make you smarter – albiet slowly. And that’s always good for everyone.

    NOW BACK TO YOUR 22 POINTS

    Really good. I’d criticize them if it weren’t for “THINK BIG”. It is amazing that if you want something and will make one million little decisions in favor of it over ten years, how likely it is to happen.

    The rest are good and not just silly inspirational nonsense, but principles to be observed.

    unfortunately humans are also designed to sit quietly and watch the horizon for movement and this makes us calm. This is the same reason that watching fires is interesting to us. It is very easy to let this biological feedback loop get out of hand. If it does, it is very hard to correct it without chemical assistance.

    Cheers

  309. For many, change equals fear. But if an unhappy person wants to be happy certain things must change. These are simple suggestions that may work for some, but maybe not all people. Might want to start with something easy. People that are offended easily seem to be fearful of something. Perhaps smiling in the mirror is a great way to start.

  310. I have to work on some, but, overral, I think I’m doing great!

  311. Thanks for giving others your excellent list! I think we all need to write our own 22 ideas on happiness. Happiness has a lot to do with what we create in our lives and how we think. When we let the world tell us how to live our life and what is important, happiness then is outside of ourselves…use it or lose it.

  312. Much of these can be perceived by thinking (over a period or few :-) ; had thought of likeliness of 2/3 or 3/4 of them. FWIW. Have done moderately well on them; “work to do” certainly, but light years from where I used to be. Curtd55 above is prescient. The essence here is the 22 items.

  313. Great article! Very good reminders. I’d like to add one more to the list… I think happy people accept that they make mistakes and then get back on the horse and ride it again. They don’t give up. Personal forgiveness combined with an “I can do better next time” attitude…

  314. I would like to add a few to the list:

    1) Be pleasant and polite to everyone you encounter by always saying “please” and “thank you”, and look into their eyes and smile when speaking to them.

    20

  315. 2) Find that things in life for which you have a passion, and then pursue them with enthusiasm and the best of your ability.

  316. I agree with this, mainly because my 93 year old grandfather, one of the most contented people I know, has lived a simple life, growing his own vegetables, and helping others whenever he could. On the subject of smiling in the mirror – I had a friend who 10 years ago told me that her life was a mess, her relationship with her husband was estranged, her job was a dead end. She said that every day she looked at herself in the mirror and told herself outright that she was beautiful and worthwhile and successful. Nobody else is going to believe it if I don’t believe it myself, she said. Three years later, when she had found a better job but her marriage was still a strain, she came to me with a proposal. She was worried about the people in her mother’s village, who, unlike her mother, had no-one to care for them and help them when they were ill. She asked for my help to write down her ideas and formulate them into a proposal, which we sent around our network. The first person to donate was my grandfather. Within two years she had built 5 small rooms for elderly people without homes, had 27 ‘jaja’s’ under her care for food and medical treatment, a pastor who liaised for her in the village and a city doctor who volunteered once a month. She was known as the ‘happiness lady’ both in her village and among our friends. But this wasn’t enough. She confided in me that her dream was to have a school in the village as currently the children had to walk 10 km to get to school and many did not go. The school has been growing slowly for four years, one class at a time, and she, with other colleagues regularly go during holidays to train the teachers and provide resources. Last year she finally found the courage to leave her husband, who only served the purpose of dragging her down, and critiquing her choices. This year she finally achieved a fully built 7 classroom primary school and has left her stable, reasonably paid job, to go to the village and run the school full time. She told me, she has never been happier. Dream big, and keep taking those small steps towards what is important to you. Be happy, people!

  317. Enjoy with Joy As The Case May Be Always!

  318. So true! Attributional style, coping styles, and social comparison are major variables that impact mood and behavior.

  319. Very nice! Thanks for the reminder, especially #1…

  320. Great post! I love the moments when we can recognize that being happy is a CHOICE, and not simply a circumstance. Drawn in by #1 about not holding grudges (SO IMPORTANT), but agree with nearly every single point.

    For more on general good living, from positive attitudes to good nutrition, please visit nourishedblog.wordpress.com! Thanks!

  321. - How people manage to forget bad things? How is it done?
    - I don’t believe world can be fair or unfair – it just exists. On the other hand, people are fair or unfair, and that’s why it’s something people can change.You can change only yourself, basicly, but you also can teach others by showing what results different acts create.

  322. Great article and timely. However, I cannot share on Facebook because the picture goes against my morals. Another timely issue is the objectification of women.

  323. Reblogged this on My So Called Life and commented:
    So true…living my life with the ways of Christ helps too!

  324. Thanks for sharing this important information. You have reached a million people. Your list should increase to 23 items which should include ‘Sharing with others your precious thoughts’.

  325. I agree with your list. Great list by the way!

  326. I’m an 80-year-old woman, and I’ve literally lived from coast to coast and border to border and some places in between. One of the most significant things I’ve observed in my lifetime is how the prevailing idea of what it takes to be happy has been ratcheted up over the years since WWII on the assumption that time spent in recreation directly and predominantly spells happiness. But I remember how people lived before this concept became such a national obsession. Consequently I feel sorry for those who keep on pursuing pleasure in recreation. Having had the advantage of so many years of viewing so much humanity in so many places, it’s as clear as daylight that they’re on the wrong track. If our country continues in the downward direction it’s going now, those people will not have the choice of turning life into wall-to-wall play time. They’ll be either miserably unhappy, or they will learn some realities that people in the past three or four generations haven’t had to learn. Over the long haul, it could be advantageous.

  327. Am I the only one who wishes that being happy was something to be “chosen”, or somehow created from a to do list? Talk to the people who literally can’t do handfulls of these things due to crippling mental illness. This is the equivalent of a stranger walking up to you on the street and saying “Be Happy”. Nice sentiment, but no.

  328. Great List! Yes!

  329. I am a student therapist, and disagree whole heartedly with the idea “There are two types of people in the world: those who choose to be happy, and those who choose to be unhappy” That statement complete bull shit and not only minimizes peoples experiences, but dumbs down the myriad of factors people experience in their own life. This type of thinking leads to blaming the victim for not being happy. Shit happens and sometimes we need more than just our own will power to be happy, whether it be a support network, therapy, or medication. If people could simply will themselves happy, I wouldn’t have a job.

  330. Awesome !!

  331. good advice. Can somewhat be summed up: Do everything you say you are going to do. Don’t intentionally harm others. Correct your mistakes. The rest will follow.

  332. Oh I love this list! I have encouraged my husband to try pretty much this entire list!
    I must share with him. Incubus however already does all this stuff.

  333. Reblogged this on The Unemployed Nurse and commented:
    I really should follow these. I told Matt I have too good of a memory to not hold grudges. Ha

  334. This is Amazing !!! Thank you for sharing :) Something to definitly follow for happiness ! My husband does that All :)

  335. Are they generous and kind to people who are consistently not generous and kind to them? I try to be generous and kind to everyone but I have one person in my life who is really just an awful person to be around and brings nothing but bad drama and negativity when they’re around. I’ve chosen to tell this person to leave me and my family alone. It feels mean and self-centered, but I don’t know what else to do. Being open and kind to him just gives him an excuse to continue to take advantage of our generosity.

    • Sounds like healthy boundaries here. :-)

    • It seems that you’ve already tried 3 (see problems as challenges) and 14 (take the time to listen). And now you’ve moved on to 12 (choose friends wisely), To complete the cycle, it seems that you must accept 13 (never seek approval from others), and 22 (accept what cannot be changed).

    • Well, “Choose your friends wisely” covers this particular challenge you describe.
      Kindness is not always accepted. The best we can do is to be true/truthful to one’s own self (though not necessarily truthful in all circumstances if it achieves nothing & hurts or incites someone who may, or may not, want to hear/know the truth).

  336. I always see things that other look at as a problem as an experience that I am going through to become more of my greatest self. I have never concerned myself with what people thought of me. I always think that is their journey and they can cope anyway they want. I feel that the word Appreciation is the may feeling of my life. I really do appreciate all the gifts that nature universe blesses me with each day. Go to sleep with appreciation of what has been gifted to me that day . wake up in appreciation of what my day has in store…. This is my movie and I am responsible to create my Joy my motto is Joy Is My Only Option I choose JOY!

  337. Reblogged this on Hopeful of Words and commented:
    BE HAPPY!

  338. Many Words of wisdom can be spoken. What about these (from “The Code of Honour”:

    1. Keep your promises.
    2. Maintain true friendships.
    3. Never invalidate yourself.
    4. Listen, observe and study, but don’t believe anything to be true, unless you yourself by use of your own judgement can decid that it is true for you.
    5. Give to others the respect they deserve.
    6. Do not give or receive Communication you do not want.
    7. Your honour and abilities are more important than your life as a human being.
    8. Never regret yeasterday. Life is in you today and you create your tomorrow.
    9. Do what your judgement tells you to do, even if it is not easy or popular.
    10. Learn to know your own true self and work to attain wisdom.
    11. Work to free your mind from misemotions and wrong thinking.
    12. Work to make your own goals and purposes come true.
    13. Learn to know your true friends as they are. Do not try to make them be what they are not.
    14. Do not abandon a true Group when it needs your help.
    15. Do not critizise others behind their back. If you need to critisize turn your critisism directly to the person in question and do not withold your praise of him/her.

    Todd Salén

  339. I don’t agree with point 1. If you act like this you give other people the feeling that it was not wrong what they did and they continue behaving like this.

    • Johny, the point of Point 1 has nothing to do with what the other person thinks or does, so much as what you think, feel and do about YOUR happiness. When you’ve understood that and live your life without holding onto negative feelings you’ll find yourself surrounded by the positive energy you attract. Try it.

  340. I’m not sure which happy people you’re talking about. Many who look happy from the outside are actually miserable within, but not able to acknowledge it because of a culture that says it’s bad to be unhappy, even temporarily.

    People who obviously aren’t able to be happy at all are that way because of injured self esteem and entitlement, which is a very powerful and deep issue and can’t be healed superficially by changing your behavior.

    Forcing yourself to “be happy with what you’ve got” can be about believing that what you have is all you’re entitled to. And on top of it, you’re not even allowed to be real about how miserable you are.

    As for homeless people, it’s easy to romanticize about them, but it glosses over the real, profound and soul-destroying trauma of homelessness. Nobody is happy when they don’t have food and warm clothing and a safe roof over their heads.

    • SPOT ON, Jennifer. The phrase “Happiness is a choice” marginalizes the people who need help in becoming happy. It’s often not as simple as a change in behavior but the addition of therapy and sometimes medication.

  341. Reblogged this on The Art of Balanced Living and commented:
    Love this post!

  342. Superb article. And exactly what the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) taught!

  343. These are all great reminders, Chiara. I found myself thinking, Yes! Yes! Yes! It has been a long road and there will always be work to be done, but I find myself able to check off many more items on this list than I would have, say, five years ago.

    @Tom, I agree with you and think that sometimes you just have to eliminate that negativity from your life. It is your life and your health. It is hard to say goodbye, but I have done this. Sometimes you just have to move on!

  344. The first sentence is incredibly offensive for those who have a mood disorder. That said, all 22 are good strategies and part of recovery for people who still have to live with a mood disorder, even if they follow all 22 strategies.

  345. Thank you for this post, it’s great. I have included it and your blog in my blog post “Why are Happy People Happy?
    http://patticlark.wordpress.com/2013/04/08/why-are-happy-people-happy/

  346. Reblogged this on My Blog and commented:
    My friend Kristina shared this with me. “I read this & I thought of you…you out of all people would appreciate it :)” And she’s right this is so me. This is so great. Needed to reblog!

  347. Reblogged this on Things That Scare Me and commented:
    Lovely post, related to what I’ve been talking about. It’s a good list to look at. Starting to tackle one of the things on this list that you don’t already do is a great way to improve your life. Little steps. I’m starting with number 19. Spring cleaning!

  348. I completely disagree with number 10. To me there is nothing that take away my happiness more than routine, and nothing destroys my mood more than waking up early. Number 10 is a HELL NO.

    • Thanks for the comment. I can imagine that for you, your statement is very true. I see you posted it at 3:17 in the morning so your Circadian rhythm is definitely very different from mine. I know you feel like a routine removes your happiness but you may be surprised how much of your happiness comes from routines that you don’t even realize. It is nearly impossible to be content with out some routine. Our brains are built around patterns and when those patterns, whatever they may be, are disrupted our stress hormones increase and our “happiness” takes a hit. Your routine may not involve sleep, but I bet you have a bunch of other ones that are working really well for you.
      Thanks again for taking the time to comment!

    • No10 is a big YES, dude!

  349. Reblogged this on The Lilac Around the World and commented:
    Lovely!! And very true ;)

  350. If you are going to dream, then dream big. It doesn’t cost anymore!

  351. Loved it Would like to see more such like

  352. Love this, I couldn’t agree more!

  353. This is very inspiring. Thank you!

  354. Oh wow, I just read this again. Love it. I even posted the link on FB.

  355. Wonderful goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you are just extremely wonderful.

  356. Excellent rules I have come to live by. Thanks for posting.

  357. Hey its so true and it works (i especially agree with number 11). Thans for sharing. :)

  358. all points are good for having happy life. same are taught in Indian philosophy & Yoga.

  359. Its really a good things . Thumps Up Loved it

  360. Reblogged this on thunderstruck.

  361. Truely…I believe these 22 golden ways should benon thw wall to read follow and experiencs every day. I have started to live by it and is transformstional.

    I even wrote blog on it…where 3 practices meditation- mindfullness, meaniful relationship and grstefulness if followed would lead you to have bliss 24/7. Eventually succeed in what you are aspiring of.

    Wonderful article!!

  362. Truely awesome…these 22 should be on the wall to read feel and follow everyday…

    I have started following and it is tansformational. Also wrote a bog on The Happiness Project..3 practices ..meditation-mindfullness, meaninful and extraordinary relationships and gratefulness.

    Wonderful!!

  363. I need to work on these daily!

  364. 5. Dream big …. but not too big. Stay realistic. Do not dream about goals that you never can accomplish. Enjoy the journey of working on that dream, as much as reaching the final goal itself:)

  365. Reblogged this on stainedglasz and commented:
    I’m doing better on a lot of these than I anticipated. There are definitely a couple weak spots to shore up, though.

  366. Thank you for a great read. I completely agree and try to live my life this way.

  367. I’m now so overwhelmed by all that I need to change and am doing wrong that I feel quite depressed now. :( Although just saying that makes me laugh and I’m feeling better already! Does that fit into this article somewhere? I don’t know I had to quit reading it was bringing me down.

  368. What would I do without Pinterest to lead me to this crap…this list is idiotic.

  369. Reblogged this on Arwen Angel and commented:
    Beautiful collection of things, that happy people share.
    I might be far away from that one, but number 10. gave me something to think aboout ;-).

  370. I love all of it! But you forgot one! Surround yourself with good paintings!

  371. Reblogged this on DMA Portland and commented:
    good read! #success #business

  372. Fantastic list… love, love, love. Reblogged at Wonder Woman’s Guide to Conquering the Universe Thank you!

  373. we have all heard these 22 Things before but thx for the reminder, which we need CONSTANTLY!

  374. just i did it

  375. its sounds cool …. :) have a lot to work on it…..thanx for reminding :P

  376. Ronald Dylan Concepcion

    Good list! People want to be happy but don’t do what’s necessary to be happy.

  377. Luv it and try to practice all these positive items. Other positive thinking can be achieved in the Secrets … it also opens your mind, body and soul to positive energy and thinking

  378. John R. Leamer RScP

    There is absolutely NO DOUBT in my mind that if one can “do” all of the things you suggest one will BE happy…what I would find more helpful than expressing the WHAT to do, would be the HOW to do them…of course the ‘how’s’ are going to be as unique as each individual’s circunstances so that is nearly impossible to advise without face to face councelling…I also know MANY “happy” people who do NOT do some of the items suggested here…the simplicity is useless without the wherewithall to execute it, otherwise one ends up living “IN one’s own MIND” and that isn’t healthy…these suggestions could lead people to make decisions that may NOT create a “happy” outcome…

  379. The only sentence I disagree with is an initial one: Contrary to popular belief, happiness doesn’t come from fame, fortune, other people, or material possessions

    I want to remove ‘other people’ because it’s ambiguous. While seeking the approval of ‘other people’ is no way to find happiness, I do strongly believe loving relationships with ‘other people’ makes our lives so incredibly wonderful.

  380. Very true .

  381. A good “to do” list. I’m already happy. Imagine being even happier by doing the things on here that I’m not already doing. Thanks!

  382. I have alot of work to do but I know that these ways are the right way to live.

  383. Bullshit. There is ONE thing happy people do differently. They are in love

  384. Homeless and happy. Try it.

  385. People ask why I can be happy so much of the time, and think it must be fake. I follow almost all these principles. It has always been in my DNA. I know a lot of these things can be hard for others, so it is not as easy as flipping a switch, but hopefully everyone can make small steps toward these goals.

  386. I am so happy you reminded me to do this every day

  387. Thank you for the reminder to do this daily

  388. Thanks for the heads up! The new website will be done in a week or so and hopefully that will take care of any issues!

    Kris

    • I go with everything but Dreaming Big. My philosophy is that dreaming means we are not satisfied with what we have. Dreaming takes us out for the flow. We each have a personal flow that has a wonderful momentum unless we stop that momentum by dreaming for something else. How would I know what would be best for me? I don’t know. But if I keep a loving and being grateful, life’s wonders come as surprises all along. It just isn’t better than that for me!! Love, Love, Love.

      • This is a great list on achieving happiness. I wouldn’t change it a bit. A lot of them are easier said than done but doing is not always the point. The attitude of them may be more important than always succeeding at all of them.

  389. Europeans may be happier because a great number of them enjoy pension benefits, state subsidized tuition for college, generous unemployment assistance, several weeks’ paid vacation per year, etc.

  390. After reading this article I realised that I’m a happy person.

  391. Adam Reutens-Tan

    This is perhaps the best list of “How To Be Happy” compilations I have ever read! I could relate to almost every single one. Thank you for this post.

  392. Reblogged this on Sights, Scribbles and Nibbles and commented:
    I choose to be happy!

  393. I think i live like most of these and most of the time i feel pretty happy, these are all the true factors to happiness – i wish everyone would just read this and take it into consideration

  394. I was not raised with these 22 simple concepts. I’ve live a very insecure, frightened life dwelling on how to keep myself safe. However, my inner drive has always been to discover the basic truths of life. I have discovered that I am attracted to distrust contradictions and gravitate to the consistencies of life. This makes me far different than my upbringing. I have always wanted to trust trustworthy people, to respect everyone until they show they do not deserve my respect, to treat everyone as I wish to be treated, to be optimistic about today & my future, to act on my conscience, to find the good before the bad, to look for the hidden truth. Today I am able to claim more of these 22things than ever before. As I look down the throat of 65 years, I hope to continue to the total completion of this wonderful journey.

  395. The one thing that’s really required to be happy: be yourself.

  396. I never realised that waking up at the same time was making me happier, but this month I’ve not been doing that, and I’ve been feeling completely scattered and just “at sea”. I didn’t really recognise it until reading this article. Interesting! The rest I’m also working on :) I like Scribbles comment: “I choose to be happy” – I think that’s key as well.

  397. I don’t think happiness and unhappiness is as black and white as you make it seem. Many people suffer from depression or anxiety and can not “choose” to be happy- their hormones inhibit them from doing so.

  398. Thats exactly who I AM!!! I’m working everyday single day on those 22 differences. Cause I love and live to make a difference ;-)

  399. this bothers me a lot, actually. No one, no combination of these things will make a person happy. This is a list of things that can de-stress your life. tools. but everyone is different. I’ve done everything on this list, alone and in combinations. I still suffer from depression, stress, malaise, listlessness, whatever you want to call it. I feel like articles like this perpetuate the myth that we are designed to go through life on a high-seratonin, smiley ride. Chemically, that doesn’t work. While the strategies brought up in this post have value, the claim that they are magic tricks to instantaneously make you a “happy person” is utterly false for a lot of, if not all, people.

    • Being happy all of the time isn’t natural. Some people would take this idea literally . . . Read, “The Happiness Trap”
      .

  400. Thank you!

  401. Apparently, I’m happy! Who knew?

  402. Good things to remember, however I must take issue. Yes, these are practices which can help people to find a more positive path. But the implication here is that if you are ever unhappy, it must be your own fault, because you are weak in character or sloppy in your mindset. That’s a pretty shitty way of laying blame, in my book.

  403. Sounds like something God said a few years ago!

  404. Zagnar the Destroyer

    WRONG. This thing gets almost all of this completely wrong. 17 out of 22 are just plain WRONG.
    1 – WRONG. People are happier when they DON’T hold grudges, but just because you’re happy, that doesn’t mean you’ll “understand that it’s better to forgive and forget than to let their negative feelings crowd out their positive feelings”; when you’re happy, you could EASILY be more vulnerable to someone else’s bullshit, not less. They’ve got this one backwards.
    2 – WRONG. Again, this is another one they’ve got backwards, and they admit it. It says you’re happier if you treat people kindly, not that being happy makes you treat people kindly.
    3 – Okay, fine.
    4, 5, 6 – WRONG. Basically, what these are all saying is that you’re happy if you decide to ignore than fact that you’ve been screwed over. “Move along, Citizen; nothing to see here!” …except for #5 which contradicts #4 by telling you to “dream big”. Well, which the fuck is it? Be glad for what you already have, or dream about what you don’t? Make up your damn mind!
    7 – WRONG. How is this a requirement to being happy? I’ve known some people who get a thrill about of being complete rat-bastards. It fuels them. And speaking nothing at all of others won’t affect your day one way or another; you can be quite content without it. And some people are quite uncomfortable giving compliments; even if they’re completely sincere, they feel as though they’re being disingenuous, or perceived as such by the recipient, and having to deliver one makes their day worse, not better. Speak for yourself, O Meme!
    8 – WRONG. Sometimes what is perceived as an “excuse” is, in fact, an explanation. Not an attempt to shift blame, just a description of what went wrong. Yet even that is perceived as “excuse-making” by some.
    9 – Again, WRONG; we covered THIS back up at 4, 5, and 6. Which is it? Dream big or stay in the present? MAKE UP YOUR MIND!
    10 – Gee, thanks. Like everybody necessarily has a choice about when they wake up in the morning. Between medication that screws with them, children, variable work schedules, or whatever else, not everybody HAS this choice. But thanks, meme.
    11 – What’s the point in “dreaming big” if I’m not trying to rise above myself, to be like other people who’re above me, hmm? Again, MAKE UP YOUR MIND!
    12 – Okay, fine. Bad people can make you feel worse; this one I agree with.
    13 – WRONG. You need the approval of SOME people, or you’re going to end up alone your entire life. And happy people usually have at least a FEW friends.
    14 – You kidding? So far, this meme has gotten two out of thirteen correct, and you want me to listen more? BITE ME.
    15 – See? See? I just said this up at #13. Jeez.
    16 – Oh, BITE ME. Some of us have ADHD, and for us, meditation is like TORTURE. You wanna know how I meditate? I play an action-packed video game, or I watch “Star Wars” for the eleventy-billionth time! That’s how *I* “silence my mind and find inner peace”.
    17 – Oh, I suppose.
    18 – Again, I suppose. Not that Seattle weather lets me exercise as much as I’d like, but I rollerblade, weather-permitting.
    19 – WRONG. This depends entirely on the person. I know SOME people who love their trinkets and knick-knacks, who’re happy with their geek-swag.
    20 – …unless you’re lying for comedy, I suppose. Oh, all right.
    21 – Well, sure.
    22 – NEVER! I AM IN CONTROL, PUNY MORTALS!!!

    That’s five…FIVE out of TWENTY-TWO that this piece-of-crap meme managed to get right. *shakes head sadly* Pa-freaking-thetic.

  405. what do you thimk?

    16/22 not bad

  406. If only it were that simple! Try adding childhood abuse, thyroid issues, poor serotonin production, job loss, bereavement etc and telling someone to think positive and exercise their way out of it. Really, get real — medical and mental issues are serious and those afflicted require more than guilty-making simplistic answers.

  407. Wow, you put up some positivity guidelines and become the psychologist to the internet. These “guidelines” for happiness really represent “suggestions” to find a more joyful way to lead your life; they’re very reminiscent of a tiny little book I came across at a painful, lost, frightening period of my life – specifically, my youth: Key to Yourself.
    I came from trash. Horrible, horrible drug and alcohol abusing, violent people who were never adult enough to realize that ruining their children’s innocence was just ensuring their diseases were passed on to the next generation. As a matter of fact, my two procreating siblings have done pretty much that. So tragic.

    I have attempted suicide; survived addiction; been treated, obviously, for depression; lived with Graves’ disease and pretty serious secondary thyroid disorder as a result for nearly 30 years with numerous complications; lived with an unrelated disease of my immune system with a 100% fatality rate for well over 20 years with many, some quite painful and constant complications; survived cancer twice… Shall I go on? I’m a mess. Or am I?

    The difference between myself and a number of persons who have written, some in clear anger, about why their “challenges” make it not only impossible for them to find joy, but an insult for you to even suggest they have any responsibility for their lack of it, is that I know each moment is a gift and it is my choice to choose to smile or to frown. It is my choice to bring happiness or misery to myself and others. It is my choice to see myself as a victim or just another of God’s precious souls being given an opportunity to heal in the moment.

    I do not “blame” you for your pain, I commiserate. I want you to know that you are not alone. I want you to know that we all, every person you see both on the streets as well as virtually, here on the internet lives with great pains and challenges; some of us choose to transmogrify those into something better and easier to live with – far too many choose “the easy road” and join the lemmings who are running madly towards the inevitable cliff, trampling everything and everyone who get in the way – cutting us all off and flipping us all off as they speed by us on the street, “winning” because they are one car lane ahead of us at the next stoplight. Having taken both roads, I promise you – “the easy road” is by far the most difficult. I hope you will utilize some of these simple, good truths to transform your experience. Nobody expects you to be “happy,” that’s for clowns and they frankly scare the shit out of me. We would like to know that you are finding a way to experience some joy, though. Obviously you’ve found little in your life.

    The next time you have a choice, and you do have dozens every day: smile; offer a hand or word of encouragement; dismiss a memory that brings you pain… You’ll be surprised at the healing – for us all.

    “I hope someday you’ll join us – and the world can live as one.”

  408. This is bullshit. People with depression don’t chose to be depressed. These are some really shallow tips on how to make a person who already has a good life happier. It actually made me quite angry.

    • Sorry Sally. My intention was not to alienate anyone or make you angry. Obviously clinical depression is outside the realm of this particular post.
      I sincerely hope you find something that makes you happy.

    • Sally you are wrong, we do chose it and before you answer in anger, think about it . . . I have also had rotten things happen, really. Krisheap is writing sense x

  409. Words to write in concrete.

  410. Love the inspirations. I really try to live my life by those simple rules daily. I am a happy soul.

  411. Happy people take responsibility for their happiness and overcome depression, rather than surrendering to it. Your chemicals do what you tell them to do, not the other way around. Be a victim if you choose, but quit telling everyone you can’t help it. And stop letting comments like this make you so pissed off. Use that energy to make yourself happy rather than playing the blame game. Sorry to be blunt, but I grew up with a very negative childhood, struggled against constant depression, and now I am happier than ever before. The struggle will never go away, but I have chosen to appreciate it as a constant challenge to make me better.

  412. Beautifully timed post. #11 and #12 really resonate with me. Thank you!

    • Beautiful. Started all those habits 12 years ago. Wasn’t easy at first. Still working on number 8 and 19. Thank you!

  413. Absolutely!

  414. Number 11 is very critical nowadays with all the wonderful pictures of everyone doing exciting things on social media, I tend to start believing I’m the only one not out having the time of my life constantly . I saw a saying that said to remember that is only their highlight reel. Good thought.

  415. you’re writing this as if clinical depression doesn’t exist…

    • Thanks for the comment! I should put a disclaimer at the top of the article about clinical depression. This article is not meant to cover true clinical depression.
      However, I will say that I believe that 90% of people diagnosed with clinical depression could “heal themselves” by actively working on some of these things every day. I think it is a vastly overused diagnosis and can be a trap for some people to think there is nothing they can do to be happier.

      • Brandon Ragsdale

        Clinical depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, so no, it can’t really be a healed through force of will alone. Regular exercise can help with minor cases due to the release of endorphins and other such chemicals, but for a lot of people, medication is the only true solution.

        Of course there is always something people can do to be happier, but with depression, that something is usually medicine and therapy.

      • Careful when you say overused diagnosis….this is a very difficult and stigmatized issue and unless you have found the 90% number from an official source, please take some time to learn about the true difficulty of clinical depression. People who are clinically depressed can do all those things and still be depressed; or, find it too hard to even try. Not a character weakness. A clinical disorder than can be physically identified in the brain.

        • …when you’re “clinically” depressed you’re not born with it. That means you “learn” how to be depressed over a long period of time. If you learn things, you can unlearn it. That’s the magic of the brain. But yes, if you’re depressed all your life your brain says “hey I don’t need to produce those happy go lucky hormones since you’re not using them” so it stops. So yes, over 90% of people can “unlearn” how to be depressed they just don’t because it’s harder then actually being depressed and popping pills. (harder still if you became addicted to the pills…)

        • How come clinical depression cases are highest in the U.S.?

          Just a thought. :)

        • good point–saying it is “overused” is not accurate–there are many degrees too..some people might be treated by following some of these methods and taking medication while others might need counseling, etc…it is not easy having a mental illness and it should not be overlooked or brushed over as something that can be easily solved–clinical depression is not “the blues” which we all get sometimes but a major illness that is horrible if not properly treated by the right professionals

    • just like adhd exists… its all bullshit

      • @ Bob, yeah! “OMG my 2 year old can’t sit still for more then 1 min he has ADHD!! But I’m too busy to take the kid outside so he can run around so I put him in front of the TV for hours, but still!”

    • there is a disclaimer at the top saying this doesn’t apply to people with clinical depression–that is an important note because clinical depression needs much more attention and requires much more work but it can be treated luckily :)

  416. I really like this post. Especially this part, where I burst out laughing: Studies have shown that exercise raises happiness levels just as much as Zoloft does. SO TRUE.

  417. I couldn’t agree more !. I choose to be happy and so I have practised some of them !

  418. I feel like this article may be a bit too idealistic. Happy people aren’t perfect, and simply being carefree and happy without thinking about the future will lead to eventual problems that create unhappiness.

  419. This how you walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

  420. perfect!!!!

  421. really love this, requested it to be posted in our weekly newsletter to boost workers up a bit, or alot we hope! Thanks!

    • This is a great list and I am trying to get better at them every day.

      But some of the things on it can be taken to extremes and serve to make one a doormat or codependent.

      And many of them have been abused by employers, religious leaders, and civil authorities over the centuries to keep people in line. Your post, Innica, gave me pause. Although I’m sure your intentions are honest, many of your co-workers may see it very differently. Your attempt to “boost them up a bit” could be interpreted as a complaint about their complaining. For example, “Be content with what you have” may sound very spiritual in our head but from a manager’s lips it can sound like, “Quit your whining and just be happy you have a job!” Make sure you are clear about your selfless intentions.

      Sometimes it is in our self-interest to be discontent. Sometimes we are intentionally getting the short end of the stick. Sometimes the best thing we can be is unhappy with our current situation. It can be a motivator to change it.

  422. As a happy person reading down your list, it all resonated ….except #21…..”being in complete control of one’s life”….impossible. Life happens, as they say. I have come to understand in my 56 years that it is the realization of what and what I don’t have “control over” that maintains happiness. Remember the Serenity Prayer? …..

  423. We all need these tips – thanks!

  424. Peter Fotopoulos

    I like #10: Wake up at the same time every morning.

    Have you noticed that a lot of successful people tend to be early risers? Waking up at the same time every morning stabilizes your circadian rhythm, increases productivity, and puts you in a calm and centered state.

    Arianna Huffington likes to joke, “I slept my way to the top.” She realized the benefits of getting adequate, quality sleep in order to be a successful businessperson, and is incredibly successful now.

  425. I’m not trying to be mean here, but honestly what about people who have a mental disorder like depression? They can’t just turn on the happy switch and be all happy. I personally find this article misleading and even though it may work for some, it doesn’t work for others.

    • Did you read the disclaimer at the beginning of the article??…. “Disclaimer: This article is not intended to address those with mental illness or clinical depression.”

  426. One of the best article I’ve read so far. Thank you for this.

  427. Worth Reading Article.. Few pts can be followed immd. Few with some efforts. Few with some adjustment but few never, otherwise a person will become perfect & no person so far in this world is born, lived & died perfect. So lets accept this fact too.

  428. Thanks for the great list and I’m sure it has lots of good ideas.

    A good friend of mine has been sad a lot over the last year as someone close to her died. She’s now on the up-side of her grief and recently told me that one of the most helpful things she heard was ‘its not your fault you are sad, your reaction is perfectly natural’. For her, being sad was a healthy reaction to her loss and I like her more because she is whole. She feels happy most of the time, but is sad if something saddening happens. I have a few acquantances and relatives who are eternally happy. That must must be nice for them but sometimes, like at funerals, I think they are one dimensional fuckwits.

    Well that’s my two cents.