Based on his compelling research done largely through counseling stressed out Harvard students, Dr. Shawn Achor, the author of The Happiness Advantage, writes that we need to stop equating happiness with success while simultaneously recognizing that happiness is a work ethic. We can train our minds to be positive just like we can train our bodies to be in shape.
1. They have a “why.” Happy people are clear about what they believe and how their lives reflect those beliefs. They feel like everything they do is meaningful and has a purpose. Their “why” gets them through the details and obstacles that drain us of energy because we aren’t clear what our core values are.
2. They surround themselves with happy people. Studies show that we pick up the moods and habits of the five people we spend the most time with, even if we don’t want to. Happy people tend to seek out other positive people. They will naturally gravitate to optimistic peers and find ways to interact with people who uplift and inspire them.
3. They love to learn. Happy people are curious. They love to learn about new ideas and explore. They find other people fascinating because they know that behind every face there is a whole life story that they don’t yet know. And they are constantly asking questions about the world around them and striving to increase both their knowledge and their wisdom.
4. They are grateful. Happy people appreciate the little things in life. They seldom complain because they are able to find joy in what they have. They feel like they have exactly what they need, and they frequently express their gratitude, both to others and to their Creator.
5. They find a way. Happy people don’t give up easily when they want something. They will keep looking, climbing and searching until they find a way in. And while they are striving, they stay far away from both blame and excuses since neither one helps them achieve the results they are working towards.