We often look at happiness as a commodity –something that must be attained through certain means. We think we have to check the boxes on a proverbial life list to achieve happiness when it is already available within ourselves. In fact, our biggest obstacle to feeling happy is commodifying it to begin with. Many studies conclude that happiness is not something you achieve through accumulating “stuff,” comparing yourself to others, or trying to “one-up” each other. It’s something you find within yourself, regardless of what is going on around you. If you’re struggling to find fulfillment, it’s important to look inward and to change the way you see yourself and the world.
So, put away your proverbial life list of what you think you need to be happy and realize it’s already within you. Everything you need to start living a fulfilling life is free and readily available to you right now. All of the below traits are waiting for you if you want them. It’s only a matter of you cultivating them and taking action.
Here are 7 vital traits of remarkably happy people:
They Pursue Their Passions & Goals
They pursue passions and goals they truly love. They don’t let others tell them how they should lead their lives, instead they have the courage to strike out on their own and pursue what makes them happy.
They Live Authentically & Practice Self-Love
They’re not afraid to be themselves. They know they have flaws, but they love themselves and accept themselves fully, regardless. They give themselves room to make mistakes, to have bad days, and to forgive themselves. They live their lives according to their own rules and do not let others negatively influence their self-esteem or individuality. They have a confident, self-respecting inner core that is unshakeable.
Most of all, they practice self-love and understand that an optimized, happy life starts with their well-being. They take time to balance their minds and bodies by exercising, eating healthy, getting enough sleep and focusing on all the positive aspects of their lives.
They Enjoy Helping Others
They know life can be tough at times and they genuinely enjoy lifting others up and helping them succeed. They know there’s plenty of room for us all to be successful and extraordinary. They want to spread the love and help others be happy and fulfilled as well. They don’t gossip, put others down or try to undermine the happiness of others. They know that happy people make the world a better place, so they do their part in spreading the positivity.
They Practice Gratitude
They remind themselves daily of how lucky they are. They’re grateful for the things many of us take for granted like clean water, shelter, food, and a hot cup of coffee. They’re gracious and focus on everything they DO have rather than what they don’t have.
They Focus on Fulfillment Rather Than Material Items
The numerous tragedies and self-destruction of wealthy, successful, famous people who seem to “have it all” is the most glaring proof that money and material items do not lead to true, sustainable happiness. Our consumerism driven society tells us we must have more and more to be fulfilled, when everything we need to be happy is already within ourselves. The film makers of the documentary Happy, went on a mission to study the happiness factor of civilizations across the world and found that those living in more simplistic societies were more satisfied with life than those living in consumerism-driven first world countries. Of course, that doesn’t mean we should all drop our ambitions and become mountain people that live off the land, but it does mean we need to realize that material items do not equate to sustainable happiness and that we need to look inward if we want to live a truly joyful life.
They’re Open-Minded and Adventurous
Happy people are open-minded and enjoy learning from people who are different from them. They fill their lives with new experiences and are always seeking knowledge. They prioritize understanding others over judging and they’re not afraid to try new things. They’re always growing and gaining new wisdom from their various experiences and interactions with people from all walks of life. Mystery doesn’t scare them, it excites them, and they’re always eager to explore the unknown.
Happy people are glass-half-full types who always factor in the positive over the negative. They understand negativity does not serve them and do their best to see the upside in even the worse situations. They don’t let life keep them down. Adversity doesn’t defeat them, it motivates them to do better. They look for the good in others and always do their best to learn from challenging experiences.
One of my favorite passages is from novelist Albert Camus, most referred to as the “invincible summer” letter. It perfectly describes the ebbs and flows of life and how we can always find everything we need within ourselves: