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The 10 Proven Habits of the Happiest People In The World

The 10 Proven Habits of the Happiest People In The World

Martin Seligman, the father of positive psychology, theorizes that 60 percent of happiness is determined by our genetics and environment and the remaining 40 percent is how we choose to respond.

In his TED talk, he summarized fulfillment and happiness as “consisting of knowing what your highest strengths are and using them to belong to, and in the service of, something larger than you are.”

There are dozens of researchers like Seligman who have studied the art and science of happiness. I’ve dived into the most interesting habits of the happiest people in the world and decided to share them with you here.

1. They enjoy the moment

It turns out that taking the time to “smell the roses” truly does enhance happiness in life. When you enjoy the small moments- good or bad- you’re more aware of what’s happening around you.

The happiest people focus on what they can control and it’s possible to choose happiness in the moment, no matter the struggles you may be going through.

2. They have a growth mindset

In the book Mindset, Carol Dweck explains that the most successful and happy people have what she calls a “growth mindset” compared to a “fixed mindset.” A fixed mindset seeks success as affirmation of intelligence or worth; a growth mindset thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence or unworthiness but as a catalyst for growth and stretching beyond existing abilities.

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After twenty years of research, Dweck concluded that those with a growth mindset had happier relationships, achieved more success in the classroom, and were much more persistent through challenges.

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    3. They surround themselves with other happy people

    As Jim Rohn once said, “You are the average of the five people around you.”

    Who we surround ourselves with has a huge impact on how we think, feel, and what direction we head in life. It may sound harsh, but cutting out the negative people in your life is necessary if you want to be happier.

    You won’t have to confront them personally about this; it could just mean spending less time with them gradually so you can focus on improving yourself.

    4. They have a dream

    Without a future to look towards, the past is the only thing we can look back on.

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    Whether your dream is to travel the world, start your own business, or learn a new language, having a dream is one of the most important things in remaining optimistic when things get tough.

    This concept of having a purpose is especially prevalent in Eastern Asia. In Japan, there’s an actual term called ‘ikigai’, which is translated as “the reason you wake up in the morning.” When some of the happiest and longest-living people were studied, they all had such a reason.

    5. They can wait

    The bigger the dream you have, the more patience you have to practice.

    Happy people are willing to wait for the rewards and focus on the journey, how far they’ve come, and what’s ahead for them.

    They understand that the best things in life come to those who are patient and can stick it out for the long run, whether that’s a job promotion, relationship, or a new skill they’re learning.

    6. They schedule “me” time into their day

    Saying “yes” to everything puts you on the fast track to being miserable.

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    Giving is important, but if that means taking up “your” time to relax, wind down, and learn new things, then you’ll have nothing to give over time.

    You can’t always be agreeable; that’s how people take advantage of you. You have to set clear boundaries.

    7. They spend money on experiences- not material things

    That car that you just bought diminished in value the moment you drove it off the lot, but experiences are memories that will stay with you for the rest of your life.

    The happiest people would rather go on a backpacking trip around Asia instead of buying a flat-screen TV that they’ll seldom use. According to Marc and Angel:

    “Experiential purchases tend to make us happier for two key reasons: 1. Great experiences improve over time when we reminisce about them.  2. Experiences are often social events that get us out of our house and interacting with people we care about.”

    8. They give more than they take

    Since happy people live in a world of abundance where there’s always more opportunities to be had, more money to be made, and more love to share, they’re always giving when they can.

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    From raising money for a charity they care about, offering a dollar to a talented artist playing in the subway, to giving their precious time to mentor a mentee, they’re always giving.

    As ironic as it may sound, happy people understand that this will actually make them happier in the end.

    9. They embrace discomfort

    According to psychologist Peter Kramer, resilience is the opposite of depression. Happy people know how to bounce back from failure. Resilience is a padding for the inevitable hardship human beings are bound to face. As the Japanese proverb goes, “Fall seven times and stand up eight.”

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      Struggle is the evidence of progress, and happy people live by this. Why? The rewards of becoming great at a skill far outweigh the pain they have to endure in the process.

      10. They are always learning

      Despite his ASL, Stephen Hawking has made prominent scientific discoveries. What is more, he has found the words to tell the world about his findings.

      Like Hawking, the happiest people all have one thing in common. They are lifelong learners, constantly reading new books, exploring other cultures, learning new languages, etc. It is an ongoing process because without growth there’s no life.

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      Last Updated on February 15, 2019

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

      Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

      Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

      Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

      So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

      Joe’s Goals

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        Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

        Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

        Daytum

          Daytum

          is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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          Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

          Excel or Numbers

            If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

            What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

            Evernote

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              I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

              Evernote is free with a premium version available.

              Access or Bento

                If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                Conclusion

                I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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