Advertising
Advertising

18 Timeless Secrets of Happy People

18 Timeless Secrets of Happy People

It’s common to hear people say that fame only brings unhappiness. Not true! As these wise words from modern and historical celebrities (and a group of happiness scientists) show, they’ve figured out the secrets of happy people and a happy life. Let’s hear it in their own words, shall we?

1. Happiness is who you are

“I am determined to be cheerful and happy in whatever situation I may find myself. For I have learned that the greater part of our misery or unhappiness is determined not by our circumstance but by our disposition”

– Martha Washington

Genuinely happy people have an almost magical ability to stay in good spirits even when there isn’t a great deal to be cheerful about. When happiness is a core aspect of your personality, nothing can force you to be unhappy.

2. Happiness is a choice you make

“I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be.”

– Groucho Marx

The next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, ask yourself this: would you rather have a difficult and unhappy time, or stay happy through the tough times? Your choice.

3. Happiness comes from self-consistency

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

As any psychologist will tell you, it’s human nature to want your thoughts, words and deeds to be consistent—but you’ll often find yourself trying to fit the mould of what you think other people want instead of being fully and consistently yourself. That leads to conflict in your mind, which leads to a less happy life.

4. Happiness is your responsibility

“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.”

– Alice Walker

There’s nothing more depressing than waiting for the happiness delivery guy. Why? Because he doesn’t exist. Decide to deliver your own happiness, and you can free yourself from a very long wait.

5. Happiness is best served in moderation

“We cannot be happy if we expect to live all the time at the highest peak of intensity. Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”

– Thomas Merton

Guess what? Spending all your time wishing you were happier will only make you more depressed. Aim for a comfortable day-to-day background level of happiness, rather than a huge blast of ecstatic joy that leaves you feeling wiped out.

6. Happiness is not in your memories

“The first recipe for happiness is: avoid too lengthy meditation on the past.”

– Andre Maurois

Reminiscing about good memories can leave you feeling happy for a while, it’s true, but the source of happiness is now. Dwelling on past happiness doesn’t change today, so stay in the present to make this your happy day. And if you find yourself dwelling on unhappy memories instead, let them go—all they do is keep you from achieving happiness today.

7. Happiness is not in your ambitions

“Future: That period of time in which our affairs prosper, our friends are true and our happiness is assured.”

– Ambrose Bierce

The author of The Devil’s Dictionary, Ambrose Bierce knew exactly how to be happy: simply avoid pinning your hopes on the unpredictable future. (He also knew a lot about sarcasm.) Hopes and ambitions for the future are nice, but being happy in the moment is better.

Advertising

8. Happiness is contagious

“Whoever is happy will make others happy too.”

– Anne Frank

It’s a fact: smiling at somebody tends to make them feel happier. Laughing has an even stronger effect. So wherever you go, share your happiness with the people you meet, and surround yourself with happy people if you can.

18 Secrets of Happy People

    9. Happiness is destroyed by envy

    “The talent for being happy is appreciating and liking what you have, instead of what you don’t have.”

    – Woody Allen

    Nobody who spends their life wishing they had more than they’ve got is ever going to achieve lasting happiness. But if you dial down your sense of envy and entitlement, you’ll be happy more often than not.

    10. Happiness can’t be bought

    “Money won’t make you happy… but everyone wants to find out for themselves.”

    – Zig Ziglar

    As a cliche, “you can’t buy happiness” is right up there with classics like “no use crying over spilt milk” or “crime doesn’t pay”, but the reason those cliches are so popular is that they’ve got a big hunk of truth in them, so don’t expect to get happier by spending more money!

    11. Happiness can’t be compared

    “The man with a toothache thinks everyone happy whose teeth are sound.”

    – George Bernard Shaw

    Before you make yourself unhappy by fretting that everybody else is happier than you, realise that they’ve all got problems; that’s… well, that’s life, folks. Instead of comparing your happiness to somebody else’s, try comparing it to your saddest moments. Suddenly, things don’t seem so bad after all.

    12. Happiness is not on Facebook

    “The more they used Facebook… the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time.”

    – Ethan Kross et al., in a research paper published by PLOS One

    Seriously, did you think all those party photos and excitable status updates meant that everyone’s having a ball? Nope, it just means they post on Facebook when they’re happy because they want to share that happiness (and maybe brag about it just a tiny bit). See happiness secret #11!

    13. Happiness is making every day matter

    “As a well-spent day brings happy sleep, so a life well spent brings happy death.”

    – Leonardo da Vinci

    Inaction rarely makes people happy. We need to feel that our existence has meaning and purpose in order to be happy, so spend each day doing the things that are most important to you.

    14. Happiness means knowing what you love

    “It’s a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.”

    – Lucille Ball

    Let’s face it—if you don’t know what makes you happy it’s about time you started to figure it out. What makes you smile? What leaves you feeling great? Keep on with those things and your happiness will always have fuel.

    Advertising

    15. Happiness is a gift. Accept it.

    “I must learn to be content with being happier than I deserve.”

    – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

    Are you cheating yourself out of happiness because you don’t feel you’ve earned it? Breaking news: you don’t have to earn happiness. It’s a gift—from your friends, from strangers, from the universe, from yourself. Give it and accept it freely so there’s always plenty in circulation.

    16. Happiness is one side of life’s coin

    “Even a happy life cannot be without a measure of darkness, and the word happy would lose its meaning if it were not balanced by sadness.”

    – Carl Jung

    Nobody can be happy all of the time. If you were, you wouldn’t be able to recognise your happiness because you’d have nothing to compare it to!

    17. Happiness is loving (and being loved in return)

    “If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.”

    – Socrates

    For most of us, a great deal of life’s happiness comes from being around the people we love, and knowing that they love us right back.

    18. Happiness comes when you stop looking for it

    “You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”

    – Albert Camus

    The quest for happiness is easily confused with the desire for things that we believe might make us happy. On closer inspection, though, some of the happiest people in the world are those who’ve stopped hunting for a magical happiness guarantee, and are simply happy to exist.

    More by this author

    How to Avoid Procrastination and Laziness Once and for All Don't give up 29 Inspirational Wallpapers for Your Desktop 11 Reasons Why You Should Never Get a Full-Time Job 10 Smart Ways to Deal with Rude People 18 Timeless Secrets of Happy People

    Trending in Communication

    1 How SMART Goal Setting Makes Lasting Changes in Your Life 2 10 Things Happy People Do Differently 3 4 Ways Physical Touch Helps Your Relationship 4 9 Reasons to Incorporate Yoga Meditation and Mindfulness into Your Life 5 How to Deal with Anger and Better Control Your Emotions

    Read Next

    Advertising
    Advertising
    Advertising

    Last Updated on February 13, 2019

    10 Things Happy People Do Differently

    10 Things Happy People Do Differently

    Think being happy is something that happens as a result of luck, circumstance, having money, etc.? Think again.

    Happiness is a mindset. And if you’re looking to improve your ability to find happiness, then check out these 10 things happy people do differently.

    Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. -Dalai Lama

    1. Happy people find balance in their lives.

    Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have. Happy people lead balanced lives. This means they make time for all the things that are important to them, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, religion, etc.

    Advertising

    2. Happy people abide by the golden rule.

    You know that saying you heard when you were a kid, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.” Well, happy people truly embody this principle. They treat others with respect. They’re sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. They’re compassionate. And they get treated this way (most of the time) in return.

    3. Happy people don’t sweat the small stuff.

    One of the biggest things happy people do differently compared to unhappy people is they let stuff go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on. Unhappy people tend to dwell on minor inconveniences and issues, which can perpetuate feelings of sadness, guilt, resentment, greed, and anger.

    4. Happy people take responsibility for their actions.

    Happy people aren’t perfect, and they’re well aware of that. When they screw up, they admit it. They recognize their faults and work to improve on them. Unhappy people tend to blame others and always find an excuse why things aren’t going their way. Happy people, on the other hand, live by the mantra:

    “There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.”

    5. Happy people surround themselves with other happy people.

    happiness surrounding

      One defining characteristic of happy people is they tend to hang out with other happy people. Misery loves company, and unhappy people gravitate toward others who share their negative sentiments. If you’re struggling with a bout of sadness, depression, worry, or anger, spend more time with your happiest friends or family members. Chances are, you’ll find that their positive attitude rubs off on you.

      6. Happy people are honest with themselves and others.

      People who are happy often exhibit the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. They would rather give you candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and they expect the same in return. Happy people respect people who give them an honest opinion.

      7. Happy people show signs of happiness.

      Advertising

      smile

        This one may sound obvious but it’s a key differentiator between happy and unhappy people. Think about your happiest friends. Chances are, the mental image you form is of them smiling, laughing, and appearing genuinely happy. On the flip side, those who aren’t happy tend to look the part. Their posture may be slouched and you may perceive a lack of confidence.

        8. Happy people are passionate.

        Another thing happy people have in common is their ability to find their passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy people have found what they’re looking for, and they spend their time doing what they love.

        9. Happy people see challenges as opportunities.

        Folks who are happy accept challenges and use them as opportunities to learn and grow. They turn negatives into positives and make the best out of seemingly bad situations. They don’t dwell on things that are out of their control; rather, they seek solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles.

        10. Happy people live in the present.

        While unhappy people tend to dwell on the past and worry about the future, happy people live in the moment. They are grateful for “the now” and focus their efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Their philosophy is:

        Advertising

        There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

        So if you’d like to bring a little more happiness into your life, think about the 10 principles above and how you can use them to make yourself better.

        Read Next