“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”
Answer this question with 100 percent honesty: Are you happy?Advertising
To understand that, you need to know what happiness truly is. What are the universal things we share that embody the concept of being happy? Sometimes the answer isn’t as obvious as we think.
One thing’s for sure though: happy people do things differently. They think differently. They act differently.
This happiness checklist is a good place to start if you’re seeking happiness, or you just want reassurance that you are, in fact, truly happy.Advertising
Do you give and receive love abundantly?
Perhaps the most common bond that happy people share is they love and are loved. Whether it’s your family, your spouse, your friends, or your pets, those who have strong relationships are happier and live longer.
Do you not sweat the small stuff?
Happy people live in the present. They turn challenges into opportunities for growth. They may still get angry or upset sometimes about things that are out of their control … but they express their anger or sad emotions and move on. They don’t dwell on stuff.
Do you spend time doing what you love?
Truly happy people are passionate and they find ways to fulfill those passions. This doesn’t necessarily mean you love your job. But it does mean you find time to do the things that you really enjoy — the things that melt away your stress and put you at ease. So whether it’s writing, environmental activism, golf, or knitting, if you carve out some time in your weekly schedule to do the things you’re passionate about, you’ll be a happier person.Advertising
Do you perform random acts of kindness?
Research shows that happy people become even happier when they’re kind. That’s because doing nice things for others releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is your brain’s “happy chemical.” Happy people seek to make a difference in the world around them. They know that performing selfless acts of kindness is key to living a happy, fulfilling life.
Are you an optimist?
Happy people see the glass as half full, not half empty. They create their own optimism and have a positive attitude most days. They have days when they’re down or sad, too. But overall, they choose to focus on the good rather than the bad, especially in trying times.
Are you healthy?
Eating healthily and exercising can have a direct impact on your happiness. People who eat poor quality food and are sedentary are more likely to be unhappy and depressed. On the other hand, eating healthy foods can have a direct impact on your mood, and getting in shape increases your confidence and self-esteem levels. So make exercise and healthy eating a part of your daily routine and watch your happiness levels soar.Advertising
Are you honest with yourself?
Happy people know who they are. And more importantly, they know who they’re not. They also don’t waste their time trying to be someone they’re not. Happy people hold themselves accountable for their actions. They don’t make excuses; rather, they take action. They’re honest with themselves and with others, even when the truth hurts.
Are you alive?
Want to know “the secret” to being truly happy? Here it is: You won’t find happiness in external things. It comes from within. Your mind is very powerful, and you can use it to create great things in your life — or you can waste it complaining, sulking, and being pissed off all the time. If you’re alive, you can be happy. So choose happiness. It’s really that simple!
Last Updated on February 19, 2020
15 Positive Thinking Books You Need for a Happy Life
Books give us the opportunity to live vicariously through the lives of people with greater wisdom than ourselves. They stimulate our brains and help us not only solve the problems we struggle with, but also motivate and inspire us with new ideas.
One of the great things about people who think positively and live happy lives is that they love to help others do the same. There are countless positive-thinking books and these 15 are a great way to help you start living a happy life.
1. Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor E. Frankl
This book goes through the horrific struggle of Viktor Frankl who survived holocaust concentration camps. The only thing that kept him going was his idea that everything, even the worst of human suffering, had to have meaning. If you’re struggling through anything in your life, I guarantee the words of Viktor will give you courage to press on and find happiness.
2. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
What is life’s greatest lesson? Morrie, a retired professor with a fatal disease, opts to use his predicament to share that message as opposed to just giving up and dying. Following the last few months of Morrie’s life will help you realize what is truly important in life.
3. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Similar to Tuesdays with Morrie, Randy is a college professor who finds he has a fatal disease with only a few months to live. It is customary for professors at his university (Carnegie Mellon) to give a final lecture with the basis of ‘what wisdom would you impart to a large group of people if it was your last chance?’ Randy stays incredibly positive throughout and even keeps the lecture humorous and entertaining. Amidst it all, his wisdom is a powerful reminder about how to live a happy, full life.
4. Earning Freedom by Michael Santos
Michael Santos was sentenced to 45 years is prison for selling drugs. During his term he fought hard to earn a masters degree and half of a doctorate (halted by the warden) while writing numerous books educating students about the criminal justice system. This book provides a fascinating window into his entire sentence (released in 2012) and how a positive attitude and strong work ethic got him through it. If he found happiness in prison through positive thinking, we can do it anywhere.
If you don’t have the attention span to finish a long book, the following quick reads are shorter but just as powerful.
5. The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
This book has shaped childrens’ minds for years. It illustrates the undeniable fact that when you think positively and believe in yourself, you can accomplish extraordinary things.
6. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Happiness is found in giving. What does it mean to love someone? What would you sacrifice for someone you love? This children’s book teaches a valuable lesson about unconditional love and what it truly means to be happy.
7. The Dash by Linda Ellis and Mac Anderson
“When your life is over, everything you did will be represented by a single dash between two dates—what will that dash mean for the people you have known and loved?” (Linda Ellis) We don’t choose a lot of things about our life – parents, birthplace, etc. – but we can choose what that dash between those two dates means. This short book will give you a great perspective on making your life worthwhile.
8. As a Man Thinketh by James Allen
“The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state… Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are.” (James Allen) This book might be short, but it is jam-packed with statements that will make you stop and think. We truly become what we think we are. Negative thoughts affect us more than we know. Positive thinking = happy life.
9. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller
You are the author of your story. No matter how boring or dull your life has been, you can always turn it around. Donald was in a rut in his life. He had no desire to get out of bed and found himself questioning the meaning of life. Eventually he realized he wasn’t a slave to a pre-written script. He used that mindset to turn around his thoughts, actions, and life. When the closing credits roll on the story of your life, what will people say? Never forget that you have the power to push your limits and live an interesting, happy life.
10. The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews
The Traveler’s Gift is a fictional story about a man who is overwhelmed with life and finds himself thrown into numerous true events from history – including Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. He interacts and learns important life lessons from seven different experiences. The book is full of ways to think more positively and find more success in life.
11. David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell
Malcolm Gladwell motivates you to challenge your preconceptions of underdogs and misfits in this thought-provoking book. When you break down the facts in the story of David and Goliath from the Bible, you find that David really wasn’t an underdog at all – he was the one with the advantage. This book outlines story after story after story of people who were at a disadvantage and learned to find the strength in their weakness.
12. How Will You Measure Your Life by Clayton M. Christensen
How would you feel if you got to the end of your life only to realize you had been measuring success wrong? Clayton provides a mass amount of wisdom and advice on how to live a life you won’t regret.
13. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson
The small things we worry about every day may not seem like a big deal, but they wear us down slowly and stop us from living up to our full potential. Learn how to get rid of those worries and negative thoughts and live a happier life.
14. Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis, who used to be an Atheist, explains how he came to find meaning in life through Christianity. He breaks down all the reasons we doubt and falter in life and how living the principles of Christianity fixes our weaknesses. Lewis is famous for his deep, thought-provoking quotes and this book is no exception.
15. Bushido: The Way of the Samurai by Tsunetomo Yamamoto
Bushido is based on the Hagakure, a document that served as the basis for samurai warrior behavior. The document’s purpose was to shape the mind and the spirit of the samurai warrior.
More Positive Books
- 20 All-Time Best Motivational Books to Inspire You
- 25 Best Self Improvement Books to Read No Matter How Old You Are
- 10 Best Inspirational Books That Can Change Your Life
Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com