10 things really happy people do

24th May 2013

I have a thing for smiling incessantly, I’m certain it annoys someone somewhere. Jeff Hilimire wrote a blind post this week entitled “15 things you should give up to be happy,” and boy is it a day maker, that guy really has a knack for telling people like it is, in a fantastically contagious way. He encouraged myself and Drew Hawkins, a former coworker and also one of the most positive people I know, to do the same and write a blind post of our own on the topic.

But then, multiple Facebook friends shared this with me:

And I couldn’t help but dwell on this line:

Life is really simple, all you have to do is try to make people happy.

Since I already cheated on Jeff’s challenge, having read and commented on his post, I’ve reworked the topic a bit. In no particular order, 10 things really happy people do (myself included, most of the time).

1. They give up the naysayers: Don’t let someone else’s negativity drag you down. One of my all time favorite quotes comes from Marcus Aurelius, ““If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” It’s your decision to let other effect you, not theirs.

2. They find people who challenge them: I’m going to brag for just a second here because I know he doesn’t read my blog often, but the best thing about my boyfriend of six years is his ability to push me to do more. He is one of the few people I know who constantly encourages me to step out of my comfort zone and lets me know in 100% honesty when I can do better. I appreciate that more than he will ever know. Find people who challenge you to become a better you, because you won’t get there on your own.

3. They work to become better people, not just work to produce great results: There’s a difference here and it comes down to the execution. Yes, results matter, but relationships matter more. Follow your passion and you’ll find the results fall into place over time.

4. They take breaks: I’m honestly the WORST at this one, but working on it. Take time to stop and chat with coworkers, find time to go to lunch, then find ways to prioritize and maximize the rest of your day to still be productive. Rest doesn’t always mean wasted time.

5. They eat cupcakes: OK, so maybe it doesn’t have to be a cupcake, maybe you really love apples. For me, it’s almost always a cupcake. Take time for sweet indulgences, whether is a treat, a reality TV show or a made for TV movie, when you feel the guilt closing every once in a while, shove it away.

6. They have animals: If you are having a bad day, just head to the animal shelter (or here). If I can love something 0.1% as much as my dog loves me someday, I’ll have succeeded.

7. They are never the most important person in the room: I have a client who has an incredible knack for this one. He is high in the ranks at one of Atlanta’s most well-known companies, has been in this business for many more years than myself and is undoubtedly smarter, but he always makes me feel like an equal. Stay humble and empower the people around you to be great.

8. They exercise: You don’t have to be a runner. Be a walker. Be a dancer. Just be something. Endorphins aren’t just made for movies, they are real and your mental and physical health will thank you.

9. They worry less: I’m a self proclaimed worry-wort in recovery. You can read more on that here, but whenever the stress creeps in, just reminder yourself, stressing about a situation will not change the outcome, only action will.

10. Lastly, if I haven’t convinced you to turn your day around and you really don’t think you can mange a smile, bookmark this, I refer to it weekly.

What have I missed? Would you add or take anything away from this list?