What is happiness? It is a very relative term.

For one person, happiness could mean the birth of their first child. For another, it could mean getting the best deal on Cox cable packages. For still others, it could mean the reward from internal or external success. At the end of the day, happiness is defined by the individual experiencing it.

How can I be happy?

The notion of happiness varies from person to person, but the emotion remains constant. Happy people enjoy their lives more. Happy people get less upset with setbacks. Happy people do not create egos to worship above all. But how do they achieve the state of happiness? People often confuse the dividing line between happiness and success. How you can be happy depends a lot on the stock you put in your success. This gives rise to the question, what is a success?


Success, or our perception of success, can be tied to external or internal achievements. Societal conventions tend to tie it with external achievements. In modern society, success, and by extension happiness, appears to be the size of your apartment, your car, and your bank account. Yet, there are numerous examples of wealthy people with all of the above still not attaining happiness. Conversely, people who do not tie their happiness in with external success tend to be happier overall. For these people, happiness cannot be achieved simply by getting a promotion or a bonus.

They tend to tie in happiness with internal success, like being a good family person or volunteer work etc. These people also tend to get less upset by external factors. A person who values family more than a perceived high-profile job would tend to be less upset by downsizing. A person who places a career before the family would obviously be more affected due to the emotional investment in their job. The type of success you value greatly influences the level of happiness you feel.

Habits of Happy People

It is often said that you cannot learn anything by observing the happiness of others. I have always disagreed with this statement. A person looking to induce happiness in their life needs inspiration, and for that, they need to observe others. Examining happy people’s life patterns can give you the inspiration to emulate useful habits. The goal is to be happy, not following outdated idioms and rules. Dozens upon dozens of studies have been carried out to observe happiness patterns across a diverse sample of the population. In my personal pursuit of happiness, I have distilled the resulting emotion to 15 habits found in happy people everywhere. This is what they are:

  • Think of yourself less, but don’t think less of yourself
  • Stay busy but don’t stress or rush yourself
  • Have a small number of close, intense relationships
  • Proactively work on your relationships
  • Less small talk, more meaningful discussions
  • Treat yourself every now and then
  • Spend on experiences, not commodities
  • Focus more on the goal and less on distractions
  • Appreciate others as well as yourself
  • Observe others’ experiences
  • Empathize and change your perspective
  • Pick one skill and become the master at it
  • Think big and aim high
  • Physical exercise
  • Understand the importance of time

How do these habits help me?

  • One way to achieve happiness is humility. This does not mean thinking less of yourself, but rather to focus more on the benefit of yourself and others. Not your ego, in other words.
  • Being busy is good, but being rushed is a one-way street to unhappiness and stress. Figure out how to say no in a work setting.
  • Relationships are what make us human, but there is no evidence to suggest people with many friends are happier. Rather, having just a few, close people in your life leads to a happier and meaningful life. It may even help you live longer.
  • Proactively working on your relationships is very important. Don’t get stuck with your expectations from others.
  • Small talk is part of politeness, but too much of it can inversely affect your happiness. It is better to have meaningful, introspective discussions with people close to you than small talk with everyone.
  • People who treat themselves to, say, a nice seafood dinner tend to schedule it a week in advance. Behavioral science suggests that not just the action but the anticipation of the action greatly contribute to satisfaction with life.
  • Experiences are worth a lot more than petty commodities. Planning a holiday is a fun experience in itself. Going on the holiday to soak up a new culture is another experience to invest in. Experiences tend to improve over time, as you will revisit them repeatedly.
  • Focusing on your ultimate life goals is paramount to happiness. If other things are classified as distractions, it is easier to find happiness in your life progress.
  • Appreciation, both for yourself and for others is a great way to be happy. When you appreciate others, you gain their unexpected gratitude and can forge a good relationship. Appreciating yourself is important for your own self-esteem, which shouldn’t be disregarded.
  • Observing others can lead to an inspiration about changing or adding habits to your lifestyle.
  • Empathy is rightly called the greatest virtue, which allows you to understand where other people are coming from.
  • Having a certain skill like playing the guitar and mastering it gives you satisfaction and purpose.
  • Speaking of purpose, it always helps to aim high in life. The progress you make on your aims contributes greatly to your level of happiness with your life.
  • Exercise is an important contributor to happiness. Having a good body image greatly improves your self-esteem. But what’s more important is that exercise releases endorphins or feel-good hormones that keep you feeling happy.
  • The final and most important habit is realizing that time will slip by and not letting it. The number one regret of most people is not being able to accomplish what they dreamt of.
  • Life can seem unfulfilled at times. The lesson here is to recognize opportunities when you get them and act on them at the right time. Even the biggest call to your specific life dreams can go unanswered if you don’t act on it. You could stay stuck in that xfinity customer care service Job? forever, regretting not going into advertising like you always wanted. Time is the most precious commodity of all, don’t let it slip through your hands. Happiness is within everyone’s reach, all you need to know is how to hold on to it.

    Author's Bio: 

    Alex Brian is an entrepreneur, marketer, and writer. He loves beaches. That's where he finds his inspiration to in-depth guides that teach E-commerce store owners ways to manage, grow and scale their business. In a former life, Alex co-founded a custom menswear company which generates 6-figures in annual revenue through its website and retail. He also writes for the Optimum Internet blog.