My word for 2017 is ‘Happy’ and though I’ve not written much about it, I’m constantly aware of this. So I was very happy to have Olivia Norton offer to do a guest post on the very subject and the 12 Incredible Traits of the Happiest People.
Happiness is universal. It defines no boundaries, race, culture, age, gender and social status. Although its definition seems so general, not all people have it.
How can you achieve happiness without much effort? Happy people practice certain habits and possess such traits that you can also acquire to find happiness.
12 Incredible Traits of the Happiest People
Below are characteristics of people who find happiness and peace in their lives:
1. They are committed to their goals.
Happiness is not easy to find, however, happy people know how to search for it. They aim high and dream big. They set up goals to make their aspirations happen. After setting up their goals, they find ways to attain it. They never stop pursuing their goals until they achieve it.
2. They let go of bitterness.
Happy people know how to forgive and forget. They never keep grudges because it is a barrier to their happiness. Bitterness absorbs negative emotions such as resentment, anger and pain. Letting go of bitterness means you allow the positive things to come in and the negative things to go.
3. They appreciate the moment.
Happy people would never let the present time just passed. They appreciate each moment because they know how precious time is. They pay attention to every detail and are not in a hurry to just let the day end without doing anything special. Even in bad times, they would face it, no matter how hard it is.
4. They let go of what they can’t control.
Happy people know their boundaries. They focus their efforts only on important things and to those that they can control.
5. They thrive during the hard times.
Happy people don’t give up easily, even in difficult times. They see hardships and failures as a signal to start again. They believe in the saying that “Difficult roads lead to beautiful destinations.”
6. They know how to give more than to take.
Giving for happy people is so natural. They don’t give to get something in return. For them, giving makes them happy as they see other people happy. They don’t expect anything in return when they give.
7. They are thankful. Happy people are grateful for everything they have. They appreciate the little things around them. Grateful people have less stress and are able to cope up with anything. They also possess more positive emotions.
8. They are kind.
Happy people know how to share kindness. They help others, even in simple ways. Sometimes, they even leave themselves just to see other people happy.
9. They cultivate healthy relationships.
They just don’t have a connection. They build strong connections with their loved ones. When they allow others in their lives, they know how to protect, respect and love them. These things make them happy.
10. They nurture their mind and body.
It’s so impossible for someone to be happy when the physical or mental state is not in good condition. This is why happy people possess this trait. They know how to take care of their own mind and body by living a healthy lifestyle.
11. They are happy to be with happy people.
Toxic people can drain your energy. Happy people boost it. If you want to be truly happy, be with people who know how to laugh, joke, smile and appreciate life. When you hang with happy people, you’re more likely to get the same positive vibes that they create.
12. They can withstand discomfort.
Happy people don’t just appreciate the good times. In fact, they face the bad times; even it brings uneasiness and discomfort. They are willing to be there at that moment because they know that soon it would be over.
Olivia Norton has been writing for over 10 years, specializing on niches, including life, addiction recovery especially about treatment for cocaine addiction and health. Aside from her busy work, she also balances her time between family, business and seeking new adventures.
Image of happy young women via Shutterstock
You can feel it. It’s almost here. The most awaited time of the week…it’s the weekend!!! Finally, a break from all the grinding you did in the past 5 days. What to do? You can let it past like nothing or you can make your weekend meaningful.
How to Make Your Weekend Meaningful
People over things
You work hard for your loved ones. When you’ve got time to be away from work, what could make your weekend meaningful than spending it with them. Have some quality time with your family. Meet up with friends especially those you haven’t seen for a while. Or if you have pets which you consider as family, bring them to the vet for grooming or go have a run with them. Make your weekend more meaningful by spending it with people and not with things.
There’s nothing more humbling and fulfilling than giving back. Give back to the environment, to the community and to the world by serving. Volunteer to your local organizations that are dedicated to cleaning and taking care of the planet. Volunteer to a local shelter. Help serve in the orphanage or home for the elderly. Go visit a hospital and give gifts especially to the sick children.
Re-ignite your passion
Your hobby which you’ve been neglecting, go revisit it. Maybe you’re into painting, making crafts, gardening, or playing musical instruments. What’s the one thing that brings fire in your belly? What recharges your soul? What makes you feel alive? The answer to that is your passion. Go re-ignite your passion to make your weekend meaningful.
You don’t have to go far and spend thousands to enjoy a weekend away. Visit a museum nearby. Visit the nearby city or town you’ve never been to. There is so much to see and enjoy if you just keep your sense of wonder and be open to new things and experience.
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. Genesis 2:2
Even God rested when all His work was done. Use your weekend to rest. It may seem sacrilege to the workaholics but that’s how it goes. God shows us that no matter what we do, we need to set aside a time to rest. You’ll be amazed by what rest could do to your being.
Resting will recharge your body and refresh your spirit. Your brains will work better if it has rested. You will instantly feel better and ready for the coming week.
If you want to stay healthy and keep going, don’t neglect what your body needs. It is mostly in the weekend when you can do what you want and need. To make your weekend meaningful is more than just a gratification. It is also a must to for a better, richer life.
It’s Friday today and although Sanchie Vee and I had decided to take a break from #FridayReflections through April, I decided to it slightly differently. I’m putting up a linky – and asking you to write on any of the older prompts that you may have liked and missed. I’ll have the same linky up all month through, just on fresh posts. Also, I’m asking for a link back to my blog in your post to prevent people who are writing ‘off prompt’ from adding their links.
If you want to know more about #FridayReflections and find prompts to write on, I’ve created a page with the ‘rules’ and the prompts. So go ahead and have a ball. Remember, to link up here so we can all enjoy your writing.
This post is in response to the prompt from 4 March 2016 – Describe your ideal Sunday.
She invited me this morning: ‘Come for a walk and experience the breeze’
‘Tomorrow, perhaps? I’ve got a busy schedule today.’ I responded.
Mid-morning, she asked me to go to the window and look at the rain-soaked leaves.
‘Not now. I’ve got a post to write.’
‘Spend ten minutes playing ball with Pablo?’ she gently asked me this evening.
‘Not today. I’ve got to finish this article.’
Every day she invites me and most often I turn her down.
She’s that voice in my head,
That invitation to joy
But I keep refusing –
If you ignore the little voice that keeps extending an invitation to joy, it may go silent. Listen. ~ Cheryl Richardson.
Today I listened. Ask me what I did? You may not believe me. But then I did tell you about slowing down.
I lay down this afternoon and fell fast asleep. I woke up when Jose called, spoke to him and went back to bed – to read and laze. All this while knowing I had a post (or two) to write, comments to answer and lots of little things to do around the house. There was another voice in my head, the one I’m more prone to listen to – guilt – but I told him to shut up and go get a life! 😉
I want to be nice to myself. To respond to that invitation to joy every time I hear it. I want to live in the present moment and enjoy it.
A great example in this story.
Sharing a story from his childhood in Africa, Dr Wes Stafford, tells of the time French Colonial officials attempted to conduct a survey in a village. They wanted to know what the expectations of the people were and what they wanted in the future. Dr Stafford writes in his book, Too Small to Ignore: Why the Least of These Matters Most:
The chief and his tribal elders tried to explain to their exasperated visitors that they really didn’t know the answers to those kinds of questions, because the future had not yet arrived. When the time came to pass, then the results would be apparent. This, to be sure, made the officials less than pleased. And they left, in a huff.
That day, at dusk, the village gathered in the chief’s courtyard. He said, “I want to talk to the children tonight.”
“We are not like them,” the chief told the children. “To them time is everything… the smaller that men can measure the day, the more angry they seem to be.”
The chief went on. “The present is now–the days we live today. This is God’s gift to us. It is meant to be enjoyed and lived to the fullest. The present will flow by us, of course, and become the past. That is the way of a river, and that is the way of time. The Frenchmen cannot wait for the future to arrive. They crane their necks to see around the bend in the river. They cannot see it any better than we can, but they try and try. For some reason, it is very important for them to know what is coming toward them. They want to know it so badly that they have no respect for the river itself. They thrash their way into the present in order to see more around the bend.
They miss so much of the joy of today all around them. Did you notice that as they stormed into our village, they didn’t notice it is the best of the mango season?
Though we offered them peanuts, they did not even taste them.They did not hear the birds in the trees or the laughter in the marketplace. We touched them with our hands, but they did not really see us. They miss much of the present time, because all they care about is the unknowable, the future. The present is all we can fully know and experience, so we must.
We must love each other. We must smell the hibiscus flowers. We must hear the singing of the weaver birds and the grunts of the lions. We must taste with joy the honey and the peanut sauce on the rice. We must laugh and cry and live.”
What better invitation to joy can there be than the words of that village chief?
Are you responding positively to every invitation to joy you get?
In case you’re wondering about the comments from earlier, that’s because I’m republishing this post from 2014. I’ll confess that it was such a great reminder to me, that I was tempted to rework it and republish this post.
If we were having coffee, I’d wish you and yours a very happy and creative New Year. I’ll ask you how your year went and talk to you about the many things I didn’t achieve or complete in 2016 and Some are personal, some blog related. Incomplete projects on this blog, almost abandoning the Write Tribe site in the last few months, missing my book reading target for the year, giving up my regular gratitude posts….just some of the ‘failures’ of 2016. My word of the year for 2017 is ‘happy’ and happiness means starting over too.
Happiness Means Starting Over
Just yesterday, I came across a new blog – Christine Everyday – and loved her words about the New Year: “Don’t expect your life to change just because the year does. You have to make change for yourself.”
Yesterday, as I sat down to write my ‘vision for 2017’ and create my bullet journal (yes, I’m trying out a bujo this year), I realized that unlike past years, my feelings were of anticipation and not of regrets. Practicing gratitude and mindfulness have certainly helped me to go easy on myself and not beat myself up about things I didn’t achieve in the past year.
“Mindfulness, or the ability to be present with our experiences without the intrusion of so many old habits, cultivates our inner resources. And when we develop those resources we become not so defined by the things that are going on around us, and we’re more able to let go gracefully, we have a sense of grounded-ness, and I think that makes us very happy.” — Sharon Salzberg
I have many ideas for 2017, but I want to start over some unfinished projects on this blog.
1. My Happiness Project that I started in 2014 and shared here but abandoned
2. The Artist Way series that I started last year and didn’t complete
3. My #everydaygratitude posts.
I also want to create a lot more resourceful content here. I tried a few such posts last month and was happy with the response. In case you missed them, here they are:
1. 7 Ways to Find Joy at Work
2. 7 Simple Ways to Design Your Day
3. 7 Steps for Perfecting Your SEO Campaign
4. 7 Simple Everyday Habits For a Healthier Life
It does seem like I’m hung up on the #7 but believe me, it’s just a coincidence. 🙂
Be warned. You can expect a lot more posts from me this year.
Is there anything you would be starting over in 2017?
Motivational quote image via Shutterstock
World Smile Day is held on the first Friday of October every year.
Ever since the ’70s, at least as far as I remember, the smiley symbol has been associated with a smile. Just today I was look at some pictures that a colleague was showing me of a slum in our city. The ‘before’ picture showed an open drain and the ‘after’ picture had a manhole. For some reason, the manhole cover in the picture looked like a smiley – the border created a circle and the handles formed a smile. We both laughed at how appropriate it was.
Today, I thought I’d go back a little and find out more about the symbol. I found the wonderful story of Harvey Ball, the creator of the original smiley face. Harvey Ball was decorated World War II veteran, who started his own advertising agency after the war.
In 1963, he was asked by an insurance company to create a visual icon to demonstrate ‘friendliness’ to boost low employee morale.
I love this part of the story as told in Legacy.com
… hired Ball to sketch something to be used on buttons, and Ball came up with a smiley face on a bright yellow background. The original design consisted only of a grinning mouth but Ball, realizing the button could easily be inverted to send the wrong (i.e. “frowny”) message, decided to add eyeballs. The left eye was deliberately created slightly smaller than the right in order to humanize the drawing through its imperfection. The design took him less than 10 minutes to complete. He was paid $45 for his work. Neither Ball nor the insurance company bothered to copyright the creation. In an interview with the Telegram & Gazette, Harvey’s son Charles Ball said his father never regretted the missed revenue opportunity. “He was not a money-driven guy,” said Charles.
When a big supermarket chain took the symbol and started to commercialize it – it seemed to have lost its value.
Again to quote Legacy.com
Smiley has become so commercialized that its original message of spreading good will and good cheer has all but disappeared,” Harvey Ball said in 1999, announcing the formation of the World Smile Corporation. “I needed to do something to change that.” The World Smile Corporation was created to promote “World Smile Day,” held every year on the first Friday in October. The event helps raise money for the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation, a charitable trust that supports various children’s causes. Its slogan is “Do an act of kindness – help one person smile!”
Today on World Smile Day, let’s remember the real message behind the smiley symbol and smile and pass it on.
“Do an act of kindness – help one person smile!” – Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation
Smiley image via Shutterstock
In a world where botox and plastic surgery are so easily on offer, I sometimes wonder why we can’t just be the way we are. Who tells us that we need all these things to look beautiful? Who tells us that our nose is not ‘perfect’? What is a perfect nose anyway? And does fixing our nose or other parts of our body make us feel happier about ourselves? Perhaps once our nose is ‘perfect’, we might need a matching ‘perfect’ mouth!
Living in India, it’s not uncommon for me to be asked, “How many children do you have?” and when I answer that I have none, I don’t know whether to laugh or yell when people commiserate me. Who says that having children makes every woman’s life perfect?
I remember questions being asked when I was single until my forties. “When will give us some good news?” (a standard idiotic question in India to be interpreted as ‘when are you getting married?’ or ‘when are you having a baby?’). I’d love to respond with, “I can give you good news right now. I’m enjoying my work and am fine being single.” And they’d respond with a smirk which said”As if!” Who says that having a partner makes one’s life complete?
But beyond all these are the times when we allow our notions of perfection to stop us from being happy.
We set goals, create bucket lists and make promises to ourselves. All that is fine. It keeps us dreaming. It keeps us focussed. Sometimes, these very things can keep us from being happy. Why? When we fail at achieving them, or can’t keep up with our goals, we start to beat ourselves up, calling ourselves names, labelling ourselves ‘stupid’, ‘useless’ and ‘losers’.
We cannot be happy until we accept that we are imperfect. It’s as simple as that.
Happiness is a direct result of self-acceptance. Ask me, I know. And what is self-acceptance if not compassion towards oneself.
As Brené Brown says so eloquently “….. living is about engaging with our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’ It’s going to bed at night thinking, ‘Yes, I am imperfect and vulnerable and sometimes afraid, but that doesn’t change the truth that I am also brave and worthy of love and belonging.”
I love this story and must share it with you today.
In the perfume shop show window was a large jar of freckle salve, and beside the jar was a sign, which read: Do you suffer from freckles?
“What does the sign say?” ask Pippi Longstocking. She couldn’t read very well because she didn’t want to go to school as other children did.
“It says, ‘Do you suffer from freckles?'” said Annika.
“Does it indeed?” said Pippi thoughtfully. “Well, a civil question deserves a civil answer. Let’s go in.”
She opened the door and entered the shop, closely followed by Tommy and Annika. An elderly lady stood back of the counter. Pippi went right up to her. “No!” she said decidedly.
“What is it you want?” asked the lady.
“No,” said Pippi once more.
“I don’t understand what you mean,” said the lady.
“No, I don’t suffer from freckles,” said Pippi. Then the lady understood, but she took one look at Pippi and burst out, “But, my dear child, your whole face is covered with freckles!”
“I know it,” said Pippi, “but I don’t suffer from them. I love them. Good morning.”
She turned to leave, but when she got to the door she looked back and cried, “But if you should happen to get in any salve that gives people more freckles, then you can send me seven or eight jars.”
(Pippi Goes on Board (Pippi Longstocking) by Astrid Lindgren)
March 20 is celebrated as World Happiness Day. Find out more and download Happiness Resources from the Action For Happiness website. The #1000Speak effort for this month is looking at the connection between happiness and compassion. Check out more posts on the linky.
Click on the image for Happiness Resources
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