🌻How to Be Happier Than 99% of People


17 lessons

True story, Word of Honor:
Joseph Heller, an important and funny writer
now dead,
and I were at a party given by a billionaire
on Shelter Island.
I said, “Joe, how does it make you feel
to know that our host only yesterday
may have made more money
than your novel ‘Catch-22’
has earned in its entire history?”
And Joe said, “I’ve got something he can never have.”
And I said, “What on earth could that be, Joe?”
And Joe said, “The knowledge that I’ve got enough.”
Not bad! Rest in peace!”


— Kurt Vonnegut

Read also: 14 rules for a good life ( in less than 600 words)

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People chase money to enjoy time.

Ironically they spend the vast majority of the chasing not enjoying their time and then get to the end of their life wishing they had more time and focused less on the chasing.

Here are 17 traits of the happiest people I know.

  1. They have enough

There is a recognition that more is just scrupulous noise. It doesn’t matter to have more, the point is to enjoy where you are, doing what you’re doing with the people that surround you. A bigger house is just another space. More is not the answer. Enough is.

  1. Accept feelings

Happy people have bad days. Of course. But the difference I’ve seen with the happiest of folks is that they let that sadness wash over them, they don’t put their fists up. They let them exist.

  1. Think a lot

Especially about death. The happiest people I know accept death as an inevitability. They softly question the world and their place in it but they don’t fight it.

  1. Reframe failure

Self-belief is an addictive feeling. The happiest people I know accept failure as part of the process. It’s not that they see failure as a bad thing. They see it as a stepping stone in the right direction.

  1. Find joy in the small things

A long walk, a good book, a great song, a warm evening. All of those things provide a hit of happiness. The happy folks find joy in the little things, they stand in the warmth of that happiness.

  1. Strength of character

The happiest people I know have an ingrained belief in who they are and what they stand for. They stand true to their values and act in accordance with them. They don’t let the crowd sway them.

  1. Being wrong

Happy people accept that in a world full of moving pieces, you can never be right 100% of the time. 70% is a high bar. But that’s okay. There is no weakness in being wrong. Happy people accept that being wrong is a part of living a good life.

  1. No thoughts

One of the most powerful traits happy people have is to accept that they don’t need to have an opinion on everything. In fact, no opinion frees up time for other activities.

  1. Health

It’s the most important factor for a happy life. What you eat, how you move, and looking after your body, it’s all part of living a happy life.

  1. Social media

There is a recurring theme with happy people it’s this: they use social media, they don’t let it use them. The happiest people I know don’t let notifications dictate their life.

  1. Buying things

The happiest people I know accept that things are just items that fill space. Sure, you can get find joy in using things but they will never replace the experience of time with loved ones.

  1. Friends

As you grow, old friendships die. That’s okay. The happiest people I know accept that. They don’t hold a grudge or string it out. They wish for wellness but move on.

  1. Boundaries

The happiest people I’ve ever met have a deep understanding of themselves. They are able to set boundaries and be clear about what do and don’t compromise on.

Read also: My 11 favourite Unconventional life hacks

  1. Reflect often

Each day you grow. Thoughts shed and new ones develop. Your mind is like a garden. Untended, thoughts shoot up out of nowhere. Bad thoughts take over like weeds. The happiest people I know tend to their gardens. They prune, they water, they feed.

  1. Variety

Happy people know variety is the spice of life. They spend time trying new things, developing new habits, and exploring old ideas.

  1. Self-acceptance

True self-acceptance is hard to find. It’s a journey. One that most people go on every day. The happiest people I know accept that self-acceptance is a process.

  1. All the good things

The happiest people I know look around the world and can spot all the good things in it. Whilst they accept that life is full of sadness, they know there is a lot of good in the world, if you choose to look.

Contributed by Eve Arnold

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