THE BLOG

10 Habits of Exceptionally Happy People

10/29/2013 04:02 pm ET | Updated Jan 23, 2014
  • Shannon Kaiser Best-selling author, teacher, life coach, travel writer.

Why do some people enjoy more health and happiness than others? It seems they are able to manifest their dreams rapidly, and they have a consistent sense of peace and happiness. These people see opportunities when others see closed doors. They handle setbacks with grace and ease, moving confidently in the direction of their desires.

The good news is that you can be one of "those" people -- you don't have to be born with these characteristics, they can be learned. I know this is true from personal experience, having moved from zero to being my own hero, leaving depression, drug addictions, eating disorders and a corporate job I hated in the dust, all in an effort to find my own happiness and live my dream life.

What I learned is that being happy is possible, no matter how dark your days are, that happiness is attainable, especially when you understand what happy people do to get there.

Finding lasting happiness is a lot like getting in shape physically. You have to work your positivity muscles daily; if you do this, over time it will become easier to be happy because your "happy" is stronger through constant use.

If you are looking for a nudge or an instant hit of happy, consider these 10 habits of exceptionally happy people from my book Find Your Happy.

Happy people...

1. Make themselves available to success

Happy people are great goal setters. They work toward their goals daily, and they see opportunities in everything. This allows them to excel in multiple areas of their life.

Ask yourself if you are open for opportunities and setting big goals?

2. Don't use the word luck

When you look at an exceptionally happy person you may say, "They are so lucky," but a conversation with these go-getters will reveal that luck is not in their vocabulary. Instead they believe that passion + persistence equals tremendous results.

3. Don't fall victim to the circumstances of their life

Most exceptionally happy people have been in the dumps, hit rock bottom, or come from an understanding that there is light at the end of the tunnel. It takes an inner courage and conviction to find a source of inspiration inside of you, but we all have it in us. Happy people don't complain; if they don't like something they change it.

4. Don't try to win you over with debates

Exceptionally happy people are busy making their goals come true. They understand that spending time debating and arguing with others takes them away from what they care about most, which is usually making a difference and helping others. They love hearing people talk about their views, but happy people won't spend time trying to convince you to adopt their beliefs because they honor differences and appreciate each the contrast of varying viewpoints.

5. Are insanely grateful

After hitting rock bottom, I realized that the turning point for my own life was transforming my expectations into gratitude. Being thankful for what you have, while you work toward what you want, will help you feel happier in the moment.

6. Are in awe of the beauty of earth

Super happy people will turn off the TV and opt for a nature hike. Playing with the world is a daily practice for happy people. They see beauty in the small, everyday things around them and appreciate all of the natural wonders of earth.

7. Are extremely generous, but know they must tend their own needs first

Happy people are usually comfortable and financially secure. This happens because they have realized the value of giving to others without having expectations of getting anything in return. Happy people make sure their basic needs are met because they understand that when they are healthy and secure, they can fully be there for others, and that serving others actually brings them the most joy and even greater rewards.

8. Are infinitely patient

Patience is a key skill of exceptionally happy people. They trust the timing of the universe, and don't sweat the tiny details of their life; they trust that everything is in divine order.

9. Venture out of their comfort zone and seek risk often

Happy people have learned that settling in any area of life will hold them back, so they opt for adventure and satisfaction through seeking new experiences. They see risk as growth and are happier because they live a life with no regrets.

10. Realize there is more to life than being happy

Happy people don't spend a lot of time thinking about happiness. They live in the moment and enjoy the ups and downs of life. Happy people still experience set backs, but they look at those setbacks as a way to learn more about themselves and to grow. Happiness is not something they seek, as it is a daily practice that never leaves them.

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