Last Updated on March 3, 2020
Your happiness is, above all other things, your most important asset. Truly happy people are more successful in their career pursuits, have better relationships, and are in better health. This is because happiness leads to motivation and motivation drives success in these three areas. The challenge is becoming a happy person. There are two important things to understand about happiness. The first is that happiness as an internal trait does not come from external sources. The second is that happiness is not a single character trait that can be developed, it is the result of developing 5 different positive character traits.
Discovering and Developing your Most Important Assets
The habits of happiness are not that complicated. Happy people are courageous, positive, tolerant, forgiving, and resilient. There are ways that successful students and others can develop each of these traits.
You don’t need to be willing to rush into a burning building or travel overseas to fight in a war to have courage, although these actions certainly are courageous. Courage is simply the willingness to be yourself and to live life on your terms without considering the judgment or disapproval of others.
You can develop this trait most effectively by paying attention to your own thoughts and actions and by overcoming your own fears. Do you stop yourself from expressing enthusiasm over something because of your fear of public speaking? Do you edit your thoughts and opinions because you are afraid they will be ridiculed? Does your dress and hairstyle reflect who you are, or do you simply dress for the status quo? Then, make an effort to slowly change these thoughts and actions. Youíll find that doing what makes you happy will lead to overall happiness.
Positivity does not require that you maintain an unrealistically sunny disposition when bad things happen. It simply means that you have worked on developing a generally positive outlook on life and the situations that you face. Positivity doesnít mean that you deny a problem exists, for example, it means that you believe that a solution is possible from the start.
Developing tolerance is a simple matter of teaching yourself empathy. If you find yourself feeling intolerant in any situation be it small (a new cashier who is painfully slow) or large (a loved one making life decisions with which you strongly disagree), ask yourself how it would feel for you to be judged harshly in those situations. If you truly struggle with tolerance, try adopting the philosophy that you are not required to live your life for the pleasure of others, and others are not required to live their lives for your pleasure. You will increase your level of happiness significantly if you can do this.
Forgiveness isnít weakness. In fact, forgiveness is something that you donít even need to express to anybody. It is simply a conscious decision not to walk around with negative thoughts and feelings about another person over a past action(s). Self-directed forgiveness is also extremely important to your happiness. It is impossible to be a happy person with internally or externally directed negative thoughts and feelings. If you have something over which to forgive yourself or another person, simply write down on a piece of paper that you forgive this person for _______________. Then, throw the paper away and move on.
This may be the trait that contributes the most to your becoming a happy and therefore motivated person. The way that you react to setbacks and troubles make a huge difference in your ability to be happy. Have you ever tried to socialize with somebody who treated every small imperfection as if it ruined the entire evening. Isnít that painful? Donít be that person. Nothing in life is ever going to go perfectly. The ability to go with the flow and bounce back will make you much happier overall.
Overcoming Negative Traits
This begins with developing the positive traits above. The stronger your positive traits the less room for your negative traits. After all, you cannot be a negative person if you force yourself to adopt a philosophy of positivity. You cannot be intolerant and unforgiving while you consciously fostering tolerance and forgiveness internally.
Getting Back to Motivation
Motivation is simply a willingness to engage in self-development. This could be include developing yourself academically, physically, or personally. If you are happy on an internal level, you will want better things for yourself. This is what will motivate you.