For some people happiness seems to be something elusive, or at least something incompatible with the word present. They tend to associate the concept of fulfillment with the future, instead.
These are some of the most limiting beliefs many people have in common:
- “I will feel fulfilled only once I get my dream job;”
- “My life will finally improve when I find a way to lose weight;”
- “I will be happy only after that nose surgery;”
- “When I find my soul mate, I will finally be happy.”
However, there are also people who seem happier than the rest. They seem fulfilled, serene and satisfied with their lives.
Below are some habits these people tend to have in common.
1. They Focus on What They Can Control
Don’t worry about what you can’t control. Our focus and energy needs to be on the things we can control. Attitude, effort, focus- these are the things we can control…”— Tim Tebow
As psychotherapist Jonathan Alpert explains in Inc, some people waste their energy worrying about the things that are beyond their control, and this has a negative impact on their mental health, and consequently on the quality of their life.
Focusing on what you can control, helps you prevent unnecessary stress. It helps you lead a happier and healthier lifestyle. And it helps you choose the things that truly matter and on which you should focus over the things you can do nothing about.
2. They Give Without Expecting Anything in Return
The act of giving without expectation of something in return is the true definition of kindness.— Unknown
As I mentioned in another article, something as simple as learning to feel the joy of giving can transform you. When you learn to be selfless, to give without expecting reciprocity, you prevent the stress of any potential unmet expectation. And the absence of that stress can only bring more happiness to your life.
This way, if you give and receive something in return, it will feel great; however, if you don’t receive anything in return, it won’t be a big deal.
3. They Surround Themselves With the Right People
Surround yourself with the right people, and realize your own worth.— Lucy Hale
They say the quality of our life depends on the quality of our relationships. In fact, according to research, happy relationships are the most important predictor of long-term happiness.
In particular, according to Robert Waldinger, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, the happiest people, tend to be the ones who have good, healthy relationships. Also, he explained that what determines the quality of our lives is not the quantity of our relationships but their quality.
This is why, if we want to live a happier life, we should make sure to surround ourselves with people who lift us up — instead of people who bring us down.
4. They Practice Gratitude
I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.— G.K. Chesterton
When you practice gratitude, you train your brain to focus on the best things going on in your life, and to give less importance to what is not-so-good right now. You see, building the habit of being grateful for what you already have can literally transform your life.
As explained in Harvard Health Publishing, in positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently correlated with greater happiness. Practicing gratitude can help you feel more positive emotions, enjoy great experiences, improve your mental wellness, deal with adversity, and build meaningful relationships.
5. They Pursue the Right Goals
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.— C.S. Lewis
Instead of setting unrealistic goals, fulfilled people pursue the right goals, that is, goals that are exciting, motivating but also attainable.
Also, as professor Art Markman explains in Fast Company, the goals people pursue have a strong impact on their long-term happiness. And people tend to be happier when they pursue goals that help them connect with other people. Markman defines these goals as cooperative.
He explains that a cooperative goal is one where you try to lift up others so that success is a common objective. And pursuing this type of goals is one of the best ways to find fulfillment in life.
To summarize, these are the habits exceptionally fulfilled people have in common:
- They focus on what they can control;
- They give without expecting anything in return;
- They surround themselves with the right people;
- They practice gratitude;
- They pursue the right goals.
Learning the habits fulfilled and happy people have in common and applying them can help you improve your mindset and live a happier life.
Originally published in The Truly Charming