What are the differences between happy people and unhappy people? Of course, it should be very obvious: happy people are happy while unhappy people are unhappy, right?

What do Happy People Do Differently?

Well, that is correct. But, we want to know what happy people do differently, so I have put together a list of things that happy people do differently than unhappy people.

15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently

1. Love vs. Fear

Well, I can tell you for sure that those people who are really happy, fear less and love a lot more. They see each moment, each challenge, each person as an opportunity to discover more about themselves and the world around them.

2. Acceptance vs. Resistance

Happy people understand that you can’t really change a situation by resisting it, but you can definitely change it by accepting that it is there and by understanding that there might be a reason for its existence.

15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently

When something unpleasant happens to them, they don’t try to fight it (they know that this will make the situation even worse), but they ask themselves questions like: What can I learn from this? How can I make this better? And then they focus on the positive, rather than on the negative. They always seem to see the glass half full, no matter what happens to them.

3. Forgiveness vs. Unforgiveness

Really happy people know that it’s not healthy to hold on to anger. They choose to forgive and forget, understanding that forgiveness is a gift they give to themselves first and foremost.

“Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.” ~ Buddha

4. Trust vs. Doubt

They trust themselves and the people around them. Whether they are talking to the cleaning lady or the C.E.O. of a billion-dollar company, somehow they always seem to make the person they are interacting with feel as though there is something unique and special about them.

They understand that beliefs are self-fulfilling prophecies. Because of that, they make sure to treat everyone with love, dignity, and respect, and make no distinction between age, sex, social status, color, religion or race.

These are the great men that Mark Twain was talking about: “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

5. Meaning vs. Ambition

They do the things they do because of the meaning it brings into their lives and because it gives their lives a sense of purpose. They understand that “Doing what you love is the cornerstone of having abundance in your life” as Wayne Dyer said it. And they care more about living a life full of meaning than what, in our modern society we would call, living a successful life.

The irony here is that most of the time they get both success and meaning because they choose to focus on doing the things they love the most and they always pursue their heart’s desires. They are not motivated by money; they want to make a difference in the lives of those around them and in the world.

“Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.” ~ Viktor E. Frankl

6. Praising vs. Criticizing

Happy people would probably agree with Carl’s Jung theory on resistance: “What you resist not only persists but will grow in size.” They don’t criticize the absence of the behavior they want to reinforce, rather, they know by praising the person and the behavior they wish to reinforce (even if it’s not often), they will actually encourage the positive behavior.

When a parent wants to make sure their 7-year-old boy will learn to always put the toys back in the box after he’s done playing with them, they make sure not to focus on the many times the child didn’t do it, criticizing him and his behavior, but every time the little boy does put the toys back, the parent praises him and his behavior and that is exactly how they reinforce the positive behavior, and in the end get the wanted results.

7. Challenges vs. Problems

15 Powerful Things Happy People Do Differently

Happy people will see problems as challenges, as opportunities to explore new ways of doing things, expressing their gratitude for them, understanding that underneath them all lay many opportunities that will allow them to expand and to grow.

8. Selflessness vs. Selfishness

They do what they do not for themselves, but for the good of others, making sure that they bring meaning, empowerment, and happiness to the lives of many. They look for ways to give and to share the best of themselves with the world and to make other people happy.

“Before giving, the mind of the giver is happy; while giving, the mind of the giver is made peaceful; and having given, the mind of the giver is uplifted.” ~ Buddha

9. Abundance vs. Lack and Poverty

They have an abundant mindset, living a balanced life, achieving abundance in all areas of life.

10. Dreaming Big vs. Being Realistic

These people don’t really care about being realistic. They love and dare to dream big, they always listen to their heart and intuition and the greatness of their accomplishments scares many of us.

“Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men.” ~ Goethe

11. Kindness vs. Cruelty

They are kind to themselves and others and they understand the power of self-love, self-forgiveness, and self-acceptance.

12. Gratitude vs. Ingratitude

No matter where they look, no matter where they are or who they are with, they have the capacity to see beauty where most of us would only see ugliness, opportunities where most of us would only see struggles, abundance where most of us would only see lack and they express their gratitude for all of it.

13. Presence and Engagement vs. Disengagement

They know how to live in the present moment, appreciating what they have and where they are, while still dreaming big dreams about the future.

“When you are present, you can allow the mind to be as it is without getting entangled in it. The mind in itself is a wonderful tool. Dysfunction sets in when you seek yourself in it and mistake it for who you are.” ~Eckhart Tolle

14. Positivity vs. Negativity

No matter what happens to them, they always keep a positive perspective on everything and by doing so, they tend to irritate a lot of negative and “realistic” people.

15. Taking Responsibility vs. Blaming

They take full ownership over their lives and they rarely use excuses. Happy people understand that the moment you choose to blame some outside force for whatever is happening to you, you are in fact giving all your power away. They choose to keep their power and take responsibility for everything that happens to them.

Why do you think happiness is so hard for us to achieve?

Why do you think it’s easier for people to say “yes” to unhappiness but not to “happiness”?

I would love to know what are your thoughts on this by joining the conversation below.

~love, Luminita 💫


Luminita D. Saviuc

Luminita is the Founder and Editor in Chief of PurposeFairy.com and also the author of 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy: An Inspiring Guide to Discovering Effortless Joy. For more details check out the 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy Book Page.

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  • Zelda Richardson

    at 2:09 am

    All these things mentioned are a description of how to truly practice Christianity, only they all lack the basic and most important ingredient…..Faith. Love is only mentioned in #1, but should also be included in all.

  • julie

    at 7:01 pm

    #15 is actually the one that bothers me the most. It only works for some of us. How can an abused child or political prisoner possibly be required to accept responsibility for the injustices thrust upon them? Right??

  • Rose

    at 6:55 pm

    Absolutely, an unhappy person can become a happy person. It is a choice to be happy. Anyone can chose to let go of negativity and become happy. There is hope. 🙂

    I recommend a very good book to those who are trying to learn about how to be happy. It is titled “Telling Yourself the Truth”. It is a short, but very powerful book. I really recommend running out to get yourself a copy.

  • chris

    at 6:28 pm

    Matt, check out http://www.daveskillerbread.com and watch the videos of his story. Especially compare the face in his mugshots to the man he is now. That was one unhappy dude who turned it around. I’m a believer.

  • holly

    at 6:03 pm

    anyone can become happy! it’s a choice. you may have to work it, but it’s a choice. ask for guidance and it will come.

  • The Orange Rhino

    at 5:08 pm

    I loved this. Really loved this. But here is my question. If I do 13/15 of these things already, why don’t I feel more happy? Is it because one of the main things I can’t do (be present, I stink at it) trumps everything? Any guidance would be appreciated here. Please readers, help me 🙂

  • April

    at 4:53 pm

    Baby steps, careful planning, mindset…It’s quite a process to reach one’s dreams, but those who give up will not reach them. Many millionaires and billionaires have also been bankrupt ‘3 times ‘- so maybe your friends are close!

  • kelley gulley

    at 2:58 pm

    Once upon a time I lived a happy existence with good mindset, with all fifteen key ingredients. Then I married a very negative person. I have spent so much time trying to get him to see all the good. But I feel like I have been pushing against a brick wall for ten years.

  • Randi

    at 2:15 pm

    But what do you do when there is infidelity in your life? How can I forgive betrayal? I do not know how to move on.

  • jodi

    at 1:43 pm

    This seems to put happy/unhappy people in the typical binary bind. It’s not like that. I am a happy person who falters often on many of the 15. It’s the perspective that matters. It’s also resilience. If I can bounce back and (eventually) see how I’ve been ungenerous, unkind and recognize it, then I can continue to shift my POV. It’s never either/or. It’s a learning journey for life.

  • scott

    at 12:32 pm

    All of this sounds great, but much of it is simply not true at all.

    First off, being personally happy is not my ultimate goal. If you wanna talk about selflessness versus selfishness, you can start with people who strive to be happy about their own lives first and foremost. This is where hedonism comes into play. Many people today do only what is pleasurable and desirable for themselves. Is that selfish? Absolutely.

    Secondly, I live in Literalville, where real things happen to real people. I am very happy in my life even though things around me can be very difficult and very trying. I do not live in the American Idol neighborhood of life, where it’s some fantasy world that I can escape to when things get tough. That’s what people do when they cannot cope.

    Thirdly, the whole “acceptance vs resistance” thing is a total joke. If the Founding Fathers had not resisted and had not be determined to change their circumstances, the USA would never have been founded. How’s that for the truth? MLK preached peaceful resistance until his untimely death in 1968. What is wrong with resisting things that are wrong? The German Lutherans in the 30s and 40s did NOT resist the killing of over 6 million Jews. They stood there and were basically complicit in those killings. Sure, they would have had to risk life and limb in resistance, but aren’t some things worth that sacrifice? Going along to get along is a trait of weakness that I don’t wanna have.

    Meaning vs ambition—-what if it gives my life meaning to cheat on my wife and family? According to you I should do that because I get something wonderful out of it. What a destructive concept you’re promoting. Have you ever heard of doing things out of duty and honor and self respect? Some things in life must be done regardless whether it benefits us personally or not. This is something that the writer seems not to understand. Living for yourself and your personal pleasure and enrichment is totally selfish.

    Praising vs criticizing—It is great to hear comments that uplift us. I agree. But it is also beneficial to hear that we’re in need of some change in the way we do things. Criticism about me as a person is one thing. Constructively criticizing my work helps me to be better in the long run. The only way we know what we need to work on is to have it pointed out to us occasionally. That’s called life.

    Dreaming big vs being realistic—I think you can do both. There is nothing at all wrong with dreaming big, but all dreams MUST have a dose of reality mixed in with them. If your dream is to go to North Korea and turn that country into a democratic republic where individual freedom and liberty are abundant, then you need a reality check. Have you ever heard of being “grounded” in life? That, to me, says that you always know in the back of your mind that reality will ultimately rule. Again, this is not positive or negative….it’s the truth. People need to learn to live with and to accept truth rather than some polyanna view of life.

    Positivity vs negativity—this has been largely misunderstood and has gotten a bad rap. People who go around all day who only say things that people want to hear are not living in the real world. Sorry, but that is just right. I knew a man years ago who just could not accept that his son was going to die of cancer. If you asked him how Peter was doing with the latest failed treatment, he would say every single time that “things were fine” and that he was going to “beat the cancer”. Ultimately, he didn’t beat it. But the father just could not accept the reality of truth that none of the treatments worked, ever. He persistently got worse. Sooner or later people have to own up to the facts and deal with the truth even if it is hard to hear. That’s called being an adult.

    I don’t want to be a positive person or a negative person. Life is not fair, and you have to deal with the reality of each situation. A positive outlook on every situation may make you feel better about it, but that won’t change the situation at all. There are many things in life that must be changed. Change starts in the mind and then moves on to a plan of action. Once that plan begins to take hold, the positive vibes can start bubbling up. I want to live in Literalville where words mean things and where I see things and people for what and whom they are.

  • Helmet

    at 12:29 pm

    I agree with most of it, but platitudes like #5 and #10 are always written by people who have the freedom to choose how they will earn. That financial security is a cushion on which to fall if they drop security to chase after an idea. A single parent with a high school education might be forgiven for not being so idealistic.

  • Irene Newcombe

    at 8:44 am

    I totally agree Jeff, I have no problem with forgiveness, no problem about not forgetting either, in fact I believe I remember conversations of the hurtful type, betrayal type etc, very vividly, but use them as future lessons.

    I do not ‘hang on to them” out of remorse, anger or revenge – they are just facts, incidents which happened, which are a learning tool, they helped me arrive at the wonderful life I now lead, helped form the wonderful person that I am.

  • Brian

    at 8:33 am

    Nothing never changes. I chose to be happy and inadvertantly, though my own ways, started living each of these. Being unhappy is unnatural.. It’s pretty easy to see that given the evidence of what people [at least think they] are unhappy about. A sidenote about that, given how consciousness works and how our brains work, we really are never unhappy for the reasons we think. Anyway, I’m rambling at this point… In sum, a person can always change. In this case, it’s a pure example of #15. I would tell this unhappy person to take responsibility for your life and don’t blame anything for “making” you unhappy.

  • Mia

    at 7:38 am

    Speaking as a formally unhappy person on the path to conscious happiness, I have to say yes, it’s possible, but you have to be aware of yourself and your actions at all times until being your good-natured self becomes the norm. Its all about perspective; you have to be willing to surrender and change all aspects of your energy down to the very essence of your language. Consciously change the wording you use toward yourself and toward others, then change your habits entirely, and slowly move toward working on your outlook. Don’t ever under estimate the power of your mind; it is reprogrammable at all times, and is very [chemically] responsive to positive energy. At first its difficult, but start by generating positive thoughts within yourself, then incorporate positive activities, and before you know it you will draw in positive, accepting people– all of which will shift your mind in immeasurable ways. So yes, long story short I def believe it is possible to change 🙂 You’ve just gotta be willing to put in the effort.

  • Anna

    at 7:28 am

    Abundance – do you have what you need right now? Tomorrow will take care of itself, just as today and yesterday did.
    Thanks Dana for the awesome reminders!

  • Jeff Morgan

    at 11:55 am

    I forgive always…Have a hard time with the forget part. I let it not control me yet I do use the memory to remind me when certain circumstances arise once again.

  • matt

    at 3:10 am

    Do you think an unhappy person can become a happy person or do you think it is something deep down that will never change?

  • Daniel Winter

    at 9:05 pm

    One through fifteen, all true, all worthwhile, and all, except for number twelve, a daily struggle. Because number twelve comes easily*, there is gratitude for the struggle itself.

    *I recently fell down a flight of stairs and wound up smashing my forehead on marble which arrested my momentum abruptly. After checking to make sure there were no severe injuries, the feeling I was overcome by was gratitude; not only for the lack of real damage but also for the fall, which was clearly a message that I was proceeding with an overabundance of pride.

  • tashpi@yahoo.com

    at 5:34 pm

    Check, check, check, check, check, check, check, check, and check.

  • danaadmin

    at 3:02 pm

    Neva, there is so much to say on the subject and I will make sure to write a post on this subject in the near future as I am sure many people will benefit from it 🙂

  • Neva

    at 1:39 pm

    # 9 Could you elaborate on what an abundance mindset really is, how a person with it approaches financial decisions and how this happy person utilizes that mindset to achieve “abundance in all areas”.

  • Lu theng

    at 3:17 am

    I like and agree with most of whats written. Happy people are also great filters that may hear negative, but choose to not understand it so that it has no meaning, unless they are focused to help change it.

  • kathy

    at 2:59 am

    I agree with you,Liz

  • Dori

    at 8:35 am


  • Greg

    at 2:04 pm

    I have never heard that quote from him. I like it!

  • Susan Wise ~The Wise SOTSS

    at 1:13 pm

    I love this…had to share it with my business partners. We host videos on our site about living the law of attraction and this is great food for thought. Bright, brief, real and relavant. Thanks!!

  • danaadmin

    at 9:10 am

    My pleasure 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 9:10 am

    No need to feel stupid Janet 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 9:09 am

    Happy to see that Jen 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 9:07 am

    And chances are that they will go back to being abundant once again 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 9:07 am

    Allegra, I don’t understand your comment 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 9:06 am

    Mabel, not sure if you are familiar with the work and life story of Viktor E. Frankl, but I think this will help you understand that you always have a choice to chose whether to react or respond to a specific situation

    “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

    We all have a choice…

  • danaadmin

    at 9:02 am

    Why make things complicated? I could do that, i could use all these fancy and academic words but why would I do that? I love simplicity and just like Da Vinci said it: “simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

  • danaadmin

    at 8:59 am

    I am both realistic and a dreamer and I see to find the balance between these two 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:58 am

    Dave, you can pick the 5 that are most important for you and use those 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:56 am

    I love the quote, I really do and I love your comment. The answers are within 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:54 am

    Trusting your inner self, trusting your intuition and trusting everybody around you, Lola and I love how everybody jumped in to help 🙂 I love it!

    You can write me a private message if you want and I will make sure to explain more 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:50 am

    Ron, you are right, and I see it like a journey, first you discover who you are and what you love, and then you work on giving the best of yourself to those around you knowing that doing what you love will always make you happy. Balance is the key 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:47 am

    Ethan, you can replace the word challenge with a word that you love 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:46 am

    Happy to see you enjoyed reading it Dale! 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:45 am

    Of course they need to be expressed Liz, and I do apologize if I gave the impression that we should not do that 🙂

    We experience happy and not so happy feelings and we shall respect them all, acknowledge that they are present in our lives and learn from everything that happens to us in order for us to grow and evolve to grow wiser instead of older 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:41 am

    Thank you Lori 🙂 I will look into that. Have you read the Happiness Advantage? Such a great book. Love it! And also, The How of Happiness…

  • danaadmin

    at 8:39 am

    Of course they are realistic Kristin, but not as realistic as the majority and of course, being realistic can mean different things for different people. Nothing will happen out of the blue, we need to work on making things happen, but if we go with the flow of life, chances are that life will be a lot easier for us 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 8:32 am

    J. “Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” Buddha

  • J

    at 1:39 am

    Some of this is true but some of it is not. I don’t agree with everything and that’s why I’m happy. Freedom of choice makes me happy and being able to adapt to any situation makes me happy. Happy people make the right decisions for them selves and thats why I believe they are happy. They forgive but don’t forget so they don’t make the same mistakes. They learn from the past and teach others.

  • Gisele Leblanc

    at 10:01 pm

    GREAT! Gisele

  • Charlotte

    at 7:54 pm

    Sounds like Buddhism, properly practiced.

  • John Witt

    at 6:39 pm

    I’d like to back up John and “No Fan” on behalf of libertarianism…

    It’s obviously important to look out for #1 and to take care of yourself; that’s sort of the point of this article.

    However, doing what’s “good” for you at the expense of society as a whole is BAD ECONOMICS, not to mention kind of a dick move.

    The libertarian school of thought existed long before Ayn Rand wrote her book. She had some good ideas, but c’mon. Being a sociopath = bad.

  • Kristin

    at 6:00 pm

    I agree with this article completely, except that I think a lot of happy people are more realistic than the article lets the reader believe, from number 10. I think happy people are realistic, and I don’t really think that the other side of being realistic is having big dreams. That’s a little ironic, isn’t it? I kinda feel like the article is saying that it isn’t realistic to think that your big dreams could come true. I have big dreams, and I have realistic motives and realistic small goals to reach that big dream. Whenever I meet someone or see something that I think may lead me to that, I pounce on it and see what I can learn or accomplish that day to work towards it! I think that’s being pretty realistic, isn’t it? I’m not expecting it to just happen out of the blue with no work towards it, but I know I won’t get anywhere if I don’t do anything towards it!

  • Lori

    at 3:29 pm

    Great article!! The book “Happiness Works! Get Yours Here” by Stephen Whiteley is a great book for teaching techniques to achieve this. Was named “Most Inspirational Book of the Year” by Ashford Publishing. 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 6:27 am

    Happy to see you liked it, Rem 🙂

  • Blake

    at 2:29 am

    So true. It’s too easy to forget the power of our ideas about who we are to shape our experiences of life.

  • Rem Tanauan

    at 1:29 am

    What a great summary! Thanks, Dana.

  • liz

    at 11:16 pm

    I like this and I do try to be like this in my life. Except I would say that I also think there is a place for difficult emotions too, fear, sadness, grief, especially if there has been a huge loss in ones life, and these emotions need to be expressed. So there are some experiences in life that being positive does not help. Also some people live in poverty because of the structures in society.

  • Audrey

    at 6:41 pm

    Luckily for you, “Chalange” isn’t even a word!

  • Pam

    at 5:52 pm

    It’s nice to know that I’m happy and not weird like everybody thinks. I agree with every single statement.

  • John Malloy

    at 4:54 pm

    You can’t be completely self-centered and do good for the general welfare of people. That’s a fallacy.

  • Donna

    at 11:37 am

    Thank you for this. Lots of wisdom in here. I need to print it out and place it above my desk!

  • Dale Melchin

    at 3:24 am

    I am generally a happy person. The only people I tend to get critical of is negative people. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, thank you!

  • ethan davidson

    at 3:50 am

    All good, expet I hate the word “Chalange.”
    Usualy it is used in a relay patronzing way to mean something realy difficult, unpleasant, frustrationg and boring.
    Climbing a mountain is a chalange, Doing a mountain of paperwork is just a drag. Call things what they are.

  • Earle G Hall

    at 10:25 pm

    This is absolutely brilliant. One of the best synopsis’s I have ever seen of many larger concepts. Thank you so much!

  • Janet

    at 4:30 pm

    I know people who assume the worst of everyone — no matter who the other person is. This is the meaning I take from #4. If you assume the worst — the contractor is going to screw you, the new neighbors are going to be unfriendly, the new boss is going to be a tyrant, whatever — you are likely to get those exact results, because you PROJECT that assumption whether you realize it or not. Body language, voice tone, even subtle word choices can have dramatic effect on how others treat you and respond to you.

  • ladyliberty

    at 11:03 am

    How refreshing. Another person that doesn’t understand libertarianism.

  • No Fan of Ayn Rand

    at 7:30 am

    Gee, a libertarian arguing that being selfish is better than acting for the greater good. I am shocked, I say, shocked!

  • Ron Paul '12

    at 6:18 pm

    All are true except #8. When you act in your personal interest, you are able to bring to others the positivity you offer society. This is how innovation occurs.

  • Kate

    at 12:18 am

    Absolutely!!! That’s the first thing I thought of as soon as I read it!!! hahahahha!

  • Dave

    at 12:00 am

    In other words, #4 speaks about being able to be secure with who they are and do not overtly seek out another persons differences. They are able to see the other person as another happy being weather its a cleaning lady or Donald Trump.

  • Anita

    at 8:15 pm

    From my own life experience, it means to trust that all is well and you do NOT have to figure out all the How’s it gonna happen.
    You trust that what you want to see happen will happen and trust that it will be ALWAYS in your best interest even if at first light, it does not.
    Does that help at all? Hugs, Anita

  • Lola

    at 6:35 pm

    I LOVE this article!!!
    But I must say that #4 makes no sense to me. I would like to hear a more thorough explanation of this.

  • Derek

    at 7:43 am

    Donnie Darko, anyone?!

  • lightman_188

    at 4:35 am

    Wonderful quotes by the way! I love that! 😉

  • lightman_188

    at 4:33 am

    I see, as I read these comments, many conflicting perspectives. I would challenge those who felt anything other than love and inspiration in this list to ask themselves why and then re-read it and sit with each part in a quiet place and allow the message and the love in.
    Absolutely Wonderful!
    “The greatest thing about truth is it just IS. It doesn’t require beliefs to BE so.” Mark Smith.
    I found this information to ring true to my soul. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Kathy

    at 3:57 am

    This article has given me an inspiration to improve my attitude. I feel that I am a happy person and express this to those around me however; I get wrapped up in the day to day mess of stress and forget to smile, hug wave or give an orange to a hungry person (I did that today and it made me feel great, the guy looked at me like I was crazy! His sign said HUNGRY!). I look at this article/research as an inturpretation not gospel; it made me feel good and by the comments a lot of people are feeling good about the happiness in their lives.

  • KSM

    at 3:27 am

    Great article… and as far as Robby is concerned, your comments, although not entirely off base, come across as the most unhappy amongst the entire post. Why do you think that is? I consider myself a realist. I admit that I am an intelligent and professional person who sees the good in most things, but using my powers of observance as well as reflecting upon lived moments, I know that ignorance can be bliss. Why is this so wrong?
    Sometimes I wish I could be more ignorant as to not see the horrible atrocities in this world… but the flip-side is knowing and actually participating in the remedying of the problems that you witness. Once you can put yourself second and others first leads to happiness in my eyes.

  • Natalie Webb

    at 10:04 pm

    I know I have been failing on a lot of these. When you are bipolar, sometimes it is hard to focus on anything but the bad, what is lacking, and how you don’t measure up. Being nice to myself has always been one of my biggest struggles.

    I will do my best to carry the ideas in this post with me. Also, well-timed post. I needed this today.

  • Jen

    at 9:38 pm

    It’s a choice fizsofi…@ the very moment of whatever feeling you are feeling “choose” a different one. Everybody has down moments…don’t get me wrong.
    At the moment, figure out what your grateful for. Ex: your typing write? be grateful for your hands, for movement of your body, think about how “GREAT” you have it. Life is not about “acquiring things”. It’s about how we “feel”. Make it your business to make someone else smile…and happiness will flow thru you. The moment you let someone take your joy…your giving them too much power. You are the CHAMPION of your life….somewhere along the line, we as humans get hurt and let down and sometimes we let those moments define us…think about one of the happiest moments of your life…what was it? the truth is, most time it is the simplest things that make us happy… a GREAT song can put me in SUCH a happy place. You can do it… overnight..you really can.

  • Jen

    at 9:31 pm

    I have been living by these “things” in my head my entire life! Most people look at me in disbelief, they always say I “win” and nothing ever happens to me… what they don’t know is…it does…but it doesn’t CONTROL me. I LOVE THIS LIFE! It’s all temporary… Thanks for sharing the TRUTH!

  • Jen

    at 9:29 pm

    NEVER feel stupid about your DREAMS! and never let anybody tell you, you can’t do something… they just say it because THEY never did it! GO FOR THEM!!!!! YOU CAN MAKE THEM HAPPEN!

  • CA-Dave

    at 6:57 pm

    A list of the five most important would be more useful. This is a long list!

  • danaadmin

    at 5:43 pm

    I love that!

  • danaadmin

    at 5:42 pm

    Jean, happy to see that 🙂 Keep on being happy!

  • danaadmin

    at 5:41 pm

    Who me? Oh no. I don’t smoke but I do meditate a lot and I have been told that I sometimes I act like a person who is on crack 🙂

    I am organic 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 5:40 pm

    Glad you enjoyed it Pam 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 5:39 pm

    Stay happy Jackie 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 5:39 pm

    Brent, I don’t disagree 🙂 I respect other people’s opinions and points of view and I am always open and willing to see things from a different perspective. I also believe in balance and I know for sure that we can have both 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 5:37 pm

    Happy you are happy Cristina 🙂

  • danaadmin

    at 5:36 pm

    Robby, I don’t quite understand your comments but of course I believe we should always keep an open mind and test things, see what works for us and what not because you never know what pleasant surprises you might get by doing so 🙂

    And as far asa the research… I have been doing research for years and years and everything that is shared here on the blog is a result of that and even more 🙂

  • Tomtruth

    at 3:10 pm

    This is a very uplifting article, and should be read by everyone occasionally. I don’t agree that happy people are unrealistic. That is another dimension that is related. Being happy and being realistic are NOT mutually exclusive.

  • Robby

    at 5:41 am

    Actually, this article is quite horrible. What isn’t commonsense or practical regardless of being “happy” is deluded. There was a great study that in a nutshell proved pessimistic people are actually the most realistic people because seeing things truthfully is often quite depressing. Dreaming big and being a realist are mutually exclusive ideas, but the way they’re described here is that you are either pratical and unhappy for being able to recognize what actually is happening or happy for being in a false state. Which actually is the fault of the article: it privileges happiness as this state that actually sounds idealistic, unprofessional, and unsuccessful. And studies show those characteristics lead to unhappiness. Try reading some research on the idea instead of arbitrarily spouting ideas.

  • Joan

    at 11:54 pm

    I think you have that backwards. Conservatives blame liberals for trying to make the world a better place.

  • swintersprinter

    at 7:30 pm

    while the intentions of this article are good and the message is great, i find it to be oversimplified and rather naive.

  • hgm

    at 7:10 pm

    Acceptance vs. resistance doesn’t mean accepting that a negative or intolerable situation (abuse of authority for example) is how it “should be” and continue in that pattern. It means accepting that is currently how it *is* so that you can clearly understand and figure out how to change it.

    It is the difference between reacting “This shouldn’t be happening! I can’t believe they would do that! This is just so wrong!” with the anger and accompanying waste of energy and reacting “This is what is happening, I have to accept that this is the way it is even if I don’t like it. Now what can I do to change that?”

    At least that is the way I see it. This type of acceptance allowed me to overcome debilitating chronic illness, so I feel it is important and powerful. YMMV

  • Etoile

    at 5:47 pm

    This is great! Beautiful & simple! Thanks for sharing this reality 😉

  • Aly

    at 5:42 pm

    Just like you are doing? blaming Liberals for blaming others? I’m Liberal and I find that most of us do just the opposite.

  • Rita Elizabeth

    at 4:56 pm


    I haven’t read all the comments, but I have indeed read the two before mine. Yes, Mabel, I see your point and I think you’re right, however–one could say that seeing one’s boss who treats everyone like poo and going out and getting another job could be considered acceptance and not resistance. In other words, I say, “yes, he treats everyone poorly, I accept that and I know that there’s a reason he does this, but my reality is that this isn’t good for me. Thus, instead of resisting him/her and acting poorly, I’ll bide my time, act well on the job until I get a new job.” If that results in getting a new job, then acceptance–not resistance–is what helped you forge a positive change. 🙂

    And Alva, I see your point, too. I think if you think about it, you might conclude that acceptance–not resistance–of an existing situation might well propel a person to do good as he/she puts up with that situation, OR changes the way he/she handles it, possibly taking action to help self or others. And yes! Of course, one can have big dreams and still be realistic, taking small, practical steps. That is, of course, how big things get done. However, the dreamer should never lose sight of his or her big dreams. 🙂

  • alva

    at 3:03 am

    Good outline but I call bs on # 2. Unless you want to be taken for a pushover or be a sheep, you need to recognize when you SHOULD accept the status quo or authority. How else can you improve things for yourself and others? You can be respectful about your method of resistance, but often, you will be settling for less than is ideal if you meekly accept an answer, outcome or situation, when some resistance will factor a change or observance of a better solution. If you merely ask yourself, “what can I learn from this?” you become complacent to just be looking at the bright side/finding the silver lining, when resistance and hesitance to accept might actually push the situation into providing improvement for you AND others.
    Likewise Dreaming big vs being Realistic. These are not necessarily mutually exclusive. You can dream big and work with realistic goals to achieve the dream. It might just take small REALISTIC steps.
    Also, you can give people the benefit of the doubt, and practice the golden rule, but I trust people that prove themselves trustworthy.
    I prefer my happiness to be practical and based on reality.

  • Mabel

    at 1:45 am

    Re: #14: I have a really hard time seeing every single bloody thing as positive. It’s not realistic. In REAL life, sometimes things happen that suck, that are awful, or that need to be fixed. For example, if I work somewhere with a boss who is an ass and treats everyone like poo, I’m not going to be accepting. I’m going to find another job. I can’t say that is anything to “accept.” I may have to put up with it for a while until I can leave, but wouldn’t taking myself out of a bad situation be a good thing? If I’m running around throwing flowers like Pollyanna and chirping “Ohhh he’s just craaaabby todaaaay,” that’s just fake. It doesn’t help anyone. It won’t pay my medical bills for the stress-related illness he causes.

    I actually got laid off from a very stressful job recently. You know what? Physically I feel a lot better. It still sucks and I have no idea what I’m going to do, but I think I got out of there in the nick of time. I’m trying to be realistic in that I know I have to work, but I know I can’t handle another situation like that or I’ll end up in the hospital.

    Read Barbara Ehrenreich’s “Bright Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America” for a really good look at how this is messing things up.

  • Jaclyn Kane

    at 10:30 pm

    Loved it. What an amazing article…simply stated. Thank you for sharing!!!

  • Carole

    at 9:01 pm

    Yes i practice lots of these`

  • Allegra

    at 8:08 pm

    Number 15 is very wrong….people with an external locus of control are happier because they don’t hate themselves for things that have gone wrong.

  • Leah

    at 6:56 pm

    This is a beautiful article! I am hoping my friends and family will read it and learn.

  • keemia

    at 5:22 pm

    I know people who have a mind of abundance and dream big. They’ve also declared bankruptcy 3 times.

  • Cristina

    at 1:36 pm

    My boyfriend posted this article for me, saying I’m the happiest person he knows. After reading this article, I am beyond flattered. Although I do not identify myself all the time with ALL, I will definitely strive to do so. Thank you for writing such wonderful words, I’m sure this has changed and inspired many.

  • kamiasness@yahoo.com.ph

    at 9:46 am

    absurdly cool. love every numbered thing.

  • Brent

    at 12:43 am

    I know you’ll disagree with me, but I believe it’s possible to be rational and happy simultaneously. In fact, I believe it’s important to be rational (you use the word realistic) because the ramifications of making ill informed decisions could create a world of unhappiness for you. Maybe you think I’m unhappy because I’m realistic, but ultimately, who are you to say that I’m unhappy?

  • Nicole C.

    at 4:05 pm

    Wow!!! This hit me just at the perfect time!!! Thank you for sharing this. I have to pass this along 🙂

  • Liz S.

    at 2:14 pm

    My friend Liza posted this, and I thank her so much!

  • Jackie

    at 4:09 am

    What a great article, I’m printing it out and going to work on staying a happy person. What an inspiration!

  • Jesus

    at 2:55 am

    God commands us to do all these things.

  • Pam strinden

    at 7:39 pm

    This awsome Dana thanks for posting it . It really opens you mind of the way you are living and the changes needed to be happy.

    I love You
    A. Pam

  • Mimi Shannon

    at 4:50 pm

    Brilliant! I reflect on happiness a lot as part of my work as well as my own journey. While I have many of these on my list, I had missed others. Thank you for filling in the gaps. What a great vision to share. I will be sure to pass it on.

  • Gillian

    at 12:56 pm

    Are you on crack!!!

  • Alona @ Etiquette Blog

    at 11:14 am

    I agree with Craig, great way to start your day. Thanks for the wonderful read!

  • Zhanna

    at 8:07 pm

    This article gives me hope

  • Myriam Salinas

    at 6:46 pm

    We need to share more of this and practice it everyday…. it’s a matter of willing. Being happy it’s a decision 🙂

  • A boy

    at 5:55 pm

    #15 tells me liberals must be very unhappy people. It’s all about blaming others for their misfortunes.

  • Cheryl DeLaittre

    at 5:36 pm

    I also read this article when I needed it the most. Another miracle !

  • stuart

    at 12:04 pm

    really enjoyed this article, I completely agree with everything said, I think every child should be taught and encouraged to practice these principles from a young age

  • fizsofi

    at 8:09 am

    Thank you so much. Nice article.
    The truth is while is is easy to understand mentally all these great ideas “how we should be” in order to be happy, it’s not so straightforward how to implement it in our lives, in our hearts.
    I see it as a longer process, step by step, you cannot just change your attitude from one moment to the other.
    Well, or if you know the trick, please share also.

    Thanks for the post, once again!

  • jean

    at 7:44 am

    Wow.thank you for revealing and sharing this..im so proud to say that what was written in here is exactly describing ME and myself..thank you purpose fairy now i really proved that im a real happy person and theres nothing wrong with always being happy, that causes me also to always wear a genuine smile on my face:-)

  • J L

    at 6:50 am

    Thank you for sharing these uplifting reflections! You give me positive energy <3

  • Sarah Roberts

    at 4:47 am

    All good things, but no one can accomplish them all on their own strength. You need the power of the Holy Spirit, a.k.a. Jesus in your heart. Then you will have eternal joy!

  • h4x354x0r

    at 8:45 pm

    A lot of these are redundant – not that I’m judging vs. accepting! – but this really is a great list. I’ve gone through my “midlife crisis” already, and luckily, came out the other side with the very same conclusions. Thanks for sharing.

  • Craig

    at 3:11 am

    A perfect way to start tomorrow.

  • Sangita Multan

    at 3:49 pm

    I agree i read this article when i needed it most…awesm

  • Marcy

    at 1:11 pm

    Thank you from the heart. Beautiful message and important life philosophy.

  • Mildred

    at 5:14 pm

    Right on the money, Jen this is so true

  • Tiffany Jentsch

    at 7:27 pm

    Awesome article! Well said 🙂

  • Regina Slay Bronson

    at 4:27 pm

    What a powerful read. Much of what is taught in the 12 steps of recovery. Great tools to add to the tools I carry daily. Thank you and many blessings. :,)

  • Jonathan

    at 1:53 pm

    Many of the suggestions sound rather Buddhist to me.

  • janet

    at 3:42 am

    wow, thanks for this. I felt kind of stupid for dreaming big, until now. Look out world, here I come!!!

  • simon kong

    at 12:40 pm

    It’s inspiring,enlightening and powerful! Effective ways to create a happy and meaningful life. Highly recommended for people w low spirits and low morale!

  • Leona

    at 12:00 pm

    So true! I saw many of my friends and family in these 15 powerful items!

  • karmen

    at 8:41 pm

    I like this. 13 out of the 15 hows i am a happy person in general. ))

  • andy moore

    at 2:55 pm

    All so very, very true. If only more had this attitude we would get so much further…

    Thank you.
    Andy Moore

  • Filomena

    at 8:14 am

    Fantastic reading, very inspirational. Thank you so very much.

  • danaadmin

    at 1:11 am

    Ernie, the message is there encouraging to take responsibility over blaming 🙂

  • Saraswati Ponkia

    at 7:08 am

    So very true….!!!
    thanks a lot for sharing this inspiring and wonderful meaningful write up…… 🙂

  • Jen

    at 4:40 am

    This is one of the most amazing posts I’ve ever read. So much so that I’m bookmarking it in my browser.

  • Julie

    at 4:24 am

    I was pleasantly surprised by how many of these apply to me but fight jealous twinges when I see how many friends some people have.

  • Ernie

    at 4:15 am

    Is #15 backwards? Wouldn’t we want to take responsability rather than blame?

  • Nichole

    at 4:06 am

    Funny how I run across something like this just when I needed it most. <3 Acceptance of "what is" is a tough one for me.

  • Olga

    at 7:18 pm

    great article, I enjoy reading it.

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