12 Things Happy People Do Differently
“I’d always believed that a life of quality, enjoyment, and wisdom were my human birthright and would be automatically bestowed upon me as time passed. I never suspected that I would have to learn how to live - that there were specific disciplines and ways of seeing the world I had to master before I could awaken to a simple, happy, uncomplicated life.” -Dan Millman (author of The Way of the Peaceful Warrior)
Happiness and science. Did you know that the two are in a relationship? Something amazing has been happening in the last 10 years. It’s called the positive psychology movement. The world’s leading psychologists are saying that instead of using psychology to simply treat mental illness, let’s use it to make normal life more fulfilling. That’s where you and I come in: The applied science of happiness! I used to think that happiness was some far off elusive destination to be reached only when the sun, moon, and Martha Stewart’s sleeping patterns were in sync. Finding out the things that are proven to make us happy, and then doing them and feeling the results for myself, is one of the most valuable things I’ve ever discovered. Let’s start things off by learning how happiness works...
2 | 12 THINGS HAPPY PEOPLE DO DIFFERENTLY
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How Happiness Works
In the 20th century, from 1900-2000, for every 100 articles published on the negative side of psychology (illnesses like bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, depression, etc…) there was approximately ONE article published on the positive side (things like gratitude, exercise, optimism, etc...). Here’s where happiness comes from. Research done involving identical twins separated at birth shows that about 50% of our happiness is determined by our genetics. We’re pretty much born with a “happiness set-point” and regardless of what external circumstances are going on, in the long run, if unchecked, we’ll return to that level of happiness. Now this is where most people (including myself at one point) take a wrong turn: They spend most of their time chasing the *things* that they’ve been brainwashed to believe will bring them happiness. However, science shows that the *things* you have in life only bring about 10% of your happiness. Stuff like what kinda’ car you drive, how much money you have in the bank, and what your job title is all fit into this category. For the most part, you can think of this 10% as “external incentives.” The warm fuzzy feeling that those things initially bring will diminish... kinda like the experience of eating cookie-dough ice-cream. The first taste is a euphoric explosion of enzymes tangoing with your taste buds. But by the time you’re on spoon six – it’s nothing new. So that leaves us with a big fat chunk of 40% left to address. These are our behavioral tendencies which we have direct control over. And *this* my friend, this is where we have the power to make change… RIGHT NOW! WWW.SENSOPHY.COM | 3
When you appreciate what you have, what you have appreciates in value. Kinda’ cool right? So basically being grateful for the goodness that is already evident in your live will bring you a deeper sense of happiness. And that’s without having to go out and buy anything. It makes sense. We’re going to have a hard time ever being happy if we aren’t thankful for what we already have. “Self-actualizing people have the wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others.” - Abraham Maslow (founder of humanistic psychology) An easy way to implement this happiness habit is by keeping a gratitude log. When you wake up in the morning, jot down a couple of things that you’re grateful for that day. It could be anything from your freedom, to your health, to your family, to the food you eat. Another amazingly powerful thing...