There’s a misconception about happiness; that somehow happy people aren’t also tough people. To be happy, I mean truly happy, not merely ignorant to the ills and pain in the world, but someone who’s been through hell, and come out better for it, you have to be tough. If you’re not tough, life, at some point, will break you. So happy people and tough people are one in the same.
Happiness is also something you create, not something you find.
Thus, this list isn’t going to reflect the guy who’s putting on a show, the person trying to “find themselves”, that fool that thinks that if they search long enough, and in enough places, they’re “find who they are”. No, this article is for those badasses that have the insight and the testicular fortitude to create themselves. They know that there is no finding of the Self. No, it’s an act of creation. It’s a blank slate that, much like the world in which they lived, has to be morphed and molded into the person they’re destined to be.
If you’re “finding yourself”, stop. Read this article. See that avoiding the hustle, the grind, and hard work isn’t an alternative way of living, but an avoidance of life.
25 Lessons Happy People Learn
1. Within rules there is freedom.
To create something of value, and everyone wants to be of value to their fellow man, you need discipline. It’s discipline that will lead you to greatness and happiness. Some think it’s the other way around, that happiness is outside of discipline. So, they accomplish nothing, they create nothing, and in the end they question their value, their purpose, and the reason for their existence.
To be happy, discipline must be your constant companion.
2. You have to define your values if you want to be happy.
Clarity is very important to happiness, and to be able to make the tough decisions we need to make in life, we have to have a base set of values that guide us. They’re unflinching and uncompromising. We don’t bend them nor do we break them. Your values are who you are. Make sure you know what they are.
If your values are clear, your purpose and direction in life will be clearer.
3. You have to have things that you’re willing to fight and die for.
These things can be your values, they can be your mission, your purpose, but they have to be tied to your reason for being here. You may be willing to die for an idea, a faith, a religion, a right. To live, one must be willing to die.
4. You have to have people that you’re willing to fight and die for.
You’ll often see that happy people are about as happy as their families or friends. Sure, their happiness is infectious, but it’s the relationships we build in life that will give us purpose, and people to both live for and die for.
You don’t want to be the guy on his deathbed surrounded by no one but his lawyers.
5. Obstacles aren’t curses, they’re challenges.
This is one of the most powerful lessons a happy person will learn because it shapes their view of the world and the trials that we’re all going to face while we live in it.
Obstacles are blessings in disguise. They’re tests and challenges. If, of course, you choose to see them as such.
6. Nothing is impossible.
Tell the happy person it’s impossible, and their response will be, Challenge accepted.
7. Life can suck.
All you can do is suck it up. We all have shitty times in our lives, all of us. The happy person isn’t the guy who ignores the tough times, and fails to accept them as being real. No, he accepts his reality, no matter how harsh or terrible, and makes the best of it.
8. Failure is a lesson, not an ending.
Failure is learning. The most successful people in the world are usually those who’ve also failed the most, and on the grandest scale.
9. Silence is liberating.
Most people, so far as I’ve seen, like to be surrounded by noise. They wake up to music, are constantly talking to people or tuned in to their music.
Happy people, however, are fine with silence. They’re happy with where their mind goes to in silence. They know that it’s in silence that we find clarity. So while some run away from it and fear it, happy people not only accept it, they seek it out and make it a regular part of their lives.
10. Only the strong survive.
You can’t break down and quit every time the shit hits the fan and expect to have self-respect or true happiness in your life. The strong thrive, the weak need them to survive.
11. Things mean nothing.
Things, even money, aren’t real. Sure they’re nice, but they add nothing to life, and if they become your focus in life, they’re ruin it. A true happy person can have everything taken away from them, yet still stand strong, and stand as a self-reliant man.
12. Money should be used, it shouldn’t be worshipped.
Money can be a great benchmark for how good you are at what you do. It can also give you freedom, and enable you to take care of your family. But you make the money, the money doesn’t make you. Don’t let it be your God. Don’t worship it.
13. Physical health aids mental health.
Being in great shape makes it much easier to be happy. This is true on many levels that we’ve already covered on this site. But if you’re healthy, you should have optimal testosterone levels – learn how to get them here – and testosterone limits the likelihood of depression.
That, however, is only the tip of the iceberg. Get healthy. Get strong. Get happy happy happy.
14. We need to learn the sting of failure if we’re to succeed.
Not only is failure a lesson, but it strengthens us. Most people quit after they fail, that’s why so few actually succeed in the long run, and don’t claim that success doesn’t also give you a sense of gratification or pride, it does. To be proud of who you are and what you’ve accomplished is a wonderful thing.
15. Too much stuff clutters the mind.
When things become your idols, they begin to own you. I’ve gotten rid of a lot of my stuff over the last few years simply because I didn’t need it, and having it – even clothes and such – around, cluttered my mind. Keep only what you need and what makes your life better, get rid of the rest.
16. A car is merely a vessel to get you from point “a” to point “b”.
Cars are awesome, but too many of us idolize them. In the end they’re merely a vessel to get you from point “a” to point “b”. Never forget that.
17. It’s the journey that brings the greatest reward.
What you’ll find with a lot of successful people is that they miss the “good ol’ days” when they didn’t know where they’d be from day to day, or if they’d even have enough money to survive. I’ve been there. It’s invigorating. The journey is often where we build character. It’s where our mettle is tested and we discover just how tough we are.
Enjoy the journey, and never let it end. Always be improving.
18. Failure is fine, it’s not trying that is the true weakness.
So many remain living a life short of the life they’re capable of living, all because of their fear of failure. It’s a pity. Don’t be in this majority, your life depends on it.
19. Greatness is a habit, not an act.
Most entrepreneurial ventures fail because the people doing them have terrible habits, and they think that success is, if not immediate, bound to happen for them within a couple of years.
Success, in any sense, takes a lot of work. It takes guts. And it’s directly dependent on the habits that you have. Make sure you have good ones.
20. The world isn’t out to get you, nor is it fighting to help you succeed.
You can’t believe that society is set up to make you fail, or if you do, you must see it as a challenge worth rising to. But you also can’t think that success is going to come easy just because you’re you. Success, just like happiness, is tough. It ain’t easy.
The happy people, those who’ve outlasted the rest and have created something of true value for the world, see the world as it is, and see obstacles as challenges, nothing more, nothing less.
21. Hard work pays off.
If you do it long enough, and you’re intelligent enough – as I’m sure you all are – it’s inevitable.
22. The early bird does, indeed, get the worm.
Happy people wake up early. Okay, they may not, but most successful people I know do, and it’s those who get an early start to their day that tend to accomplish the most. So get up early and start your grind.
23. In helping others you help yourself.
It may be a selfish way of looking at it, but it’s true. If you help others, you’ll help yourself in the long run. By helping others you’re building an army of people who then want you to be happy and to succeed.
There’s nothing that makes a person happier than bringing a smile to a person’s face. If you’re not already a happy person, start helping people, it’s the quickest road to a happy life; a life in the service of others, that is.
24. Happiness is completely a matter of perspective.
You have to put yourself out there, you have to try grand, audacious acts, and sometimes fail miserably, and still come out of this failure and pain with an attitude that you can do anything you put your mind to, if you’re going to be happy.
The circumstances shant dictate whether you’re a happy person or not. Happiness is of the mind, and it’s the tough mind that will be able to stay happy not matter what they’re going through.
25. Never resist. Just go with the current.
Life throws a lot of shit our way. Roll with it. Don’t curse your failures or the bad stuff that happens to you, roll with it. Be like water, as Bruce Lee once said. You can withstand anything that life throws as you. You’re a tough, gritty son of a bitch, and you’re a happy one too.