While cruising in Hawaii with Wailua River guides, I asked my kayak guide, Annie, what her favorite part about living in Kauai was.
She smiled brightly and beamed, "I'm so rich here. I mean, I don't have a lot of money, but my quality of life is abundant. I get to do what I love every day, and that makes me rich.”
Living a life you love is possible for everyone. My conversation with the happiest kayak girl in the world stirred up ideas of other happy people who practice happiness. People who have made happiness a habit and it beams from their pores. Because happiness is a choice and we can all cultivate it.
But the happiest people in the world have some habits they never talk about. When you live and breathe happiness, you feel more connected to your life. More grounded and purposeful. Here are seven habits happy people have but don’t talk about.
1. They put themselves first.
They know self-love isn't selfish. Happy people put their needs first because they see the power of showing up fully for others. When you take care of yourself, you help everyone else. If you sacrifice your needs in order to help others, you're only showing up as half of yourself.
2. They embrace impermanence.
People who feel at peace with their life recognize everything has a time and place. Relationships, jobs and experiences are all part of a bigger plan. Happy people recognize life is a balancing act between holding on and letting go — and they're comfortable releasing things that no longer serve them.
3. They're unapologetic about their desires.
Some may call them selfish, crazy, even ridiculous, but happy people make their dreams come true and focus on their goals with fearless force. They often manifest what they desire fast. Because they believe in their dreams. They live life to the beat of their own drum and will follow their heart with courageous energy. You can’t stop a happy person from reaching his or her goals. They know life is short and not following through would feel like premature death.
4. They don’t worry about money.
Happy people are extremely generous. They know the more they give, the more they get in return. But they don’t give expecting anything in return. This energy creates an abundant mindset that brings more wealth to them.
Happy people have a healthy relationship with money and they have learned it is connected to their self-worth. The more they value themselves, the more money they attract. Instead of worrying about money, they take steps to make more money and create more flow. This often happens because they do what they love daily, which creates a rich, deep connection to their own life. They also realize we don’t need a lot of money to be happy. It's experience that makes life worthwhile.
5. They don't need you to like them.
The happiest people I know don't care what others say or think about them. The only thing that matters is that they like themselves. This self-confident, infectious energy often attracts a lot of people. Happy people often have good friends. But happy folks are not dependent on your liking them.
6. They know rejection is protection.
Happy people don’t take rejection personally. They know in the big scheme of things, life will always give them what they really need. So the guy who didn’t call back, the potential job that didn’t pan out, or the loan rejection letter are all universal signs that it wasn’t the best fit. Trust that something better is on its way.
7. They see everyone as equal.
The happiest people see no difference between anyone and any situation. They don’t judge, condemn or point out flaws in others. They won’t try to prove you wrong. They embrace all of life’s diversity and celebrate the contrasts.