#1 Secret: Know Yourself
In fact, knowing yourself is so important that many happiness experts, such as Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project, believe it is the sole secret to true happiness. But knowing ourselves goes beyond our likes and dislikes—it includes the good, the bad and the ugly.
If not, we may be making decisions counter-intuitive to our own happiness. Like pursing a career because it pays our bills, not because it will make us happy.
#2 Secret: Talking to Your Friends
It may seem that the more friends you have the happier you can become. But happiness is directly related to the closeness of your friendships and relationships and how often you engage with them.
A study published in the American Sociological Review by Chaeyoon Lim, and Robert D. Putnam, “Religion, Social Networks, and Life Satisfaction,” found that churchgoers are happier than non-churchgoers. Not because religion necessarily makes people happier, but because people who attend church are more likely to form closer relationships based on similar interests and beliefs, plus they meet up regularly.
The study points out, though, that even if church is not your cup of tea, having close friends who share similar interests as you and regularly hanging with them can make you happier.
#3 Secret: Doing Your Happiness on a Daily Basis
Happiness is impossible without consistent action towards it. And doing your happiness is easier than you may think. Choose an activity which enhances your life in one or all three of these areas: time, money and/or support. Everyone, including you, could use more time, money and support. So this is your opportunity to do activities that give you these enhancements.
For example: if your happiness is surfing and you decide to teach surf lessons you are then enhancing your life by making more money. Then it’s setting aside five minutes to one hour a day to engage in the activity(s) that make you happier.
The Dalai Lama says, “Critical thinking followed by action is the most important thing we can do now. There is no such thing as a tiny act.” Successive, positive and small steps lead to big happy results.