Happiness Attitudes



Most people want to be happy, or say they do anyway.  Trouble is, most people just lack the knack.  To be happy you have to maintain the right attitude—a willingness to be tickled by your experiences and a freedom from lingering negativity that prevents spontaneous pleasure.  Happiness happens in the present.  Regrets from the past and fears about the future can interfere.  Robert Louis Stevenson left us a list of twelve attitudes that ought to help:


  1. Decide to be happy.  Make up your mind to look for pleasure in the simple things.
  2. Make the best of the situation you’re dealt.  We all have to deal with both good and bad.  Try to make the laughter outweigh the tears.
  3. Don’t take yourself too seriously.  Accept that you will have to deal with some misfortune, just like everyone else.
  4. Don’t try to please everyone.  You will be criticized.  Don’t worry about it.
  5. Don’t imitate your neighbor.  Just be yourself.
  6. Do the things you enjoy but stay free from debt.
  7. Don’t invent problems.  Imaginary troubles are actually harder to bear than real ones (because there’s no imaginary solution.)
  8. Hate poisons the soul so do not carry a grudge.  If someone makes you unhappy, avoid them.
  9. Have many interests.  Go places.  And if you can’t do that, at least read about other places.
  10. Don’t worry about mistakes you’ve made.  Correct them if you can and then move on.  Get over things easily.
  11. Try to help others less fortunate than yourself.  This is one of the biggest steps you can take towards happiness.
  12. Stay busy and involved.  Then you won’t have time to brood over misfortune.

And most importantly, remember that happiness comes not from having what you want but from wanting what you have.

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