7 Simple Traits Extremely Happy People Share

Are you sure you aren’t happy?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

My friend Sohan has 29 teeth.

No, I’m not his dentist. Not even did I steal his hot X-ray for my Chemistry assignment. Oh, it's a Biology assignment? See, I don’t even know that.

He even showed his teeth the moment Sir announced his marks, in the online class, in front of everyone, “Sohan, you got 3 out of 70.”

“I bet he is a backbencher,” you might say. But he is the topper of our class.

He failed the exam because his mother was sick. Severely sick. He had no money for his mother’s treatment, still, he was happy.

He wasn’t like this from his birth. Last year, he was almost going to win the Baby Student of the School award, which would be presented by our Principal’s two-month-old child, because Sohan always cried for everything. But he started being happy before the reward day. Ouch.

I talked with him and figured out subtle hacks he embedded in his life that made it possible.

Ohh, by the way, earlier his teeth were the colour of banana peel. Yeah, you’re right, I peeked from his window to figure this out. I had to because he never showed his teeth earlier. Don’t tell this to him. Promise?

When he started being happy, his teeth got white and he started shining. Yeah, it’s because he started brushing daily. When you’re happy, you aren’t stressed, therefore you spend time on self-care.

You might be happier than you think. Just verify whether you too share these seven golden traits. If you don’t, it’s easy to instantly have it, as I did.

1. They Have Selfpendance Hours

Sohan calls me his best friend. He loves me so much, he can even share his favourite toothpick with me. But I always see him as a friend.

One of his girlfriends sent a gift for him through me last month. I went to give it to him and he shut the door and cut my nose half. He didn’t even look back. That was sad: I didn’t come to him for me, it was for him.

When I talked with him the next day, he apologized and said: “I thought it was the delivery man who brought the painting canvas otherwise I wouldn’t even open it.”

This hurt even more. I started crying and excused it is hot and its the sweat. Yeah, you’re right: last month was winter too, but he trusts whatever I say, blindly. I thought I’m special to him. I’m his best friend after all, at least for him.

Happiness is nothing but peace/satisfaction/enjoyment in whatever you do, yourself.

Meaning, if you love what you do, you are bound to be happy, even if you are alone.

Sohan has fixed hours for him. He doesn’t wait till the weekends to make time for him. He loves to write and draw and he has a set time to do it daily. No distractions. Only he can be his distraction.

So, why does that work?

Any kind of progress makes us happy. Even Tony Robbins said that and got a pat by his mom on the back: “Progress equals happiness.”

Sohan always looks forwards for those blocked hours, every day, with excitement rather than put it a hundred miles away by waiting for the weekend. This acts as his motivation and he takes action towards whatever he loves daily, therefore making progress, hence being happy.

Also, having a purpose and working towards that, daily gets you closer to your goals and that makes you a happy person. Don’t believe me? Just check it out. Or, you’ll surely believe Goldie Hawn. Yeah, your favourite actress. Okay, sorry: one of your favourite actresses. She says: “When you have a purpose-driven life, you’re a happier person.” How cool, yeah? Or how hot?

Wait, wait. There’s more to this: when you spend time for you, with you, you start loving yourself even more and you gain confidence in yourself because you realize you are enough and can do anything without anyone’s help, so you stop comparing yourself to anyone and therefore you live happily.

How do you get this trait, instantly?

Block some amount of time for doing what you love, daily. Give it a fancy name: selfpendance hours, your independence hours.

Ohh, beware when you put this as a status. I shared this tip to my younger brother and when he posted it, grammar checker made it: “I’m in my selfie dance hours now.” I was surprised to see a long queue of girls outside our house that day.

Those hours you block for you, ensure nobody can distract you. Do whatever you always want to do. Ensure you enjoy whatever you do. Avoid distraction to take action. Those actions could be anything:

  1. If you love watching television, do that.
  2. If you enjoy playing games, go ahead.
  3. If you have some special goal for you, work on that.
  4. If you finally want to learn how to carve perfect love letters, sure.

“Progress equals happiness.” — Tony Robbins

2. They Don’t Have the Expectation Syndrome

Sohan tried blogging twice. It’s been five months since he posted his first post. The first viewer of that post was — you’re right: me. We shared this to our friend's group and instantly got 37 views but only one read. That read was — you’re so smart: mine.

Sohan was still happy about that.

The next post? He received 134k views in just three days.

That was surprising to both of us. But what was surprising to only me, was: his happiness didn’t triple as I expected because that kind of result and I’d party the whole night. I mean, I’m an introvert but you get it.

I got curious about why this happened. With a lot of hidden ferocity, I excitedly (okay, you caught me — by pretending to be excited), I asked: “Sohan, big win, let's celebrate.” “Sure,” with the same happiness he replied.

This bugged me off. I got furious and asked him out: “What’s wrong with you, Sohan? You don’t seem to be happy about the success.”

Whatever he said next still makes me feel stupid about me and whenever I read or think about that, I instantly get a fever for eight days straight — not any more than that (probably because he said eight sentences):

“Success is the culprit of happiness. My success is in doing the work and that’s my happiness. I never expect anything. Why? Because this post of mine could be used as a not-to-do-these-in-blogging by some professor and that got these “great views and 100% read rate.” My next post might even not get one view. “Success” is hard when you find it outside. True success is the gain when doing the work, not the result after the work and that’s where the happiness lies.”

So, why does that work?

I feel bad writing this part because you’re smarter than me. Okay, as you say, boss: Expectations leads to frustrations. To be frustrated means to be not happy.

To not expect means you aren’t judgemental. Why? Because you understand you aren’t perfect. Nobody is. This also hints, to not expect means you aren’t a perfectionist. And happiness comes from just that.

How do you get this trait, instantly?

Be happy when doing the work. Don’t try to secretly find it in the result of that work. You’ll come off frustrated that way.

Success is in the action you take, not the reaction after that action.

Whatever you do, do it for you, not for the sake of you. If you feel satisfied with it, that’s your success, that’s your happiness.

“Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he shall never be disappointed.” — Alexander Pope

3. They Have a Forgival Kit

Sohan sent a wrong doc to me once. It is called “Forgiven, Lesson Taken”

I knew this was the wrong doc the instant I opened it but I did what you might say is cruel but my excuse is, I’m curious: This was a six-paged doc. I selected everything with Ctrl+A, then Ctrl+C to copy it and opened a new doc to paste it by right click, paste button (my V button on the keyboard wasn’t working. Shops were closed due to lockdown. How pity!)

Yeah I know I could have directly made a copy of it with the Make a copy option but I didn’t want to take any risk. Because, okay, let me finally acknowledge it: Sohan is smart. If he could make out he sent me the wrong file, he would revoke my access faster than I could breathe any air.

I started reading it. The first line was:

Faisal, I became better at swimming

The second line:

Rabiul, I became better at apologizing

Sohan interestingly forgives people. He doesn’t even count who betrayed him in what way. He never even tried to remember that. Even if he remembers it by mistake, he forgets it when he follows his process.

He doesn’t write:

  1. Faisal, you made me a better swimmer
  2. Faisal - you made me a better swimmer
  3. Faisal stole my swimming tube
  4. Faisal stole my swimming tube which made me a better swimmer

None of those.

He only writes the good sides, how others made him better or smarter.

And, he writes it smartly too. The comma after the name is his trick. The comma makes the tone friendly rather than egoistical or inimical. Meaning: Faisal, you did nothing to me and I became a better swimmer. Got it? So smart, you are.

So, why does that work?

Forgiving is not always easy, you know that.

Everyone says (sorry, not only says, has a whole article on it): Forgive, but never forget. What to not forget? Who betrayed us? How they betrayed us? The lesson learnt? Please be clear, buddy.

Sohan’s process is way interesting: He remembers the person who betrayed him by remembering how they made him better, to then increase the friendly relationship with them.

How do you get this trait, instantly?

Forgive people by remembering how they made you better. That way, you increase your relationship with that person and avoid forming hatred.

As an addition, you can also remember the lesson learnt, but ensure you remember and be grateful about how you got better, always.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”— Lewis B. Smedes

4. They Have a Decision Driller

A group of ten of our friends went for dinner at a restaurant a few months back.

While everyone else was either asking their mom what to eat over the call, asking their girlfriend what they ate so they could eat the same, some were checking their horoscope and one of them even woke their nutritionist up from deep sleep just to know whether it is fine to eat lettuce salad today (the nutritionist couldn’t say much because she lived in his home — #JusticeForTheNutritionist), Sohan was the first one to order.

Ohh, me? I was astonished by what Sohan just did.

Sohan has three rules for making decisions:

  1. If it is life-changing or that will impact a greater period of your life, like 7–8 years or more, spend at least one week on that. For example, whether to choose Science or Commerce, whether to get in a relationship with this person or that person, whether to switch your career from programming to marketing, etc.
  2. If it is important but not that crucial, which doesn’t impact your life for more than 1–2 years, just one day is more than enough. For example: whether to create an account in this bank or that bank, whether to live in this house or the one near your special one, whether to get an air cooler or an air conditioner, whether to get a job or an internship, etc. If you don’t feel good about that decision at some point, just take another day and you can change it easily. There’s no issues or pain.
  3. If the decision doesn’t matter much, just one minute is enough. For example, whether to go to this restaurant, or that restaurant, whether to invite your mom’s friend’s daughter or your girlfriend’s mom on your wedding, whether to dance on this song or that one, etc. There’s no point in wasting time on that unnecessary stuff.

So, why does that work?

We can never take any perfect decision. Because there’s no perfect decision. Decisions are just a box you pick. What gets you to success is the action you take after that decision.

Wasting time on decision increases confusion, therefore frustration. And because you’re already smart you know: frustration means to not be happy.

How do you get this trait, instantly?

If something will impact your life for a longer period, spend a maximum one week to decide that. Search over the Internet. Ask out to everyone. If needed, go visit them. Or, if crucial, pay for the advice. Collect all the facts, perspectives and opinions from everyone you can, even your dog.

If it will impact a shorter period of your life, just one day is enough to decide that. Because you can change the decision anytime you want later on. It doesn’t cost much for you.

If it is unnecessary, just decide it in one minute. This is why Mark Zuckerberg wears the same t-shirt every day. Reduce options to kill confusions to take actions.

“You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.” — Michelle Obama

5. They Are Honest Criminals

Sohan once unintentionally broke the blackboard of our class with his bag, while getting in the class. (No, he isn’t fat. He’s healthy.)

Everyone started saying, “What will now happen to you? (ghost laugh)” “I’m going to call our teacher now,” “You have to pay for it now.”

One of them was worse — he made it seem like he has all his best interest for Sohan: “We’ll not say to anyone. We are friends. We’ll say maybe the junior or the cleaner broke it. Give us a party at your home.”

Sohan didn’t speak a word and directly went to not the teacher, but the Principal and told her about what he did. The Principal appreciated his honesty and he came back to class as if nothing happened and everything got normal.

So, why does that work?

Honesty always works. It always wins. But now it’s very rare. So it’s way precious.

Lying leads to more lying, therefore more worry. And at some point, it increases the guilt and you’re never happy.

How do you get this trait, instantly?

Never lie. Always go tell the truth and if needed, cry. You’re rare, you’re precious.

“No legacy is so rich as honesty.” — William Shakespeare

6. They Are Curious Angels

Sohan once asked a girl “why do you bring lipstick to school?”

“None of your business,” she shouted so hard, my left ear got senseless.

I ran to the washroom out of fear. Sohan requested again: “Please say?”

Sohan is curious about almost everything. Every. Single. Thing.

So, why does that work?

Curiosity makes life interesting and never boring.

Curiosity brings perspectives. You understand others and their viewpoints better.

Curiosity brings opportunities.

Curious people love to explore. Therefore, curious people take decisions freely. Hence, they are always happy.

Also, curious people love variety. Varieties of events make life colourful and meaningful the way variety of colours makes the rainbow colours.

Therefore, to be curious is to be happy.

How do you get this trait, instantly?

Have fun. Be excited. Try new stuff. Learn anything that excites. Be free. Don’t work, explore. Be curious.

“Curiosity is, in great and generous minds, the first passion and the last.” — Samuel Johnson

7. They Are Birthday Santa Claus

Sohan is the first one to call (not text) with the birthday wish to everyone. Exact 11.59 p.m. The gift? It already went in the evening.

Sohan doesn’t forget his family, friends and relative’s birthday, ever. No, he doesn’t write it down. He byhearted it.

He saves his pocket money just to buy gifts for them. A week before anyone’s birthday he acts stupid:

[this happens over text message]

Sohan: “Hello Mary, can you help me fix my camera.”

Nadia: “Sure.” (she continues with some queries and gives some solutions)

Sohan: “Thank you so much. You’re great at electronics.”

Nadia: “Yeah, kind of. My hairdryer broke three days ago and I couldn’t fix it.”

That’s it. He got his gift idea.

So, why does that work?

Giving without expecting gives us more happiness than spending for us, a 2008 study by Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton proves that.

Besides, Jorge Moll and his colleagues at the National Institutes of Health found out in a 2006 study that giving others activates the regions of our brain associated with pleasure, social connection, and trust, creating a “warm glow” effect, which is emotional satisfaction and joy of giving.

By the way, do you know what the positive feeling of happiness after you give something to others is called? It’s called the “helper’s high,” which is produced after endorphins are released in the brain.

How do you get this trait, instantly?

Wanna know Sohan’s trick? Just two steps:

  1. Ask for help for fixing something — anything.
  2. Say them they are so good at it. You’ll get your answer.
  3. If that doesn’t work, ask them how are they so good at it.
  4. Didn’t work? Try this: “You might not need any [put the relevant professional person] at home because you’re great at it.”
  5. This will surely work: “What else are you good at?”

Why does this work? Okay, we buy stuff when we can’t fix something (wink). And the best way to know what is broken? Give them something to fix. Fixing leads to fixing. Got it? (wink^2)

“Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” — Jim Rohn

BONUS: They Are Human Elevators

Rumi: <Rumi comes to the class and shouts> “My life sucks.”

Sohan: <Sohan is sitting at the corner of the class, jumps out> “No, your life doesn’t suck. Just the situation sucks. It happens to everyone, even me. Getting out of that is simple. I got out of it and I’ll tell you how you can too…”

Sohan loves to share whatever he learns, even if nobody asks him to. He wants others to improve in their life and get better.

He even shares his secrets to everyone. (Let’s discuss whenever you’re available: sharing a secret is still called a secret?)

Do you know why they do that? They practice empathy and kindness that way because they realize everyone is human. When they share their learnings and knowledge to lift others, this makes them happy.

Anyone can live happily because it’s simple. Simpler than crafting a love letter:

  1. Block some time for yourself, for you, with you.
  2. Never expect anything because you gain with the action, not the reaction after that action.
  3. Forgive people by remembering how you got better.
  4. Don’t waste time on making decisions. Just decide to avoid confusion and take action.
  5. Always be honest. Never lie. But feel free to cry.
  6. Be curious. Be excited. Have fun.
  7. Give to others. That’s everything.
  8. Share your secrets to practice kindness, and be happy.

Ohh, let me take some rest now. I got a fever. Eight more days to go. See you.

Written by

My story might not matter but it'll gently touch your interior and remind you how smarter you are. Google forced to include numbers: shajedul.karim.01@gmail.com

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