Back in 1989 Stephen Richards Covey wrote a book “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” and it instantly became a best-seller. Since then this book has sold more than 25 million copies, has been translated into 38 languages and named by Time as one of “The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books”.
I just recently found out that Stephen Covey passed away only a few weeks ago at the age of 79 and I wanted to dedicate this post to him and his work. Because besides being a highly successful person, Stephen Covey was one of the most incredible and optimistic person that I have ever known.
I hope that when you and I are 79 we will be able to look back at our life and smile, because we have used our time on this Earth wisely. And because we have lived a happy life. Not ambitious. Not influential. Just happy… It will be more than enough.
7 Habits of Highly Happy People Inspired by Stephen Richards Covey
1. Happy people savor a joy of simple pleasures
Happiness does not come in shiny black cars, Rolex watches or the most exotic homes. It comes in small bursts of joy when we learn to savor the simple pleasures life offers us. You know, those times when you lifted your head to see the birds flying in the light blue sky and life felt so good?
Or when heard your favorite song on the radio and could not stop yourself from singing alone? Or when you cut yourself a slice of freshly baked apple pie and it tasked just like the one you had when you were little?
We all have these “happy” moments once in a while. But just think of how much more satisfying and happier your life would be if you took time to discover, recognize and savor the simple pleasures and blessings that surround you each day.
2. Happy people have complaint-free days
If your attention is focused of learning, recognizing everyday blessings and finding something positive in every person that you meet, you really don’t have time to notice negativity or dwell on problems. It is actually that simple.
Do a little experiment and try to go the whole day without complaining about anything or anyone. Because if you are not going to do something about the situation, then why would you bring it up?
3. Happy people expect no gratitude or appreciation
I know one lady, who volunteers for a retirement home. Twice a week she takes older people in a wheel chair for an hour long walk. She once told me that she enjoys doing it so much that she almost feels guilty about it.
If there is a wise way of being egoistic – this must be it.
When you help – help because it makes YOU feel good, not because you expect to benefit from it in some way or because you hope to receive gratitude and appreciation.
4. Happy people smile
I know this may sound simple, but it really works. And if you are one of those people, who always have a ready smile you will know what I am talking about. Smiling is one of the simplest gestures that create a deeper connection between people, giving them a reason to pass on the smile.
A sincere, heart-felt smile can instantly make you happier and, more importantly, it can brighten someone else’s day too.
5. Happy people believe in something bigger than themselves
You may call it God, the Universe, a higher or an invisible energy that connects humanity. But every happy person that I have met in my life believed in something greater than themselves. Maybe it is because having this helps us to let go of the illusion of being in control. Maybe because it makes us realize that we might not always know what is best for us. And maybe it gives us a feeling of being connected with other human beings.
But I know that without faith my life would be a whole lot more confusing and purposeless.
6. Happy people accept imperfection
None of the happy people I know are perfect. They all seem to know that.
Some of them are very health-conscious and some do not exercise or eat healthy on the daily basis. Some of them are organized and some of them embrace the art of clutter. Some take great care in always looking elegant, while other could not care less about their clothes or hair style.
And while all happy people I know are constantly working on improving something, they accept the weaknesses of others and their own shortcomings. I believe this is one of the reasons why it is always so easy and enjoyable to be around them. You can be yourself and feel great about it.
7. Happy people inspire and empower others
You can not inspire or motivate another person if you lack inner enthusiasm and positivity. On the other hand, as you empower and encourage others you will find yourself happier and more energetic. It is a circle – the more you give and strive to help others improve their life, the more your own life improves.
I realized this when I first started this blog. Writing for you and feeling your support, your positivity, your kindness and your readiness to help has had a bigger impact on my life than any self-help seminars and self-development techniques. So thank you! You are awesome!
And thank you to Stephen Covey for being an inspiration to all of us…
Other Stephen R. Covey’s self-help books that you will love:
- First Things First
- Daily Reflections for Highly Effective People: Living the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Every Day
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families