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The Five Personality Traits of a Happy Person
The U.S. Constitution was optimistic when the founding fathers promised life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Other nations began with similar lofty ideals, like France’s liberty, equality, and fraternity and scored own goals too.
No government can make its citizens happy in the long run. Happiness is inside us and only we can achieve it for ourselves.
Most of us just want to live a happy, self-fulfilled life and die quietly content with what we achieved. Norman Vincent Peale spent his life promoting the power of positive thinking in that regard. By the time that he died he had concluded:
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy
But What Is This Happiness We Long For?
Defining our goals is a good start in any project if we are to find a way to a successful conclusion. A fellow named Lewis Carroll wrote a story about a little girl who climbed down into a rabbit hole in pursuit of happiness. She becomes lost, encounters a cat on a tree, the following conversation ensues:
ALICE: “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
CAT: “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
ALICE: “I don’t much care where.”
CAT: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go”
ALICE: So long as I get somewhere.”
CAT: “Oh, you’re sure to do that if you only walk long enough.”
Before we define the five personality traits of a happy person we need to decide what happiness is. Do you remember the song ‘Happiness Is?’ It concludes that “happiness is different things to different people” so perhaps we need a more generic description.
Towards an Outcome-Based Definition of Happiness
Researchers suggest that happiness is linked to success in life. Success triggers chemical reactions in our minds producing pleasurable sensations. However, we like to think that happiness also spurs us on to more success. Therefore happiness and success have the initial to share a positive, self-fulfilling partnership.
Having cleared the air how happiness works – at least to an extent – let’s turn our attention to Norman Vincent Peale’s five personality traits of a happy person. To refresh our memory these characteristics are:
- Belief in who we are
- Faith in our abilities
- A sense of humbleness
- Reasonable confidence in our powers
- An ability to see things through to success
Moreover, success is in a healthy symbiosis with happiness where they exchange energy and charge each other up
First off the Starting Blocks: A Belief in Ourselves
Belief is trust in the existence of something for which we have no proof. Albert Einstein owed a great deal of his success to crossing the frontiers of knowledge his colleagues were unable to imagine.
He famously said, “He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed”. If we cannot stand in meek awe of our human potential it follows it is still-born until we learn how to do so.
If we are made in the image of our creator then it follows there are no boundaries to what we can do. The world’s greatest writers, composers, and artists reached sublime heights of creation. They had something incredibly powerful in common. This was an unstoppable belief in themselves that no other person could put down.
From Belief in Ourselves Comes Faith in Our Abilities
I doubt there was a single person on earth who did not have parents, teachers, employers, and even spouses kicking their self-confidence out from under their feet. This is seldom something we do to each to each other deliberately. However it happens, it cuts deep, and it sets back our personal growth.
We all have the same genes, chromosomes, muscles, and bones, and our brains function similarly when good health follows us. We were like a brand new laptop when we were born.
Our operating system worked, but there was hardly any data. Our abilities were fresh and intact until our parents started uploading files.
We call these files ‘you could never do that’ and ‘you are not good enough to do this’. Let’s counter that by creating a new folder and labelling it ‘abilities I am going to unleash’. Start gathering evidence that gives you faith in the abilities others brushed into the corner. However, don’t let these go to your head.
Successful People Cloak Themselves in Humbleness
Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson said “Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping them up”. Inspirational writer C S Lewis was in harmony with Jesse when he said “Humility is not thinking less of yourself it’s thinking of yourself less”. Therefore cloaking our abilities in humbleness is not talking ourselves down.
By the time composer Ludwig van Beethoven penned his Ninth Symphony he was completely deaf although he said he could hear the music in his mind. The old man shuffled across the stage to conduct the premiere without looking at his audience. His carer had to gently turn him round to see the thundering standing ovation as the last sounds of his Ode to Joy faded away.
When we cloak ourselves in humbleness like that, we gift ourselves with time and space to perfect our ideas and achieve happiness through them. Few people achieve anything noteworthy while the praise of their friends drowns out their thoughts
Humbleness Grants a Reasonable Confidence in Our Powers
Happiness is doing one thing extremely well because life is short. Creating Personal Freedom focuses on helping other people achieve their full potential, as much as we seek it in ourselves. We believe life has endless possibilities. However, when we stop believing this, our lives are as good as over.
Norman Vincent Peale said we should have reasonable confidence in our powers. This means a rational, but an open-ended view of what we can achieve. A smart athlete chooses their sport intelligently in terms of what they do best. However, they never cease believing they could run even faster, or score more points in a game.
The best athletes often do, because there is a match between their talent and their goals. Therefore, it follows happy people are successful because they apply their natural talents to their chosen task with every gram of energy they have. A quiet self-confidence rests well at night with a sense of humbleness, faith in our abilities, and belief in who we are.
Ability to See Things Through to Success is the Fifth Key
Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do. (Pelé, Footballer)
Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work. (Stephen King, Author)
The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are hard work, stick-to-itiveness, and common sense. (Thomas Edison, Inventor)
Successful people work extremely hard, there’s no getting away from that. But then it follows they naturally should because what they are doing aligns with their nature. Being in harmony with who we are, and the universe surrounding us brings out the very best in us.
Quiet self-confidence, a sense of humbleness, faith in our abilities, belief in who we are and never giving up are the personality traits of happy people. That’s because they are successful in what they love. We could not ask for a better pathway to happiness when we are so blessed with it.
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