Some people are naturally happy. Others learn as they live and become masters with time. It makes me wonder:

What are the defining qualities of the peeps in the happy zone?
First, they’re constantly striving for new levels of excellence, based on their unique talents & potential. Striving to be all that you can be (in a purpose driven, meaningful way) engages different parts of your brain and gets you dialed into regular doses of happy juice and keeps you healthy too.
Lesson here: Know & realize your golden self.
Second, they live their life by design. Take stock of how you spend your days by tracking your daily activity. How much of that daily activity is spent doing stuff that’s unsatisfying….or loathsome? If you can transfer even an hour a day of doing stuff you don’t like (commuting) to doing stuff you do like (playing with friends) happiness will naturally take over your life.
Lesson here: Make deliberate changes to do more stuff you love, less stuff you don’t. Intention is everything. The power is in your actions.
Third, they avoid “if only…” syndrome. “If only I get that sweet job or dream guy or lose 15 pounds THEN I will be SOOO happy.” Not really. It’s easy to misjudge your contentment when you focus in on a single aspect of your life instead of how things are in general. Also, note the natural dimming effect that comes with something wonderful entering into your life. Guaranteed the new dream car that is bringing you so much joy this year won’t be as exciting in the years to come.
Lesson here: Let creativity reign supreme; explore ways to constantly bring awesomeness into your life – whether it’s trying something new or putting a new twist on something you’re already into. Practice gratitude for your life as it is – then keep it fresh.
Forth, they put best friends first – recognizing that life is too short to dedicate quality time to their B-list, or those that don’t bring joy to their lives.
Lesson here: Hang out with people you like the most. They’re called BFF’s for a reason.
And…happy people allow themselves to be happy. None of that “feeling guilty for feeling happy” bullshit that seems prevalent. The best way to practice being happy for yourself is to practice being happy for others when they’re experiencing the sort of thing you’re looking for. “oh wow. she’s pretty, athletic, has the best taste in music, kick-ass friends, coolest boyfriend, travels whenever she wants AND helps build homes for humanity? Cool. GOOD FOR HER. That’s awesome.”
Lesson here: Strive for happiness while being open to helping others; know that the pursuit of happiness if one of your rights as a human being. Appreciate the happiness of others.
There you go. The Cliff’s Notes of being happy.