How to be happy

Everything began a day in which a close friend came to me and started crying. She had had an awful day, an awful week and, above all, a very disappointing afternoon before meeting me in a park at 5:30 in the afternoon. By six, she had already taken all her issues out of her chest and felt better. However, a moment later, she asked, sobbing: "Why is it so hard to be happy?" and I shocked. She was 15, I was 17; and here you have the rest of the story...

—Happy? Aren't you happy!? —I asked, astonished.
—Are you kidding me!? —she replied, angrily—. Of course I'm not! Who's happy in this world?

I couldn't tell her I was. For me being happy has always been an easy and natural thing.


I guess that happiness must be one of the most difficult terms of the dictionary. Together with the word 'love' and a few others, its meaning can be so subjective that every person can draft a definition on his or her own and they would all make certain sense. How to define happiness? It is not really important. Perhaps it is better not trying to define it at all, as everybody can understand what it is without making more attempts. How to be happy? is the real question we want an answer to. But there is not just one answer. Happy people have just got certain characteristics you may want to learn about.

The first and perhaps most important one is this: Happy people not only believe they are happy people, they want to be happy. That is, happy people now and then think on the fact they want to be happy, and it is exactly what they get. Yes, being happy has a conscious component.

Anyway, it is not just a matter of repeating to yourself "I am happy", "I am happy" day after day. Happy people make decisions day after day, just like you do. The difference is that they choose only the best options without a minimum chance of making exceptions. Thus, happy people don't hesitate in rejecting things that may be against their own health or peace and that's what they get: a healthy and peaceful life in exchange. This doesn't mean that happy people live like hermits somewhere apart. For instance, I am a happy man who smokes, goes party until 7 am of the next day and also works overtime when it is necessary. You see? To become a happy person you do not need to become an alien.

The important things are others, as you will see. For a start, happy people have a good health. We don't obsess with the gym, but if we know that something will not be good for us, we reject it without big deals. The next characteristic uses the word obsess again, but now with regard to time. Happy people know that every day has its own bunch of problems and issues, so we don't think too much about the future. Happy people usually live day by day.

I know what you are thinking: "Yeah, it's easy to say that if you are healthy, don't have children and..." blah, blah, blah. Well, if this is your case, I have just one thing to add for you: Happy people live day by day even if they have plenty complications in their daily lives. We make a list of what we want to do in the future, but we don't live obsessed with our to-do lists, lacks or responsibilities. I was a truly happy man, even when my father's company went bankrupt and the embargo took away no more no less than my bed! So, yes!, you can be a happy person even if you have nothing.

This takes me to the next point: Happy people don't have too many things. The more you have, the more you will have to clean later, so keeping just a bunch of necessary things will clear out your way for a true happiness. In my case, my clothes, my computer, a few tables, a kitchen and a few more things. Just forget the rest. You don't really need it.

What you do need, then? True friends. If most people are unhappy around the world it is because they don't have anyone to trust. This is sad. It seems that the goal of wanting it all, reaching a standard and being aware of the fact you never really get to know anybody has made most people believe that everybody is bad out there and refuge themselves in isolation as a means of protection. The consequence is pretty obvious: Our societies live a sort of collective autism. You are surrounded of people, but everybody has built a wall around himself or herself to protect them from outer aggressions.

Happy people, conversely, are open. We know there are bad people out there, but we know that most people lack the guts to become absolutely bad, so we just live our lives. Personally, I trust people until they prove they are not trustworthy any more. When they do, I just miss them: No phone calls, no SMS, no instant messaging, their e-mails go to the junk box and, for them, I'll never be at home again. Period. Oh, well, I can forgive, too; but just once. I never forgive anyone more than once, as a matter of fact. This keeps my life out of garbage.

The nice thing about true friendship is that you will never get what you don't give. The next secret of a happy life, therefore, is being a true friend for others. It is not hard to be a good person or a true friend. You only need to keep in mind this rule: True friends never ask dishonest things to others. True friends never do dishonest things for others. If you are a good friend, you will find good friends. It will just be a matter of time.

There is more. Happy people do something for others. You will never know how well you can feel helping someone else until you try it out. "Do what you have to do and then care about the others", I once heard. This quote should be carved in the bottom of your heart. Now, listening to your friends' problems can be a very good option way to do this, but if you just do that, you will be missing a lot. Also engage yourself in doing a few small donations around the year.

You say you have money matters? OK, welcome to the real world, but my advice is this: "Don't worry about money: there isn't", smile and continue. The number of people who spend the first half of their lives raising the money they will need to buy medicines in the second is just impressive. Didn't your mum tell you that greed is wrong? No? Then I have news for you: Greed is wrong. OK, I know that we all have needs to cover day after day, but the key is working for living instead of living for working. Happy people look for a good job, without being conformists and without killing themselves in the process. Go get a good job if you don't have one yet. That will make you have enough time to make up your mind to become a happy person.

Which is a good job for you? Simple, the one that awakens your passions. Imagine the hottest or the best man or woman in the world kissing you without passion. Nasty, huh? Then why are you living without embracing your hottest dream and giving it the very best of you every single day of your life? People without passion are walking corpses.

Life is a work of art. So go enjoy some artworks often. Happy people always have time to enjoy art and no, it doesn't matter if you don't understand what the artist meant to express. Just go and enjoy it. Leave analysis to critics until you can learn how to analyse.

What else do happy people have? A relationship with God, whatever you might call It (prayer included). Every time I have compared a religious person against an atheist, I have found the believer happier. Sure you have too.

I would say the last secrets for happiness are two. Happy people are, besides passionate, honest, sincere, determined and persistent. Honesty brings peace of mind, sincerity brings true friendship and love, determination brings self-confidence and respect, persistence brings results. Supply these with morals (I have this rule: Never do anything you would not be able to tell your mother), curiosity and love for learning new things and it will become a very powerful cocktail.

The last one is having positive goals. Happy people will always wish good things for themselves and the others. When will we break the world record of affection, for example? See?

Happines is really something easy.

Summing up

+ Happy people decide to be happy.
+ Happy people keep a good health.
+ Happy people make their own decisions.
+ Happy people don't obsess with future.
+ Happy people don't have too many things.
+ Happy people have true friends because they are true friends.
+ Happy people don't hesitate in getting rid of the garbage.
+ Happy people do something for others.
+ Happy people get a good job for them.
+ Happy people work with passion.
+ Happy people enjoy arts, as it enriches their lives.
+ Happy people have a relationship with God.
+ Happy people have the best virtues.
+ Happy people have positive goals.

Knowledge + You