The zen way to succeed in life

Take a look around you and have a look at the happy people for a while.

The ones who seem to thrive and look at the positive, even in the darkest of situations. The people who are happy even though they are poor. Happy even when they are sick. Happy in the most unfortunate of circumstances.

These happy people of the world seem to have a better grasp on the meaning of life than the rest of us, a super secret charm that keeps them from dwelling on the past and holding on to anger.

If it isn’t a magic rabbit foot that keeps their glasses at constant half-full.

So, what is it that the happy people are doing differently?

The strategies they use are surprisingly simple, but their everyday habits and choices can teach us a lot on how we can truly succeed in life.

Be forewarned, if you start embracing these suggestions in your own life, you may become a ‘happy people’ too.

Her life is a success, is yours? Read through…

Strategy #1: Surround yourself with things that make you joyful
In study after study, researchers have found that family and friends are the secret to a long and meaningful life. Taking the time to strengthen the bonds and nourish the relationships of the people most important in your life, will reward you with more years and personal connections that make life worth living.

Strategy #2: Make the choice to be happy
Seems simple enough, but can you just wake up one day and decide to be happy? Absolutely. We are all in control of how we act and react, at least partially. In a study conducted by Dr. Richard Davidson, it was found that although happiness is 50% genetically predetermined, 40% is completely up to the person. (10% was undetermined.)

You have the power to surround yourself with positive people. To quit a job that makes your life miserable. To go for that dream you normally just think about. Every day is a new day to start over, maybe today you should decide to be happy.

Make the choice to be happy.

Strategy #3: Go for a run

Exercise is good for more than just the body, your brain loves it. Stress, low energy, and hormonal imbalance, can all benefit from the brains natural chemical responses produced during exercise. If life is weighing you down, go take a walk.

Strategy #4: Be kind to others
Having compassion for others can do wonders in your own life. When you do kind things for family, friends, or even strangers, that positive feeling you get back in return may affect you more than you think. Similar to strategy number one, showing others kindness deepens the human connection we share with each other.

A study published in Psychological Science found that participants who practiced kindness and compassion over 61 days were more positive and happier than those who didn’t. There is a reason you ‘feel good’ after you do something nice for someone, but with practice that feeling can be long lasting.

A smile will go a long way.

All joking aside, the happy people of the world are generally not born that way. Each of us decides how we want to take on the day. Do we want to dwell on yesterday, or do we want to embrace every moment of today? Surround yourself with positivity and you will start to soak it in. Look to leaders like Fortress investments Pete Briger for inspiration, and most importantly, value the people in your life who make it worth something. They are the ones who will be there in the end.

Jessica Galbraith is a full-time writer and author of the travel blog The Fly Away American.

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