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 In What Happy People Know, author Dan Baker outlines what he calls “Qualities of Happiness.” Not all have to be present, and they don’t all have to be there in equal amounts. Still, most must be abundant for someone to experience the kind of lasting, rock-solid happiness that endures even when life gets tough to take. And if there is one thing in life you can count on, it is that life will get tough!

LOVE • "The love in your heart wasn't put there to stay. Love isn't love until you give it away." (from The Sound of Music). Being loved is awesome and giving love is even better.

OPTIMISM • There are two sides to every coin and happy people find ways to be optimistic. Bad stuff that doesn't literally kill you always has a silver lining. The more painful the event, the more profound the lesson.

COURAGE • The strength of will to do what is difficult allows us to thrive. Courage is sometimes physical and sometimes moral, which is acting bravely in the face of peer pressure, social norms, and risks like embarassment. Courageous people understand that their best effort is always good enough.

A SENSE OF FREEDOM • Everyone has the power to make choices, but unhappy people often don’t know they have it. It is how you choose to respond in your self-talk to what happens in your life that determines your attitude.

PROACTIVITY • Happy people don’t wait for events or other people to make them happy. In sports, they have fun because they get to play, not just when good outcomes occur.

SECURITY • Happy people know nothing lasts over time. They’re slaves neither to popularity, nor longevity, nor financial status.

HEALTH • It’s hard being happy if you don’t feel healthy; and it’s hard to be healthy if you’re not happy. Happy people are aware of what goes into their body and they exercise, too.

SPIRITUALITY • Happy people are not afraid to go beyond the boundaries of their own lives… they’re not concerned about dying – they’re concerned about not living.

ALTRUISM • Happy people know how helping others helps you see outside yourself.

PERSPECTIVE • The way we look at things is crucial, since attitude comes from our self-talk. Happy people see shades of gray instead of just black and white. They are forgiving and hopeful.

HUMOR • This “shift of perception” gives people the wherewithal to go on, even when life looks its worst.

PURPOSE • If happy people were to die today, “they would be satisfied with their lives.” Optimism and hopefulness are happiness’ related mental states.

• Optimism and Hopefulness are Happiness’ related mental states.

For more, listen to the Elite Athlete Audios. Details here.