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This article was excerpted from the book, Principles For Personal Growth by Adam Khan. Buy it now here.


HAPPY PEOPLE HAVE something in common. It’s not money and it’s not fame. According to researchers David G. Myers, professor of psychology at Hope College, and Ed Diener, professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, happy people are healthier and share the following four traits:

1. They like themselves.
2. They have a high degree of personal control.
3. They are optimistic.
4. They are extroverts.

THE GOOD NEWS is that none of these are fixed — each can be cultivated. If you are weak in any of these four traits, you can become happier by strengthening it.

Like yourself more by doing better. Improve your ethics — when you stop fudging on something, you stop beating yourself up for fudging. Increase your ability — when you are more skilled at something, you admire yourself more, both for your new ability and for the perseverance it took to attain it. Treat people better — because we’re social animals, when we help others like themselves more, it comes around and helps us like ourselves more too.

Gain more control of your time by directly seeking it. This includes reading time-management books and applying what you learn. But keep this in mind: No matter how good you are, if you keep increasing the number of pans in the fire, at some point you’ll start to lose control. Decrease the number of pans until you have good control. With practice you may be able to increase that number. But maintain control in the meantime.

Be more optimistic by studying Martin Seligman’s work and the ATTITUDE section of this book. In his book Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, Seligman outlines the three key areas where a change will make a difference and shows you exactly how to make those changes.

Become more extroverted by studying and practicing the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie and the PEOPLE section of this book. It helps to begin with the supposition that introversion is simply a lack of ability to deal with people. Then, remedy that lack. Carnegie’s book is still on the bookshelves after all these years because it’s the best collection of information about how to deal with people that has ever been written.

No matter how happy or unhappy you are now, you can make your life a happier one, and you can do it one small step at a time.

To become happier:
Strengthen your integrity, get better control of your time, become more optimistic, and practice good human relations.

This article was excerpted from the book, Principles For Personal Growth by Adam Khan. Buy it now here.

a way to change your attitude about an event quickly

Author: Adam Khan
author of the books, Self-Help Stuff That Works and Antivirus For Your Mind
and creator of the blog:
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