Common Traits of Truly Happy (and Successful) People

I’ve been on a quest the past few months to uncover the similarities of some of the most successful people I know. What I mean by “most successful” are those who are happy (yes, really truly happy); they love what they do, are highly motivated to continue to advance themselves and achieve greater satisfaction and joy in life, and have created a life they love. They are focused on happiness, joy, and living life to the fullest. Yes, this is what I believe makes up the most successful people I know.

The folks I spoke to are a sampling of people I’ve worked with, have been mentored and led by, and are considered experts, leaders, and are highly respected in their industry and communities. This is not a scientific study. It’s a gathering of what I think is great information.

Here are a few things these folks have in common:

They are intrinsically driven.
Their inspiration and drive come from within. It’s not about money, title, or anything external or material. It’s about how what they’re doing feels to them. Does it make them happy? It is serving a purpose? Are they serving others? If the answers are yes, they keep going. And if not, they don’t. They know their joy and enthusiasm for what they’re doing and how they’re living life is contagious and inspires others. That motivates them to continue to live in a joyful and enthusiastic way.

They don’t let fear stop them.
All the people I spoke to appear fearless. They go after what they want courageously and without hesitation. Often, they do things others would not: move to the other side of the country, or world, to pursue a passion; quit a steady high paying job to pursue what they love; invest a large amount of their savings to start a non-profit or build schools in underdeveloped countries… the list goes on.
When I asked if they were afraid, the resounding answer was, “hell yes!” One of the individuals added in, “But that’s never a reason to not go after something that’s pulling at your heart, something you KNOW you’re meant to do. If I let fear stop me, I’d regret it.” For many, going after their dreams and passions did not turn out as they intended, but it always turned out for the best and led them down a path of more joy and satisfaction. Had they let fear stop them, those experiences would have been lost.

They crave constructive criticism.
The folks I spoke to are on their own personal growth journeys; they’re on quests to get better at what they do and be better humans. This is a big piece of what makes them happy. They are constantly looking for feedback and input on what they can do better and differently to have a greater impact in the world. The best way they know to do this is to put themselves in situations where they won’t be the best, where they are uncomfortable, and where they can get feedback on how to improve.

They are educators and want to share their joy and knowledge with others.
Sharing their wisdom, joy, and love of life with others seems engrained in their souls. It is what they do. It’s a part of what makes them happy and loving life. They want others to know what they know, to feel what they feel, and they make every effort to educate their communities and their tribes on how they too can live life to the fullest. Mostly, they educate and share by example. They are role models for many and are honored to be in a position where they can share what they know with the world.

They have struggles too.
Yes, they are human. People who are happy and living a life they love are just like the rest of the population. They get sad, experience loss, rejection, tragedy, and hard times. But they are resilient. They know hard times don’t last forever. They know rejection doesn’t define who they are. They know life has ups and downs and they ride those waves masterfully. They are human, just like the rest of us. This is good news because it means like them, anyone can experience the joy they exude and share with the world.

Are you someone who’s truly happy and living a life you love? Which of these traits do you possess? What else do you think makes you unique? Please share as I’d love to add your contribution to the information I’ve gathered. Feel free to comment on this post or contact me directly to share your experience. I’d love to hear from you!

This blog was originally posted on HuffPost on May 31, 2017.


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