10 Skills You Need to Live a Happy Life (2024)

10 Skills You Need to Live a Happy Life (1)

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For more than a decade, I've been exploring the best ways that people can live happily. And over the last year, I even wrote a book on happiness: Outsmart Your Smartphone: Conscious Tech Habits for Finding Happiness, Balance, and Connection IRL. Even though there are tons of things you can do to live a happier life, I've narrowed our focus down to the 10 skills you can build that I believe are the most important to be happy. By building these skills, you can start to live a happy life.

Before learning how to build these skills to live a happy life, you may want to take this happiness quiz, which tells you your scores, so that you know which skills are more likely to help you live a happier life.

1. Live a happy life by creating a plan for your happiness.

You wouldn't bake a cake without a recipe. You wouldn't go to a place you've never been without a map. And you shouldn't try to build happiness without a plan either. Creating a good happiness plan is what takes you from where you are now to the happy life you envision.

To create a happiness plan, follow these steps:

  • Clarify why you want a happy life.
  • Clarify when you'll build the skills that lead to a happy life.
  • Decide which happiness skills to build.
  • Decide in what order you will build the skills that lead to a happy life.
  • Commit to your goal to create a happier life.
  • Learn how you will build your happiness skills.

2. Develop yourself to live a happy life.

Remember when something you wanted to do seemed impossible? Maybe it was that first time you rode a bike, or drove a car, or asked someone out on a date. Then you did it and realized you had it in you all along. Creating a happy life is the same way—the first step is believing in yourself and your ability to live happily. Then you'll see that you had it in you all along. This is why engaging in personal development is key to living a happy life.

Here's how to build your personal development skills:

  • Develop a growth mindset that focuses on your belief in your ability to create a happy life.
  • Identify your values.
  • Define a happy life in your own words.
  • Record your progress towards personal development.
  • Get some help developing yourself to build a happy life.

3. Think positive to create a happy life.

We all know someone who will find the one bad thing in every situation. Maybe this person is us. If we learn to think happy thoughts instead, we can make even the most obnoxious situations more enjoyable, creating a happier life from the one we have now. Every moment of every day is a little better, because we can find the silver linings. This is why positive thinking is key to a happier life.

Here are just some of the ways to think positive:

  • Help your brain get used to thinking positive.
  • Start your day by imagining the way it looks in your happy life.
  • Savor positive moments.
  • Capitalize on positive moments.
  • Pay attention to the positive things.
  • Create a collection of positive images or positive quotes.
  • Think positive, but think negative when you need to​.
  • Practice gratitude​.
  • Stop minimizing your successes​.

4. Boost your self-confidence to create a happy life.

If we don't have self-confidence, it’s easy to think that there’s something fundamentally wrong with us—that there's nothing we can do to change ourselves and create the happy life we desire. But self-confidence is actually a skill. When we learn how to think, feel, and act in ways that make us a person we really love, we can be more self-confident and, as a result, live happily more easily.

Here are a few ways to build self-confidence to create a happier life:

5. Create work-life balance for a happy life.

Are you exhausted, demotivated, and in desperate need of a break? By learning how to create better work-life balance, you can make better use of the limited time you do have in your life. As a result, you end up enjoying all parts of your life a bit more.

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Here are a few ways to improve work-life balance:

  • Find out if you're at risk for burnout.
  • Establish better boundaries.
  • Do more things that energize you and help you live happily.
  • Engage in restorative experiences.

6. Build resilience for a happier life.

Sometimes life knocks you down—there is no getting around that. What really matters for creating a happy life is how easy it is for you to get back up. Developing emotional resiliency keeps those challenges and hardships from overwhelming you. You recover more quickly from difficulties, and as a result, you'll live happily more days each month and year.

Here are just some of the ways to build resiliency:

  • Practice mindful acceptance.
  • Observe your situation to increase your awareness​.

  • Find the positives in negative situations​.

  • Create a collection of images or quotes that inspire you to live happily.

  • Understand the benefits of negative emotions.

  • Beef up your coping skills.

  • Stop your negative thought cycles.

7. Be more mindful to create a happy life.

Now that we live in a high-tech world, we go through much of our lives on autopilot. As a result, we miss out on the best parts of being alive—positive experiences, connections with others, and even having fun. So maybe we already have a happy life ... and we just don't see it. When you become more mindful and self-aware, you stop feeling so numb and are able to better enjoy everything your life has to offer.

Here are just some of the ways to build mindfulness to live happily more easily:

  • Be more present in the moment.
  • Take breaks from technology.

  • Pay more attention to find meaning in your life.

  • Spend more time uninterrupted.

8. Find your life purpose for a happy life.

We all want our lives to feel like they matter. It can be tricky, though, to figure out what matters to us. Each person's life purpose is different, and learning to notice when you've found your purpose is a skill. By building this skill, your life becomes more meaningful and more satisfying, so you can live happily more easily.

Here are just some of the ways to find your purpose:

  • Identify your values.

  • Make positive impacts in the lives of others.

  • Find out what drives you.

9. Practice kindness to live a happier life.

We're often so focused on boosting our own happiness that we ignore how we affect others. This is a huge mistake, because kindness is, counterintuitively, one of the best ways to create a happy life. Acts of kindness fuel a longer-lasting, more enduring type of happiness. So when you build this skill, you live more of your days happily.

Here are just some of the ways to be more kind:

  • Practice gratitude.

  • Make positive impacts in the lives of others.

10. Build healthy relationships for a happy life.

So often we think that a happy life is something we must build on our own. But long-term happiness actually comes from the relationships that we build with others. In fact, healthy relationships are the most important factor in both our health and our happiness. This is why learning how to develop better relationships helps you live happily for life.

Here are just some of the ways to improve relationships:

  • Stay off your phone when you're with others.
  • Practice gratitude.
  • Be careful about how you use social media.

Of course, building all of these skills takes time. If you need help, get support to walk you through the steps and guide you on your journey to living a happier life.

LinkedIn Image Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.

As someone deeply immersed in the exploration of happiness and well-being for over a decade, I've not only delved into the theories but have actively applied and tested these principles in real-life scenarios. My expertise extends beyond theoretical knowledge, as evidenced by my recent book, "Outsmart Your Smartphone: Conscious Tech Habits for Finding Happiness, Balance, and Connection IRL." This publication underscores my commitment to distilling complex ideas into actionable strategies for cultivating a fulfilling and joyful life.

Now, let's dissect the concepts presented in the article and explore the 10 skills proposed for building a happy life:

  1. Create a Plan for Your Happiness:

    • Clarify why you want a happy life.
    • Determine when you'll build happiness skills.
    • Decide which skills to build and in what order.
    • Commit to your goal and learn how to build happiness skills.
  2. Develop Yourself:

    • Cultivate a growth mindset.
    • Identify personal values.
    • Define a happy life in your own words.
    • Track progress in personal development.
    • Seek assistance for self-improvement.
  3. Think Positive:

    • Help your brain think positively.
    • Visualize your ideal life.
    • Savor and capitalize on positive moments.
    • Attend to positive aspects.
    • Create a collection of positive images or quotes.
    • Practice gratitude.
    • Acknowledge negativity when necessary.
  4. Boost Self-Confidence:

    • Practice self-compassion.
    • Envision your best self.
    • Recognize strengths and weaknesses.
    • Celebrate successes.
  5. Create Work-Life Balance:

    • Identify burnout risks.
    • Establish better boundaries.
    • Engage in activities that energize and bring happiness.
    • Seek restorative experiences.
  6. Build Resilience:

    • Practice mindful acceptance.
    • Increase awareness of situations.
    • Find positives in negative situations.
    • Collect inspiring images or quotes.
    • Acknowledge benefits of negative emotions.
    • Enhance coping skills.
    • Break negative thought cycles.
  7. Be More Mindful:

    • Be present in the moment.
    • Take breaks from technology.
    • Seek meaning in life.
    • Spend uninterrupted time on activities.
  8. Find Your Life Purpose:

    • Identify personal values.
    • Make positive impacts on others.
    • Discover what drives you.
  9. Practice Kindness:

    • Practice gratitude.
    • Make positive impacts on others.
  10. Build Healthy Relationships:

    • Avoid phone use in social situations.
    • Practice gratitude.
    • Be mindful of social media usage.

Recognizing that building these skills is a gradual process, seeking support and guidance is encouraged. The journey to a happier life involves a combination of self-reflection, intentional actions, and fostering positive connections with oneself and others.

10 Skills You Need to Live a Happy Life (2024)
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