We are always amazed and delighted by how truly and consistently nice genuinely happy people are. This was one of the biggest surprises from our interviews and studies of habitually happy people. Happiness and niceness invariably are linked together.
By nice, we don’t mean door mat, subservient, submissive or excessively concerned about other people’s opinions. Habitually happy people were anything but that! They all tended to be very independent, somewhat outspoken and in many ways, adventurous.
By niceness we mean genuinely caring and being concerned about other people and the people around you. Passion propels happiness. Passion without caring and consideration for others is empty and self serving. Caring for others helps create compassion.
We know people who are nice but who are not especially happy, niceness by itself does not ensure happiness. We never encountered anyone who was genuinely and consistently happy who was not nice. Sociopaths may fall into this category, their happiness is delusional.
Focusing our time and attention on doing good things well helps ensures happiness. Niceness, care and concern for others as well as ourselves is part of living well.
On a very different tone, ever wonder Why Having More No Longer Makes Us Happy? See an excellent article on the over emphasis of continued economic growth in AlterNet but be warned, it’s serious stuff! That’s why they call economics the dismal science.
See HappinessHabit.com for more insights on happy living.