1. Adopt Happy People Habits
Look on the bright side, be grateful, exercise, eat well, invest in deep friendships and be authentic.
2. Embrace Good Stress
Sometimes short-term stress, for example appearing on a panel at Stanford, can be a good thing. Embrace it and don’t let the fear overcome you. Remember Yoda: Fear is the path to the dark side.
3. Find Meaning in Your Life
Be a generous giver and do what makes you feel good (i.e. philanthropy, volunteering, giving back). Give the gift of an experience not things.
4. Be Creative
Don’t opt out of creativity. Nurture your small creative successes and you will have better ideas, confidence, tenacity and less insecurity.
5. Don’t expect to be happy all the time
Happiness ebbs and flows through the day, through the months and years. It’s OK to wallow for a while.
Finally, for parents: how to make your kids happy? Let them fail sometimes. The panel was unanimous on this one: being a helicopter parent, insisting on “everyone is a winner” can be counterproductive. Plunge them into new environments, give them challenges, and they will learn resilience and be happier in the long run.