THE HAPPY PERSON
Researchers have discovered two basic things about happiness that makes this chapter possible. One is probably obvious to you. The other may come as a surprise.
The first: some people are much happier than others.
The second: the happiest people have dozens upon dozens of common traits.
These two discoveries about happiness provide the foundation for the next two chapters of this book. In these chapters we’ll examine both the outer world and the inner world of happy individuals through the research.
In the present chapter, we examine the outer world: the demographic, situational, and objective characteristics of happy people. Here we’ll answer the most often asked questions most people want to know about happy people. What is their income? Are they married? How successful are they? How old are they? How do they spend their time? What occupations do they choose? These, and many other, will be explored.
In the next chapter, we’ll move into the inner world of of happy people and examine their personality and psychological profile. There, we’ll answer questions such as: What do happy people value? How do their personalities differ from others? What are their most typical traits? How do they deal with others?
Together, the next two chapters combine to provide a complete picture of the research findings regarding the happiest people, and as the picture unfolds, some of the most important lessons for your own pursuit of happiness should also emerge.