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20 things successful people do to be happier
Successful people know that true success is not defined by money. They define their success through their contributions to the people and things they love most. - photo by

We all know that person. The person who seems to have it all. The person who is successful, talented...and happy.

But you, too, can elevate your happiness! Your life isn't built for you. Life is mostly just "mortar and bricks." The skills you practice every day will help you build the life you've only imagined. Start today, and begin doing these 20 things that successful people do to be happier.

1. Find your passion. Successful people are happier because they find what they love to do (and sometimes this happens by working at things they don't love to do). When you combine a passion for what you do with skills and desire, you remain happier — even when setbacks happen.

2. Start each day with a plan. Successful people begin each day with a plan. They consult with their spouses, children, bosses and others to determine priorities while incorporating their own goals. They come up with the top three things they'd like to accomplish, leaving less room for disappointment over unmet expectations and more room for what matters most.

3. Delegate. Successful people don't try to do all the work. Successful people figure out what they're good at and delegate the work that they're not good at.

4. Say, “no.” Successful people say no to things that get in the way of their sparkling lives. They say no to distractions. They say no to time-wasters. They say no to vices: food, alcohol, pornography, etc.

5. Say, “yes.” Successful people say yes to the things that matter most. They say yes to lunches with friends and coworkers. They say yes to date nights with their spouses. They say yes to baseball games, dance concerts and opportunities to help others (especially alongside their kids).

6. Exercise daily. Successful people know that they're more cheerful with daily exercise. They plan for exercise and often exercise with loved ones to "get the most for their happiness buck."

7. Have a support system. Successful people surround themselves with people who genuinely care about them. Then lean on their support in moments of self-doubt, and they ask for help when they need it.

8. Find your alertness “sweet spot." Successful people are happier because they know when they're at their working prime, and they aim to tackle projects during that time, leading to less exhaustion. No pushing to work during low-energy times.

9. Learn new things. Successful people are joyful because they are lifelong learners. They see the pros in cross-training and learning about things that can complement other skills sets. This helps them to be more flexible when change comes along, and it makes life a little more exciting when things seem "hum-drum."

10. Celebrate others' successes. Successful people are happier because they realize that success for one person is success for all. They see the world filled abundantly with opportunities. They make time to learn from what others are doing right.

11. Plan electronic sabbaticals. Successful people are happier because they realize the value of “unplugging.” They allot time in the day — or days of the week — to be “virtual” free, enjoying time with loved ones.

12. Refuel Daily. Happy, successful people know what helps them refuel. Maybe it's golf. Maybe it's exercise. Maybe it's talking or being alone. Happy people know that they are in charge of their happiness and schedule activities that will refuel them daily.

13. Don't listen to "the voices" — listen to your gut. Successful people stay “in the zone” because they don't listen to those trying to tell them what to do, how to live or what stock options to buy. Successful people have learned that they are happiest when they "go with their gut."

14. Accept responsibility and forgive yourself. Successful people are happy because they own up to mistakes, apologize and forgive themselves. Doing this allows more time for happier pursuits.

15. Think "simple." Successful people are happiest because they think simple. They look at the problems at hand and find the simplest, most direct solutions.

16. Don't expect perfection. Expecting perfection always leads to disappointment. Successful people are upbeat because they know, going in to any situation, that some things won't work out as they planned.

17. Focus on one thing at a time. Successful people are happier because they don't stretch themselves too thin. They focus on one thing at a time, one project at a time, one moment with a loved one at a time. They are 100% present for each thing they are working on.

18. Mentor others. Successful people know that sharing their ideas and experience will help them to be happier.

19. Connect daily with your spouse and kids. Successful people know that, without daily connection with their spouses and kids, their lives are lifeless. They are happier because they give priority to the most important people.

20. Don't define your success through money. Successful people know that true success is not defined by money. They define their success through their contributions to the people and things they love most.

Heather Merrill is a single mom, writer and eyewitness to preschooler debacles.