There’s a great 1995 article by David Myers and Ed Diener: “Who Is Happy?

“In study after study, four inner traits mark happy people: self-esteem, a sense of personal control, optimism, and extraversion.”

How are you doing on:

  • personal control (do you generally feel in control of your life?)
  • optimism (do you generally believe the future will be even better than today?)
  • self-esteem (do you generally respect your actions? [or this question])
  • extraversion (do you generally make a point to meet with friends?)

Each of these traits is actually acquirable and increasable, which is the most interesting part to me.


  1. Posted Monday December 18, 2006 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    Another thank you, these are exactly the things I’m struggling with right now and your positive posts and pointers to great articles come just at the right time. Synergy, gotta love it!

  2. Posted Monday December 18, 2006 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    PS: Do talk more about the acquiring part!

  3. Posted Tuesday December 19, 2006 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Grim, Oui oui oui, synergy rocks. Ok, will make sure to focus on the acquiring part in upcoming posts!

2 Trackbacks

  1. By Empowering Links: Week of 24th December - Life Coaches on Sunday December 24, 2006 at 7:02 am

    […] Senia helps you discover the 4 ways you can tell who is happy; self-esteem, a sense of personal control, optimism and extraversion. […]

  2. […] important because confidence is just about a mix of self-esteem and personal control, and these are two of four inner traits of happy people according to Ed Diener and David […]