"We all make our own choices and have our own needs and preferences." "Therefore, the most important task in the search for happiness is to know yourself."
Stefan Klein, PhD, "The Science of Happiness"
Skipping the step above is the one of the most grievous errors of omission, encouraged by lack of foresight and the ignorance of the benefits of some of the most intangible activities that produce some of the greatest rewards - after all, don't you think some of the greatest thinkers in history, who came to the same conclusion, might have been correct. Going without this is lacking going out into battle because you want to get into action, without your armor and headed in the wrong direction.
The 80/20 Person focuses until learned well on assuring that he/she has "Emotional Intelligence", such as discussed in Daniel Goleman's and Karl Albrecht's books.
"To live wisely requires the ability to perceive, guide, and foresee our emotions. feeling of happiness aren't a coincidence but the consequence of right thoughts and actions..." [Klein]
Happiness is a sense of well-being that runs deep and permeates one's life.
The key to happiness is to know and fully manage and control one's own thoughts (and beliefs). By doing that, the 80/20 Person is fully in control of his/her life. He/she does not allow "dumb and dumberer" (primitive brains: reptile/lizard brain and the monkey mind mid brain), but puts the frontal, reasoning brain in the lead, while also implementing the strategies that actually re-train the brain (which is now scientifically proven).
The 80/20 Person learns and is fully aware that there are few actual, real threats (see article), despite the illusions most people buy into. He learns not to believe the "threat" stories by reading or through experiential, hands-on training, such as in Landmark Education.
Human beings are very poor predictors of what will actually produce happiness, sometimes benefitting from the "hope" factor for awhile, but inevitably ending up without satisfaction (even if they win the lottery, have fame, or create a greatly successful company!).
While the 80/20 Person focuses energy primarily on what he/she can control, he/she finds it worthwhile to "invest", not without some risk, in his/her relationship to people. "It is no exaggeration to equate happiness with friendship and love." [Klein] The attention we pay to those closest to us has one of the highest returns for happiness of anything we can do, yet we spend an enormous amount of time chasing low contributors, such as making more money, working, and being "successful".
Klein unequivocally says something like: A good partnership, along with the frequency of sex, is the most important external factor determining life satisfaction.
The 80/20 Person does not wait for or depend on people or circumstances to come along to make him/her happy. He/she proactively creates it by following the rules and doing those actions that fit those rules.
He/she does not concentrate on "self-confidence" but instead on "confidence in one's self" to perform, which is developed through seeing this happen, not through some fantasy or artificial reinforcement. He/she would have the attitudes and confidence developed through doing the 90 days of reading and exercises at www.toolstolife.com, the best life teaching/retraining site I've ever seen (it starts off on some really elementary, but necessary, building blocks, but builds incredibly well over the days).
Matching one's passions, interests, and especially abilities to what one does is vital, so that there is more interest, more productivity, and more of a sense of worth. However, challenges that are too big are sources of stress, while matching one's skill level with what one is doing causes "flow" where one is caught up in what one is doing without worry or concern or often even for hours any thought of other things.
The 80/20 Person, while highly valuing "rejuvenation", realizes that people tend to over-idealize free time, with its relatively low payoff if there is no activity. They "do" something and they engage intensely in it. And they build in the mind a "memory" of this, one which provides an ongoing sense of satisfaction.
He/she is a "Master of Motivation", who removes the blocks, limiting beliefs, fears and lack of knowledge that serve as barriers, and then uses the techniques of goal setting and visualizing results so completely that they are experienced. The latter help create an ongoing source of "dopamine", the body's action/pleasure chemical. He/she develops no addictions, as it is clear that addictions dull the ability to have pleasure, as they reduce the D2 receptors that allow dopamine to be effective.
He/she is a master at looking at the good things that exist and not allowing (imaginary) "losses" to appear bigger than they are.
He/she manages moods and realizes that the biggest external effects on changing moods are from exercise and/or sex.
However, he/she does not allow negative thoughts to be entertained in the brain, addressing any legitimate concern in a very timely manner and refocusing from the rest - without believing there is any real threat. He/she does not allow those thoughts because he/she realizes that we need to not allow those to increase the strength of their (physical) circuits in the brain. He/she also does not allow tension in the body, or any form of stress, to be present and produce body damaging cortisol for any time, making sure that total, deep relaxation is re-achieved to keep the balance in place.
And, knowing how the street runs both directions, the 80/20 Person smiles a lot, signaling the body that all is well and generating some great hormones.
Read the materials on Happiness Producers, where they are ranked and rated for impact, in the Happiness section of the main sister site.