8 habits of happy people who always move forward in life

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Navigating the path to happiness and continuous growth in life isn’t about luck; it’s about embracing mindful habits that foster resilience, joy, and progress.

I’m Lachlan Brown, the person behind Hack Spirit and a true mindfulness enthusiast. My journey has taught me that the real key to moving forward lies not in intricate theories, but in the power of straightforward, mindful practices.

In this article, I’m excited to share 8 key habits that happy people utilize to keep advancing in life.

These practices are straightforward yet powerful, designed to bring more satisfaction and momentum into your daily routine.

Whether you’re seeking to enhance your well-being or find that elusive forward push, you’re in the right place.

Let’s dive into these mindful habits together and set the stage for a happier, more progressive journey ahead.

1) Embrace the present moment

Happy people who continuously move forward understand the power of living in the present moment.

You see, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the past, dwelling on what we could have done differently. Or perhaps, we get anxious about the future, worrying about what lies ahead.

But being stuck in the past or anxious about the future hinders our progress. That’s where mindfulness comes into play.

Mindfulness encourages us to focus on the present moment. And happy people who always move forward have harnessed the power of mindfulness.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a revered Buddhist monk and mindfulness master, once said, “The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that mastering focus on the present moment may not come easily at first.

But with persistent effort and patience, you’ll find that your ability to remain present improves over time.

Every step toward progress begins with being firmly rooted in the ‘now.’ To cultivate happiness and maintain momentum in life, start by committing to the practice of mindfulness and fully engaging with the present moment.

2) Cultivate gratitude

Another habit that sets apart those happy people who are always moving forward is their ability to cultivate gratitude.

Gratitude, in essence, is a profound appreciation for the good things in life—be it a loved one, a personal achievement, or just the mere beauty of nature.

I’ve personally found that practicing gratitude has a powerful impact on my overall mood and outlook on life. It shifts the focus from what’s lacking to what’s abundant in our lives.

Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh said, “The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.”

This is a reminder to appreciate the good things we have in our lives, even amidst challenges.

If you want to keep moving forward, start by cultivating gratitude. It not only brings happiness but also fuels your motivation to strive for more.

3) Acceptance of impermanence

One of the most impactful habits of happy people who continuously move forward is their understanding and acceptance of impermanence.

Buddhist wisdom teaches us that nothing in life is permanent. Everything changes, and that includes the good times and the bad times.

This might sound a little harsh, but it’s the raw truth. And honestly, there’s a liberating beauty in this reality.

Understanding impermanence means you don’t cling to the joys as if they’ll last forever, but rather savor them while they’re here. Likewise, it means not getting overwhelmed by challenges, knowing they too will pass.

This acceptance gives you a balanced perspective on life, enabling you to move forward without being overly attached to any outcome. And that is a potent recipe for happiness and progress.

4) Practice mindful listening

Happy people moving forward in life have mastered the art of mindful listening.

Now, you might be wondering, what does listening have to do with happiness or progress? Here’s the raw truth: a lot!

Mindful listening is about being fully present and attentive when someone else is speaking. It’s not about formulating your response or getting lost in your own thoughts, but truly hearing and understanding the other person’s perspective.

Practicing mindful listening enhances our relationships, fosters empathy, and broadens our understanding of the world. It allows us to learn from others and gain insights that we might have missed otherwise.

If you’re keen to be happier and keep moving forward, start practicing mindful listening. It’s a habit that can transform your interactions and give you a fresh perspective on life!

5) Practice Non-Attachment

Another habit I’ve noticed in happy people who consistently move forward is their practice of non-attachment.

Non-attachment is a fundamental Buddhist concept which I discuss in detail in my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s all about not being overly attached to desires, outcomes, or even our own self-image.

This doesn’t mean we stop caring or striving for goals. Instead, it’s about releasing the need for control and accepting that things may not always go as planned.

In my own life, practicing non-attachment has helped me embrace change, reduce stress, and stay focused on my path—no matter what life throws at me.

Incorporating this practice into your daily life can significantly enhance your happiness quotient and help you consistently move forward.

And if you need guidance on how to do this, my book could be a great resource for you.

6) Embrace self-compassion

The journey of life is not always smooth. There are bumps, turns, and sometimes, steep falls. And during these challenging times, the most important habit happy people who move forward in life have is embracing self-compassion.

Self-compassion, a concept deeply rooted in Buddhist and mindfulness wisdom, is about treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding as we would a dear friend. It’s about acknowledging our mistakes without self-judgment and understanding that imperfection is part of the human experience.

The raw truth is, we all mess up. We all have moments of self-doubt. Happy people are not exempt from this. But what sets them apart is their ability to show compassion towards themselves in these moments.

Don’t be too hard on yourself when things go awry. Practice self-compassion. It boosts resilience and helps you bounce back from setbacks stronger than before, continually moving forward in life.

7) Cultivate a positive mindset

One of the most striking habits of happy people who continuously move forward is their ability to cultivate a positive mindset.

Life isn’t always rainbows and butterflies. There are trials, tribulations, and plenty of rainy days. But the way we perceive these challenges truly defines our journey.

Buddhist wisdom teaches us that our mind creates our reality. And mindfulness practice emphasizes the importance of a positive mindset in shaping our experiences.

Buddhist teacher Pema Chödrön once said, “You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”

This profound quote is a reminder that we are not defined by the storms in our life but by our ability to stay resilient amid them.

The raw truth is, cultivating a positive mindset isn’t about ignoring life’s difficulties. It’s about acknowledging them and choosing to focus on the brighter side, thus fostering resilience and happiness, and continuously moving forward in life.

8) Practice doing nothing

Yes, you read that right. One of the habits of happy people who keep moving forward, surprisingly, is the practice of doing nothing.

In our fast-paced world, we’re often driven by a constant need to be productive. But mindfulness teaches us the importance of taking a pause and just being.

Counterintuitive as it may sound, sometimes, doing nothing can be the most productive thing you can do. It’s about quieting the noise, calming the mind, and just being present in the moment without any agenda.

This pause allows us to recharge, gain clarity, and return to our tasks with renewed energy and focus. So, if you’re aiming for continuous progress and happiness, don’t forget to occasionally hit the pause button and just be.


Happy people who constantly move forward incorporate certain habits into their lives. They embrace the present moment, cultivate gratitude, accept impermanence, practice mindful listening, non-attachment, self-compassion, maintain a positive mindset, and sometimes, just do nothing.

These habits, deeply rooted in mindfulness and Buddhist wisdom, are the key to a fulfilling life that continuously progresses.

If you’re interested in delving deeper into these principles and understanding how to apply them in your own life for maximum impact and minimum ego, I invite you to check out my book Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego.

Remember, happiness and progress are not destinations but journeys. And these habits are your roadmap. So start today, make these habits a part of your life, and keep moving forward towards a happier you!

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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