Most of the time, when people ask this question, we answer with the automatic response, “Fine.”
Is it possible, though, that things are better than just plain old boring fine?
Might your life even be going splendidly?
Sure, it’s possible theoretically, but in actuality, how do you really know?
Do you get a kiss on the lips from Prince Charming before being carried off to live in the castle? Do all the woodland creatures flock to you in the morning as you sing your Snow White-style wake-up song?
Wait, you don’t have your own wake-up song!? Weird.
Well then, maybe this will help.
I think it’s clear that if you recognize these 12 signs, you’re living a really lovely life. So recognize it, feel that appreciation, and enjoy it!
1) There’s harmony in your family.
Home is where the heart is, and if your home is filled with a loving family, you can consider yourself lucky.
An old Chinese proverb, “If the family lives in harmony, all affairs will prosper,” and I really believe this to be true.
So many people struggle with difficult family situations or have complicated relationships with their parents or children. If you don’t – if it’s all pretty smooth sailing – then you’re already off to a great start in life.
You don’t have to worry about letting your parents or your kids down. They love you unconditionally, and that’s an incredible gift that you can hardly begin to appreciate fully if it’s something you’ve never missed in your life.
2) You’re in good health.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, happiness is intimately linked to health. Positive emotions are linked to good health, and negative ones to poor health.
And that’s true for your own health and the health of those you love as well.
People are living longer and longer these days, and that means that in our lifetimes, we’ll have more time to be affected by major diseases like heart disease and cancer.
So if your health is excellent now, or even just fine, you can already be thankful.
Want to know the happiest place in the world?
According to the UN’s 2016 World Happiness Report, the happiest country in the world is Denmark. The USA ranked at number 13.
3) Your basic needs are met.
Money may not be able to buy happiness, but having enough food to eat and a safe place to sleep can do wonders.
The international charity Save the Children reports that in 2019, 690 million people in the world were malnourished. And despite increases in technology, clean, safe drinking water is an increasing issue worldwide.
Living in a safe place that protects you from the elements as well as physical threats is crucial to your well-being.
So if you have a roof over your head, clean water to drink, and three square meals a day, you’re doing a whole lot better than so many people in the world.
It’s all relative, of course, but if you can appreciate how wonderful it is that your basic needs are met, you’re already living a pretty charmed life.
4) You have relationships that matter
After the basic needs of food, water, shelter, and health are met, the next thing that really makes a life happy is great relationships.
We humans are social animals, and we need each other to feel complete. Isolation and loneliness have the opposite effect of making our lives tremendously unhappy.
But it’s also the quality of your relationships that matter.
Great relationships with family members and close friends who accept and support you are what really make life lovely for most of us.
So if you have great people in your life that you can depend on and feel connected to, tell them today how much you appreciate them in your life.
5) You don’t have any toxic relationships.
It’s not always enough to have great relationships in your life.
Just as one bad apple spoils the bunch, even one truly toxic relationship in your life can cancel out the effects of many great ones.
Toxic relationships are dreadful.
They drag you down, make you feel awful about yourself, and seep into every corner of your life, infecting it with a plague of negativity.
If none of this sounds familiar, or at least it sounds like ancient history to you, then count your blessings. That’s a sign you’re living a really lovely life.
6) You’re full of energy.
Do you wake with the dawn, bounce out of bed, run a half marathon, shower, and shave (whatever you want) all before having your morning coffee?
Actually, you probably don’t even need that coffee, do you?
Caffeine probably has little effect on you because you’re already so full of beans that a few more coffee grounds are hardly noticeable.
Well, you’re lucky.
People with this kind of energy are truly amazing to witness. While many of us struggle to get enough sleep or get out of bed, bouncy, bubbly people seem to float above life’s struggles.
If you recognize this as a description of you, your life is probably pretty great.
7) You have enough that you’re able to give back.
You don’t have to be rich to be happy. But having enough that you’ve got something to give to those less fortunate than you is actually a huge boost to happiness.
According to that same Harvard article, giving back to your community through volunteering, for example, is one of the best ways to improve your life. This is especially true for people over 70 who may feel it gives their life an enhanced sense of purpose.
8) You’ve got a sense of purpose in your life.
In fact, having a feeling of purpose is an integral part of health and happiness.
According to research, people with a strong sense of purpose live longer, feel more optimistic and less lonely, and suffer from less depression.
So if you feel like you have a purpose in life, you’re already doing quite well.
The best part about feeling purpose in life is that your purpose is your own. It doesn’t need to come from society’s expectations or from any exterior source.
Which means that you can find it or even create it as you see fit. All that matters is that it works for you.
9) You’re happy with who you are.
People the world over are plagued by self-doubt and negative self-concepts.
And there’s a good reason why.
There are so many sources of comparison in our lives, from advertising to movies to billionaire success stories.
These can all make us look at how we stack up and feel like we’re coming up short.
But who you are isn’t built on what you have or what you do. It’s about your core being – the values, thoughts, emotions, and experiences that compose the life you’re living.
If you’re happy with who you are and where you are in life, you’re truly living a lovely life already.
10) You can travel and explore the world.
Are you able to travel the world, see amazing sights, and go to the most incredible places?
If you can, your life is going well. Trust me.
I came to this sudden realization in my own life a few years ago when I visited Istanbul for the first time. But it wasn’t the incredible architecture of that city or its rich history that taught me my lesson.
It was a taxi driver.
I’d booked a hotel, and their website recommended a fair price for an airport taxi. But our driver wanted 50 Lira more than that.
I tried to negotiate, but he wouldn’t budge. Instead, he just said, “Look, you have the privilege to travel from your country, and I can barely put gas in my car and food on my table.”
I realized he was right, and I paid it. And anyway, I later realized I’d been haggling over less than two bucks.
11) Stress isn’t weighing you down.
Stress is a huge burden in most people’s lives.
Even people who are making big bucks and seemingly living large can actually be suffering from tremendous stress.
It lowers your quality of life immensely and contributes to heart disease and stroke as much as smoking.
Nothing to stress about? Lucky you!
12) You feel gratitude.
Most people have to remember to practice gratitude.
If they can, they set time aside to think about how thankful they are for all the positives in their lives.
Well, if you don’t need to focus on gratitude because you feel it deeply every day, you’re really living a great life, made even better by the fact that you recognize it and appreciate it for what it is.
Be happy and be grateful!