Personality traits, also known as character, are ways of thinking, actions and fundamental beliefs that either add or deduct the happiness level we experience in life. Having a character though is not the basic characteristic to be happy but it is still an essential component to live life to its fullest.

Character Matters

Who we are and what we believe in, makes a difference. How we treat others matters. Decency or lack of it and what feels our minds and hearts matters. Our values portray our beliefs and how we live life makes a difference to our happiness. Sometimes, the personality traits we develop over time have little consequence to the feelings about who we are.

Looking in the mirror, it is the character or its lack that speaks volume. For happiness, not all character traits are equal, the following personality traits I believe have the greatest impact on how an individual can maximize their happiness.

Top 5 Personality Traits

1. Courage

Fear steals happiness. It robs us the ability, commitment and resolve to endure any experience to its end. Courage is fear’s great nemesis. It challenges and pushes the fear back, by keeping it in check while taking steps to fulfill its objection.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. -Mark Twain

Courage challenges our comfort zones to approach situations and people, to embrace life and accept pain as an inevitable life challenge. Without courage, happiness is an illusion or a temporary mirage that dissipates into thin air the moment any challenge surfaces.

2. Patience

How often do impatient people experience happiness? The answer is probably “not very”. Impatience is a bully to happiness.

Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting; it means to keep the determination when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.

Have courage for the great sorrows of life, and patience for the small ones; as you accomplish your daily task, sleep in peace and know that God is in control. -Victor Hugo

Impatience is one of the negative personality traits that irritate us to lose control. The more we attempt to control or manipulate life’s outcome and events with a form of precision the more the efforts seem frustrated.

Learn to accept the unpredictable and uncertain in your personality traits. Breathe and relax. Let life happen. Be patient, at least a little. You, ll find it less stressful and become more happy when you do.

3. Gratitude

Being grateful requires retraining the mind to notice the good amidst the bad. Count your blessings and recognize life’s beauty even when it is not going as expected.

Gratitude changes the pangs of memory into a tranquil joy. -D. Bonhoeffer

For gratitude to affect happiness, it requires a personal permitting of your soul to embrace life positively. Grateful people do notice challenges, but they focus on the benefits the challenge provide and opportunities available.

I believe that, developing a persistent and grateful attitude is one key source of happiness.

4. Love

Love conquers all, well said and put. The more love beats in your heart, the more buoyant and happy you will love life, and it will love you back.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
-Martin Luther King.

Love overlooks weaknesses, It accepts and seeks the best in others. This is one better path to happiness.

5. Forgiveness

Freeing oneself from pain by embracing a forgiving spirit is key to letting go of past hurts.

To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, one receives untold peace and happiness. -Robert Muller

Open your heart to forgiveness, and in turn the heart will as well be open enough to catch its own share of happiness.

We have the knowledge to know what traits to nurture. The beauty of life is that we can learn, change, grow and develop. All it takes is the determination to make it happen. What better way to start than to add the above personality traits to your character.