One of the key themes of the book The Undefeated Mind by Alex Lickerman is that it takes strength to be happy. You need to be tough. You need to be thick skinned. Happiness is not for the timid. You have to be bold and able to take a punch.
Although we genetically are born with a different starting point for how cheerful we are--what psychologists often refer to as a "happiness setpoint"--we will all suffer. We will all have misfortunes. Happiness requires resilience. Dr. Lickerman describe two aspects to resilience:
- The ability to thrive in the face of adversity
- Persistence when encountering obstacles
Clarify your personal mission in the various roles you play in life (career, family, etc.). Make important commitments. Expect victory but only through hard work overcoming plenty of obstacles. Believe you can still be happy even after pain or loss. Cultivate gratitude. Help others. These practices are the push-ups that give you the strength to stay happy even when things get tough.