Everyone has faced unexpected challenges, but some of us were better at overcoming life's hurdles than others. Now, researchers have found that there are certain things people who identify as "happy" did differently than the rest of us. Here's what people who aren't crippled by regret did in the past:

1) Happy people tried new things without peeing themselves. When they were five, happy people didn't pee themselves in the middle of their very first tee ball practice and get sent home. Now happy people are professional athletes.


2) Happy people stood up for themselves once in a while. In middle school, happy people worked up the courage to ask to be move into advanced pre-algebra, since regular pre-algebra just didn't challenge them enough. They continued to do well in school, got the Ph.D., and now happy people make six figures working for a top biochemical company.


3) Happy people talked to people instead of being spineless pussies. Happy people strolled up to Mary Lyn Johnston and told her she was the most beautiful girl in the sophomore class. Today, Mary Lyn still feels a pitter-patter when happy people are near, and the two of them summer in Tuscany.

4) Happy people weren't lazy assholes. Instead of squandering 12 years of lessons, happy people continued to play the piano for one hour per day, even though sometimes that was inconvenient, because happy people had the foresight to realize that music was a valuable lifelong skill.

5) Happy people didn't make insanely irresponsible mistakes. College is a challenging time for many, but happy people drank in moderation, took their birth control pills every day at the same time, and never dropped out to raise an unwanted child. That's just something happy people did differently!

6) Happy people weren't hilariously unrealistic about the future. Happy people pursued a career as a musician for a little while, but then realized it wasn't meant to be, went back to school, and now happy people have comfortable and dependable jobs in advertising.

7) Happy people stopped being self-centered jerks for five minutes. When happy people's fiance tried to call off the wedding, happy people didn't go, "But everyone's already bought their plane tickets." Now, happy people aren't trapped in a loveless marriage.

8) Happy people didn't become addicted to deadly substances. Researchers found that, in the past, happy people didn't develop chemical and emotional addictions to nicotine, alcohol, or the manipulative praise of an abusive lover. That's probably because they didn't feel helpless in the face of their idiotic, life-destroying mistakes. Consequently, happy people are a lot happier than the rest of us!

(by Shira Rachel Danan)