Most people know one or two ‘strong’ people. These are the folks who are overall happy. Other folks are attracted to them like moths to bright light. We like to be around them, for strong people emanate a positive presence which seems to make others more happy and feel better.

The paradox of strong people is they don’t consciously broadcast or boast of their happiness. They simply are that way. They have several attributes which are happily not copyrighted nor secretive. Happily, you can learn to be a strong person.

Perhaps you are a strong person. Maybe you know of a few. How ‘strong’ we are is somewhat indicated by how strong are the others in our life.

Patients sometimes tell me they are not happy and they want to be more so. I tell them about strong people and their characteristics. I advise them to practice their traits.

Happy people like themselves as they are. 

They don’t feel perfect; they don’t feel special. They know they have blemishes and could lose a few pounds. All the same, they are at ease with who they are. They are not trying become someone else.

They look within for answers. 

When something goes wrong or there is a challenge, they first try to look to their strengths to address the situation. They don’t run to Mother, the boss-man, or the authority figure. This is the opposite of co-dependency.

They celebrate rather than envy.

When they encounter someone better than they in talent or strength or asset, they don’t grind their teeth feeling deprived or inferior. It is the opposite of ancient Greek concept of ‘stasis’ where your gain means my loss, and all life is competition.


They live in the present.

How many religions and philosophies have reminded us of this? Happy/strong people don’t dwell on the past nor are they hag-ridden by the future. They live for today; their psychic energies are towards the needs of this day.

They are not afraid of change.

Change is inevitable, and they don’t fear it or attempt to stop it. This attribute is more apparent it elderly strong people who are open to new things and going with the tide when needs be.

They trust things have reason and meaning.

I had a hard time finding the words to describe this one. I am trying to portray the opposite of howling at the world/the gods ‘Why is this happening to me?’.  There are elements of deriving meaning and lessons from events which otherwise seems senseless.

Money doesn’t rule them. 

Money buys convenience and comfort but it doesn’t buy happiness. Strong people are not obsessed by money; they do not let money dominate their life. Somehow they manage. People see them as ‘rich’ nonewithstanding.

Relationships are an extension.

They often have lovely strong relationships but are strong and happy by themselves. Remove their friends and partner and they stand strong.

They don’t succumb to the Victim Complex.

When hurt by someone or something they apply the already-mentioned attributes to strengthen them rather.

They don’t ask ‘why’; They don’t have expectations. 

One of my teachers said this, which may be just another way of saying ‘live in the present’.