- IQ, or general cognitive ability
- Conscientiousness (or "grit")
- Freedom from negative emotion (aka "low autoeroticism")
- Openness to experience
I read long ago that IQ (as measured) can be increased by doing more problem-solving, and is also influenced by early mental stimulation; though presumably there is some limit. Perhaps it is is more easily crushed than developed?
I should think that conscientiousness and openness to experience can also be systematically encouraged.
But all of these won't result in much happiness if negative feelings about oneself are not tackled. Where do they start - nature or nurture? - and how if at all can they be corrected? Otherwise, even if the other traits are pronounced, we have the equivalent of a high-performance car steered by a crazy driver.
I read that efforts to boost self-esteem tend to result in narcissism; so are they pointless, or just the wrong kind of intervention?
UPDATE (8 Jan 18, htp "JD"):
Peterson offers answers to the emotional side:
"Peterson draws on reams of studies to show that fundamental changes to personal habits such as sleep and exercise schedules can dramatically improve serotonin levels, thereby increasing the chance of personal success and fulfilment. From there he draws in stories from world mythology and religious texts to show that humans derive great meaning from overcoming psychological and social obstacles."