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    Jennifer Aniston's Happiness Plan

    4. You've got to have friends. continued...

    Even with her crazy-busy schedule, Aniston spends as much face time with her friends as possible. She's often spotted walking on the beach with Courteney Cox and frequently joins Courteney and husband David's Sunday-night dinners. Aniston even finds ways to connect when on the set. Says her friend and makeup artist Angela Levin: "I'll be putting makeup on [her], and she'll grab a little cheek color and put it on me and say, 'You need a little color on your face.' It's really funny. She's a very wonderful girlfriend."

    When she can't spend time in person with her pals, Aniston reaches out with thoughtful little gestures. Somehow, she makes these look effortless. Just ask Jake Gyllenhaal, who costarred with her in 2002's critically acclaimed The Good Girl and has been a buddy ever since. "Birthdays, celebrations, or anything, she always thinks of me," he says. "She calls or sends something. She's so busy, and she seems to make time not just for me, but for everybody." Thanks to this thoughtfulness, Aniston has cultivated close friends who are always there for her.

    5. Do what you don't know how to do.

    Obviously, Aniston's DNA is hard-coded for creativity: She's an actor. But now, on the brink of turning 40, she's challenging herself in new ways. In fall 2006, she codirected the short film Room 10 with friend Andrea Buchanan, and she and producing partner Kristin Hahn recently landed a deal at Universal Pictures for their new company, Echo Films. Aniston's pet project, The Goree Girls, tells the true story of eight Texan inmates who start an all-female country-western band in prison. Aniston plans to work her musical mojo and star in the film. "I can carry a tune, and I was known to throw out a jazz hand from time to time in high school," she has joked.

    "[One thing] I really love about Jennifer is she wants to do a broad range of things," says Ken Kwapis, director of He's Just Not That Into You. "What's great about the choices she makes is that she seems really motivated to tell stories that resonate with her personally, and that's why they resonate so clearly with audience members. Because when I look out into the audience and see the rapt faces of people when they're watching a scene with Jennifer, especially an emotional scene — wow — that can't be beat."

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