5 Big Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy

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I think we can all agree that no matter where we live or what society we are a part of we all have the same deep desire: to be happy and free from suffering and there are 5 big things we should give up in order to be happy.

Many people believe that happiness means getting a formal education, obtaining wealth and possessions or finding the perfect partner, and while I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive for these goals – they are ultimately not the secret to your happiness.

And I can prove this, if we look at the president of a successful business (the wealthiest man in the company), he might be shadowed by indescribable suffering deep inside. And on the other hand, we can look at a simple woman, not wealthy or popular but she is eternally happy and joyful.

You yourself know best whether you are feeling joy or struggling and suffering. These things are not always known to other people.

Many of us are not happy but we all strive to be and that’s why happiness remains the most cherished and elusive of all human desires. We all want it, but sadly most of us are falling short of reaching it.

It’s time for change. We can get there! It’s entirely possible.

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How to Find Happiness?

First, we need to look deeper into how we are relating to the things we love.  We crave desire, passion, wealth, prestige, fame, and popularity, we crave material things and beautiful people. We mistakenly think that happiness is going to arrive when we meet these goals.

We often hold onto these ideals a little too much and when these items fail us, and they will – we will be disappointed.  Oftentimes we do not understand how our mind is attached to impermanent items. We crave and we cling.

Happiness is not a destination; it’s not something you will receive in the future, it’s not something that only comes once you get that promotion or have your first baby.

Happiness is right now.

The problem is we have preconditioned habits that cause us a great deal of stress and prevent us from being happy.

It’s time to redesign a few keys habits.  Let’s change the view and welcome some joy and happiness into our lives.

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This is a great list of 5 powerful things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier.

5 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy

1.  Give up Judging Yourself and Others

When we judge ourselves, that means we most definitely judge others. We often have preconceived ideals of how someone should live or behave.  The problem with judging is that every individual experiences the world through a unique lens.  Your mind will fixate onto projections of right or wrong, good or bad.  But your mind isn’t always right.

Your way isn’t necessarily the only way or the best way. 

How does this judging effect our happiness?

When you project your views onto others this will ultimately lead to disappointment, not to mention alienation and negativity. Your view might be completely wrong for someone else. You are preventing joy because no one will ever live up to your expectations.

Accept people live differently. Savor the uniqueness of each individual, smile at the quirks, and truly embrace everyone’s inner nature.  Share in the happiness of others and happiness will find you.

2.  Give Up Comparing Yourself to Others

If you compare, whether you think you are better, worse or equal you are looking to others to define you.

You define you, stop judging your worth based upon ideals that society or the media sets. Click to Tweet

If everyone had the exact same circumstances at the exact same time, then maybe we could compare ourselves, but we don’t we are all exceptionally unique, with a different story.

Comparing is a self-inflicted violence, we are telling ourselves that the meaning of our lives is outside of us.  This means we are letting others decide our happiness.

Be yourself, and don’t look anywhere outside of yourself to determine your worth.  If you look, someone will always be someone smarter, prettier, funnier. Stop torturing yourself, true happiness comes from knowing who you are and accepting yourself as just so.

3.  Give Up Your Obsessions With Worldly Possessions

When you place attachment on things, people or situations you mistakenly believe that they/it will always make you happy, the problem with this view is that we live in an impermanent world, where change is a mere moment away.

Anytime we feel unhappiness or disappointment when things change, and they will, it is because we are clinging to them.

The key to happiness is accepting that change is inevitable, don’t cling too hard.  Know that physical and mental suffering will occur at some point in your life (it’s inevitable), so enjoy each moment as it comes and accept that you will age (and grow), and understand that one day you will have to say goodbye to all your possessions (even your wedding ring).

I am not saying that you can’t find enjoyment in people, objects or situations, but non-attachment comes from the wisdom of knowing that these things are not the true source of your happiness. 

Whenever attachment is involved we become stressed and worried because worldly possessions are possessions we can and will lose.

Happiness comes from the inside, once we realize that, no matter what the outside looks like you can achieve happiness.

4.  Give Up the Past & Stop Obsessing About The Future

The normal, natural state of all our minds is constantly busy.  It chatters incessantly, bouncing from thought to thought, preparing for the future and reliving the past.  We rarely stop to see the present.

We often live in a revved up state where we obsess over things we should have done or said. Similarly, we also constantly worry and plan for the future, so much so that we don’t stop to notice the moment we are in right now. Missing the present moment means that you are missing your life, and missing your life, well that equals big-time unhappiness.

If we don’t learn to stop the robot like incessant racing of our minds, which renders us completely unconscious these foggy moments can fill up most of our lives.

Happiness can not be found in future promises or past nostalgia. Happiness is right now!

“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist Click to Tweet

Recommended Read:  The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho

Stop and tell yourself right now – this is my life! Are you living it the way you want to?

5.  Give Up Overthinking Everything

Most of us worry constantly. If we have nothing specific to worry about, chances are we will create something. Even worse, our mind might unconsciously create a difficult problem or situation, just to have something “real” to worry about.

Worry will suck the happiness right out of you.  And the funny thing about worrying is that causing ourselves all this mental anxiety and stress won’t change the outcome of our problem, so we are worrying unnecessarily.

By practicing mindfulness we can bring awareness and breath to our everyday present moment. Both ancient wisdom and modern psychology claim that mindfulness is the very cause of our happiness.

My purest joy can come from a simple act such as enjoying a bowl of raspberries or walking on a nature trail with the wind blowing in my face.  We don’t need extravagant outer life conditions and we definitely don’t need to waste our time comparing or judging ourselves.  We just need to live mindfully, in the moment.

These habits are 5 of the biggie’s that we can work towards changing, but of course, there are many other habits we can rid ourselves of and habits we can incorporate to find a more peaceful balance in life.  If you are interested in learning more please download our free ebook:  7 Days to a Mindful Life.

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You have the ability to be happy, no matter what your life looks like, begin to rewire old habits of the mind and you will see the world through a new lens; take away the blur and experience the crystal clear life you are meant to live, a life of happiness and freedom.

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“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

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  1. I have ready many such articles and I feel I always learn a little something new. This one I was struck with the idea “THIS moment, right NOW is your life, are you living it the way you want to?”

    I have had some health issues that have prevented me from doing some of the things I love. I need to keep remembering that these activities are not the source of my happiness, but rather the mechanism through which happiness is expressed.

    Thanks for writing this post. I like the Paulo Coelho quote.

    1. Tina Williamson says:

      I always get something new each time I read an article like this too! I also feel that the more we read this type of positive reinforcement it will help us to implement these habits. It’s so nice to hear that you are making the most of your present moment, in light of your health issues (which can be so frustrating), sounds like you are on the right track, keep it up, your efforts will be sure to inspire others 🙂

  2. Charlotte Francis says:

    I really enjoyed your article too. My life’s mission is to slow down and live more mindfully! But what really resonated with me was the business of not judging self (and therefore others) and not comparing oneself negatively to others. Interestingly, I just read a brilliant on Facebook: Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be Kind. Says it all, doesn’t it?!

    1. Tina Williamson says:

      Thanks Charlotte, one of my goals is also to slow down and remember to breathe! I just love the quote you mentioned, it’s so true, noon really knows what’s going on inside of anyone else, by thinking about everyone you come into contact with this way it sure does change your interactions doesn’t it! Thanks for sharing!

  3. John GERVASI says:

    Tina, I am so inspired and absolutely know you are this unique part of the whole giving hope to allow all who wish to live life in a world of peace. Thanks Tina for being part of the healing of our body, our planet, and our universe. Love Always.

  4. This is so true. Enjoyed reading that article.

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