With our material quests in life, we’re taught to search and seek happiness outside of ourselves, however I’ve come up with a few things you should give up to be happy on the inside. The way our western, materialistic world is organized makes us believe that we need x, y, and z in order to be fulfilled and lead a happy life, but sometimes the very opposite is true! Here are some things you should give up to be happy.
1. Give up Living Your Life According to Other People’s Expectations
One of the greatest things you should give up to be happy is living your life according to others’ expectations. I once worked with a woman whose father wanted her to become a lawyer and work in the military, so she joined the U.S. Army and worked as an attorney for them! She may have always wanted to do that too, but chances are she was living out her father’s dreams. It’s interesting how often people wind up living a life that isn’t genuinely based on their individual desires. I recommend you strive for the life you want, living according to your own expectations.
2. Give up Your Resistance to Change
Being freer and breaking down your barriers, internal walls, and judgments towards change and being able to “go with the flow” will enable you to live a happier life. It’s a natural response to want to resist change at times, but change really can be the best thing for us.
3. Give up the past – Let It Go
Press on, don’t worry too much about the past and the mistakes and bad choices you might have made. It’s already happened and you can’t replace, rewind or relive it. We’re either living in the past or worrying about the future, so the best path to happiness is to pay attention to this very moment – the present. It’s the only thing we can change and alter.
4. Give up Attachments to Labels
Our attachments to pigeon holing people, and even ourselves can be very limiting. If we can prevent ourselves from stereotyping and judging situations and other people, there will be more room to love others (and that includes ourselves)!
5. Give up Your Self-Defeating Self-Talk
How often have you found yourself getting mad with yourself or found yourself belittling yourself? Don’t! Instead, know that we are all imperfect and we all are improving ourselves daily. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have flaws.
6. Give up Your Need to Always Be Right
You can’t always be right, can you? Give others the benefit of the doubt and realize that we don’t have to know everything or be right about everything. We’re all students and teachers in every scenario; that is, we’re either imparting knowledge or learning knowledge, so it’s impossible to always be the teacher in all our interactions, isn't it?
7. Give up Complaining
There is always something to complain about and find fault in. Whether it's our commute, the service we’re getting from an establishment, the weather, whatever it is, if we are willing to go the opposite route and think that we have everything that we need, and that our needs are always being met, we will find ourselves a lot happier. Even just saying to yourself, “I have everything that I need,” prevents that vicious negative cycle that complaining creates in your head, and spills out into other aspects of your life.
Giving up some of these internal habits that we all have and do will hopefully cast a brighter future for all of us and we will slowly but surely become happier. Even if it's just a little bit happier, it helps! What bad habits do you have?