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You’ll Be Much Happier When You Make Less Judgement

You’ll Be Much Happier When You Make Less Judgement

Think back to when you last felt truly happy. What was the reason for it? Were you full of joy because of something you did? Or perhaps you felt that way because of how you looked? And more importantly: Did the feeling last?

Buddhism teaches that we must attain a satisfying life through awareness and insightful learning. Scientific research suggests we need elements of psychological health to further access lasting happiness.

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The psychology of happiness

In psychology, there’s a theory called “self-determination theory”. It shows that psychological health is paramount to experience happiness, and that such health stems from a balance between autonomy (feeling in control of our own behavior/goals), competence (becoming a master of a skill), and relatedness (feeling like you belong/relating to other human beings).

The common trap

However, a serious error in our relationships with others is harsh judgment, which ruins our autonomy and relatedness.

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When we judge, we are really attempting to gain control of things we cannot be in control of, thus weakening our autonomy and causing those we judge to become defensive. For instance a person might not meet your expectations of attendance, and you judge them to be lazy. This only causes a weakening in our own strengths, and in turn makes us far less happy. Moreover, this would ruin our relationships with our loved ones.

Studies have shown that when we are mindful, we can understand that each person is simply on their own path of contentment. This means that although another person might not match our expectations, we should not judge them to be more or less than exactly what they are. We must not view people as ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, only as different to ourselves.

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By saying that another person is wrong, it is adhering to our own insecurities and needs. In a way you are saying “I am more important” or “I am better, and you are worse”. This is unhelpful both to the situation, and to your own self. Practicing self worth will increase your knowledge of psychological health, and better your understanding of why it is so important to understand not who is right and wrong, but what is actually important.

How to refrain from judgement

In Buddhism, they teach that we should start by holding a strawberry. When we can comfortably look at the strawberry without seeing whether or not it looks good to us, without seeing its immediate effects of how it does or does not affect us directly, we can then move on to something larger. Perhaps it will be a meal, and then perhaps something larger, like a book.

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Finally, when we are comfortable with all of this, we will be ready to try it out with a human! There will be a lack of desire to accept the person (or book, or fruit) for anything but what it is exactly in that moment.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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