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If Being Truly Happy is Your Goal, You Should Forgo These 12 Things in Life

If Being Truly Happy is Your Goal, You Should Forgo These 12 Things in Life

To be truly happy is what most of us are trying to achieve, but along the way, things get in the way. What we need to do and where we need to go often get compromised by restrictive ideas that consume our way of thinking. Comparing ourselves too much to what everyone else has done clouds our personal standards and expectations. At some point, everyone needs to consider what it is that makes them happy, completely independent of what has already been dictated to them. Here are seven things you should forgo to reinvigorate your perception of happiness.

1. Jealousy and Envy

It’s easy to watch your friends, colleagues, and even your siblings achieve success and wonder why you haven’t achieved any success on your own. When others do reach new achievements, a pitfall that is often stumbled into is envy. You want the glory that they have. You want the jobs or the fiscal freedom that comes with whatever they’ve got. This consuming emotion doesn’t lead to success. If anything, it will bring regression. You’ll start to reconsider if what you’re doing is enough: Why them and not me?

There is an answer to that question: It’s just not your time yet. But it will come. And it is important to remain focused on your own goals as opposed to the goals of others. Live your life, not the life of your peers.

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2. Working Too Hard

A common phrase that gets swung around is that “you have to work hard to get the things you want”. While hard work is a definite must, there still needs to be a balance in how much hard work you’re putting in. Your mind and body can only put out so much energy in a day. Over-exhaustion can lead to stress-induced injuries and malnourishment. Make an effort to work efficiently. For instance, single-tasking can help you stay keen on your goals. Mitigating your work hours with frequent breaks allows the brain to breathe.

3. Fear of Setting Goals

Are you good enough? Well, that depends. Are you willing to take the steps needed to be good enough? If so, then yes, you are good enough, even if you aren’t there yet. Sitting around wondering if you can do what you want to do has never brought success to anyone. Committing to a list of goals―often illustrated in realistic baby steps―and crossing off each step as you go along will set your barometer.

4. Procrastination

Getting started is arguably the hardest part. We’re often constricted by our fear of not being ready. The reality is that no one is ever entirely ready for their endeavors. But starting along the path allows an opportunity to learn what your strengths and flaws are. Sitting in the chair staring idly at your goal list isn’t going to get you anywhere.

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5. Thinking of Yesterday

We often revise our history in our minds and pretend that we didn’t make the mistakes in the past. In our imaginations, today would be perfect and all of our goals would be achieved and there would be nothing to worry. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work that way. Everyone makes mistakes. Mistakes are chances to discover something new about ourselves. Overcoming adversity begins with tackling the present day, not dwelling on woulda, coulda, shoulda.

6. Thinking of Tomorrow

The idea of tomorrow can be frightening. Will I be able to finance my goals? My life? Will I have the support system behind me in case I fail at this? All of these concerns are legitimate and should be considered, but not so intensely. Not knowing what’s up ahead can be unnerving, and while it shouldn’t be taken too lightly, there isn’t much you can do. If you commit to your goals, pivot and make compromises as you go along, and remind yourself of why you’re doing what you do in the first place, then everything will be just fine.

Today is the most important day, every day.

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7. Expecting Perfection

Being happy is not synonymous with perfection. Perfection indicates the end of growth. Nothing else can be done, and nothing else can be achieved. Yes, you achieved your goals. Great job! But now what? You’ve done so much to become a goal-oriented person in your pursuit of happiness, you hit those marks, and now that there’s perfection, there’s nothing left to do. A goal-oriented person with nothing to do is not a happy person.

8. Expecting A Perfect Relationship

Love isn’t perfect, either. Relationships―even friendships―require maintenance, work, and balance. There is no such thing as the perfect partner, even though it often seems that way in the “honeymoon phase”. Accept the love that you have, try not to occupy on a person’s flaws, and see them for who they are, what they stand for, and how they are trying to grow. A good partner or friend will do the same for you, too.

9. Expecting A Perfect Body

How often are we forced to buy into ideas of how we’re supposed to look? Where we’re supposed to buy our clothes? What size we should be? These high standards are dangerous sources for stress. It’s hard to ignore them, but it isn’t impossible. Determine your own opinion of yourself, and continue to work towards whatever goals and standards you’ve set for you. Everyone is different.

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10. Not Accepting The Word “No”

One word that has two letters can carry such power. It can defeat you, over and over again. But guess what? You’re going to hear no more often than yes in your pursuit for happiness. And that’s okay. Each no is a forward step towards the yes you’ve been looking for. Don’t take all the no’s personally.

11. Making Excuses

Coming up with lies, blame, and other stories to take the weight off your shoulders isn’t healthy. It leads to delusion. Soon, you’ll start to believe all the excuses you make. Ultimately, you’ll fail to see your own flaws clearly, which stunts your personal growth.

12. Expectations

What are your expectations? Who set them for you? Did you or were these standards set by someone else, like your parents or a series of articles you read in a publication? If they aren’t your own expectations, get rid of them. You won’t be happy if you’re trying to live someone else’s life. Let their expectations be theirs and choose your own.

Being truly happy can happen for you if you learn how to listen to yourself. Distractions, expectations, and double standards are often oversaturating the human mind. These things prevent us from finding peace within ourselves. Our own voices become smaller and more distant. Find your voice, forgo these things, and you’ll be taking huge leaps towards being happy.

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Kyle Hiller

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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