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15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy

15 Things To Stop Doing If You Want To Be Truly Happy

Life seemed so much simpler when we were kids. Don’t you think?

There were much less things to worry about, and more things that could make us truly happy.

It was amazing how some simple things used to put a big smile on our face. I still remember how happy I was when I got my first hula hoop. So much happiness because of one simple toy!

The thing is, as we grow older and our world gets bigger and we gain new experiences, we get overwhelmed and see happiness as something that is hard to achieve, and fail to see it’s been here all along.

Why is it so harder to be happy when you get older? Well, when we were kids, we were completely focused on ourselves, everything we did, we did to make us feel good. As adults, we let the society define the notion of happiness, but we are we in that story? We need to look for happiness inside and stop doing things that aren’t helping us.

What You should stop doing and What You Should Do Instead?

1. Stop ignoring your own needs

Why? Trying to please everybody is a mission impossible. You will never be able to do that. And while you are taking care about everybody else’s needs, who is taking care of yours? No one. If you don’t think about yourself and what you can do to be happy, nobody else will. That’s the hard truth. The sooner you realize this, the better.

What you should do instead? Everyone is different, and nobody knows better than you what you really want and need. So, sit down and take a moment to think about your desires. Tune out outside voices, follow your emotions and they will tell you what you need.

    Source: Pinterest


    2. Stop comparing yourself to others

    Why? There are no two same people. And that is a wonderful thing. Being unique as we are, there’s no point in comparing ourselves to other people. We just end up being miserable and envious of the things we don’t have. We should have faith in our life journey and that everything we want will find its way to us in the right moment.

    What you should do instead? Stop spending hours and hours looking at perfect lives of other people on social media. Their lives might not be so perfect after all, they surely have their share of struggles. Instead, focus on your life and how to make it better. Start making some real changes instead of just staring at computer screen. Don’t just complain how some people have it all, and start working on achieving your goals. Praise yourself for the little achievements and from time to time, stop to think how far you’ve come.

      Source: Pinterest

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      3. Stop resisting your fear

      Why? Being afraid stops us from experiencing many great things. It limits us and prevents us from feeling happy. If you are constantly afraid of everything, you will isolate yourself from everything. But if you push yourself into overcoming your fears, you will see there are no limits as to what you can do, and you will realize your life is in your hands.

      What you should do instead? Approach every situation you fear as a step closer on your way of becoming a better person. I used to be afraid of saying “no” to people when I couldn’t or didn’t want to do something. I was so afraid people won’t like me anymore. But, I learned that not everyone can and should like me, and being afraid of saying “no” was doing no good to me – I was wasting my valuable time and energy on something I didn’t want to do. Now, I say “no” and feel so much better.

        Source: Pinterest


        4. Stop feeling bad for making a mistake

        Why? If you don’t make mistakes, there are no challenges and no chances for personal growth. Not wanting to make mistakes means you don’t get to try new things and learn new things. Mistakes are also valuable lessons that will stick with us forever and make us better.

        What you should do instead? Don’t look at mistakes as something bad and embarrassing. When I had my first translation job, I was so embarrassed because of the mistakes I made. But I learned so much, and those mistakes made me more experienced and much confident in my translation skills. Every time you make a mistake, just remember it will be really helpful in the future, and that at some point you will be grateful for it.

          Source: Pinterest


          5. Stop putting your happiness into other’s hands

          Why? If you don’t love yourself and know how to be happy on your own, nobody else can do it for you. Happiness is inside you, not outside. And no one can fill the void if you are not happy. Besides, nobody is in your skin and knows what’s best for you.

          What you should do instead? Take a few days and be on your own, just you and your thoughts. Do something relaxing, and figure out what makes you happy and what you can do to seek happiness without anybody else in the picture. Nobody can make the right decisions for you, because it’s something you live with, not other people.

            Source: Pinterest


            6. Stop trying to take control of all aspect of your life

            Why? Life is unpredictable, and that’s the beauty of it. Trying to control everything in your life is like trying to control the weather – simply not possible. Yes, there is rain and storm, but there is also sun and rainbows. There is no point in stressing out about something you simply cannot change. The trick is to go with the flow and look forward to the unknown. Life would be so boring if everything was planned in advance.

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            What you should do instead? Try to not have every step of every day planned. I learned from my experience there are always unpredictable situations, and I just get frustrated if things aren’t going the way I planned. So, I don’t make detailed plans and always have room for improvisation.

              Source: Pinterest


              7. Stop living to others’ expectations or social standards

              Why? We are all a part of a society, and every society will always have standards people should live by. But trying to achieve those standards will not make you happy. Why do you need to get married before 30? Why do you even need to get married if that’s not something you want?

              What you should do instead? You will never be able to please everyone, so just follow your heart and do what feels right to you. Forget what other people expect, and create your own goals.

                Source: Pinterest


                8. Stop aiming for perfection

                Why? There’s no such thing as perfection. You will just waste valuable time and energy and drive yourself crazy if you want everything to be perfect.

                What you should do instead? Put that energy into something more creative. Aiming for perfection is a never-ending battle, so stop trying so hard and do something more fun, like reading a book, or meeting your friends for coffee.

                  Source: Pinterest


                  9. Stop trying to make others happy and forget about yourself

                  Why? You must put yourself first. If you constantly put yourself last, you will be miserable as you will never have time for yourself. Being a little selfish is not always bad. If you are happy and fulfilled, people around you will also feel better.

                  What you should do instead? Every morning when you get up, do something nice for yourself. Forget about everybody else, and do something you like. Treat yourself with something nice every time you finish a demanding task. Spoil yourself, because nobody else will.

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                    Source: Pinterest


                    10. Stop putting off your dream

                    Why? It’s never a perfect time to pursue your dream. The conditions will never be perfect, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it will be for you to start.

                    What you should do instead? If you have a passion that drives you, start pursuing it immediately, don’t wait. When you do something you love, all the pieces will come together. If you want to change your job or quit it to start your own business, don’t be afraid to start now. Even if you fail, you will learn so much.

                      Source: Pinterest


                      11. Stop thinking what makes others happy makes you happy

                      Why? Every person on this planet is unique, and there is no universal recipe for happiness. Someone might feel happy while hiking in nature, but that doesn’t mean you will feel happy doing it.

                      What you should do instead? Forget about other people, and explore what you enjoy doing. Don’t be afraid to try out new things and find what fulfills you.

                        Source: Pinterest


                        12. Stop feeling bad to be alone

                        Why? It is always better to be alone than in a miserable relationship. It is wrong to stay in a relationship only because you are afraid of being alone.

                        What you should do instead? If you are truly looking for a meaningful relationship, you first need to have a meaningful relationship with yourself. So, if you are single, use the time to rediscover yourself and what you really want. Then you will know what you want from your next relationship instead of relying on your partner to make you happy.

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                          Source: Pinterest


                          13. Stop working too hard for the future and forget about the present

                          Why? Nobody knows what future holds and planning too much will only make you anxious. You can never relive the present and you will miss out on many great things if you just live in the future.

                          What you should do instead? Focus on what is around you and what you are doing now. When drinking your morning coffee, don’t think about things you need to do, just breathe in and enjoy your coffee. By focusing on now, you will feel more energized and concentrated.

                            Source: Pinterest


                            14. Stop neglecting small things in your life

                            Why? We often believe that only big things can make us happy, such as buying an expensive car. But everyday small things are the key to happiness, as they can make us feel better at any moment of every day, while big things don’t come so often.

                            What you should do instead? Find at least one small thing that will make you happier every single day, such as eating an ice-cream, watching your favorite TV show, or just sitting in the park in the sun. Cherish and practice those things constantly.

                              Source: Pinterest


                              15. Stop focusing on what hurts you

                              Why? Being hurt is inevitable part of our lives, but it is a passing thing. Focusing on things that make you feel bad will unnecessarily prolong negative emotions.

                              What you should do instead? You need to eliminate the cause of your pain. If a person is constantly hurting you, they probably shouldn’t be a part of your life. Work out why you are getting hurt and try to change something instead of just thinking how bad you feel.

                                Source: Pinterest

                                Featured photo credit: https://pixabay.com/ via pixabay.com

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                                Ana Erkic

                                Social Media Consultant, Online Marketing Strategist, Copywriter, CEO and Co-Founder of Growato

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                                Published on September 23, 2020

                                6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                                6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

                                I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

                                If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                                What is Negotiation?

                                First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

                                Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

                                In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

                                Places We Negotiate

                                I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

                                1. Work/Business

                                This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

                                When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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                                In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

                                Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

                                2. Personal

                                I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

                                I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

                                Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

                                3. Ourselves

                                You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

                                I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

                                Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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                                Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

                                Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

                                We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

                                My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

                                If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

                                As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

                                6 Negotiation Skills to Master

                                Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

                                Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

                                1. Preparation

                                Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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                                It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

                                For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

                                After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

                                2. Clear Communication

                                The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

                                If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

                                3. Active Listening

                                Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

                                If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

                                4. Teamwork and Collaboration

                                To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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                                If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

                                When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

                                5. Problem Solving

                                Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

                                Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

                                From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

                                There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

                                6. Decision-Making Ability

                                Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

                                Conclusion

                                There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

                                Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

                                More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

                                Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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