On our quest for happiness, there are many things we must give up. But there are many things that you should never give up if you want to be happy. Here are just a few, in no particular order.
1. Don’t give up taking walks in the woods.
Breathe deeply. Listen to wind. Let the trees embrace you. There is something deep inside us that longs for Mother Nature. Go for a visit.
2. Don’t give up doing things that scare you.
A seed only grows by breaking out of the shell and venturing into the unknown. The unknown scares us, but it is where we must go to grow.
3. Don’t give up being kind.
We only achieve true fulfillment when we grow and contribute to a cause greater than ourselves. There is no greater cause than sharing kindness with others.
4. Don’t give up sleeping under the stars.
Every once in a while, get out to a place where the stars shine and fall asleep under their glory. You’ll remember a wonder that humans have known for thousands of years.
5. Don’t give up speaking the truth.
Your truth is a powerful force. It will serve you when you honor it. Each time you let it speak, it grows stronger. Let it guide you.
6. Don’t give up forgiving.
Forgiving is the key to healing. Insisting on remaining hurt is choosing vengeance for the past instead of healing in the future. You cannot have both. Forgive so that you can return to peace.
7. Don’t give up asking for help.
We can get confused and think asking for help is weakness. Asking for help can be a major strength. Include other people in your plans and dreams. You are creating opportunities for others to connect and share their kindness with you.
8. Don’t give up talking to strangers.
All of my best friends were once strangers. Great conversations and possibilities await.
9. Don’t give up lip syncing to your favorite songs.
You’re a rock star. Happiness is a fist pump away. While you’re at it, maybe you could sing a little, too.
10. Don’t give up touching your toes.
According to my 75 year-old yoga teacher, “You are as young as your spine is flexible.” Stretching releases massive energy stores and fuels happy rushes of life. Take it slow and easy.
11. Don’t give up hoping.
Hoping for what? It really doesn’t matter. If you want to be happy, never give up hope that things can change. You can always learn from your mistakes and improve.
12. Don’t give up investing in yourself.
If you’re not investing in yourself, what are you investing in? You are still investing your time, energy, and money into something. Make sure you intentionally choose your investments, or your time, energy, and money will be gone, and you may not be happy with the results.
13. Don’t give up smiling.
If you want to be happy, smile. Smile at yourself in the mirror (it certainly beats scowling and putting yourself down). Smile at people in the grocery store. Smile at the guy who just cut you off. See what happens.
14. Don’t give up connecting with the people you care about.
When you care about someone, care for the relationship like a precious plant. Keep the weeds out and water it consistently. It will grow with your effort and love.
15. Don’t give up meditating or praying.
Whether you are religious, spiritual or atheist, it doesn’t matter. Developing a practice of awareness and connection to that which is greater than you, however you define it, puts things in perspective. Those who want to be happy go within and listen.
16. Don’t give up moving your body.
Move your body with finesse. Let it sweat. Let it run out of breath and find it again. Let it climb trees and skip and play. It was designed to move. It is happy this way.
17. Don’t give up dreaming improbable dreams.
Improbable is not the same as impossible. Improbable requires innovation, imagination, motivation, facing fears, and busting your butt‒all good things.
18. Don’t give up loving yourself.
Whitney Houston got one thing right. Learning to love and accept yourself is a lifelong pursuit. When you learn to push past shame, judgement, and fear, happiness follows as you see all the wonder that is you.
19. Don’t give up expressing gratitude.
We have a tendency to focus on the things we feel are lacking in our lives, so that is what we see. If you want to be happy, break this tendency by actively seeking out the blessings in your life. Then take it a step further: express your gratitude aloud. The more often you express it, the more often you feel it and the happier you will be.
20. Don’t give up making new friends.
It becomes harder to make new friends when you become an adult. That doesn’t mean you should give up. Keep putting yourself out there and stay open to the new people who come along.
21. Don’t give up trying new things.
“Oh, I could never do that!” This is the siren of surrender. Happiness is found on the edge of cliff as frequently as it is found in a hammock. Try to find happiness in things you’ve never done, and it will be there.
22. Don’t give up getting in shape.
How happy do you feel when you give up on your body? Getting back in shape requires one thing: consistency. Happiness comes when you consistently insist that your body is still worth it.
23. Don’t give up looking foolish.
The fear of looking foolish is probably the greatest cause of unhappiness. Most people have no idea how happy they could be because they won’t risk looking foolish. Making peace with looking foolish is a key choice to achieve more and find happiness.
24. Don’t give up feeling excited by rainbows.
If there comes a point in your life when seeing a rainbow doesn’t give you even a little jolt of giddy wonder, expect three ghosts.
25. Don’t give up having something to look forward to.
Set goals and make plans a few months in advance that will give you something to work for and anticipate with joy.
26. Don’t give up napping.
A little afternoon nap can change your entire outlook. Recharging your batteries with a 20 minute nap can boost your productivity for the rest of the day.
27. Don’t give up holding hands.
The need for love & connection is hard-wired into our brains. The act of holding hands is so simple yet so profound. Never give it up if you want to be happy.
28. Don’t give up arts & crafts.
There’s a reason why many of us avoid the arts. Brene Brown found that of the adults in her research who reported experiencing a significant shaming event in their lives, 50% of those events involved creative expression. Don’t give up your creative voice. It still waits for you‒with a box of crayons and some pipe cleaners.
29. Don’t give up dancing.
At a dance in high school, a friend laughed and yelled over the music, “You dance like a duck!” There is something vulnerable about dancing. And yet, happiness is still found on the dance floor.
30. Don’t give up skinny dipping.
I have never gone skinning dipping with a frown on my face. Ever. I’m pretty sure it’s impossible.