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8 Beliefs That Are Keeping You From Happiness

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8 Beliefs That Are Keeping You From Happiness

Why do some people seem so happy and healthy, while others are so miserable? There are many reasons why people are happier than others, but one fundamental truth about happiness is that the power to change your life and create happiness resides within you. Happy people consciously decide to have a positive mentality. They see opportunities when others see closed doors and flow with (not against) the natural groove of life.

If you meet your basic physical needs of food, shelter, clothing and comfort, but still find you are not happy, chances are that some of your core beliefs and habits are limiting you from living a full life. Change the following core beliefs that are keeping you from happiness today to lead a more fulfilling, happy life.

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1. Belief that life is fair

Life is not always fair, nor is it a joyride every single day. There will be days when you feel like the whole weight of the world is on your shoulders. Your heart will be broken and weighed down by injustices in the world. These days will suck, but that is life. Stop wasting too much time and energy wishing that everything was fair in the world. Instead, seek out things you can do to make life better. There will always be something you can do to make life that much fair. The joy you get from improving the quality of your own life and that of others is worth every effort.

2. Belief that playing it safe keeps you from getting hurt

Life is about taking risks and learning from the positive and negative outcomes of risks. Many people are quick to quantify the risks involved in trying something new or venturing out in a different direction. These same people, however, are far less adept at analyzing the risks of staying the course. While staying the course and playing it safe can keep you from hurt in the short term, the cost of complacency is comparably greater in the long run. Happy people adopt a little more blind faith in life, which boosts their long term personal development and happiness.

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3. Belief that you are in control of everything

Life is full of surprises. No matter how obsessively we plan and prepare, things sometimes play out differently than we want or expect them to. Random events occur all the time for all sorts of reasons and meticulous plans can get disrupted at the last minute. While proper planning and risk management is important for your success and happiness, being in control of everything is just an illusion that puts you on edge and drains energy and happiness out of you. The sooner you realize this truth, the more prepared you will be to deal with all that life deals you, and the happier you will become.

4. Belief that the future is bleak

The glass can either be half full or half empty, depending on how you look at it. The belief that the future is bleak is usually a matter of perspective driven by such factors as fear, worry, lack of faith and childhood programming. People who focus more on the negative see only a bleak future for themselves and others and are less happy than people who look on the brighter side of things. Of course, blind optimism can be contrived and irresponsible, but blatant pessimism is worse. Think more positively and see the good things around you to lead a more balanced, happy life.

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5. Belief that others are better off than you

The belief that others are better off than you is a fallacy. As human beings, we all have equal capacity to experience joy, pain, need and comfort. We all grow and advance in life at our own pace, depending on various factors like hard work, opportunity and resources. While some people might be stronger, more gifted and more beautiful than you, they are not necessarily better off than you. If you can figure out what you really want in life and then go for it, you too can lead a rewarding and happy life that others envy. Just see through the need for other people’s approval and you will be fine.

6. Belief that people are obligated to love you a specific way

Not everybody will love or support you the way you want them to, but that’s okay. People are not obligated to love you in a specific way just as you are not obligated to love others in a certain way. We all have the ability to love, but our capacity to express this love is unique. Just be grateful that someone actually loves you and wishes the best for you, even though you might feel like they are not compassionate or supportive enough. Stop demanding that people love you how you think they should and you will truly be a much happier person.

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7. Belief that suffering is bad

Suffering gets a bad rap all the time. But, if you scrap the surface you will realize that suffering has a silver lining that never gets the credit it deserves. Suffering stirs change and builds resilience and wisdom. It is almost always a stepping stone to something better. For example, a failed relationship is the gateway to a successful one and an illness the right motivation to re-examine your life and adopt a healthier lifestyle. If you face suffering with the right mindset and take appropriate steps to address its cause, you can only get stronger, wiser and happier in life.

8. Belief that others are the reason for your unhappiness

One of the most overlooked truths of life is that you are responsible for your own happiness. Nothing defines who you are and how you feel unless you let it. People can hate on you as much as their little cold hearts desire, but that only highlights deep-seated insecurities within them‒which have nothing to do with you. People don’t decide who you are. You are only whomever you decide you are. Other’s actions or inaction will only hurt your ego and affect your happiness if you let it. Happiness is a choice. Choose to be happy from today regardless of what everybody else says or does!

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More by this author

David K. William

David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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