15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

March 30, 2012 | By | 73 Replies More

Flickr - Let Go - katiaromanovaLuminita Saviuc, Purpose Fairy
Waking Times

Here is a list of 15 things which, if you give up on them, will make your life a lot easier and much, much happier. We hold on to so many things that cause us a great deal of pain, stress and suffering – and instead of letting them all go, instead of allowing ourselves to be stress free and happy – we cling on to them. Not anymore. Starting today we will give up on all those things that no longer serve us, and we will embrace change. Ready? Here we go:

1. Give up your need to always be right. There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – wanting to always be right – even at the risk of ending great relationships or causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it. Whenever you feel the ‘urgent’ need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” Wayne Dyer. What difference will that make? Is your ego really that big?

2. Give up your need for control. Be willing to give up your need to always control everything that happens to you and around you – situations, events, people, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or just strangers you meet on the street – just allow them to be. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better will that make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.” -Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame. Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Stop giving your powers away and start taking responsibility for your life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” -Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind.” -Elly Roselle

6. Give up complaining. Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, maaany things – people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism. Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others. Stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not just to make others like you. It doesn’t work this way. The moment you stop trying so hard to be something that you’re not, the moment you take of all your masks, the moment you accept and embrace the real you, you will find people will be drawn to you, effortlessly.

9. Give up your resistance to change. Change is good. Change will help you move from A to B. Change will help you make improvements in your life and also the lives of those around you. Follow your bliss, embrace change – don’t resist it.

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors for you where there were only walls.” -Joseph Campbell

10. Give up labels. Stop labeling those things, people or events that you don’t understand as being weird or different and try opening your mind, little by little. Minds only work when open. 

“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” -Wayne Dyer

11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.

“The only fear we have to fear, is fear itself.” -Franklin D. Roosevelt

12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired. You no longer need them. A lot of times we limit ourselves because of the many excuses we use. Instead of growing and working on improving ourselves and our lives, we get stuck, lying to ourselves, using all kind of excuses – excuses that 99.9% of the time are not even real.

13. Give up the past. I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present and the future looks so frightening, but you have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about – was ignored by you when it was present. Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all life is a journey not a destination. Have a clear vision for the future, prepare yourself, but always be present in the now.

14. Give up attachment. This is a concept that, for most of us is so hard to grasp and I have to tell you that it was for me too, (it still is) but it’s not something impossible. You get better and better at with time and practice. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (and that doesn’t mean you give up your love for them – because love and attachment have nothing to do with one another,  attachment comes from a place of fear, while love… well, real love is pure, kind, and self less, where there is love there can’t be fear, and because of that, attachment and love cannot coexist) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words.

15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations. Way too many people are living a life that is not theirs to live. They live their lives according to what others think is best for them, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, to what their friends, their enemies and their teachers, their government and the media think is best for them. They ignore their inner voice, that inner calling. They are so busy with pleasing everybody, with living up to other people’s expectations, that they lose control over their lives. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need….and eventually they forget about themselves.  You have one life – this one right now – you must live it, own it, and especially don’t let other people’s opinions distract you from your path.

About the Author

Luminita is the author of the fantastic blog, Purpose Fairy, where this article was originally featured.

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Category: Consciousness, Evolution, Ideas, Inspiration, Peace, Self, Transformation

Comments (73)

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  1. Guest says:

    16. Waking Times

  2. Jacques says:

    Quoting FDR on attaining happiness is like quoting Lucifer on the joys of prayer.

  3. Civilian says:

    “Give up on your fears”, “fear is just an illusion”

    Tell that to those who are suffering under the heel of oppression that their fear is all just an ‘illusion’.

    Tell that to those who are living with bombs and bullets flying over heads on a daily basis that this fear, ‘doesn’t really exist.

    The sheer arrogance and ignorance in this statement stinks like the usual rubbish they we constantly hear and read in our JMSN.

    Damn those scumbags who preach such utter nonsense.

    • oko3 says:

      wow, Civillian! guess you have a ways to go before you give up #’s 1,2,3,5,6,7,8,9,10,13,14… and for all we know, 15.
      Maybe if you take a little time to reflect, you would realize that everything is a product of your mind… including fear. It doesn’t make it any less real (to you) but it also makes it controllable.

      • Mike Barker says:

        Civilian, many of those who have bullets flying around etc have dispensed with fear, it is these that make the difference. Fear will not give them an extra minute nor allow them dignity, will not reward anyone in any way. Nothing to fear but fear itself.

        • Linda says:

          Civilian – It is safe to say there are real fears that are appropriate. For example, if I’m walking in the woods and a grizzly bear starts chasing me, I’m going to be full of fear as I’m running as fast as I can! But I think the article was referring to fears that are self-imposed; such as, fear of public speaking, fear of going somewhere by ourselves; fear of the unknown and things we can’t control. Those fears can keep us from experiencing true happiness.

    • truth says:

      fear is not real. fear is a product of your imagination. danger is real. danger is what you should watch out for.

    • Anonymous says:

      Still afraid?

    • lol says:

      .. What’s wrong with you, civilian?

    • David says:

      Hey, civilian… thanks… don’t let these little faggot hipsters bully you around just b/c you have a difference of opinion!

    • puttycake says:

      I know this is a pretty old post, but I “StumbledUpon” it and wanted to respond to Civillian…. not long ago, I read Viktor Frankel’s Man’s Search for Meaning… it is his memoir of living in the concentration camps during WWII…. he had hope and each day he had a choice and his choice was in how to observe his fear… from Frankel: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” I was recently diagnosed with cancer and will start chemo in September. I could choose to be full of fear, but instead, I choose to see how lucky I am… I was diagnosed early, and this disease has brought family and friends back into my life. I am blessed. I am not a religious person, but I am a very lucky woman.
      Viktor E. Frankl

    • Anonymous says:

      “Ah, good. Scared keeps you fast. Anyone in this room who isn’t scared is a moron. Carry on.” -Doctor Who

    • Euan says:

      What are you suggesting as an alternative, that we go around spreading more fear because their are those out there suffering? That we learn to hold on what others want us to be? That being unkind and removed from self at an individual level is better for humanity as a collective?
      Please could you define what sense is so that I shall be enlightened to what nonsense is?

  4. Jacob says:

    Great post! I would contradict the one about correcting others by pointing out that FDR was misquoted. It was “The only THING to fear is fear itself.”

  5. Pat Sherlock says:

    Some love to wallow in fear and pain and refuse to look outside of where they are. It is difficult when bombs and bullets are flying but it doesn’t change the message: This is an illusion. Live and thrive in it and get more of it or realize this too will pass and you will survive any way it goes.

  6. me says:

    People that don’t stand for anything, will fall for anything.

  7. NEVERFAIL says:

    Awesome article!

  8. Phyl says:

    …An un-evolved state of consciousness, one heavily enmeshed in duality and separation will manifest as war, rape, abuse etc. You see, it is the state of the consciousness through the mind that manifests in the outer. God has never decreed that suffering is good for you. Because of who you really are, you are creators, manifesting your state of consciousness on personal and universal levels.

    Many who suffer say; “We did not create this”. Dear ones, you did not intentionally create the painful issues of your lives, but the fact that you still have a consciousness of duality and separation, simply functions to manifest it in your experience. Please understand that you hold great power of creation, for you are indeed the Divine in manifestation. Not your human self, no, don’t go around saying I am God in an egotistical way, but simply understand that your true essence, that which is your truest Self, is Divine.

    A great master revealed this to mankind 2000 years ago, but the people were not ready. You are ready now. You have been on a journey that only the very brave undertake… strong and courageous souls choosing to evolve through the fog of duality and separation which is the hardest of all evolutionary journeys a soul can choose. You chose this path brave ones, and when you graduate you will understand how powerful you really are and how much more knowledgeable because of the difficult path you willingly chose.

    We send love and light to all. You are doing a fine job. Soon you will understand better that which you do.

    Trust, center within, know, and most of all love… for all, yes all, are One and this realization is love.

    We are the Arcturian Group onenessofall.com

  9. sda dgfdagave says:

    easier said than done

  10. Zach says:

    Wow. Why not just make #1 “Give up being unhappy” and save the other 14?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I don’t think that we are even able to give up any of those things, its just in our nature to think and feel that way. What we should try to do is to overcome those thoughts and feelings and act against them. Not to mention, happiness comes and goes, if we completely gave up being unhappy, then how will we ever know how great happiness really is?

    • Anonymous says:

      Well, they say that you don’t need to know how awful brussel sprouts taste in order to love chocolate.

      • David says:

        true, but knowing the foul bitterness of undercooked sprouts will give one a greater appreciation for something as sweet as chocolate… or eating unsweetened chocolate, for that matter… what we really taste as being good is basically just the refined sugar (poison) that is in it… think of too much happiness like too much sugar… and eat yr greens!

  12. This list of 15 things to be wary of within one’s habitual manner of being are not at all new concepts, but they are laid out in a way more penetrating and helpful than is usually the case. We’ve all heard these aphorisims or maxims before, but not as worded so clearly (with examples) . Maybe it helps to be old to fully appreciate the possibilities held in the suggestions presented in the list. I am a psychologist (and I’m 80) and have frequently preached parts of the wisdom here, but not as helpfully or, perhaps, as clearly. Its not helpful to focus on what’s ineffective in the list,or get too concrete about it. Best to try accepting and see what happens rather than carping from a safe distance.

  13. James Smith says:

    It seems that what you mean is to become a wimp and not care about anything. Allow people to walk all over you and don’t care that you’ve become a boring, useless excuse for a person.

    If you don’t care enough for anything to become incensed over it, what use are you as a person? That’s not the same as someone who is outraged or offended over everything but everyone should care enough about something to want to take action.

    • Anonymous says:

      Caring is overrated

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with you! The status quo sucks for the vast majority of people, and if we just want to be happy then nothing will ever get better. I admire the people who can put their own “happiness” (whatever that may be!) aside to do the work it actually takes for the whole of society to improve. I personally hope I NEVER lose sight of the fact that my own happiness actually matters very little, and in fact what matters is to do as best as one can to make this world a little less horrible for everyone.

  14. Bert says:

    They forgot to “Give up on life”! lol

  15. guy says:

    This article has some truth, but they have taken it way too far. If you give up on all those things, you give up caring about anything. What kind of life is that?

  16. Rhubis says:

    HA give up? Screw that! Instead of just accepting this stuff and letting go you should go out and do something about it!

    Happy people don’t change the world, happy people don’t improve their lives. Miserable people do! Miserable people say “This sucks, I’m going to fix it!”. You want to be happy? Give up on caring about things. I think I’d rather make my life something I can be happy about.

  17. Anonymous says:

    happiness isn’t absolute, if my happiness can be a hinderance to another’s, then how can i ever be happy realizing this? it is not our thesos, knowledge is, we all seek knowledge without the crippling of another’s.

  18. Krobus says:

    Life IS competition,it is so as with the natural world around us

    These are suggestions for the inhabitants of modern countries with access to comfort and society(however the state of these).Explain these to people who truly struggle with life in order to survive,not maintain a ”social image” or ”get a new job” or ”get more friends”

    In the face of TRUE hardships…how many of these theories remain standing?

    I think that only through discipline can we truly attain wisdom.

  19. David says:

    “1. Give up your need to always be right.” – who wrote this and who made it seem as if this was all FACT instead of OPINION (implying a sense of egotistical self-righteousness)

    “2. Give up your need for control.” – Again, who the fuck are you, hypocritical hipster writer, to tell anyone how they should live??

    “3. Give up on blame.” – you blame all others who do not follow this creed for all the ills of the world while not acknowledging the simple fact that all misery comes from the international banking system that controls us all like slaves…

    “4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk. Oh my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.” – Yes, and while you’re at it, ignore that little voice that says “You’re too much of a pussy to KILL YOURSELF!” Just Do It! ;) That little voice of dissent is the voice of logic and reason, something a space-case crystal fondler wouldn’t get.

    “5. Give up your limiting beliefs about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!” – *LOL* tell that to someone on LSD!!

    “6. Give up complaining.” – are you complaining about complaining? Was there an Advert placed directly below this line as a test to see if you’d internally complain about it?

    “7. Give up the luxury of criticism. ” – You are criticising ppl who don’t think like this right now, asshole!! and besides, ideas cannot flourish without critique, it’s a process, it’s the EVOLUTION of thought, and, stupid hippy, evolution is all about the Survival of the Fittest… Stupid fake hipsters wouldn’t last a day without yr fucking i$hits…

    “8. Give up your need to impress others.” – I must say, I’m impressed by this guys lack of an ability to see reality and impressed by his website, the article and the money he makes from adverts and phoney hippy scams…

    “9. Give up your resistance to change.” – YA OBAMA!! CHAAAAANGGEEEEE!!!! …u kno, or not… nothing is absolute and taking extremes is just as bad as doing nothing… idiot.

    “10. Give up labels.” – Then stop using WORDS, idiot… all words are thought labels, and you def. have labels, everyone does… it’s intrinsically a part of what makes us human… the ability to recognize pattern and LABEL it as such…

    “11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist – you created it. It’s all in your mind. Correct the inside and the outside will fall into place.

    “The only fear we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt”

    Bahahaha! you quoted an ex president?! on not having fear!? BAHAHAHAHAH! Tell someone in Syria not to fear… b/c there’s a “god”… fucking hippy “spiritualist”

    “12. Give up your excuses. Send them packing and tell them they’re fired.” What’s your excuse for telling everyone what to do? EGO much?

    “13. Give up the past.” Yes, lets just forget history so that we can relive it… I’ll give up the post when I am SENILE!

    “14. Give up attachment.” You, writer, hipster, douchebag, seem to be quite attached to your regurgitated pseudo-zen rules to live by…. Tell me, do you have a lover? Are you planning on going solo soon? No? Why? b/c you make money writing BS that is specifically designed to pander to a woman’s illogical sense of “spirituality” thus making you seem “sexy” to her? Get fucked fake hippy….

    “15. Give up living your life to other people’s expectations.” – Oh I am waaaaaayyyyyy the FUCK ahead of you my fake hippy asshole friend… You expect humanity to bend to your whims and live their lives like they had NO BRAIN to think for themselves and QUESTION EVERYTHING… instead, you ask for conformity and assimilation… otherwise one is not Zen, and therefor, not worthy of your company, nor worthy of life in general… I’ll bet you’re all about the Georgia Guide Stones 1st line about “maintaining a population of 500,000)… whilst not explaining HOW…. All this self help dribbel is so banal I could vomit… The only person who can help anyone is yourself… and like proper DIET, it varies from person to person b/c nothing is absolute… but hipsters like this seem to like conformity and the sense of purpose one’s ego receives at it finds a way to tell everyone what to do/think/act/and say while hiding behind the mask of “just trying to help someone”… whenever I read shit like this,m I realize the futility in adherence, as it will make no difference to me and MY life…

    And no book, no website, nothing at all… has ever explained HOW TO DO THIS, it just gives you more shit to buy that will cure you… pay with CA$H for yoga, over-priced hippy food, chiropracty, massages, and other things that one can only afford if you work a job that exploits child labor in 3rd world countries OR sells over priced local shit to yuppies who work for a big corporation that makes they billions from exploiting child labor in 3rd world countries…

    • Lovely says:

      Oh my goodness, get over yourself.

      This was made to help people let go of the things that can way them down. Quit acting so high and mighty like youre a glorious free thinker amoungst all the mindless hipsters.

      Seriously, shut up. No one thinks your witty or intellegent. Are you proud of yourself for raging so hard over something designed to make you happier?

      No one cares about your opinion. If you dont like it, move along. We dont need your useless repetative reasoning. The author of this article never criminalized anyone who thinks otherwise, this is simply a guide for a less stress filled life. If you quit obsessing over hippies and hipsters long enough to actually see human behavoir, you would know the concept of these are true.

      So seriously, get over yourself.

    • Lynn says:

      Just FYI, these are not orders. These are advices. And in this sense, you spent WAY too much time on writing something that doesn’t make sense at all. I honestly have no idea what could’ve upset you so much in this article. But you know, I’m kinda jealous that you have so much freetime that you are able to rant about something over the Internet that doesn’t even interest you, through approx. 60-80 lines. What’s even worse, you did this without actually saying anything. Why the hell to be so bitter? You’re upsetting your own self. Chill down.
      Peace

    • Nynezyne says:

      You surely sound happy – perhaps you can share your recipe with us?

    • Dan says:

      To be entirely honest I love articles like this: they bring me a certain sense of calm, and I find that there advice helps me quite a bit from time to time. BUT. Strangely enough. I DID. Quietly enjoy you shitting all over it.

      If this is indeed an article about happiness,

      Maybe there is something to be learned here…

    • Guy says:

      BRILLIANT retort!!!!!!!

  20. David says:

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation. ”

    meaning that you do not like open debate, you do not want anyone to question you…. fascist!

  21. Josh says:

    I found happiness the hard way. I love your post and think in language, it’s nice to separate each aspect. I wrote a post recently on the subject

  22. maximus says:

    great list of things to do, but as most with great advice there never is a “how to do this”!!!

  23. J-Ny says:

    I am going through a very tough time right now. Life determining decisions to be taken. And as i started reading this, i realized tears were trickling down my cheeks.. I felt confused, then relieved cause i was not sure if what i was intending to do was the right thing or not. Yet you showed that it was the best thing i could ever do. Thank you.

    I never comment on articles I read on the net.. But i had to for this one. Perhaps you understand why.

  24. df says:

    this article repeatedly starts with give up. not the best language to choose for people who suffer depression.

  25. I completely agree that adapting to many of the real circumstances is the real deal if all of us want to have a normal life.

  26. Sarah says:

    I think much of this is ridiculous, and it actually made me less happy even thinking about it.

  27. Anonymous says:

    What do you give up when you have already given up everything on the list…?

  28. Yohan says:

    I never read these pointless lists as I picture there being a very good chance that the person who has written it is most likely in their late 30′s, living in their parents basement and masturbating furiously whilst cackling and typing one handed. Prove me wrong.

  29. steve says:

    In the real world, bills need to be paid and being competitive is the way things are. Id like to be a hippy like this article suggests, but I simply dont have the money!!! Its amazing how those that can preach these articles have been competitive enough to earn the money to buy a computer to write this on!
    I look at the past to analyse my mistakes so as I dont make them again in the future. Anyone else with me on that?

  30. Annie says:

    Thanks for this article. This is the best article I’ve read in a long time on the web.

  31. Vanessa says:

    There’s an awful lot you need to give up to be “happy”…

  32. Daryn says:

    Marmite? I can’t give up Marmite!

  33. paul says:

    Where is “give up the need for websites to tell you how to live your life”?

  34. Anonymous says:

    #4 isn’t really great advice, its kinda like saying “Hey if you want to be happy you should stop being sad!” Being able to turn off the negative thoughts for a lot of people is almost impossible and that advice really belittles the whole process.

  35. ikonografer says:

    what a crock of shit. it’s amazing how ppl flock to some delusional world whenever they can’t take the real one.

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