What is the purpose of life? I think we can all agree that no matter where we live or what society we are a part of we all have the same deep desire: to be happy and free from suffering.
Many people believe that happiness means getting a formal education, obtaining wealth and possessions or finding the perfect partner, and while I’m not saying you shouldn’t strive for these goals – they are ultimately not the secret to your happiness.
You yourself know best whether you are feeling joy or struggling with suffering. These things are not always known to other people. Even if you are the wealthiest man in the company you might still be shadowed by indescribable suffering deep inside. And on the other hand you might be a simple women, not wealthy or popular who is eternally happy and joyful.
Happiness remains the most cherished and elusive of all human desires. We all want it, but sadly most of us are falling short of reaching it.
It’s time for change.
We need to look deeper into how we are relating to the things we love. We crave desire, passion, wealth, prestige, fame and popularity, we crave material things and beautiful people. We mistakenly think that happiness is going to arrive when we meet these goals.
We often hold onto these ideals a little to much and when these items fail us, and they will – we will be disappointed. Oftentimes we do not understand how our mind is attached to impermanent items. We crave and we cling.
Happiness is not a destination; it’s not something you will receive in the future once you get that promotion or have your first baby.
Happiness is right now.
We have preconditioned habits that cause us a great deal of stress and unhappiness.
It’s time to redesign a few keys habits. Lets change the view and welcome some positive changes and happiness in our lives.
5 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy
1. Give up Judging Yourself and Others
When we judge ourselves, that means we most definitely judge others; we have preconceived ideals of how someone should live or behave. The problem with judging is that every individual experiences the world through a unique lens. Your mind will fixate onto projections of right or wrong, good or bad. But your mind isn’t always right.
Your way isn’t necessarily the only way or the best way.
When you project your views onto others this will ultimately lead to disappointment, not to mention alienation and negativity. Your view might be completely wrong for someone else. You are preventing joy because no one will ever live up to your expectations.
Accept people live differently. Savour the uniqueness of each individual, smile at the quirks and truly embrace everyone’s inner nature. Share in the happiness of others and happiness will find you.
2. Give Up Comparing Yourself to Others
If you compare, whether you think you are better, worse or equal you are looking to others to define you.
You define you, stop judging your worth based upon ideals that society or the media sets.
If everyone had the exact same circumstances at the exact same time, then maybe we could compare ourselves, but we don’t we are all exceptionally unique, with a different story.
Comparing is a self inflicted violence, we are telling ourselves and reinforcing that the meaning of our life is outside of us. We are letting others decide our happiness.
Be yourself, and don’t look anywhere outside of yourself to determine your worth. If you look there will always be someone smarter, prettier, funnier. Stop torturing yourself, true happiness comes from knowing who you are and accepting yourself as just so.
3. Give Up Your Obsessions With Worldly Possessions
When you place attachment on things, people or situations you mistakenly believe that they/it will always make you happy, the problem with this view is that we live in an impermanent world, where change is a mere moment away.
Anytime we feel unhappiness or disappointment when things change, and they will, it is because we are clinging to them.
The key to happiness is accepting that change is inevitable, don’t cling to hard. Know that physical and mental suffering will occur, accept that you are going to lose your youthful glow, and understand that one day you will have to say goodbye to your wedding ring.
I am not saying that you can’t find enjoyment in people, objects or situations, non attachment comes from the wisdom of knowing that these things are not the true source of your happiness. Whenever attachment is involved we become stressed and worried because worldly possessions are possessions we can and will lose.
Happiness comes from the inside, once we realize that; no matter what the outside looks like you can achieve happiness.
4. Give Up the Past & Stop Obsessing About The Future
The normal, natural state of all our minds is constantly busy. It chatters incessantly, bouncing from thought to thought, preparing for the future and reliving the past. We rarely stop to see the present.
If we don’t learn to stop the robot like incessant racing of our minds, which renders us completely unconscious these foggy moments can fill up most of our lives.
Happiness can not be found in future promises or past nostalgia.
“When each day is the same as the next, it’s because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises.” ~ Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
Stop and tell yourself right now – this is my life! Are you living it the way you want to?
5. Give Up Overthinking Everything
Most of us worry constantly. If we have nothing specific to worry about, chances are we will create something. Even worse, our mind might unconsciously create a difficult problem or situation, just to have something “real” to worry about.
Worry will suck the happiness right out of you. And the funny thing about worrying is that causing ourselves all this mental anxiety and stress won’t change the outcome of our problem, we are worrying unnecessarily.
By practising mindfulness we can bring awareness and breath to our everyday present moment. Both ancient wisdom and modern psychology claim that mindfulness is the very cause of our happiness.
My purest joy can come from a simple act such as enjoying a bowl of raspberries or walking on a nature trail with the wind blowing in my face. We don’t need extravagant outer life conditions and we definitely don’t need to waste our time comparing or judging ourselves. We just need to live mindfully, in the moment.
These habits are 5 of the biggie’s that we can work towards changing, but of course there many other habits we can rid ourselves of and also incorporate to find a more peaceful balance in life. If you are interested in learning more we will look some of these habits in upcoming articles and you can also download our free guide: 12 Steps to Happiness below.
You have the ability to be happy, no matter what your life looks like, begin to rewire old habits of the mind and you will see the world through a new lens; take away the blur and experience the crystal clear life you are meant to live, a life of happiness and freedom.