3 Things to Give Up to Be Happy

Who doesn’t want to be happy? Go ahead, raise your hand up high – loud and proud.

That’s what I thought.

The truth is, we’re all looking for it – happiness. We’re all seeking ways to have it in our lives. Faster. Sooner. Right now. Yesterday. Tomorrow. Forever.

But what we don’t consider is how much WE have to do with our happiness. I may not be that old, but in my thirty years on this planet, I’ve heard a lot about what will make someone happy. Recognize any of these?

  • A new car or truck
  • A new house
  • A new lover
  • A change in job
  • A new career path
  • No job
  • Diamonds
  • New clothes
  • New shoes
  • The newest gaming system
  • A new book
  • That new CD 
  • A new phone
  • A new computer
  • A new husband or wife
  • No kids
  • A baby

I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. And I bet one or two of these may have rung a bell. I know I’ve uttered several of these as I was going through life’s valleys. In fact, I know I’ve uttered these in the past 6 months!

But what often happens when we finally obtain that long sought after thing? We’re content for a little while…but then we find ourselves sad, angry, or frustrated. And we begin to think to ourselves, “If I only had ________, I would be so much happier…”

And so the cycle goes, over and over again, until you reach an old age and realize that NONE of those things that you begged for really mattered. They may have mattered at the time, but in hindsight, they were just THINGS. They didn’t change our personal circumstances and they didn’t get rid of those pesky things about life. They didn’t keep the sickness away, the drama at bay, or the depression under wraps. Instead of focusing on what the real problems were, we just found something to distract us.

Yep – I’m saying it. These things that you feel will make you happy are really just distractions from the real things that are plaguing us.

Heavy, right?

So, how about instead of pushing the problems aside and distracting ourselves for the next few months, we instead choose to deal with the problem. No, it’s not as fun. No, it’s not easy. No, it’s not clean – it’s actually pretty messy to deal with personal issues. But in the long run, you will feel happier.

So what are these problems that are at the root of all our unhappiness? Below are some particularly common issues that I think most humans can relate to. There are definitely more than this, but after doing some research, I’ve compiled a list of about 10 of the most common problems. These three would have to be the most difficult for me and so, I’m choosing to tackle them first. We’re only into the 3rd month of the year, leaving me plenty of time to work on all 10 of these problems. My goal? By the end of 2017, I will be a much happier person than the one that started this year.

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What I need to give up in order to be happy

The need to always be RIGHT

Ever notice how wrapped up you’ll get in a conversation when you’re trying to convince the other person that you’re right? A simple comment or criticism can set you in a tail swing headed straight for a crash landin510cwouldyou1g disaster. I truly believe it’s human nature to jump on the offense when it comes to criticism or a difference in opinions. We pride ourselves in being right, especially when our job or credibility is on the line. But sadly, sometimes we get so wrapped up in proving that we’re right that we lose track of everything else that’s going on.

The next time you’re in a situation where you feel yourself feeling threatened, take a deep breath and ask yourself: would I rather be right or be happy? Then based on your answer, choose how to move forward.

The need for CONTROL

Oh the ever elusive search for total control over our lives. We always tell ourselves that we can handle it all – that we can get it all together and then we’ll have fyou-cant-control-everythingull control.

Who do we think we are – God? I don’t know about you, but I certainly can’t control the weather, the traffic, the moods of others, the line at the grocery s
tore… No, I’m not God, nor am I a puppet master. I am not able to predict things or control things outside of myself. This includes the people around me. And if I were able to control everyone else, that would be kind of creepy and very manipulative.

When you relinquish the need to control everything, you wind up being able to experience life a little bit more. Take this bit of advice coming from a control freak: sometimes it’s nice to just let go. Not of everything – I didn’t say space out – but of just the things that deep down are out of your control. Take a deep breath (or a few) and tell yourself “peace begins with me.”

 

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Complaining just to COMPLAIN

Oh the ever so resilient complaint – no matter how great life is, we always seem to find one teensy, weensy thing that could be “better”.

  • If I could just get a dollar more an hour, life would be perfect.
  • If my hair would just stay straight/stay curly, everything would be perfect.
  • If there was just an extra hour in the day, I could get it all done. 
  • If they just learned how to to drive, we wouldn’t have so many accidents!
  • If I could just drop 5 more pounds, I would never ask for anything ever again.
  • If I could just have a baby, I would be happy – life would be perfect.

How many of us have uttered these things? Go ahead – raise your hand. No one’s looking! I know I’ve uttered every single one of these phrases – some more often than others.

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And let’s face it – no one’s life is perfect. All of us have these little areas that could use tweaking. In some cases, these little tweaks are necessary and can improve our lives significantly. Most of the time, though, we don’t really need the things that we’re complaining about. I think often times we pick our lives to pieces and complain because we’re so busy playing the comparison game. And that’s a completely different battle in and of itself (we’ll tackle that in a later blog)

If you truly want to be happy, you’ll have to stop the complaining, or at least cut back significantly. It’s very difficult to see the rainbow if you’re only focused on the rain. And who wants to see the rain when you can see beautiful colors?? Here we are – alive, breathing, working, cultivating, moving, speaking, hearing – all things that we take for granted. All of those things make up the beautiful rainbow in our world. But yet, instead of reveling in the gorgeousness, we are looking at the rain by complaining about all these things we wish we could change.

So I’m going to level with you – it’s time to cut the complaining. If you stop long enough and just be present and acknowledge everything in your life that is going right, you’ll be surprised at how much happiness you can find. And for those of you who insist that it’s not possible, then I have this much to say to you: if you’re not happy, then do something about it. Action speaks louder (and gets more done) than words.

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If you don’t like something and want to get out of it, then get out of it! If you’re unhappy with something and have the ability to change it, then change it. I understand that not everything has a simple solution, but sometimes we are our most stubborn enemy! If we just got out of our own way, we could create the world we’re looking for. But if you’re staying in a situation and continuing to complain, then a) you’re choosing your pain and b) it’s just plain unhealthy.

Remember this: holding onto your grievances only blocks the love and happiness from entering your life. If you can learn to look for the rainbows and the stars, you will attract the love into your life. ❤️

 

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