Forget These 7 Ideas to Find Happiness
Searching for happiness is a feature that defines us as human beings. However, we often encounter an enemy that gets in the way of our path to happiness. This enemy is ourselves, due to the limitations that we put on ourselves, intentionally or not.
Many people cling to certain ideas, thinking this is what they need to do in order to be happy, when in reality, they’re just restricting their capacity to achieve true happiness. Wrongly defining “happiness” is their first mistake, because, as James E. Talmage wrote, one of the biggest problems faced by people today is recognizing the difference between happiness and pleasure.
“Happiness does not always require success, prosperity or attainment. It is often the joy of hopeful struggle, consecration of purpose and energy to some good end. Real happiness ever has its root in unselfishness — its blossom in love of some kind.”
-William George Jordan-
Break those chains to find happiness
Given the way we live today, being happy doesn’t mean doing more or achieving more. What you really need to do is release yourself, stop doing so much, and forget certain patterns of behavior. In the era of freedom, we’re still tied to a multitude of invisible chains that keep us from being ourselves.
Breaking those chains and letting go of those ideas can bring you much closer to happiness than anything else. These are the ideas you should leave behind:
1. Stop seeking the approval of others
Start thinking about what you want and don’t depend on other people’s opinions. Don’t let others manipulate your decisions or organize your life. Live according to your own values. If you depend on other people’s opinions, you’ll be doing things for them, according to their interests. But what about your own interests?
2. Let go of anger and resentment
Anger and resentment will devour you from the inside. You’re the one who’s being punished and making yourself unhappy, the one responsible for the damage caused by others. Learn to be at peace with the people who have hurt you. If you forgive them, you will feel better. The people that anger you control you. Take back control by letting go of resentment and forgiving them.
“Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got.”
3. Let go of the idea of perfection
Aspiring to be perfect in some aspects is honorable, at least if you’re talking in spiritual terms. Loving and valuing perfection is also laudable. But living for perfection is very different. Stop thinking about the perfect body, the perfect partner, the perfect life, the perfect things. The constant search for perfection can lead to obsession, slow you down, and prevent you from making progress.
4. Stop thinking money equals happiness
You’ve heard it before: money can’t buy happiness. To justify their unhappiness, many people still say “maybe not, but it helps.” But what’s really making them unhappy is not having found meaning in their lives. Money and happiness have nothing to do with each other. It’s the way you value what you have and what you experience that determines happiness, no matter what you have.
“A man’s wealth is not in what he has, but what he leaves behind.”
5. Stop making excuses
Don’t make excuses. If something isn’t going well, do something about it. If you need something you don’t have, do what you have to do to get it. If what you need is not within your reach, find an alternative.
If you want to do something or learn something, what are you waiting for? If you don’t like something, change it. And if you can’t change it, change yourself. Do you want results? What are you waiting for?
“When you think it’s too late, be careful you don’t let that become your excuse for giving up. No one can keep you from success except yourself.”
6. Don’t be so stubborn
Don’t be stubborn. Admit your mistakes, your erroneous thoughts, and your unproductive attitudes once and for all. Admitting and correcting your mistakes doesn’t make you weaker. When you’re less stubborn and rigid, you’ll be more open to positive change and more flexible in dealing with problems.
“The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won’t.”
-Henry Ward Beecher-
7. Let go of your emotional baggage
Weighing yourself down with negative feelings about past experiences will only make it more difficult for you to move on. Stop living in the past. Learn, forgive, and move forward so you can be happy. The burden of pain will prevent you from seeing all the opportunities that present themselves to you and cause you to wrongly judge the people you meet on your path.