Have you ever noticed happy people? What is it that they do differently? They seem to have a spring in their step and are always content with whatever life gives them. Unfortunately, most of us are displeased about something or the other happening in our lives. At some level, we are always craving a little something more. Most of us are chasing happiness in one way or the other all the time.
However, there are people who seem so positive all the time. Their inner joy is reflected through their words and actions. They seem to radiate a sort of positive energy. We think that they have got everything right happening for them. We might look at them and think they have their dream job, dream house, perfect family, they are beautiful, but is it really so? They might seem like it but the truth is life is never perfect for anyone, as they say “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. These people have their setbacks and disappointments too. They too have problems, but they have mastered the art of overcoming them gracefully.
Unfortunately, we are often taught things since early childhoods which are quite contrary to the lessons life teaches us in later years. To be truly happy there are few lesson that you must unlearn right away. So how does one truly become happy in life?
- Happiness is actually a choice and not something that will just come to you.
- To be happy you need to change a few habits.
- One of the basic things about happiness that you must understand is that true happiness comes from inside.
- Look into your inner compass and stop finding happiness in things, people and your surroundings.
- There can be habits and routines which are the main hindrance to your happiness.
Happiness is to be cultivated by your actions and mindset. The sooner you change a few things i.e. unlearn the lessons which society might say are right the sooner you will be able to feel real happiness. Here are 20 lessons you should unlearn to be happy.
20. There Is Always A Right Way To Do Things
There is a right way of doing something and there is the wrong way. We are told all our life to do things the right way. The way which we are told to do and we are always expected to follow the path which has been preset for us. Exploring, failing, making mistakes and discovering all are part of growing. In the process you even discover yourself. You don’t need to follow the path which might be stereotypical or is accepted by society generally. Rather work on your path and your process. Have your own set of beliefs and principles and let others have their own.
- It is not about doing things the right way, it is about doing the right things.
- There are three ways to do something; the right way, the wrong way and the way which you find right
19. I Must Fit In To Belong
One of the biggest mistakes we make throughout our lives is to fit into the roles that society has carved out for us. Most of us feel that if we don’t fit in we might be considered as some sort of outcasts. Fitting in doesn’t have to mean you contort yourself according to other people’s vision of you. When you start letting go of your dreams, ideology and sometimes even principles just to be accepted by those around you, there is a constant struggle going inside you. You will be never happy this way. Rather, try to be fit into your true self.
- You will always belong when you are comfortable with yourself.
- Don’t be afraid of your individuality; rather be proud to show off your real self with confidence.
- Once you are confident, you will be more accepted and would not care all that much about other’s approvals.
18. I Must Work Hard To Be Successful
Hard work is the key to success and working hard will make you successful. This is not entirely wrong but to an extent it is! The harder you work, the sooner you will feel worn out. Instead, you must pause and breathe. You must enjoy the little joys that life has to offer. You must do the things you love doing. In order to climb the corporate ladder we often stop doing the things we once used to enjoy.
- Stop gauging your success by your bank account or the car you drive.
- Definition of success can be different for different people, define what success is for you and then go for it.
- Instead of working hard, focus on working smart.
- Once your definition of success is clear to you, you will naturally enjoy whatever it is you enjoy doing and it will not feel like a rut for you.
17. You Cannot Fail
Another lesson that society instills in your head is that failure is bad and you cannot fail, really? Well, I believe failure is the key to success. Let’s face it failure is inevitable. What is important is however; what you learn from it and to move on with the lesson failure taught you. Failure can actually open doors to self discovery. If you failed, scrutinize the situation and do an honest self assessment to see why something didn’t work out the way you anticipated it to. Next time do things differently. Learn to accept your mistakes and failures and you will be at peace with yourself.
- You actually learn more from failure, than you do from success.
- Don’t let your failure put you down; instead see it as an opportunity to do things again differently this time.
- Don’t lay the sunlight to rest; you fail only when only when you refuse to get up once again.
16. I Cannot Be Alone
We are taught from a very early age to be social. We are told that being alone will lead to loneliness. Yes, we humans are social animals and to an extent this is right. But a little loneliness is actually good for you. When we always try to surround ourselves with company, we may again have to make some compromises. These compromises can be in form of our views and our visions. We try to fit in too hard into some groups at times. However, a very important skill that happy people have mastered is enjoying their own company. Once you learn how to do that you will rarely find yourself lonely and loneliness is one major cause of depression and sadness. If you don’t know how to enjoy your own company, start by meditating.
- Alone time is actually designed to help you discover yourself, your self worth and get to know the real you.
- If you have never done that, simply go for a stroll or meditate for a while.
- Travelling alone is also very good for you. Just forget everything and take a short trip, maybe to a place you have never been before.
- Take out sometime everyday where you are by yourself and do whatever you enjoy doing without any inhibitions or distractions.
- Soon you will learn to enjoy your own company and be happy. This is one of the major steps to finding happiness from inside.
15. My Life Should Go Smoothly
All of us want our lives to go smoothly, but the truth is the road of life is more like a roller coaster ride than a smooth road. There will be unexpected turns, bumps and even points where you will feel everything has toppled upside down. The ups and downs of life are what makes you strong. No one’s life is problem free. Even the most successful people you see had to struggle to be where they are today. So, don’t look at where they are today, rather look at the journey they took.
- Learn to embrace each turn, without resisting the change. Too much resistance results in friction i.e. the friction between where you are and where you would like to be.
- A smooth road never makes a good driver, and clear skies never make good pilots. A problem free life never makes a strong person.
- Once you start to accept the ups and downs more gracefully, you will feel more at peace.
14. What Others Think Of You Is Imperative
We give too much significance to what others think of us. We are taught what people around you think of you is important. We spend too much effort and energy is trying to get approvals of others. However, the one person whose opinion matters the most is you. You need to know what you think of yourself and first and foremost work on the relationship you have with yourself. Once you connect with your inner self you will feel much more love and joy. The problem with seeking others’ approval all the time is that we lose touch with our inner selves. Once this connection is lost there is a constant battle inside you.
- We are taught to be good daughters/sons, good siblings, good spouses and later on even good parents, but what about being a good person?
- We spent so much time juggling different roles that we forget who we are in all this.
- If you feel you have lost touch with yourself for too long and find yourself always unhappy start working on your spiritual wellness.
- Spiritual wellness is when your thoughts, visions and actions are all in harmony. Once they are they have a positive impact on your overall physical and mental state.
13. To Be Happy I Need To Be Just A Bit More Richer, Skinnier, Prettier or Popular
One of the biggest problems in our society is that we are not satisfied with what we have. We would look at the girl in magazine and want her body, or someone’s position or wealth or even their looks. We have created some very superficial standards which we believe will give us happiness. If happiness could be achieved with those things, we will see no rich and pretty person going through depression or anxiety. The root cause of our dissatisfaction is the fact, that we are never content with what we have. Instead of counting our blessings we count others’.
Have you ever felt that after getting your dream job, or achieving your target weight or reaching any other worldly milestone that you had set for yourself for how long does that happiness last? I am not saying do not set goals for yourself and not work towards achieving them, but what I am saying is that stop looking for happiness outside.
- Happiness is not outside; long lasting happiness comes from within.
- Learn to count your blessings
- Be more confident of your individuality, your gifts, your talents and yourself and never be afraid to show the world the real you.
12. My Life Is Off Track
Okay, so if that is the case instead of venting about it, why don’t you put it on track? How, you may ask. Well by accepting where you are and what your situation is. Life never goes as planned. There will always be broken dreams and unachieved goals at some levels. Thinking that just because things didn’t go as planned doesn’t mean you are where you are not supposed to be.
Constantly thinking I am not supposed to be here keeps us from even enjoying the little joys of present. As they say there is no point crying over spilt milk, just like that we must not keep the past or past aspirations from enjoying our present and working on our future.
- You are where God wanted you to be and trust that things are in order
- Often the regrets and unachieved goals keep us from looking forward to the future.
- These are the barriers that you have put in your own mind which restrict your true flight. Don’t do that, instead focus on the little joys life has to offer you at the moment and get ready to soar high towards your future.
11. If I Let Go I Give Up
There are many things I have wanted to do or to learn while passing through life. There have been times that I gave more than my best to a relationship but it didn’t work out. If I sit back and look at the list of things I had to let go with time it will be fairly long. The failures didn’t stop me and yes letting go hurts at a lot of levels, but once you have given something your best and it doesn’t work out you have to let it go. Society often tells you letting go means giving up. This is not true at all, sometimes holding on does more damage than letting go.
- Letting go at the right time is like setting yourself free of shackles which constantly tell you ‘I can’t give up’, they do not let you move forward.
- Make room for new things, which you want and need in this moment and for your future.
- Identify when you should let go of something or someone that no longer serves a purpose in your life.
- If you keep on going back to something that didn’t work out you are constantly weighing yourself down.
- Life is too short and it doesn’t wait for anyone, so keep on moving forward with no burdens.
1o. You Can Enjoy Life Later
We always postpone joy, thinking I can relax once I am 50. Ever since we enter college there are numerous pressures. You start thinking about work, money, job, getting a house and car and so on. The excuses we give ourselves from enjoying life are vacations, retirement or the weekend. We look forward to particular events or days and think “I must work hard right now, I can enjoy later”. There is nothing wrong with hard work and looking forward to later days. This shouldn’t however; keep you from enjoying every day of your life.
- If you relax and aim for balancing your work and personal life every day, every day can be full of joy.
- Aim to reach for happiness every day.
- Take out a little time and just do something which feels good.
9. You Must Listen To Your Head And Not Your Heart
Most of us face a constant battle which goes on between our heads and our hearts. When you want to go for your dreams the mind reminds you it’s risky, you don’t have enough experience, you might end up losing and what does the heart whispers “just give it a shot!” you head will always talk you out of what feels right deep inside. Your heart and your gut are rarely wrong. Over thinkers and those who have a habit of analyzing every minute detail are more stressed than the happy go lucky ones. The reason is simple they listen to their heads too often.
- The heart always tells you what you want deep inside.
- You will never be able to escape the whispers of your heart, as they come from your soul so it is better to always listen to them.
- If you want to opt for a career path which is rare or maybe even switch careers in the middle, you are scared of taking the risk. This builds up frustration and whatever you are doing feels like a burden.
- On the other hand if you listen to your heart and take a leap at whatever it is telling you, you will be enjoying your life more and work won’t feel like work. This goes in all matters of your life.
8. If You Don’t Know How It’s Done, Then Don’t Go For It
We are trained to do the things from the beginning in a certain way. When someone wants to take a path which is different or unexplored he is always discouraged. The lesson instilled in our heads has always been if you do not know how to make it happen, you better not try it. But what about learning as you try? Remember, experience is one of the best teachers, therefore; one must not be afraid of bumps and hiccups ion the way.
- What makes great entrepreneurs great is their ability to take risks.
- Even though this requires you getting out of your comfort zone and doing something entirely different don’t keep yourself from doing it just because you aren’t exactly sure where this new path might lead you to
- Go for it, and be ready to be thanked by your future self.
7. I Need Supportive People Around Me
Being supported and encouraged by your friends and family is off course important, but what is even more important is how much you encourage and support yourself. What if you have a dream that you want to achieve but those around you don’t believe in it. Will you listen to your heart or to others’ opinions? Unsupportive people don’t really care about you or what makes you happy. They are more concerned about their needs for you. Look at your close circle and identify people who are supportive and to whom your happiness matters.
- What others say and think is insignificant.
- If there is a dream you want to pursue and those around you don’t support you in it question yourself about what you believe in.
- The stronger your belief in your dreams and your success, the lesser you need other people’s approvals.
6. Self love Means You Are Selfish
The society teaches us to put others before us. It tells us to be caring and compassionate. These are the qualities what makes you human. However, in putting others before yourself how many times did you let others take you for granted? There is a fine line between self-love and selfishness. Off course the needs of those around you are important in life, however; this doesn’t mean you forget yourself in the process of serving others. You cannot take care of others if you yourself are broken. Often the hardest battles are those that you pick for your own self.
- It is important to know yourself worth.
- You must differentiate between doing things for others and when others start taking you for granted.
- You must know when to put the foot down for your own self.
- You can only stand up for those around you when you know how to stand up for yourself well.
5. You Should Put Your Responsibilities Before Your Dreams
Off course your responsibilities are important and the fact is that all of us owe something to our loved ones. However, the responsibilities should not come in the way of your dreams. Our dreams always take a backseat as we face the responsibilities of life. Slowly letting go of dreams means slowly letting go of parts of yourself. If you devote yourself to your dream, go make it happen even if you have to struggle. Remember:
- Your dreams are your responsibility too, so do not let excuses from following through to your real purpose in life.
- The maximum that might happen is that you might not succeed initially, but at least you will have this deep inner satisfaction.
- If you don’t follow your dreams, who will?
4. Your Destination Is Your Reward
If your destination was your reward, you will see many CEOs and millionaires would simply stop working after a certain point. The truth is that these are the people who have understood that life is a journey, and not a destination. Your true reward doesn’t lie in the destination, but rather the lessons you learnt in your journey. Your journey is what makes you who you are today.
- Most of us spend our lives focusing too much on the destination and simply pass through our lives without actually showing up in tem.
- Understand the difference between just passing through life and actually showing up.
- Start being present in your journey and happiness will become a way of travel for you!
3. Showing Vulnerability Is A Sign Of Weakness
You are always taught showing vulnerability is a sign of weakness that might be true in sports or maybe in war. In life the truth is the exact opposite. However, this is something very few can understand. In fact, it took me a couple of heartbreaks and failures to truly understand and unlearn this one. As we are told we cannot show our vulnerable side to the world, we unconsciously start keeping too much confined. This includes our feelings, fears and even opinions at time. It is okay to show signs of weakness at times, it only shows you are human and you are real.
- When you start sharing yourself completely, you will feel lighter and feel a sense of freedom.
- When you are being vulnerable it means you are not hiding away anymore. You are embracing all of you including your week side.
- Embracing your weaknesses is an opportunity to work on them.
2. You Should Hold On Just A Bit Longer
When something is not working out be it a marriage or work we are always told to hold on for just a bit longer. If something hasn’t worked out in all this time, how will holding up for a bit longer will? Jillian Michaels, the fitness guru and one of my life coaches always says “Learn to get comfortable in being uncomfortable”. The main reason we do not let go of things is because we are too scared of the change, and actually fear the unknown.
- You may not leave a job that you are unhappy doing for the fear of how will I be able to pay my bill?
- We do the same with relationships, if you have been with someone for a while and it is not working out, ask yourself honestly how it will now?
- There is no point of making yourself miserable in being stuck in a situation which makes you miserable every day.
- Remember, sometimes holding on does more damage than letting go.
1. What You Do Defines You!
Another one that you often hear is that “who you are is what you do”. That is complete nonsense! You are not a noun and adjectives such as your job title, or other roles such as mother, daughter and girlfriend don’t define you. These are different roles that you play but these don’t define you. You are so much more than these titles associated with you.
- Realize you are much more than these roles.
- Identify your true self and start celebrating it for yourself.
- Do not let these roles define or confide you from showing the world your true self.
How To Work On Unlearning These Lessons
- Simply analyze yourself.
- You may write down on a piece of paper, which of these lessons you follow.
- Then do an honest self assessment and decide which one is making you most miserable.
- Work on these one by one, obviously changing your habits completely will take some time and effort
- Once you start, you will see a lot of positive changes they might be minute but be happy about each step you take in the right direction.