15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be HappyHere 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

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 off 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 thing 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.

If you want to learn more about HOW to let go of these 15 things, check out the book with the same title, available NOW on Amazon for order and worldwide shipping.

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With all my love,

 

 

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Comments

Luminita D. Saviuc

Luminita, the Founder of PurposeFairy, is an enthusiastic student of the arts, psychology, and spirituality. Her acclaimed blog post,15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy , was shared by over 1.3 million people on Facebook. Later on, it became the heart of her book, 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy., book that was published by Penguin Random House.For more details check out the 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy Book Page.

277 Comments
  1. I have been practicing all of these things for most of my life. At various times in my life different ones of these had a presense in my life – even to this day I use these things. I have stopped complaning, accepted responsibility for my own actions, have no real need to be in control, working on the self defeating one…that one is a little tough for me – always had low self esteam so feeling positive towards myself has been a real challenge.
    Once I reached the point where I needed to be ME and I stopped living to please others (by following their control) I broke the chains that held me bound – I found a freedon that I have never experianced before that day, then all of thos folks started respecting me for being me.
    My fears…the ones that are in my head – I like the way that was put…is the one I am working on right now. I have been in care giving mode to my mother for a long time now and I am…have been known to second guess myself and even doubt that I am doing enough for her. Some days I can “fire” those negitive emotions and feel good about my efforts and decisions, other days I have to fight a little harder to not let those thought defeat me. I am now winning that battle more and more often!
    It was great to see the list all together – it helped me to realize that I have maintained more control over my life that I once believed. It even lets me believe that when it is momma’s time to depart this life, that I will be truly able to manage myself as well as the other members of my family. It will be the most difficult thing to go through, but YES I WILL MAKE IT THROUGH!

  2. This all sounds great except for 2 words, “Give up.” Sounds like surrendering, and what you appear to mean, and said in post #155, is, “let go,” or release, all of these 15 things. You might even add a 16th thing, Expectations, not what the rest of the world expects of you, but what you expect of them. Our expectations that the world is fair, or that other people are going to act a certain way because of something we do are probably the single most self defeating behavior we have.

    Thanks,

    Papa Soji

  3. Trying to make yourself more happy through spiritual practice is, in itself, a non-acceptance of things as they presently are. We can instead just be okay with ourselves inside dysfunction. Trying to get more happiness or more peace is just ego becoming trickier.

  4. Great article… But as for #4, giving up limiting beliefs…. Why not just give up our attachment to all beliefs? In the realm of infinite possibility – all beliefs are valid. So why just get rid of what we ‘perceive’ is limiting, just lose all of them and leave ourselves open for everything.

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

  5. I love number 14. I am a very possesive person. When i read this part, it made me realize that we can love without being so much attached with the person. I realized that I can draw trust and peace of mind if i just let love flow instead of attachment.

  6. Thanks for the helpful content. It is also my belief that mesothelioma has an extremely long latency period of time, which means that warning signs of the disease might not exactly emerge right until 30 to 50 years after the preliminary exposure to mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma, that is certainly the most common kind and is affecting the area within the lungs, will cause shortness of breath, upper body pains, as well as a persistent coughing, which may produce coughing up bloodstream.

  7. Feelings arise spontaneously and shaming someone for their feelings or making them “wrong” because of them is NOT useful. It’s another ‘blame the victim’ idea.

    Sometimes the best way to deal with feelings is to sit with them, feel them thoroughly and let them pass- not push them away or push them down. To make someone’s feelings illegitimate is to make them illegitimate. Now you have placed judgment on top of shame.

    Asking people to deny their feelings or distract themselves gives the message “you’re not doing it right” or “you’re not right.” Now you have resistance on top of pain. Pushing feelings down to the unconscious is unhealthy. Conscious anger can be dealth with; unconscious anger breeds something esle altogether. We see a great deal of submerged anger at work in the world.

    We need to allow for human wounding, treat it with empathy and find compassion within ourselves to respond to it by embracing the wounded one with that compassion.

  8. I have to agree with the post by Lucius (13). My life experience includes the fact that for the first 12-15 months of my life I was a baby exposed to mild abuse and severe neglect. My birth mother did not put her cigerettes out on me but she did have the tendency to leave me alone for Long periods of time (days at a stretch). Noone touched me, fed me or comforted me when I cried. There are very basic chemical reactions that have to happen in the brain of an infant in order to create the neuological pathways to frontal lobes of the brain in order to feel life (or even have the potential to feel life) the way most people do. I imagine that most people can feel better about being alive by following your tips because their mind has the wiring in order to make those changes. I read a fascinating article in national geographic about the brain which explained that ALL concepts of Love and God are created in the frontal lobe of the brain. (June 1995-volume 187, no 6) When that wiring was never put into place, there is little that drugs, therapy, mantras, spitiuality or ‘put on a happy face’ mindsets that can make it better. I understand this article was written primarily for people with brains that were allowed to develop normally. In my life experience (I’m 48) I have never had a human being tell me they loved me and have never said it to anyone who wanted to hear it from me. Objectively looking back at my life I cannot say I’ve ever felt a single moment of happiness, joy or peace of mind. Reading articles like this for me is like hearing about people talk about the difficulty of managing their weight but they are telling a starving ethiopian about it. I’m living an existance that has never had the possibility of hope (food in my metaphor) due to circumstances not of my doing. I’ve had people tell me I’m playing the victim and that I should just take responsibility for my life yet my brain does not have the wiring for me to be ‘able to repond’. For some of us, this living experience never had the possibilty to feel like a good thing. Some of us were lost causes from the start. I read these articles like an Ethiopian watching a burger king commercial. What you have is simply not available to everyone.

  9. This is a great article. For the person highlighting depression I think it’s worth noting and considering depression as more of a psycho social illness than a chemical one. Not so much clinical depression in native tribes or animals for tht matter. I suffered from wht was deemed depression but alarm bells rang when taking chemical medicines that numbed my emotions and a medical profession who admit to not understanding how these drugs work. I think depression has a root in diet , lifestyle, social expectations and unhealthy thought patterns that manifest over time. With that in mind, this article reads very well and is not something to see negatively. Essentially these are points to consider in a pursuit for a more happy life. They follow suit with many eastern philosophies and create a sense of peace and ease to let go of unconstructive behaviours, which in many cases could be the causes of many forms if depression or ilness if we look at more natural or holistic healing methods.I see nothing to be negative about with this article, regardless of your mental and physical health. If we all embody these ideas we would see great change.

  10. This list is helpful and I try to improve the “ones I BELIEVE” relate to me. I ‘learned’ much from all the comments which all had valid points related to the INDIVIDUAL expressing THEIR point of view. For all those skeptics and negative posts, I see this list as a ‘starting’ point for people who WANT to change their lives and are searching for ways to go about it. If you are happy or content being the way you are I don’t understand why you would even enter sites as this one. Life and each one of us are ever-changing or evolving. We all have a RIGHT to strive for who we want to be. No one says it’s easy it just ‘IS’.

  11. i saw this at the ymca when i was working out. i was so moved by this advice… i really was. and like sarah (the third commenter) i needed to find myself after a horrible break up when i realized i was trying to be the type of girlfriend i didn’t want to be to please someone else. i learned and moved on and it’s been good…

    but i’m still trying to find my own happiness, happiness with just myself, content with myself and my single-dom. i think once i conquere my single insecurities, i hope to be ready for a real, meaningful relationship…

  12. My daughter posted this on facebook, right before or after she told me she was quitting her job. She lives a 1000 miles away, and won’t be able to pay her rent or her car note, buy food or pay her other bills. But, she will be happy, so that’s good?

    1. Liz, sometimes we have to let go of some of the things make us feel secure in order to be abel to receive the things that will be meaningful to us and will also bring a lot of joy into our lives. I am not sure what is the whole situation with your daughter but maybe you should support her and show that you love her and you respect her decisions and that will definitely help her move even more confidently in the direction of her dreams. I am sure she knows why she did that and if she’s happy maybe you should be happy for her also. I am sure she will find a job that she loves.

  13. We are a group of volunteers and opening a brand new scheme in our community. Your site provided us with useful information to paintings on. You’ve performed an impressive job and our entire community might be thankful to you.

  14. I probably read this when it first came out, yet it’s nice to have come back. Although I did not take the time to read all comments this time, the list sure has grown. I also believe, the list of comments would probably help update this article. Not that I’m trying to control or take over either. But that it’s kind of cleaning things up also. It is very good article and comments, but over the time, things have and are changing. Balance is key, and not always shifting to what appears say happy. But cities for example use to expand often by kicking out a farmer, and now cities well be farming. History has shown our imbalancements have many at possible risks as well as in growing depression rates for many different reasons. Of which society claims to be trying to fix; of coarse this well be madening for some once again, but in the long run, many more well not loose them selfs so much. Spreading services rather then like sending country or seniors into like cities, away from remaining family or friends. Often saying their going to help, but actually really making things not only feel worse but be worse. These people become lost because everything has changed and they often gain weight or loose health. When something simple as a swim in a doughout or a green house kept them mobile vs living on a 3rd floor without even a deck. Driving vs taxi bills, when someone often even did their own repairs. Kinda like trying to turn a jack of all trades, to have no trades or how silience can really be noise.

  15. What about the fact that you’re posting this using technology largely made by people who don’t subscribe to your life view? Many of the best engineers are motivated by ambition, competition, ego, and desire for money. People who focus on the real, physical situation. When something goes wrong and its someone’s fault, they criticize the incompetent person who messed up the situation. That violates 1-3, 6-8, 10, and 14-15 on your list. Some capable people have a life view that matches yours, but many don’t. If everybody did, a lot less would’ve gotten done and there would be no internet or web servers to allow you to share your philosophy. What do you find unreasonable about this point?

    1. Johnny, I am not imposing anything on anybody and I get the impression that you may be confusing all of these things with inaction and that is not the case 🙂

      I always do my best to keep my mind open to new ideas, new things and I never said that what I write about is the ultimate truth and I rarely use words like reasonable and unreasonable so I will not be able to label what you have shared with us. My mind is always open 🙂

  16. LOVE #1!
    Give up your need to always be right. Far to often do we all care only about how we see things and forget how others are seeing it.

    We fight our point and do not try to understand what others are saying.

  17. First of all, great list! But these are all products of being “happy”. I wouldn’t use the word happy because life is so much more than just being happy. You need to include all the colors in the spectrum, not just the pretty ones. When you are able to see past yourself and really see the beauty of life you understand that you don’t need to be happy all the time.

    I don’t think it is as easy as just letting all these things go in order to become happy. If you strictly focus on letting go of things and live your live by the new rules you create, you just substitute an old system with a new one.

    Its first when you realize that there is no rules when you can start to make progress.

    Be the creator of your own reality!

    1. Can you elaborate what do you mean by “all the colors in the spectrum”? I mean, I realize life has so much in it, but I think happy here falls under being content with what you do.

      Like yes there are the sad part and stressful parts, but it is being content with what you are doing, that is what I think.

      Do you have a different point of view? I am interested in what you mean.

  18. I follow these rules. Its very difficult and sometimes emotion allows me to disregard them. I think its most important that we come back down to reality and make way of your suggestions when we can. I think that everyone is intitled to their opinion and own way of life. People are commenting anger over your “advise”. As if you just made a law. Its about choice. We chose to read this post because it in some way intriqued us. Its quite shallow to read on as a pessismist. If the words were upsetting you because you are different and incapable of performing them due to an illness, I’m guessing that your illness does not have the power over you to stop reading it rather than share how stupid it was. Its just her opinion people. No different that the opinions we posted. I think fear is key to survival but the fears she speaks of are the ones that prevent growth. I think control was meant to let go of controlling the actions and circumstances of others, not self. And as for attatchment, I think she meant of the physical world and unwanted emotions,not love for others. Its how we think that tends to rule how we feel and we do have the power to change what we are crurently thinking about to change how we feel at the moment.it may not change how we see or feel about the situation but it will change how you feel in the moment. It is not possible to think of something good and feel bad at the same time just as it is not possible to think of something bad and feel good. I know I can’t erase the pain someone has caused me or the pain I’ve caused another but I can control wether or not I choose to think about it. I’m speaking for all of us who are capable of living independantly. If we close our eyes and think of something that brings us joy, our bodies embrace it and the same applies to thinking of things that anger or sadden us. We are not perfect and never will be just as happiness is never permanent and only comes in moments. All we can try to do is pay attention to what we choose to think about.

    Just remember that in truth we are a walking trinity. Mind(our computer for survival,very demanding and offensive and fearfull always trying to protect us from damage and make us stronger),the soul(the best us possible trying to reason wth the mind in order to shine its true purpose)and the body(struggling to please the mind n soul using it to accomplish greatness and survival) when I want to retaliate,over eat,grow and love, or even smoke a joint. I always ask myself who wants this? Mind,body or soul and then I feed accordingly. I can’t blame others but I can blame my paranoid mind or my hungry body but never others for my mistakes. I loved this article as well as all your opinions(positive and negative) because we are only a reflection of eachother and I learn from everyone to better my Trinity. Peace to all of you.

  19. And always remember that if you find yourself unable to completely change yourself into the ideal expressed in this unrealistic list, you’ll be unhappy forever …

    1. I don’t think that the point of the list is to say, “if you’re not doing every one of these things perfectly, you’re going to be miserable forever.” I think that the value of a list like this is to lay out some ideals toward which to move and/or to help someone past a particular obstacle by sharing a perspective they may not have considered.

  20. What an awesome article. I have found that life is not static, and that I constantly move from feeling to feeling and thought to thought in a complex adventure every day. This article is a great reminder of priorities to happy and healthy living. Ultimately the reality of life is that we each decide our response to the world around us…and to the world within. Thank you for sharing.

  21. After too many years and too many different experiences, life’s compexities have teach us that answers are elusive at best. We have lost everything and we have everything. Without a need/desire to look inside, we stay blind to everything important. The true measure of attaining enlightenment is the mere fact that one is on the journey. Simply having read this article is a success in itself. Many truths are in it, but not necessarily answers for the moment. Patience is required. Seeds take time to grow. Wisdom also tells us that all seeds do not germinate. Keep planting.

    1. “Seeds take time to grow. Wisdom also tells us that all seeds do not germinate…” That is exactly how it is. It is a process and it takes time, determination and of course, you have to act upon these things 🙂

  22. I was having trouble with the word “attachment” also until I realized that maybe the Purpose Fairy meant “codependency” or “constantly put others’ needs before ones own and in doing so forget to take care of oneself.”

    From the all knowing and never wrong wikipedia: ‘Codependency does not refer to all caring behavior or feelings, but only those that are excessive to an unhealthy degree.”


  23. ron:

    Many people worldwide over the ages have sought to change their lives on these 15 points with varying success, but not with total success. A man is not able within himself to perform such a monumental task. Fortunately, with the help of JESUS in a true relationship ( not what the world calls Christianity–because that is man’s corruption of GOD’S word ) JESUS can help ANY man to change in any and all ways for the best.

  24. I got 15 out of 15. Did I win?
    I don’t know anyone who would score 0 out of 15.
    There are other factors that would be effected.
    Give up the past? That’s what made us who we are today.

  25. Be who you are. Always try to improve yourself, never compare yourself, never judge another for that is not in our hands, believe in one’s self but never construe it as being above another because that is far from the truth, appreciate everyone for who they are not for what they have or have not for we all have more than we realize in so many ways but above all….Care for everyone as you care for yourself.

  26. All great points! I am 49 and have given up a few of these things and have never had a problem with the rest. I’m happy and plan to just get more happy! I think #3 and #12 are two of the biggest issues I have seen in others …I say, “Take personal responsability for your life. Stop blaming. Be accountable.”

  27. I find many of these “give-ups” to be very small-minded. In my experience, people say “Take responsibility and fix your own problems” to make themselves feel superior (but they never say anything about how to fix said problems). “Stop complaining” means “Put up and shut up with my BS.”

    Complaints are constructive when addressed to the right person. The past is good when we learn from it. Impressing others is good when it motivates us to improve ourselves. Almost everything on this list is less something that should be given up and more something that should be turned in a constructive direction.

  28. @Natasha

    “this article is not intended for the mentally ill nor for people who have recently experienced a trauma in their life, such as the death of a loved one. This advice is targeted at normal, mentally healthy individuals who “get in their own way” during basic day-to-day living. And for that audience it is spot on.”

    There is no such thing as “normal.” Normal is an illusion. A facade. An act. Everybody, in their own way, is “strange.” That’s what makes us “individuals.” The better you get to know someone, the weirder and more “abnormal” they become — and I present that as a positive thing. “Normal” is a sociological and cultural phenomenon — a construct. Mentally-ill individuals would benefit from this list as much as “normal” people would, just in a different way. Your comment, as such, was a bit condescending.

  29. @Natasha

    “this article is not intended for the mentally ill nor for people who have recently experienced a trauma in their life, such as the death of a loved one. This advice is targeted at normal, mentally healthy individuals who “get in their own way” during basic day-to-day living. And for that audience it is spot on.”

    There is no such thing as “normal.” Normal is an illusion. A facade. An act. Everybody, in their own way, is “strange.” That’s what makes us “individuals.” The better you get to know someone, the weirder and more “abnormal” they become — and I present that as a positive thing. “Normal” is a sociological and cultural phenomenon — a construct. Mentally-ill individuals would benefit from this list as much as “normal” people would, just in a different way. Your comment, as such, was a bit condescending.

  30. Great post. However, love and fear can exist at the same time. For example; I love God more than anything and yet He is to be feared. Other than that part I thought the article was amazing and very much needed:) Thank you.

  31. Funny, the first 7 items are things I tell my wife all the time when she comes home stressed out to the point of pulling out hair and constant fidgeting. Now if there is only a way I get her to one day try those things. We will work on the other 8 after that…

  32. I think this article is ridiculously stupid. Be exactly who you are. Essentially this article is asking you to be everything that human being are not. Just be who you are. Find people who like you, for you! GIVE UP TRYING TO CHANGE WHO YOU ARE! LOL

  33. Hi, I’m new to commenting. Someone asked about applying this to parenting. My daughter sent it to me, and I am sending it to my other daughter and sister. I have been working on most of these, and know they are all helpful when we are open to the comments. Find the good and worthwhile and leave the rest for someone else. Nuf said. Thanks so much.

  34. #13 written by Lucius

    Thank you. My husband has been out of the house for over a year now and has made my life hell. I often wondered if he had a mental illness, not because of my anger but because of some of the things I witnessed during the last two years of our living together and his complete erratic behavior now. I do believe he really needs help but he doesn’t. I think I also suspect he does because some of the same behaviors I am noticing in my son who has been tested and shows signs of ADHD.

  35. Great article! For me, the difficulty was learning HOW to give these things up. Just announcing I was giving them up, or trying to force it, fake it, or beat myself up for failing never worked. Then I found The Work of Byron Katie which teaches the HOW. If you’re stuck like I was, you may want to check it out. http://www.thework.com or http://www.fearlesslife.com

  36. This was powerful and so concise – It really summed up what I’ve read in so many personal growth books. This type of thinking when we implement it INSTANTLY changes us. It changed me and woke me up to the fact that not controlling my thoughts was a major factor in why I didn’t feel truly happy and in the moment. This is amazing knowledge posted here. Thank you again – Keith

  37. #106 John….my reaction exactly. The article should open with the premise that people suffer when they are self-absorbed, self-centered and self-focused.

  38. What an overly simplistic representation of the world! Most of your points seem to imply that ignorance is bliss – not something we want to teach future generations. There is a way to be happy, and to find beauty in the world AND criticize it so we can make it better. Complacency is not the answer to happiness, betterment is.

    1. Well, sometimes the way we see things it’s just the way we see things and now how they really are, Realist. In order to create something better, you first need to let go of the not so good in your life. If you want to new furniture in your apartment, you will not put the new one on top of the old one, right? You take the old out and you let the new in 🙂

  39. Must say I’m a bit embarrassed to say I do have a huge ego only due to the fact that I was put down my whole childhood so I’m compensating for that fact. I must say that everything is tied together such as stopping making excuses will help with ego. We protect our ego with our excuses. I have a lot if work to do and this article was daunting at first but the person who said to take baby steps made me feel better that it didn’t need to happen all right now. Thank you

  40. One more that we should give up, is:
    Give up being selfish. Being selfish is the first step to unhappiness. We believe we will be happy if we give to ourselves. The reality is that we reflect our emotions. So when somebody does something good and makes us smile, we get a deeper sense of happiness. If we all do it, we can all be happy. Ultimately, being selfless is the ultimate act of selfishness, since through our actions of kindness we receive more love and in turn we become happier…

  41. hmm it seems one of the rules is dont try to be something you are not.. then the very next rule says embrace change.. but if you change, you are becoming something you were not.. so now we have contradicting laws, might as well use the holy bible.. whoops another rule says dont criticize things.. i lost the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Zack, don’t try to be something that you are not has nothing to do with change and the person you will become afterwards. It’s all about being true to yourself and not putting mask and pretending you are something that you’re not just so that people can like you 🙂

      And it’s not about losing or wining as these are just ideas to help us understand ourselves better and to live a more happier and healthier life 🙂

  42. I have trouble giving up attachment to the relationship with my son. The part about ‘coming from a place of fear’ … I just came out of that again, assuming I had lost his love. It’s harder for me being bipolar, to control negative thoughts apparently lol.

    1. I agree. We are frequently led to believe that if we are good and/or productive, we’ll be happy. Each of these (productive, good, happy) is a worthy ideal but being productive doesn’t mean that I’m going to be “good” or “happy” and vice-versa. They each have their own rules, some of which overlap.

  43. INCREDIBLE !!!!!! THIS ARTICLE DESCRIBES EXACTLY WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW! Every single one of these poiints are describing a friend of mine, whom I’d rather not have in my life unless they change these disgusting characteristics about themselves. CRITICISM is one of the most self destructing tools you may use, however high u hold your ideologies, be sure that they are not as high as you think of them ! Think outside urself and put urself into other people’s shoes and stop being such a self obsessed, always has to be right, critical, attention seeking individual! let people do what they wish, be happy for them, because all you’re doing is holding YOURSELF back!

  44. Hi Purpose Fairy, and I must admit it seems strange writing that; I had a friend on Facebook add a link to this article and I found it useful and accurate. After reading a few of the comments, I thought it may be valuable to add that I have a website and blog, Eight Facets, which concerns what I think is the most effective and quickest way to change outdated habits into ones which lead to happiness. I have written a book on the topic of just this, which was published in February.

  45. A reminder for a lot of us, but should be more common sense and it’s just lost among all the complications of life a lot of times.

    I appreciate this as, of course, it came at the perfect time for me as I struggled with others deciding what’s best for some people in my life. It’s hard to constantly bite my tongue but I think it’s calloused enough now it won’t really hurt and will continue to heal.

    Thanks again. And bravo for writing it so simply and matter-of-factly, just like it should be practiced.

  46. I agree with all of these except #14. That is the stupidest concept I have ever heard of. Attachment IS part of love. If you deattach from everyone and everything in your life – where will you be? There is a reason there are clinically diagnosable dieseases that have to do with inability to a”attach” and “Connect” with others, your children, etc. Obviously its very unhealthy, so why would you encourage people to do something like that?

    1. Laura, when you are attached to things, people places, you do it from a place of fear, fear that you might one day lose all of them, and that is now real love.

      “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13:4″

      Being detached from them does not imply you love them not, on the contrary, it shows a great deal of wisdom and understanding about life. You can read more about this here:

    2. I agree with you, Laura. #14, giving up attachment, does not make sense to me, either. Decades of psychological research has demonstrated how essential it is for people to form secure attachments to others. We are all born hard-wired to attach, to form into groups, tribes, families… Connections and attachments build communities, promote compassion and empathy, and give a sense of identity and belonging that all people need. Yes, attachments may open you up to pain in this life… but that is not a reason to avoid them in the pursuit of happiness.

  47. awesomely written, just what i needed at this point in my life, thank u for this post. i now have a checklist to do in my lifestyle 🙂

  48. Amen! I couldn’t have said it better. Most of the things on the list are fairly easy to give up. However there are a few I’m still working on. Thanks for the reminder!

  49. I discovered these things over the years by myself…and they “gelled” for me when someone I love held up a mirror to my life and my behavior. I have given up *most* of these things, and I can assure you that if you do, you WILL be happier. Not patting myself on the back here, just sharing my experience.

  50. Why does everything have to revolve around happiness? As if happiness itself was the ultimate goal of existence. Get over this naive hedonistic world view that wouldn’t get us anywhere other than to extinction. Happiness is the name we give to our half witted understanding of that part of the complex cognitive machinery that in one way or another makes us get things done. Happiness is not an insatiable god we have to worship. Accept the fact that you and those around you can’t always be happy. Accept the fact that sometimes you and those around you **shouldn’t** be happy. Yes of course, it’s obvious we can’t function being unhappy all the time, we do need to feed that happiness hungry monster within us constantly, but don’t overfeed it!!

    Give up being right? Why would I? Egos are irrelevant here, being right is way more important than sparing some one else’s feelings… I wan’t my surgeon to always be right, I want the engineer that designed the plane I’m flying in to always be right, I want the politicians making decisions on behalf of my country to always be right… in fact I wish everyone was right all the time… “kind” is in fact irrelevant.

    Give up control? This sort of hippie buddhist laissez-faire sounds totally counterproductive to me. Things would never get done with that strategy. Of course I agree that we can’t control everything, and it would be unhealthy to worry about what is beyond our control, but this is different from saying that we should “give up control altogether”. Ideally we should control **everything**.

    Give up complaining/criticism? Why? This is a first step to change things for the better. Yes, unfounded, whiny criticism is useless but well founded complains/criticism are extremely useful and necessary .

    1. Pretty much agree with everything you just said, particularly re. the first point – I can choose kindness over rightness when it comes to small things of little or no consequence but never can I do such a thing when it comes to dealing with bigger, more substantial issues in life – that would be something of a spiritual suicide..!

      Besides, its perfectly possible to be kind while maintaining your own stance on an issue – so no need to make it an ‘either-or’ issue.

      It could be that the article perhaps meant it in a different sense altogether, who knows.

      My favourite point by far is #14. Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE it – Im a strong believer in the detachment principle but this is the first time Ive read such a stunningly clear & coherent explanation of attachment vs love – truly brilliant!

  51. Interesting post and comments. However, the title itself made me recoil. The word “should” needs to be removed from our vocabulary. It is very destructive indeed.

  52. wow…sittin back with comp n depression n delighted to read human comments n hoping to have conversation….found a sight n sharing my smile with those that read a write…thanku

  53. There is wisdom in forgiveness and turn the other cheek. I saw the Monty Python sketch “Always Look On The Bright Side” sung by a group of men being crucified. Living the examined life is paramount, and part of that examination is the acknowledgement of evil and sadism in the world. Right now, organized groups of men are seeking to harm women through ugly legislation. Now, once we have taken the time to listen, and understand that these men are truly dedicated to harming women, we are left with very real and stark choices. We can look away. We can not be critical, and hope that things improve. Or we can look, reason, use every sense we possess, all our experience, our empathy and self-preservation, and stand against the evil. I cannot stand by and watch the progress we have made harm my daughter. Trust, but verify, THEN look on the bright side.

  54. Oh dear! My apologies. My comments on fear was in regards to #11, not #10, as I noted. So sorry.
    My point was also that we shouldn’t say it’s an illusion and not real, b/c of the reasons noted.

  55. Great article!

    I would like to say that #10 is not a wholly healthy perspective. You shouldn’t let fear rule over your life, but it is a force we need to give attention to, as it’s what keeps us alive. There are things you should generally be concerned about that are real threats (e.g. driving too fast and reckless, walking alone in challenging neighbourhoods or establishments, not giving due regard to hanging around edges of great heights, associating with an abuser, believing you’re untouchable in a war zone, etc.). It doesn’t mean you have to be phobic, but it begs reason and caution to keep ourselves stay alive. Even to the smallest concepts of fear in not being late or skipping work, b/c you “fear” losing your job. There’s healthy and unhealthy forms of fear. We shouldn’t negate it all as bad.

    Otherwise, the article it was quite helpful and true. 🙂

  56. I’m struggling to be happy. I’m 35 with a nice husband and an incredible 3 year old son and was wondering if others around the same age are happy with their life over all. Thanks for your input.

  57. Instead of using “give up” which implies a deprivation, this would have worked better for me if it was “release” or “let go of”.

  58. “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” – George Bernard Shaw

  59. Oh if i could but do half of these things. My great big FAT ego allways stands out in front and acts like the coolaid guy bustin in the wall!!!

  60. Great post. Well done. I would add this…
    Give up trying to do everything at once. Make changes slowly for better results — pick one of this post’s suggestions, work on that until it’s a habits, and then move on to the next for the real, lasting changes that you want to make.

  61. How do people feel these mantra’s fit with being a parent?

    My experience of people who follow this way of life is that they are very self centred and uncaring about other people, not my idea of an ideal parent or partner.

    The only way of living with them is to become like them and that does not appeal to me. I also believe the world would be a worse place.

    1. On the surface, I thought this was mostly pretty good advice. I know someone who could benefit. But this person has also been very self-centered, and following these tips would do nothing but paper over that problem. In some ways it’d only embolden them more to pursue their own wants. I suppose it’s not a comprehensive list, and maybe this is too spiritual/zen, but I was wondering why there wasn’t an item like, “Give up your self”.

  62. Wonderful to read this this morning. Trying to find yourself ?, I suggest that you read Eckhart Tolle’s books, he gives you great pointers for your life in the here and now, especially in his first book The Power of Now. We do not have to search for ourselves, because when we become aware that is our true self, the start anyway. Don’t fight things, become aware of them. I cannot explain it very well, but on reading his books, have found true peace with myself, my true self.

  63. I’ve worked through a lot of these, and am still working away. I think no. 7 raises a good point: “Give up the luxury of criticism.” But I think that needn’t require giving up the skill of critical thinking which makes for productive change in our lives and in the world. Critical thinking allows one to elevate beyond the criticism of differences, and to start asking why things and people are different, what that means for who I am, and what that means for my place in the diversity of the world. The trick is to strike a balance between that type of critical thinking and having a clear (happy) way of being. The type of criticism to give up is the the kind that is unproductive.

  64. Hi! This is a great post, happy a friend “shared” your blog on FB. Looks like you have some great insights and essays. Are you a life coach? Looked for your bio/to see more about you but couldn’t find anything. Have a great one!

  65. I’am impressed because, I was just having this conversation and finding myself more Happy than ever after giving up those things and people that causes stress, pain etc. Happiness is were I will be and if it causes stress Im learning to walk away.

  66. To be happy, one just need to be content on what they have. It easier said that done.
    so, just don’t be too sad on what you don’t have. Technically this is more achievable.

  67. Love this post. It’s funny….I have been tackling some of this list the past 10 years and didn’t realize it. Now i have a list tackle it all! Thanks!

    I have some relatives with mental illness. Their illness has become part of my problems too. Please believe me that I know it is tough and they have been dealt some bad cards. I try to understand and help when I can. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. But tackling some, not all of things on this list, is helpful for everybody.

  68. I so like this ! I have been working on all of these.so I have to stay away from people or confront them if they cause me to hold on to things .

  69. #10: “Condemnation without investigation is the highest form of ignorance.” – Albert Einstein

    Otherwise, yeah, largely good advice. Definitely good places to start.

  70. Hi,

    Well done. Great post.

    Can you plz elaborate point number 14 with a very thought provoking example. Will be really great.

    Thanks in Advance.

  71. I love this post but you can do or not that the point we are human being but I will try ,when I read this to my love he give me a lovely look.

  72. #42 Chris. You are so right. limiting audiences is out of this world . we are who we are and sometimes situations and chemicals do affect us. Oh, I know that I have overcome even these things, as a great many have everyday of their lives or every other day, should I say. There is also, I believe the agreement each of us made before coming into this world, to be in a situation or with certain people that we can help to learn. And if this isn’t confusing, I don’t know what is, just as the original philosophy status is confusing. best wishes and brightest hope for all of us here in the world.

  73. I have a problem with what is referred to as the subject of attachment. People are devoid of attachment, when we are speaking of persons, places or things. What this means is some people (not all but there are some) which need validation, but do not require it in another form or other. What that means, is there are some (not all) people who rather benefit from attachment but don’t care to show it. I am aware that infers a contradiction of the sort.

    What we can draw to a conclusion is that there exists a conflict, or a struggle to identify what acts as attachment then from not.

    If you read me properly, I feel attachment on many different levels but it DOES nothing to inform me from the benefits of it. I don’t think there is something wrong with that, but there’s something not right about it either, or is there? I may see attachment in the manner which I seek it. Therefore, I see some superficial aspects as well.

    There are people in the world who’ll only attach themselves at a certain cost, as long as they benefit from it, they also have a fear of attachment from others. I call that a double standard.

    To approach the various levels of attachment I care to submit myself to, I know I speak in a language unfamiliar to incur what those aspects actually may be. Maybe they are true, maybe they are not. . . but I do know I quantify other people’s view of attachment.

    I feel insecurity just like all people do, in order to identify if they (person x y or z) only rather benefit from it themselves without expending anything at all. Attachment resembles a quality of something along the lines of inferiority, that people aim with, for something they want not that THEY need.

    There’s a difference which involves attachment: as something necessary to sustain one’s humanity, as opposed to something that relies upon a sense of fear of attachment.

  74. What a great article. I’d like to see it edited to be more positive. For instance, the statement “Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you “, changed to “dismiss everything your mind is telling you.

    Here’s a note I titled, Liala’s Guaranteed Recipe for Happiness

    Take control of your mind. Your mind is to serve you. To give you answers to your questions and retrieve things in memory. That’s it. Stop it from controlling you with its thoughts. Put your attention on your immediate present and dismiss interfering thoughts your mind produces to take you out of presence. Recognize the fears for what they are and dismiss them rather than entertain them and let your mind control you with fearful thoughts. Thoughts that pertain to anything but the immediate present take you out of the here and now and prevent you from attending to what’s in front of you in the present moment and from enjoying your life now. Focus on the pleasures available to you in each moment. Focus on the positive and make note of the negative. Focus on solutions to problems and take your attention off the problem itself. Recognize, acknowledge and dismiss the fears underlying emotions that arise when you think about the problem. Start smiling. Force yourself if you have to, but keep it coming because it will eventually flow freely. Every time a negative thought or statement is delivered by you or someone else, create a thought or statement that is the exact opposite. The opposite must exclude the original negative word. Stop using the words: not, don’t, wont’, shouldn’t wouldn’t and couldn’t. They’re invisible words. Every word you speak is recorded in your cells. Negative, words, statements and thoughts lowers your vibration. When you think positive thoughts, take positive actions and speak positive words you raise your vibration. Separate yourself from negative people and situations. Think of yourself first. Take a stand for yourself. Treat yourself with the utmost respect. Recognize when others are trying to engage you in their negative creations and patterns, and disengage quickly. Walk talk and be proud. Reward your loving self and stop punishing yourself for negative thoughts your mind creates. Recognize the behaviors you have programmed into you as a result of fears created by your mind. Let go of those behaviors and let your loving heart – the true you before all the bullshit, be the one that participates in and enjoys life and is the one everyone gets to know.

    With gratitude to Fran.

  75. I like how anyone who disagrees with you gets deleted. If you’re so sure that you’re offering good advice, why not allow disagreement?

    1. Johnny, nobody is being deleted 🙂 If people post aggressive comments that are not justified just because they confuse this blog post with the comment section on youtube, they are just not being approved, for this is not the place for them to be.
      I admire those who question a lot and I ado believe in the word of Buddha: “Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”

      Infinite Love and Peace!

  76. From personal experience – I believe suicide is a call from the spirit world when are ego is not happy with the matierial world. My mental illness grew from delusions of grandeur I (my ego) spent years cultivating. I do believe the spirits help us on this plane when we are open to the next demension. The Course of Miracles is a great way to see with Love rather than the illlusions of fear. Love is in the air – breathe!

  77. Oh man I LOVE being right! These are all so true though and I’m really trying fix up my attitude. I can be a tad bit cynical.

  78. This is like all those people running around trying to get into heaven. I don’t want to spend eternity with them either.

    For Chrissakes, can’t a person being miserable and complain about it?

    This should be called, How to be a Doormat.

    it’s not like life is so damn wonderful all the time. What control queen wrote this nonsense?

    1. Well Jim, we are all free to feel the way we want to feel, it is a choice we make and I can tell you for sure that I do not want to force anybody from feeling something they don’t want to feel or doing something they don’t want to do:)

  79. Great article, thank you so much. I recently got out of a relationship and a LOT of the above listed were present in the relationship. It hurts right now very much but I know it was for the best. After reading this article I’m glad our situation wasn’t a unique one but is prevalent with many relationships. In a weird way it’s some sort of consolation.

    1. Sometimes we have to say no to the GOOD in order to say YES to THE BEST and I am sure that your BEST will come your way very soon 🙂

  80. I see in the post s that there are others out there that are working on finding a happier place, much as i myself am. I would like to suggest that those of us with problems with any of the above should sit and contemplate how these affect us and how each of us as individuals can make them work for ourselves rather than pick them apart and try and make a bad situation out of a well meant and helpful posting. The author is not perfect and would probably not claim to be, merely trying to help there fellow travelers down this often confusing road that we call life.

    God bless you all and I wish you all a happier existence

    1. I am perfectly imperfect Eric, that I know for sure, and me, just like many of the people out there, am on this journey of self discovery and self mastery, find more about myself and the world around me 🙂

  81. Thank you Lucius for putting into words exactly what I would tell others. I’m 61 yrs. old. I have been mentally ill with depression, ANXIETY, PTSD, as long as I can remember. NOT excuses! After self medicating for 15yrs. I knew I needed help. Been on meds (never abused them), and in Therapy (off and on for almost 30 yrs.) I’m still stuck. I watched a self help program the other night, told me I was addicted to “My Story.” Sexual abuse, emotional abuse, being controled, made to live in fear, bla, bla bla. I could not count the times I wished, prayed, I was physically ill with something instead of my mental illnesses. I am still a Christian, and know someday I will get answers for this. I know God heals. I have seen miricles. Just not my time. I also know God did not cause the abuse to happen to me, it was a choice of my parents to do what was done. I know others have been through worse. I left church 3yrs. ago. Been through “Deliverences”. My last Pastor told me I didn’t know who I was, and to come back and speak to him again when I did. I know I have to forgive, to be forgiven. Can’t. God help me as You have all my life. Those out there reading these comments, and feel you can’t do all the above things to be “Happy”…..its ok. You are not alone. But do seek help. I have seen it work for others. Never give up!

  82. Thank you for post such a wonderful blog. I am going to print this out and post it somewhere that I pass each day because all of these 15 “things” are so important for each one of us. Keep up the great writing!

  83. Great Advice, I read the whole article and totally agree with all of it except the fear part, Fear is a natural reaction, I think the meaning of theres nothing to fear but fear itself is to get yourself ready or in the right mindset to run out into the battle field fearless, or sorta say prepare yourself for the worst, excellent advice for those seeking happiness, I’ve been seeking Happinesss for years and Peace Within and have already been using some of the 15 ways to peace, I will not stop untill I get there. And thanks to this article I can add to my list. Positive Carma ,,, HUUMMMMM HUUMMM

  84. Thank You for this article, Purpose Fairy. I remember a few years back when I was just as how you described.

    Somewhere during that time (probably because of my stressful job), I lost my way and became a lot more bitter and upset than usual. Recently,

    I’ve also been trying to deal with a breakup that has been beating me up these past few months. #13 and #14 are definitely the culprits for me there.

    A lot of these action steps will help me better myself and bring out the old side of me again and help move forward with my life.

    Thanks again for a great read!

  85. A Sister Fairy pointed out this post to me and I couldn’t agree more! Just this year I’ve given up my “bad” labels, my “good” labels, my beliefs AND my expectations. I have never felt more FREEEE!

    Beautiful post.
    Love and Sparkles,

  86. Great list, and awesome insight. Really gets you thinking, and I know I’m guilty of all of those things. Some I have been able to let go, but others are still a challenge.

    Thank you!

  87. Outstanding! What a great list. I have been working on many of these, and your list brings a few others to mind. I will print this out and put it somewhere I will see it frequently.

    Thank you for such a great article.

  88. It’s telling how many people can read and accept an article like this, embrace the easy elements of it they’ve always known, to arrive at a harder one and proclaim themselves exempt from the ‘target audience,’ or that somehow the list no longer applies to them, because they feel themselves incapable.

    If this was aimed at the “normal, healthy person,” who was untraumatised and unhurt, it would stop long before suggesting that one give up their attachments and their past. The death of a loved one need not destroy one’s life. It doesn’t need to negatively affect a person (imagine that!) The loss of a pet is a reason to grieve and to mourn. Those are okay. And, believe it or not, it is also okay to laugh when you hear that someone you loved passed on.

    It’s said that funerals are celebrations of life – so why are they followed so soon by bottles of whiskey?

    The letting go of the things mentioned (as opposed to ‘giving them up’) is outlined here to make people happy. That’s what the title says. One of the oldest tips for test-taking is “use the test to take the test.” So, do that. Use one suggestion to live into another:

    Complaining is as much getting in one’s own way as losing yourself over someone’s death. “Give up your attachments,” it suggests. Give up your attachments that say Death is a Negative. Give up living up to expectation, it says. Give up on the fact that trauma defines who you are.

    It does not suggest these are easy tasks! They’re not. It doesn’t say that these are for mentally healthy people who need a more positive perspective. They apply to the Big Stuff, too. Be challenged by what you read here; if you need a blog to tell you to stop complaining, and blaming other people, so be it, but that is not what it was written for.

    But the sooner one is willing to face the past (giving it up would be to reject the experiences that formed you, which would leave you without a reference point – why would we want that?), to accept it for what it was, to learn from it, and then let it go so it does not determine the future, the easier it will be to let go of other things.

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

    Fear is not an illusion. If we create it, then it exists. If we disregard the power of our minds (“it’s all in your mind”) only to rely on it later (“mind over matter”), we’re flip-flopping our self-confidence whenever the situation suits us.

    Fear fear. Embrace fear. Suck fear into your gut and exhale it.

  89. Thank you Lucius for your clarity, it has been insightful-dealing with lost friendships…
    Purpose fairy is a wonderfully appropriate name,
    god bless

  90. Lucius, I absolutely agree to you response. Also, Chris-2-fer, I, too was hurt when I read comment 16. When someone has a mental illness, they still strive to better themselves. Many mental illnesses can be treated with medication. Having said that, I must add that when a mental illness is made stable through medication, that person who suffers from it oftentimes wants to feel normal. An article such as this would then target them as an audience just as much as a person who is not mentally ill. While I agree with you Lucius with all my heart, I know that when a mental illness is controlled, an article such as his can be useful, and empowering to that “mentally ill” person. Danaadmin, please do not exclude people that suffer from a mental illness. You cannot possibly understand them unless you have been in their situation. Otherwise, keep writing uplifting articles. Just remember to carefully word your responses to the resonses.

  91. There is a few I have to work on. Because of our talk, I thankfully have given up quite a bit. I had so much baggage even when I accepted the Lord—I just didn’t know how to rid myself. I relied on others for information. NOW I have the only one in me heart to go to and who is the chief healer. I think God was trying to get my attention and I had to many ( but, but, but’s) in the way. I, as we all should be going to the Lord forever. In the world we look at so many different views and have not only our habits, but seem to take on others. That’s why Bible study and, studying (for me) is most important. Again, thank you. Blessings.

  92. Previous therapy sessions never touched me as deeply as this piece just did. Although everyone could benefit, this should be required reading for ACoA. THANK YOU!!

  93. Since I doubt anyone is going to disagree with you, while I agree with most of these some of these are not only counter-intuitive but are also anti-motivational and simply put, horrible advice. Also engaging in short term things that make you happy will have long term consequences.

    Give up the need for Control: this should be give up the need to control external things. Yes you might be happy shoving your face with ice cream, but ultimately this lack of personal control will lead to obesity and sadness.

    Give up complaining: in certain contexts you definitely should complain especially when it has impact. If you’re being abused, you should complain loudly. If the government is doing something that is going to destroy your life, again complain. There is a certain amount of complaining that is necessary otherwise you will become apathetic.

    Give up your need to impress others: You should always strive to impress people in everything you’re doing, unless you don’t want to be noticed. There is nothing wrong with going the extra mile because you know it will impress people. Putting in more time in the office, or spending more time at gym. While these things might remove short-term happiness they can give you greater long term happiness.

  94. This post does an excellent job of speaking to all people who, at one time or another, have experienced and can relate to all fifteen items it addresses. I think for people who have been diagnosed with having a mental illness, continuing to communicate with a professional is a helpful solution and should be continued. However, if you think that this post does not relate to you then you are mistaken. To think that your illness will not allow you to act on these lessons as they are presented is a falsehood. I have been depressed and suicidal myself. I have experienced the transformation first hand of rising out of the darkness into light. For others in dark places or have had a doctor tell them that they have a chemical imbalance that causes them to act a certain way, it is never too late to change your brain. The human brain is elastic and it can be changed. It can be changed into something entirely different through training and practice. Never give up on hope and never limit yourself or deny your ability to becoming a positive, happy person. With the exception of severe trauma or a physical impairment within the brain, the only limitations in life are self-inflicted. Our minds can just as easily think positively as it can think negatively. Considering this, the satisfaction of life depends solely on the choices that an individual chooses to make and how they react to those choices. Limitations, fear, anxiety, worry, and doubt are all figments of one’s imagination. Be well and choose to see life as it is and nothing more. Live simply, slowly and always be aware and observing of the environment. Namaste.

  95. I read this whole article today, and I am so glad that I did. I have lost who I am, and what it is I enjoy, besides being a Mom, I really have no other joy in my life. My life has almost always been about doing for others……..and then when they forget about me then I too forget about me. I have always thought that it was a selfish act to think only about what I want and enjoy. My life has taken many, many directions in my 51 years and it is hard to stay on the path that takes me where I need to be. Old habits are very hard to break. I literally make myself sick over what to do to change this mindset. Does anyone have any other book’s, suggestions, thoughts on how to be free of this horrible bond my mind has on me!!!

  96. I am ever so gratefull for the person that sent this to me right now am dealing with a lot of stuff that was mentioned here ,this has open up a new way of thinking for me ,am happy that i took the time to read it through ,i plan on reading this everyday until i come to the place that am suppose to be at ,thank you honey thank you…..

  97. Lucius (and all),

    I disagree with most of what you say (99%) about having to “process” or “work out” our feelings and hurtful experiences. “Processing” only causes more hurt, negative thoughts/feelings and builds those proverbial walls higher and stronger.

    I on the other hand, compartmentalize, I put the experience/feelings in abox, file it away and never bring it out again, regardless of who is involved in that situation (including family). I will take a mental note of what happened and why, learn from it and move on.

    If the other person wants to “sit and talk it over”, i let them that I am not going to do that as it haa no value and accomplishes nothing in my eyes.

    I love my family and friends, but I REFUSE to participate in any drama-fest or be brought down by an experience/person whatever for more than 1 minute.

    We all have much more important and worthwhile things that we could focus on like spending time with our kids/wife/parents or volunteering somewhere.

    I know most of you are probably screaming at your computer by now, but, really think about what I said and see if you can’t say that you agree with me even a little bit.

  98. To Lucius, I was happy to see your thoughtful and eloquent response. I have been dealing with depression all my life and have been diagnosed since the age of 19. (a long time ago 🙂 I have studied the spiritual and have sought to be happy and enlightened for as far back as I can remember. It took me many years to understand why I was often moved by something but unable to apply the principles that impressed me in my life. It finally dawned on me that I had a unique problem: because I seek to be better, I was beating myself up for not “snapping out of it.” it truly never occurred to me that the info wasn’t meant for me–only “normal” people. Lol. I could have saved myself years of frustration. What I needed to be reading was works by wise people like you: my kind of normal. Thank you.

  99. Is this what poor people do to pass the time? Sit around and make lists of things they can do to make themselves “happy”? Happiness is life without worry, without concern over serious problems, and the only thing that fixes that is money. Literally all these issues are alleviated if you have enough money.

  100. I would add just one more to this list. And that is to remove the word hate from your mind . If there is no hate then only true love can exsist. 😀

  101. I think #5 is best expressed by Jedi Master Yoda: “No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.”

  102. It only takes 12 steps to quit drinking, but it takes 15 steps to give up????

    These are interesting and philosophically curious. I’ve wondered if after all this metaphysical giving up, what is left? Someone mentioned time for loved ones, but wouldn’t that (love) and they (ones) be shed along the way? I am fully aware of the concepts being for growth, but “give up” seems like the wrong approach. There is a fine line between spinelessness (or indifference) and blissfulness. This line is not absense but presense, which often takes a great deal of control–self-control not control of others.

    But, what do I know. I am facing my second divorce and have spent much of my life soul searching. The closest I’ve come to it was front row at an Aretha Franklin concert on mother’s day.

  103. This is a fabulous post! I’m writing exclusively this month about letting go. I can’t wait to share your post with my readers. Such wonderful, productive and doable thoughts about letting go.

  104. I agree! Great list. Might I add, #16: Draw your boundaries. I’ve been enacting that in addition to the other 15 for about a year now, and it’s changed my life phenomenally!

  105. Everyone of these points is golden. If your on the edge of understanding this of want to work this into your life start teaching it. After letting go of the need to control and omnipotence. Giving to others is the way to get back

  106. I always danced to the beat of a different drum. People found me to be weird as a child, but from what I read I was ahead of my time. Can’t say I’ve ever looked for validation, valued material things or looked to please. I am happy with who and what I am. Self-love goes a long way in acceptance. It is hard to teach and even harder to find within yourself. I do not need someone to complete me. I am happy being by myself but do a lot of charity work for animals and children who have no voice. I hope those of you who decide to give up the “15” find half the happiness that I know and continue to spread the word.

  107. This article is absolutely beautiful! Like many other readers, I agree that it effectively encapsulates everything that is essential to living a happy life, thank you Purpose Fairy for this wonderful piece of work! 🙂

  108. Great to be positive and just as good to be realistic. I don’t agree with number 6. As I am sure your post is meant to encourage, empower and enlighten.

    You are being unreal when you say situations cannot make us sad or depressed. I guess you have never lossed a loved one or was never struck with a serious illness. Death of a loved one is inevitable (for everyone)& we have NO CONTROL over grief. Even the Bible (if you believe in it) expects us to grieve. However, keep the positive & encouraging posts coming. They can be helpful to many.

  109. I agree with every thing in this post – except # 11. Give up on your fears.

    This seems like a simplistic take on why our fears exist, and how they are valuable in doing transformational work. The subconscious mind is very powerful, and to pretend it doesn’t exist, and that we can simply decide to over-rule it is counterproductive.

    The statement “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” is partially true. The thing you fear may be an illusion, but the fear is real, as is the pain associated with it. The Limbic brain doesn’t know time or logic – these fears were created in the subconscious mind and a more responsible approach would be to recognize and understand those fears, and then move to recognize the behaviors they trigger and learn to change those behaviors.

    In this endeavor, knowing one’s pain and fear and accepting that they exist, allows one to accept and have empathy for oneself, which, for me, has been the key to allowing me to move forward on all the other things listed here. The fear may become less acute, but it’s still there to show you where your boundaries are (boundaries one can respect and learn to negotiate) but the pain of one’s core wounding never goes away – it becomes the engine that drives a positive, deeply empathetic relationship to one’s life, the world and other people.

  110. Hello! Such a perfect time to come across this post on Facebook. I will be sharing it with my friends. I am in the middle of a significant and difficult transition in my life which has left me looking for purpose. What better purpose than to focus on what really matters in life. Thank you.

  111. Great wisdom, tips and thanks for the sharing. May more people achieve happiness by letting go and giving up on what burdens us and stops us from choosing happiness. Cheers!

  112. I love this list. Will indeed print and post, and share and read and re-read. Limiting Beliefs, limiting beliefs, limiting beliefs … there is a quote I love, It’s never too late to become what you might have been”. -George Elliot

    Limiting beliefs can be turned into the catalysts for change, the power for action and the fuel to change from ordinary – to extraordinary; just as soon as you recognize, they are YOURS to do away with. Thanks PF.

  113. Thanks for sharing your thoughts in this article. I found much of it to be intriguing, thought-provoking, and challenging.

    As you look at expounding on these, you might remember there are those of us who look back at the past which confines us (and defines us to a large extent) and we only see things that we never want to repeat. Holding on to that past is the last thing we want to do, yet letting go is more painful than can be imagined.

    I think your scope of the people you wanted to attract with your list did not include people like me. Most of these things don’t. But today I will let go of any negative feelings about that just as soon as I acknowledge them. 🙂

  114. Trust me people, I have been following such advices and I can only tell you this much, be prepared to live a lonely and boring life when you start following things like: Give up living your life to other people’s expectations etc. Although the message might seem right, but think about this: relationships including love require mutual effort/change. I agree that you should never listen to the entire world and try to be what they want you to be, but maybe your loved one wants you to stop lying, stop smoking, stop drinking too much etc. These are the kind of things you should listen too because they are in YOUR best interest. You need to identify what’s in your best interest and helps you grow mentally and physically. Remember: Man is a social animal and no one wants to die alone. Use your judgement, keep on loving the people you love and little sacrifices to maintain your good relations go a long way in keeping you happier.

  115. Hi, great article, I stumbled on it on Pinterest. These are all things I must work on. I find amazing quotes and pieces of literature that help me a lot but then I still have a mental breakdown some days. I know what I need to do to push negative thoughts out of my head and not let my mind worry about things that 99% of the time would never happen, yet it still seems to creep up at me. I send out an explosion of sadness and anger and by the end of it all I realize I really have nothing to be sad or angry about. By this point I feel there is no redeeming myself to my loved one and he is thinking I am psycho and it takes a week or so to get over the fact that…gee, what is going on with me? Why do I act like this? And finally, after all this, I am upset at myself for the way I acted and I dwell on the matter of how dumb I acted. I hope I can learn from this article everyday and start to think before I open my mouth with nonsensical complaints and self loathing. I really need a change of mindset. Hopefully I am not the only one out there who feels like this sometimes. I didn’t always feel like this but it seems to have gotten terrible over the past year and I cannot pin point why. Everything in my life is great, I truly have no reason to complain, yet I still find things to be unhappy about. I have acne, I want a child but know that it is not the right time, I don’t have many friends where I live now but not sure where to look to find friends. As much as this stuff does not bother me most of the time, other times it creeps up and really eats away at my thoughts. Anyway…thanks again. This is going to be a learning process for me, as life is for everyone, but this is going to help a lot, I know it.

  116. I am confused as to what you mean about giving up attachment. You say to do this yet you do not elaborate on what you mean by giving up attachment nor do you offer suggestions on how to go about doing so. Just saying that providing some examples would have been a good place to start.

  117. Its my personal opinion that this list is unrealistic without the love and purpose of God. If you give up both your attachments and your need for acceptance of people, you will feel extremely empty and alone. I don’t believe that happiness is achieved solely by doing what makes you *feel* happy because following your impulses are what lead you into people pleasing, attachment, criticisms, etc, in the first place. It’s almost ironic because point 15 causes the unhappiness that points 1-14 is trying to alleviate.

  118. This list through scripture:
    1. Pride only breeds quarrels, but wisdom is found in those who take advice. Proverbs 13:10
    2. Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15
    3. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. Matthew 7:2
    4. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8
    5. ‘If you can’? said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” Mark 9:22-23
    6. Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless. Philippians 2:14-15
    7. Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5
    8. Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the LORD means safety. Proverbs 29:25
    9. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11
    10. You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Romans 2:1
    11. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
    12. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7
    13. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead
    14. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
    15. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

  119. I loved your article! I work on these things every day. The attachment part is tricky and giving up being right or not caring about others opinions of me. Thanks for your succinct presentation of these goals I carry with me daily!

  120. Thank you Chris, so very much for your #42 comment and Lucius – the most clearly presented way I feel. Thanks for helping me understand a bit about myself.

  121. Reading peoples comment even makes me more happy..Like I said,everybody wants happiness ofcourse-its the real meaning of life..People just completely have forgotten..Blinded by manipultion through hundreds ,if not thousands of years.We ARE in fact ONE..Soooo PLEASE PLEASE start acting as ONE family..Better sooner than later,cause it WILL come,thats the “plan”..Soooo dont worry&Bhappy hhC

  122. I generally enjoyed the article and in so far as learning to let go of our attachments, it is very useful to understand the basic idea. But I do take issue with this section:

    “6. Give up complaining….Nobody can make you unhappy, no situatio