Okay, this is not the real 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy, list. Now, I think that the concept of making a how-to or DIY list for how to be happy is pretty silly. They generally don't take into account things like being a mom, or working full-time, or being a mom who works full-time. The original list is fine, I guess, if not is silly and impractical. I also believe that quoting famous doesn’t make your list any easier or more helpful to people with real problems.
So, in the interest of fairness, I have revamped the 15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy list to include what I think goes through most people’s heads when they read the original. Also in the interest of fairness, you should probably read the original article before you read this.
1. Give up your need to always be right.
There are so many of us who can’t stand the idea of being wrong – which is just crazy – since to be happy, you should love the idea of being wrong. Who wants to be right? Being proven wrong is one of the best feelings the truly enlightened individual can ever hope to experience. Like being dumped. As “Dr.” Wayne Dyer asks: “Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” FYI: those two states are, in fact, mutually exclusive.
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, moving vehicles, etc. Whether they are loved ones, coworkers, or travelling at great speeds with tons of metal and inertia behind them – just allow them to be, and, possibly, crash. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are, and you will see how the wheels come off in no time – both figuratively AND literally!
“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, who was obviously talking about architects, train conductors, and emergency medical technicians, and not, obviously, about proper punctuation.
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, stupid. Stop giving your powers (flying, x-ray vision) away, and start taking responsibility for your life. If you have a black eye and a fat lip, ask yourself, “Did I really need to burn that roast?” I mean, let's face it: by blaming others, aren't we really just not taking responsibility for our own shortcomings? Like, really?
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? After all, if you can’t pull yourself out of the mire that is your stink hole of a life, it’s definitely your fault, you sack of crap. Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you – especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that. You were raised better than that! You were raised a winner! SNAP OUT OF IT, IDIOT!!
“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle, referencing the work of Dr. Wayne Dyer.
5. 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 on the ground like a human. Spread your wings and fly! Being earth-bound is for suckers! Listen to those voices inside your head! No building is too tall!
“A belief is not an idea held by the mind, it is an idea that holds the mind.” Elly Roselle, who was, as everybody knows, a real person.
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, and nobody wants to hear your whining. We can’t tell you how irritating that is! GOD!! We HATE it when people complain! It’s like … the worst! Just one day, we’d like to go without hearing somebody bitch and moan about their lives. 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 badly you hate yourself. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. Don’t do it. Don’t. Never. Not once. Negativity is bad. Terrible. Awful. (You are so dirty …)
7. Give up the luxury of criticism.
Give up your need to criticize things, events or people who read “how-to” lists on the internet. We are all different, yet we are all the same. Right? That’s valid. We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved, and we all waste our time reading watered-down platitudes and sound-bite philosophies that only ultimately make us feel worse about ourselves. We all want something, and something is wished by us all. Like grammar, for instance.
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. Let us tell you how it works: 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. It’s worked like gangbusters so far, right, you human toilet!
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. Now, do all of this in your spare time, after work, between picking the kids up from school, dropping them off at their piano/swimming/horseback riding/luge lessons, shaking with rage in the middle of the night because the mortgage is going to be late, again, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it, staring at yourself in the mirror, your fist clenched furiously around the bottle of pills your just daring yourself to swallow, and bingo! You’re there! (Bliss = Instant happiness.)
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. (Just like Kuato said in the movie "Total Recall.")
“The highest form of ignorance is when you reject something you don’t know anything about.” Wayne Dyer. (He’s the best.)
11. Give up on your fears. Fear is just an illusion, it doesn’t exist, so… next!
“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin D. Roosevelt, speaking to a roomful of children about Closet Monsters.
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. Like diabetes, or epilepsy.
13. Give up the past.
I know, I know. It’s hard. Especially when the past looks so much better than the present, when you and your children weren’t refugees, and you were a gainfully employed land surveyor, but now that you’ve been forced to emigrate, your new host country doesn’t recognize your credentials, and you are forced to work in a kitchen at a chain restaurant. You have to take into consideration the fact that the present moment is all you have and all you will ever have. This present moment. Cleaning the plates of the people who’s government bombed your country back to the Stone Age, that forced you to flee like hogs from wolves. The past you are now longing for – the past that you are now dreaming about, when you were comfortable, loved, and warm – was ignored by you when it was present. You blew it! Stop deluding yourself. Be present in everything you do and enjoy life. After all, life is a journey, not a destination. Be the best jalapeño popper friar cook Applebee’s has ever seen!
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 – like proofreading my own articles, or run-on sentences – which I love, and cannot stop using, even when the original point that I was trying to make is lost, stuck in the past, which I just told you to stop living in!) but it’s not something impossible. The moment you detach yourself from all things, (like your skin) you become so peaceful, so tolerant, so kind, and so serene. Like me! You will get to a place where you will be able to understand all things without even trying. A state beyond words. Beyond needing to tell others how to live. Beyond irony, even. “Attachment, like, TOTALLY blows …” Buddha.
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 stole their lives from the clones they grew in labs, harvesting their organs so that they could continue to live on, long past the time they should have died, their bodies, horrific nightmares of technology and human remains. Also, they live their lives according to what their parents think is best for them, which is dumb. They forget what makes them happy, what they want, what they need … and eventually they forget about themselves. Cyborg Necromancers. And if there is anything that Disney movies have taught us, it’s that, unless you believe, all of the Christmas Fairies will die. 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.