Everybody wants to be happy in life. At least, it is my hope that everybody wants to find more happiness in their lives. And to be completely honest, it’s not all too difficult to become a happier person.
Unfortunately, though, it’s also easy to fall into bad habits – habits that will steal your happiness. Once you fall into these habits, you are going to be spending a good amount of your time searching aimlessly for anything that will bring you happiness in life. But no matter how hard you try or how long you search, you will come up empty.
So today, I want to share with you 9 surprisingly small habits that you are going to want to avoid because they are habits that will steal your happiness.
1. Comparing yourself to those around you.
Comparison truly is the thief of all joy. You can spend your time admiring the lives of others, or you can spend your time creating the life that you envision yourself living. Everything in life is entirely up to you – and that includes your happiness. It is time that you take control of your life, work towards achieving the goals that you want to achieve, and stop letting others determine the path that you follow.
We become so fixated on admiring the lives of those to whom we look up to so much so that we forget to act on the things that we want to achieve. The more that we compare ourselves, and the more that we forget to take action, the more distant our goals will become.
2. Regretting the past.
There are two ways to look at life. You can look at your past and focus on the mistakes that you have made, allow those mistakes to consume you, and allow them to prevent you from ever moving forward in life. Or, you can look at your past, learn from the mistakes that you have made, and allow those lessons to help you to become a better and stronger person moving forward.
Here’s the thing about the past. No matter how badly you want to change what has happened, you are never going to be able to. But, with that said, if you learn from your mistakes, you can prevent yourself from having to experience that same feeling moving forward.
Regretting the past is not going to do you any good. All regret is going to do is steal your attention away from the present. Let go of your worries, learn from your mistakes, and learn from your past so that you can take full advantage of your present.
3. Holding on to grudges.
Holding on to any grudge is the same as holding on to any regrets – it’s not going to do you any good. You can reflect on all of the times that you have been wronged and allow your grudges to control your present, but just remember that those who you have grudges against are out there living their lives. Don’t let them steal any more of yours than you already have.
Plus, there is happiness to find in forgiveness. Everybody makes mistakes. Forgive others for their mistakes, take the higher road, and strive to be the better person. The more you allow the actions of others to consume you, the more they will steal your happiness.
Learn, love, forgive, and forget.
4. Waiting for the perfect moment to take action.
The best time to start chasing your goals was yesterday. Seeing that yesterday is no longer an option, settle for the next best option – today.
There is never going to be a good time to start chasing your goals and dreams. You are always going to experience roadblocks, have conflicts in your schedule, and there are always, and I mean ALWAYS going to be excuses that you can make. But don’t! Take control of your life, be willing to at least get started in chasing your goals, and once you do, you will then ride the wave of momentum until you turn your goals into your reality. Your ability to grow in life is directly related to your willingness to act no matter how much imperfection or adversity you may be facing.
5. Working towards the dreams of others instead of our own.
How can you expect to be happy if you do not enjoy the work that you are doing? We spend at least a third of our week at our jobs. If you do not enjoy what you are currently doing, why would you then stay in that job and allow it to suck a minimum of one-third of your life away?
Life isn’t about money; it’s about being happy with who you are as an individual. You are never going to grow either as an individual or as a professional if you are not doing a job that you are passionate about.
I know it’s easy for me to say as I don’t have a family, I don’t have a mortgage, yada-yada-yada. You know what those are called? Excuses! And they aren’t going to get you anywhere. There are millions of others out there who have more obligations than both of us combined who have found a job that they love. Because of that, they were able to find more happiness in their lives.
The point is, quit working for somebody else’s dream. Work for your own dreams! Find a job that excites you, find one that you enjoy going to, and find one that brings happiness to your life. If you can’t find one, then create one.
6. Not focusing on growth.
Life is about growing from who you were yesterday into who you want to become. No matter how hard you try, you are never going to be perfect You can be the best at something and there is always going to be room for improvement.
Those who succeed the most in life and those who experience the most happiness, are those who focus on growing as an individual with each and every day. It doesn’t matter how talented you might be, if you are not willing to apply yourself and try to grow with every day that passes, you are never going to achieve the success or happiness that you were capable of achieving.
Let go of the impossibility that is perfection, focus on becoming just 1% better each and every day, and I promise you, over time, you will encounter more happiness and success than you could have ever imagined.
7. Allowing our failures to determine our success.
Bronnie Ware worked in palliative care for many years. If you are unfamiliar with palliative care, it is essentially caring for individuals who were sent home from the hospital to die.
As she was caring for these individuals, she asked them if they had any regrets or anything that they would have done differently in life. The number one response that she received; “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life that others expected of me.” Think about that for a moment. Would you have the same response if you were on your deathbed?
Too often, we allow our failures to determine our success. As soon as we encounter failure, we turn right back around and head to what’s comfortable to us. What for? Well, for many reasons. But the primary reason why we don’t take more chances in life is because we don’t want to think of ourselves as failures. See, if we fail, then others will think of us as failures. And if others think of us as failures, then surely we will think of ourselves as failures as well.
What we fail to remember when we experience failure is that if we want to achieve something that we have yet to achieve in life, then we need to be willing to do something that we aren’t currently doing. With every new thing that we do in life, there is always going to be the possibility of failure. But just because we fail doesn’t mean that we are failures. We are only failures is we never get back up and go after the things that we were chasing.
You never know how close you are towards achieving the happiness and success that you want for yourself. But the minute you give up, that becomes the moment when you will only be asking yourself “what if.”
8. Placing ourselves in a negative environment.
Not only do you become what you repeatedly do, but you also become who you spend the most time around.
It is said that we are the average of the six people that we spend the most time around. This means that if we spend the vast majority of our time around six alcoholics, there is a good chance that we will become the seventh. If we spend the majority of our time around six negative individuals, there is a good chance that we will become the seventh.
The same goes true for the good in life as well. If we spend our time around six millionaires, there is a good chance that we will pick up on some of their habits and become the seventh. If we spend the majority of our time around six individuals who are happy and love their life, there is a good chance that we will pick up on some of their habits and become the seventh.
This is why it is so important to place yourself in an environment that aligns with the type of person that you want to become. From your house to the people you spend your time with to the employees that you hire, make sure you are putting yourself around those who you want to most resemble because there is a good chance that you will pick up on some of their habits and become the average.
9. Not taking care of ourselves.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, but if you want to find endless amounts of happiness in your life, then you need to be willing to take care of yourself. This means taking care of yourself both mentally and physically.
Get out and move your body for at least 30 minutes per day. Eat a good and balanced diet consisting of whole foods. Keep a journal of your thoughts. Make sure you are constantly reading and learning. Be sure to treat yourself and reward yourself for all of your hard work.
If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you expect to be happy? Your body is your temple. It’s the easiest thing that you can take care of. The more that you take care of your body, the better you will feel.
It’s important to remember that you (and only you) are in control of your own life. You can achieve anything and everything that you set your mind to. It doesn’t mean that it’s always going to be easy, but nothing worth having in life comes easy and nothing that comes easy in life is worth having.
If you want to live a happier life, then it is entirely up to you to do so. Hopefully you can find the strength that you possess to overcome these small habits that will steal your happiness and reclaim what is already yours.