If you find yourself constantly reading about what successful people do to achieve their goals, then you must be exhausted! Most advice means making our long list of To-Dos even longer, and procrastinating and stressing even more.
I have two problems with this. First, not all successful people are happy. Maybe we should only take advice from people you would swap places with. Second, I’d rather shorten my To-Do list and focus on the things that really matter.
Better to have a short Will Do list than a long To Do list.
So let’s turn it upside down and inside-out by asking “What do unhappy people do that I can stop right now to be happier?”
1. …try to impress others
There is a difference between belonging and fitting in. You only form genuine connection when you stop seeking approval.
It’s better to be me where I am wanted and stop being someone else where I am not.
Let go of who you think you should be in order to be who you are – Brene Brown
2. …are perfectionists
There is a difference between striving for excellence and wanting to be perceived as perfect. Perfect is unattainable. And we cannot control external perception.
It’s better to release imperfect (sometimes excellent) work and stop waiting for perfect.
3. …let fear prevent them taking risks
I’m only learning this one. But sometimes you need to have something to lose – even if it’s just face – to make something worthwhile.
It’s better to meet struggle and its friend opportunity head and stop running away from challenge.
4. …focus on what they don’t have
This is well known but seldom practised. This is not to say setting goals is bad. It is different to having your meaning defined by achievement.
It’s better to enjoy and be grateful for what I have and stop stressing about what I don’t need.
Sometimes logic tells you not to try something. But your heart tells you something different. If your heart nags a few times, do what they do in the movies. Go with your gut.
It’s better to try something and fail learn and stop regretting not having tried at all.
Trust your inner wisdom and intuition – Arianna Huffington
6. …talk negatively or hold grudges
How much mental energy is wasted talking about others or holding onto past wrongs? You only damage yourself. It’s better to spend precious energy connecting and stop nurturing disconnection.
7. …are hard on themselves
You are not the thoughts in your head. If I “did a stupid thing” that doesn’t mean “I am stupid”. It’s better to practise self-compassion and stop being so hard on myself.
I am enough – Brene Brown
8. …compare themselves to others
No one likes you for your clothes, car, possessions, title or accomplishments. If they do it’s not a real connection. So why envy others who have more things? It’s better to focus on your own happiness and stop striving for imaginary lives.
Comparison is the death of joy – Mark Twain
9. …hang out with negative people
There is a difference between unhappy and negative. Don’t abandon friends who are unhappy – they need your positive energy and friendship. Nor those close to you who might be negative.
It’s better to build your own community of inspiring people and stop partaking in negativity.
I can’t think of one right now but I’m trying to let go of being a perfectionist!
Maybe number 10 is …don’t ask? So what things are you stopping this year to be happier?