Remember playing with a Slinky? Making my Slinky “walk” down a flight of stairs was a really cool thing to do – for about two minutes – and then it was boring. But walking down stairs wasn’t the only thing my Slinky did. Somehow, every time I finished playing with it inside, I wanted to go outside and play.
I imagine two minutes is about how long it’s going to take you to read the last five of the “Ten Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy! written by two of my favorite authors and life coaches, Marc and Angel Chernoff and posted on Life Buzz. (You can read the first five by visiting my website, www.PennyLHunt.com and clicking on Blog.) After you finish reading these tips, go outside and play. If you can’t get outside, turn up the music and jump!
“I’m whistling, laughing, and jumping for joy; I’m singing your song, High God.” Psalm 9:2
#6. Give up wanting to be where others are in life.
Stop comparing where you’re at with where everybody else is. It doesn’t move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find happiness. It just fuels feelings of inadequacy and shame, and ultimately keeps you stuck. The truth is, there is no one correct path in life. A path that’s right for someone else won’t necessarily be a path that’s right for you. And that’s OK. Your journey isn’t right or wrong, or good or bad – it’s just different. Your life isn’t meant to look exactly like anyone else’s because you aren’t exactly like anyone else. You’re a person all your own with a unique set of goals, obstacles, dreams, and needs. So stop comparing and start living. You may not always end up where you intend to go, but you will eventually arrive precisely where you need to be. Trust that you are in the right place at the right time, right now. And trust yourself to make the best of it.
#7. Give up letting the judgments of strangers control you.
People know your name, not your story. They’ve heard what you’ve done, but don’t understand what you’ve been through. So take their opinions of you with a grain of salt. In the end, it’s not what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts. Sometimes you have to do exactly what’s right for you and your life, without giving a darn what your life looks like to everyone who doesn’t even know you.
#8. Give up letting toxic relationships bring you down on a daily basis.
Not all toxic relationships are agonizing and uncaring on purpose. Some of them involve people who care about you – people who have good intentions, but are toxic because their needs and way of existing in the world force you to compromise yourself and your happiness. They aren’t inherently bad people, but they aren’t the right people to be spending time with every day. And as hard as it is, we have to distance ourselves enough to give ourselves space to live. You simply can’t ruin yourself on a daily basis for the sake of someone else. You have to make your well-being a priority. Whether that means breaking up with someone, loving a family member from a distance, letting go of a friend, or removing yourself from a situation that feels painful – you have every right to leave and create some healthy space for yourself.
#9. Give up over-thinking and worrying about everything.
When your fears and anxieties have you looking too deep into things, it creates problems – it doesn’t fix them. If you think and you think and you think, you will think yourself right out of happiness a thousand times over, and never once into it. Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace and potential. And life is too short for that.
#10. Give up believing you aren’t strong enough to take another step forward.
It’s always possible to go on, no matter how impossible it seems. In time, the grief (the lessons) may not go away completely, but after awhile it’s not so overwhelming. So breathe… You’re going to be OK. Remember that you’ve been in this place before. You’ve been this uncomfortable and restless and afraid, and you’ve survived. Take another breath and know that you can survive this time too. These feelings can’t break you. They’re painful and draining, but you can sit with them and eventually, they will pass. Maybe not immediately, but sometime soon they’re going to fade, and when they do you’ll look back at this moment and laugh for having doubted your resilience.