7 Things To Give Away To Be Happy Now
Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin. You can apply this principle to happiness: in order to invite more happiness into your life, make room for it by giving up whatever smushes it down.
If you give yourself just 10 minutes a day to actively give up on these happiness-smushers, your life will take a dramatic turn for the better.
1. Give away your resistance to change.
Everything is changing, all the time. It’s actually a fallacy to think that “nothing” has to change for you if you stay put in an unhappy situation because it's less intimidating than having to change in order to experience something better. Every single situation, whether good or bad, is in constant motion and in a constant state of change (and that change depends largely on how you perceive the situation and what you're willing to do about it). Practice being the agent of change both in your perception of a situation and in your actions, so you can create more of the situations that please you!
Part of change is dealing with things that you cannot anticipate or control. You can’t control everything, and life offers up lots of surprises - but you are always 100% in control of your response.
Think of it this way: would you rather “react” to life, in a primal survival-oriented way with limited options (the primal survival mode means fight, flee or freeze, and that's all!) - or would you rather “respond” to life, in a way that has you consciously choosing options and exploring creative approaches so you are ensured the best possible results?
2. Give away your negative beliefs and self-talk.
We all have a constant monologue going on in our heads, and we’re not always aware of it - it’s just part of the background noise of life… however, the nature of that mental chatter is very important. It’s the partially-conscious verbalization of our beliefs. Negative self-talk like “I can’t” or “it won’t work” can be persistent and it creates the emotional atmosphere for procrastination, quitting, or even dismissing a goal as impossible before ever starting on it.
Give those self-defeating beliefs away! Common “wisdom” says that it takes 21 days to change a belief. NOT TRUE. It takes zero time. It’s instant. It only takes a choice, to say to yourself, “I don’t believe ‘that’ anymore. I believe ‘this’.” A great example of this is believing that you’re no good at something, and then one day you master that skill and in that instant you say to yourself, “I’m pretty good at this!” and the old belief vaporizes! You can apply this to any belief, but you've got to believe the new statement and the way to do that is to be persistent and offer up “proof” of that new belief through visualization, until the new belief has become a habit.
This is where a “vision board on steroids” (what one user has called MindPT) comes in extraordinarily handy. Physical vision boards only have room for a small number of images, and pretty soon, a vision board can become part of the furniture because it’s not compelling enough to engage your interest on a daily basis (until those images and statements become habit). MindPT offers 800 images and 200 empowering statements in each session, AND you can add your own images or statements to engage even more dynamically!
3. Give away the impulse to criticize, judge, blame, make excuses or compare yourself to others.
Become comfortable in your own skin because other people’s imperfections and annoying traits that get under your skin are merely reflections of your own disappointment and dislike of yourself. Instead of focusing on other people’s flaws, train yourself to see the best in them. That will open you up to appreciating yourself, too!
Being comfortable in your own skin means being yourself in a world that tries to make you just like everyone else or tries to force you to live up to unattainable (and manufactured) ideals. But you can’t be someone else. You’re you. Never change who you are just so people will like you because the right people will like you, for being you! Instead of negatively comparing yourself to others, use them as inspiration to become more “you” in your own brilliant way.
Blaming others and making excuses goes hand-in-hand with criticizing and judging them. In both cases, you’re giving away your happiness to others, either through your choice to focus on their irritating traits, or by giving them power over your situation. Train yourself to avoid blaming others for what you feel, have or experience. Remember, when you focus on what’s good about someone - or yourself; or a situation; then you take back your power to make yourself happy.
4. Give away the urge to procrastinate.
Okay, you’re scared. But... is your fear of something going to kill you? The longer you put something off, the more intimidating it becomes! Not only that, but the weight of unfinished business can weigh you down significantly. You don’t have to do everything all at once. Just break a big task down into its smallest components, commit to working on at least one of those every day (preferably first thing in the morning, before you can talk yourself out of it), and before you know it, task = done.
What causes procrastination, anyway? Part of the bad habit of procrastination is the desire for perfection. You won’t get it right, every time, and that’s okay. Your first attempt at writing your name didn’t result in a masterpiece either! Learn as you go, that’s how you’re wired!
Another element of procrastination is fear of failing and the possible resulting shame. Think of it this way: the only way to “become” is to DO. One teeny, tiny, step at a time!
5. Give away your desire to run away from your problems.
You can choose to give your problems the power to dictate your moods and behaviors… or not. Your problems may feel immense, but just like with any goal (in this case eliminating the problem), you can break them down into manageable tasks. For example, a $30,000 credit card debt can be dealt with by allocating $200 a month to it. Will the ‘fix’ be instant? No. But, every month you’ll be a little closer to making that problem go away and that is a good feeling. Don’t let your fears of “what if” control you. Choose to focus on “what can go right” and take proactive steps… again, one tiny step at a time… until you feel more in control of the situation and you’ve dislodged that monkey from your back.
6. Give away your need to be right.
Are you always right? Really? And is the argument over who’s right ultimately worth the conflict, resentment, hurt feelings and possibly burned bridges? What if both perspectives are correct (they are!)... and what if you chose to work on a win-win outcome instead of the win-lose outcome that is the inevitable result of an insistence on being right (the "wrong" person has to lose...).
When the ego threatens to take over, try something radical: practice gratitude. What is this situation teaching you? What new perspective could you try on for size? What new approach have you been blind to, just because you insisted on doing it your way? There are many ways to achieve a goal, and there are as many points of view as there are people alive. You embody just one perspective out of billions, and while your point of view is true to you, it’s not necessarily true for anyone else.
Be grateful for what you have, including the right to have an opinion. Appreciate the little things, including the ability to discuss differences. Wake up each day thankful for your life and that you get to make important decisions about it. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have. Say to yourself every day, “I have enough.” This powerful mantra will shift you into “appreciation mode” very quickly!
7. Give up living in another time.
Be here, now. How much mental energy do you expend fearing what could go wrong tomorrow? How much mental real estate is taken up by the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” regrets of the past and the desire to relive good times and do certain things differently? The past is gone. Finished. Over. The future? It does not exist, except in your imagination - so you may as well imagine what could to perfectly right, and consciously go about the business of paying attention to what you’re doing right now (including what you’re thinking and feeling) because right now is when you’re creating your future! Ask yourself... are you consciously creating awesomeness, or are you unconsciously creating struggle? Being here and now requires intention. Awareness of what you're thinking and doing is the first step to changing for the better.
Training yourself to be happy can go even faster if you have the right support. Any MindPT session will accomplish the task of training you to focus on the positive; and, you can choose targeted sessions that support you in any area of life that's a source of struggle and unhappiness. Check out the monthly subscription membership (click below) which is the most affordable way to build your own custom MindPT library!