There are many things you need to stop doing to be happier. And I bet you know most of these things and just need a friendly reminder. I wish I had read one of the reminders earlier and made a decision to stop complaining, stop playing a victim, stop pleasing everyone, stop focusing on wrong things and stop being busy, rather than focusing on improving myself, making meaningful connections and be more loving.
Pleasing everyone. This is the worst, Alex said that you shouldn’t wear red, Louis thinks you sound childish, Marie doesn’t like the way you write, Jenny thinks you lack self-confidence. All people have opinions, preferences and expectations. Only you can take care of yourself. You live your life full-time and most people just show up episodically, make sure you trust yourself and stop listening blindly to what everyone has to say, especially when criticising you.
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. – Lao Tzu
Stop giving up. You have started another project and didn’t finish it. You have so many commitments, but most of them suffer because you don’t have the courage to either cut off or complete them. Stop giving up on things or people when life doesn’t work the way you expect. Facing a challenge is hard, but if everything was easy it wouldn’t be that rewarding and fulfilling. Finish that project, review your life, get rid of the things you don’t care about and start finishing.
Stop lying to yourself. The worst thing you do to yourself is lying. You can fool your friends, family, strangers, but never ever lie to yourself. The more you start being real to yourself the better you will be able to commit to relationships, say no to not so good ideas and take care of yourself.
Stop making excuses. If only I was a better writer, had more money, knew the right people, had the best idea. All of these excuses are invalid and are destroying you. Go one day without excuses, if you come up with an idea, make sure you give everything to make a plan to achieve it. Whether it’s to start developing a new habit, stepping out of your comfort zone, asking for help or setting a challenge for yourself so you stay on track and make things, not excuses happen.
If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn
Stop comparing. I still catch myself seeing someone writing books, designing products, traveling the world and start comparing. It’s an instant happiness killer, you never know what other people are going through, they might have made sacrifices that you wouldn’t, they might have hustled for decades and now you simply want to be like them. Don’t compare your book chapter 2 with someone’s chapter 12.
Stop being busy. Being busy is another way of saying “how awesome and cool I am to do all these things”. What are these things? Taking more than you can do, focusing on wrong things, doing the unimportant stuff, wasting time on social media, procrastinating and working overtime just to prove how productive and efficient you are?
Doing something unimportant well does not make it important. – Tim Ferriss
Stop doing things you don’t like. You have to realize one thing, your time is limited, doing the things you hate are taking you away from doing things you love. Stop focusing on what other people are saying, stop putting money first and listen to your heart.
It’s impossible,” said pride. “It’s risky,” said experience. “It’s pointless,” said reason. “Give it a try,” whispered the heart. – Unknown
Stop buying things. For a long time, I thought that buying things will bring me happiness. In a way, it was buying me happiness, I’d get toys for Christmas, get my first mobile phone or buy my first car. After these experiences, all the other purchases would make me happier just for a minute or a day the longest. Buy experiences, not things to become richer and happier.
Stop negative talking. There are numerous of studies and research papers that prove how negative talk affects your behaviour, thoughts, life quality and the way you perceive the world. Be more positive, stop complaining, stop saying things that don’t have a strong foundation, stop thinking that you are not good enough for something.
Stop ignoring your health. Your number one priority in life should be you and your health. As selfish and egocentric it sounds it makes a lot of sense. If you are healthy and capable of doing great things you will be able to take care of yourself, your family, friends and people you care about. It’s easy to adopt bad habits, eat inconsistently, overeat, consume too much sugar and become a slowly dying body. Take responsibility of your life and your health and make it a priority number one.
These are top ten things I’d tell my younger self to stop doing immediately. You may not relate to all the things you just read but try to evaluate your own behaviour, thoughts and emotions and eliminate the toxic relationships, habits and activities to become more mindful and happier person that the world wants to see.