Giving Up for Happiness

One common thought in the pursuit of happiness is the thought that once we get something, we’ll be happy. How many times have you had that mindset? … Once I get my college degree, I’ll be happy … When I have my own house, I’ll be happy … I would be so happy if I had that red dress … If I had a nicer car, I’d be happy… If I had a better job, I’d be happy … I would really be happy if I had a slimmer body …

But happiness with the acquisition of things is a complex and fleeting reward. Most of the happiness seems to be in the dizzying rush of endorphins that comes with having something new. As the newness wears off, so do the endorphins, and we are left with our no-longer-new possession and the puzzled thought that maybe nothing has changed.

What if we tried the opposite?  What if we looked at what we might let go of or give up in the pursuit of happiness?  Things like giving up the need to place blame, or giving up the need to control.  Could you let go  of your limiting beliefs?  How about giving up your fears?  Could your really let go of all of your excuses?

PurposeFairy has compiled a list of 15 Things You Should Give Up In Order to be Happy.  The last one on the list seems to be pretty powerful:  Give up living your life to other’s expectations. It also could be a hard one to give up.  Expectations are built into us over time and can be so deeply embedded that we don’t even realize that we are  following someone else’s expectation.  We become so identified with the expectations that stripping them away and instead deciding for ourselves what we really want can leave us feeling vulnerable and directionless.  It may have been so long since we practiced making independent choices,  we may not even know what we want. Yet the deep joy of living a life of deliberate choice is well worth the price of any initial confusion and the discovery process can be rewarding in itself.

Who would have thought that giving up would be one of the steps on your path to happiness?



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