Yes these 7 things need to be given up !We spend so much time and energy in trying to learn what will make us happy and successful but sometimes we need to focus on what we need to unlearn.
Unless we give up certain habits and attitudes it becomes impossible to move towards happiness and bliss. This reminds me of a story which had a very deep effect on me and I will share it here.
Nan-in, a Japanese master during the Meiji era (1868-1912), received a university professor who came to inquire about Zen.
Nan-in served tea. He poured his visitor’s cup full, and then kept on pouring. The professor watched the overflow until he no longer could restrain himself. “It is overfull. No more will go in!”
“Like this cup,” Nan-in said, “you are full of your own opinions, attitudes and speculations. How can I show you Zen unless you first empty your cup?”
Similarly if we are looking to move towards a different level of happiness than the one we are experiencing now we will need to let go of certain attitudes. And the 7 things you absolutely must let go are:
1. A small or scaled down mind set: The first thing you need to change is an orientation towards thinking small or average. And this holds good for every aspect of your being. Give up on setting small magnitude goals; change your outlook to seeing the broadest possible view of things and events. Do not think in short term. Have lofty goals, long term dreams and a big mind which considers all of it possible. Small mind can’t lead you to big happiness.
2. Give up the need to control: Need for control severely limits your ability to move beyond a situation or people. Essentially the need to control is an obsessive behaviour that drives you to keep moving in a thinking loop focused on others and outside events. If you are a control freak you would know that you keep worrying that if you let go of control something nasty will happen and this consumes you. This leaves no room to grow and experience a feeling of freedom from others. If you feel you exercise too much control make a conscious decision to let go of it and you will experience amazing lightness and a spring in your step.
3. Resistance to change: This is something we all carry with us in varying degrees. When presented with a situation which requires change we avoid the change till we are not left with any option. This is not very good for our happiness levels as each change gives us an opportunity to experience a high. I will tell you how, remember your first car or house or branded bag? Try to recollect the joy it gave you, the feeling of unadulterated bliss. That’s how humans are wired anything new gives you a kick, the regular dulls you. So embrace change.
4. Making excuses: an absolute NO NO , excuses don’t take you anywhere. The most common suspects are I don’t have time, this is not the right time, I don’t have the resources, I have responsibilities, and it’s too much effort. None of this is a fact, they are all figments of your own attitudes and if you get down to overcoming them you can do it like you do when you have run out of options. Every excuse erodes your self confidence and self assurance while action creates a feel good factor.So replace excuses with action, find a reason to do rather than not do it.
5. Need to live up to everybody’s expectations: This a more common than I would like. If you reflect on your own lives most of you will realise that in some way or the other a huge part of your life especially the formative years were spent living up to others expectations. You chose the education that was expected of you, you chose a career as per expectations, and you perhaps even chose your life partner like that. A large part of what you did, when you did sprang from who wanted you to do it. If we really want to experience joy we need to give up on this. It will take a while but do it. After you have a limited shelf life!!
6. Toxic relationships: Negative people around you will sooner than later bring down your happiness level. Not only that they will drain you of energy and enthusiasm to do anything. One of the most striking impact of toxic people in your life is that they render you incapable of achieving anything worthwhile. Their psychological games can destroy you. So say goodbye to them and start getting associated with positive happy people. The impact of this positive company is immense and immediate.
7. The need to be liked by everyone: Finally the most difficult attitude to give up, the need to be liked and applauded. The more you are into seeking liking and approval the more you are a prisoner of others. Start living as per your own convictions. The truth is that people don’t really care what you are doing; in their scheme of things you don’t have much place. It’s your own need which should be minimised. And one of the best ways to do it is to start moving around with people who live life as per their rules. Learn from them and then start practising. It will entirely change your life experience.
So empty your cup, make space for happier times.
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