Be Happy! 10 Obstacles to Happiness


I came across a great article on “10 Tips” to be happy in the workplace.  I thought it was also very applicable to everyday life.  Here’s my distilled “10 Tips” that is inspired by the article.  Jumping these hurdles, and shedding what holds us back, can help us feel happier!

Pick one, or a few, to work on being mindful of.  Life and happiness is a work in progress through our entire lives.  There’s no rush and it’s not a race to enlightenment… it’s just about knowing better and doing better one day at a time.

1) Blame

Things go wrong, and people can disappoint or make mistakes.  Pointing the finger can lead to a dizzying cycle of the blame game, which can deepen unhappiness.

2) Impressing

The clothes, the titles, the accomplishments, the things, may be likeable to some people, but they are things, they aren’t who we are.  We build our most genuine relationships, which are the kind that make us the happiest, when we stop trying to impress and just be ourselves.

3) Clinging

When we are afraid or insecure, we hold on tightly to the things we know.  Holding on to what we think we need won’t make us happier.  Having an open mind, learning new things, being receptive to something different and not fearing change allows us to let go and reach for new possibilities that can lead to happiness.

4) Interrupting

Being present when talking with others helps us really hear what others are saying.  This practice develops inner calm and wisdom.  Interrupting and assuming stifles our communication with others, which can lead to misunderstandings and agitation.

5) Whining

When does whining ever make us happy?  It can often make us feel worse and not better.  When we take the energy we put into complaining about something and put effort into making the situation better we can find empowerment in that action.

6) Controlling

It’s a tough thing to embrace, but the only constant in life is change.  We may find ways to control a certain thing, person, situation or experience, but the more we engage in trying to manipulate outcomes, the more exhausted, and disappointed, we can become.  Everyday Life is full of countless unexpected things: a sudden change in a relationship, the way a person reacts, an illness, a traffic jam, a job change, losses, gains, etc, etc, etc.  The list is endless and unpredictable.  We can find true happiness in acceptance and flexibility.  When we accept the things we want to control as they are, and when we can mindfully adapt in a positive way to the unexpected, we create contentment.

7) Criticizing

This comes back to “To Each Their Own.”  We all have different views, likes, dislikes, appearances, personalities.  Everyone is different.  Not better, not worse, just different.  This is another tough one, but tolerance, and acceptance that differences are a part of life, is crucial to creating positivity.

8) Jealousy

My favourite sayings of all time are: 1) The grass is always greener on the other side!  and 2) All that glitters is not gold!!  Rather than putting energy out through coveting other people’s lives/things, when we turn our energy inward and work on self acceptance and self appreciation, happiness will replace jealousy.

9) Dwelling

The past is valuable.  When we use the past to learn from our mistakes we can be better people.  Use the past for this lesson, then let it go.  Past experiences are not our reality in the now, and the only way they become our reality is if we drag them to the present day.  The sooner we can let go of past grievances, the sooner we can feel happy.

10) Fear

Fear is a natural human emotion.  It can motivate and drive us.  However, it can also prevent our fullest and most authentic expression of ourselves.  Hesitation, worry and waiting out of fear can hold us back from being the person we really want to be, or doing something we really want to do in our lives.  The days, weeks, months and years can pass!  In this time, life is also passing us by!

Facing our fears is like strengthening a muscle; it takes practice.  If we start slowly to build strength, the fears start to diminish.  The more often we witness, accept and move beyond our fears, the easier it becomes to live to our potential and experience true happiness.


One comment

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