There are 10 things we all do almost every day to sabotage our own happiness. It is indeed the human way to get in our own way. Think about it. So much of what we do and don’t do keeps us from feeling content and satisfied. When we can recognize the following ways we goal-tend our own happiness, we can begin to change our behaviors and habits so that we can win at life.
Having a happy heart and an open mind means we are winning at life.
Many of us are all talk, no action. Or, we talk and take very little action. Especially when it comes to personal goals and what we really want out of life. What are your dreams and aspirations? Do you want to hike the Appalachian Trail or become the lead singer in a band? What is it that you’ve always wanted to try, do, see, explore? We all have dreams and desires, but many of us take little or no action to get there. We procrastinate because we think we always have more time. The reality is, we have plenty of time, but boy does it fly by. We wake up one day and realize half our life is over and we panic because we thought we had WAY MORE TIME to follow our dreams but procrastinated and squandered it away instead. While it is true that some decisions take a bit of time to make, happiness requires action, even if it’s difficult or if we are unsure. “The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step” ~ Laozi
We stay indoors
We stay inside when it’s perfectly beautiful outside. We look out our windows at the sunshine, and yet, somehow have to come up with a reason to go outside. We should not need a reason to get outside. Staying inside blocks happiness because it keeps the light from hitting our faces, the sun from warming our souls, and the crisp, cool air from entering our lungs. Inside is boring. Get outside as often as possible and watch how your mood changes. “Live in the sunshine, swim the sea, drink the wild air.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
We let our junk and our chores pile up
What’s up with the endless, needless junk? Why do we keep so much stuff? For what? So we can look at it in a pile? Having too much clutter in and around our homes clutters up our minds as well. When we purge the junk from every room in our house, we clear the path for happiness. If an item doesn’t serve us in some way, we need to kick it to the curb. In the same regard, when we tick chores off our list, we can move on to brighter things. When we keep a tidy home, and chores are complete, we often feel the sense of serenity that can not (and will not) come from anywhere else. “Clutter is the physical manifestation of unmade decisions fueled by procrastination.” ~ Christina Scalise
We watch too much reality television
We live in the future and in the past
Too much yes and not enough no
All too often we are stretched to our limits – physically, mentally, at work, at home, and in a many of our relationships. A lot of the time, this can not be helped, but if we consciously recognize when we are being pulled out and spread thin, we can begin to say no to what doesn’t serve our inner spirit. When we start serving our inner spirit, we begin to make our own happiness a priority instead of pleasing other people in order to gain friendship or garner praise. “When you say yes to others, make sure you are not saying no to yourself.” ~ Paulo Coelho
We prioritize things that just don’t matter
We all get 24 hours a day (hopefully) to do the things that are most important to us. Many things we say we want to prioritize get pushed to the back of the list by other, less worthy things. For example, we say we want to exercise and eat healthier, but is is often easy to make excuses. We let our excuses overrule our intended priorities. Therefore, exercise and healthier eating are NOT priorities after all. Other examples may include spending time with our kids, or paying off debt. We lose focus when we pay more attention to our cell phones, or we buy impulsively. Our cell phones and our accumulated stuff become the priorities instead of our kids or our finances. When we reevaluate our daily habits we often see how excuses and detrimental behaviors continue to block what is really important, hence preventing contentment and peace in our lives. “There’s no sense talking about priorities. Priorities reveal themselves. We are all transparent against the face of the clock.” ~ Eric Zorn
When we consistently block our own happiness by engaging in these practices, we are essentially blocking our own lives. Human beings are meant to live earnestly and well. We are meant to find joy in the endless possibilities of each new day, and to savor the time we’ve been given. We need to get up, get outside, get away from the television, keep our wallets in our pockets, keep harmful words from leaving our mouths, and prioritize what matters. “The clearest path to happiness emerges when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony” ~Mahatma Gandhi