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Be Happier

Be Happier: 10 Things to Stop Doing Right Now

Sometimes the route to happiness depends more on what you don't do.

Excerpted from this article, by Jeff Haden, columnist for Inc. Magazine's Owner's Manual

Happiness — in your business life and your personal life — is often a matter of subtraction, not addition. Read the full article here.

Consider, for example, what happens when you stop doing the following 10 things:

  1. Blaming — Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn't masochistic, it's empowering — because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time. And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.
  2. Impressing — Genuine relationships make you happier, and you'll only form genuine relationships when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.
  3. Clinging — Holding on to what you think you need won't make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will. Even if you don't succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.
  4. Interrupting — Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say. They'll love you for it — and you'll love how that makes you feel.
  5. Whining — Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better . . . Friends don't let friends whine — friends help friends make their lives better.
  6. Controlling — Find people who want to go where you're going. They'll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships. And all of you will be happier.
  7. Criticizing — Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you'll see people — and yourself — in a better light.
  8. Preaching — Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging . . . When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don't listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.
  9. Dwelling — The past is just training; it doesn't define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.
  10. Fearing — Don't let your fears hold you back. Whatever you've been planning, whatever you've imagined, whatever you've dreamed of, get started on it today . . . . Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything . . . . Today is the most precious asset you own — and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.