post written by: Marc Chernoff

50 Things You Need To Give Up Today

Things to Give Up

When you stop chasing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to catch you.

So starting today…

  1. Give up trying to be perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  2. Give up comparing yourself to others. – The only person you are competing against is yourself.
  3. Give up dwelling on the past or worrying too much about the future. – Right now is the only moment guaranteed to you.  Right now is life.  Don’t miss it.
  4. Give up complaining. – Do something about it.
  5. Give up holding grudges. – Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.
  6. Give up waiting. – What we don’t start today won’t be finished by tomorrow.  Knowledge and intelligence are both useless without action.
  7. Give up lying. – In the long-run the truth always reveals itself.  Either you own up to your actions or your actions will ultimately own you.
  8. Give up trying to avoid mistakes. – The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake.
  9. Give up saying, “I can’t.” – As Henry Ford put it, “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.”
  10. Give up trying to be everything to everyone. – Making one person smile can change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  Start small.  Start now.
  11. Give up thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  12. Give up setting small goals for yourself. – Many people set small goals because they’re afraid to fail.  Ironically, setting these small goals is what makes them fail.
  13. Give up trying to do everything by yourself. – You are the sum of the people you spend the most time with.  If you work together, you will be far more capable and powerful than you ever could have been alone.
  14. Give up buying things you don’t need. – Manage your money wisely so your money does not manage you.  Do not spend to impress others.  Do not live life trying to fool yourself into thinking wealth is measured in material objects.  Read I Will Teach You To Be Rich.
  15. Give up blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can live your dream life depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  16. Give up making mountains out of molehills. – One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  17. Give up trying to live up to the expectations of others. – Work on it for real and exceed your own expectations.  Everything else will fall into place.
  18. Give up the ‘easy street’ mentality. – There is too much emphasis on finding a ‘quick fix’ in today’s society.  For example taking diet pills to lose weight instead of exercising and eating well.  No amount of magic fairy dust replaces diligent, focused, hard work.
  19. Give up making promises you can’t keep. – Don’t over-promise.  Over-deliver on everything you do.
  20. Give up letting your thoughts and feelings bottle up inside. – People are not mind readers.  They will never know how you feel unless you tell them.
  21. Give up beating around the bush. – Say what you mean and mean what you say.  Communicate effectively.
  22. Give up avoiding change. – However good or bad a situation is now, it will change.  That’s the one thing you can count on.  So embrace change and realize that change happens for a reason.  It won’t always be easy or obvious at first, but in the end it will be worth it.
  23. Give up your sense of entitlement. – Nobody is entitled to anything in this world.  We are all equal.  We breathe the same air.  We get what we give.  We get what we earn.
  24. Give up waiting until the last minute. – Those who fail to plan, plan to fail.
  25. Give up being dramatic. – Stay out of other people’s drama and don’t needlessly create your own.
  26. Give up being anti-athletic. – Get your body moving!  Simply take a long, relaxing walk or commit 30 minutes to an at-home exercise program like the P90X workout.
  27. Give up junk food. – You are what you eat.  Read The 4-Hour Body.
  28. Give up eating as a means of entertainment. – Don’t eat when you’re bored.  Eat when you’re hungry.
  29. Give up foolish habits that you know are foolish. – Don’t text and drive.  Don’t drink and drive.  Don’t smoke.  Etc.
  30. Give up relationships with people who bring you down. – Saying “no” to right people gives you the time and resources required to say “yes” to right opportunities.  Spend time with nice people who are smart, driven and likeminded.
  31. Give up being shy. – Network with people.  Meet new people.  Ask questions.  Introduce yourself.
  32. Give up worrying about what others think of you. – Unless you’re trying to make a great first impression (job interview, first date, etc.), don’t let the opinions of others stand in your way.  What they think and say about you isn’t important.  What is important is how you feel about yourself.
  33. Give up trying to control everything. – Life is an unpredictable phenomenon.  No matter how good or bad things seem right now, we can never be 100% certain what will happen next.  So do you best with what’s in front of you and leave the rest to the powers above you.
  34. Give up doing the same thing over and over again. – In order to grow, you must expand your horizons and break free of your comfort zone.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.
  35. Give up following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t find the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  36. Give up persistent multi-tasking. – Do one thing at a time and do it right.
  37. Give up thinking others are luckier than you. – The harder you work, the luckier you will become.
  38. Give up filling every waking moment with commitments and activities. – It’s okay to be alone.  It’s okay to do nothing sometimes.  Think.  Relax. Breathe.  Be.
  39. Give up making emotional decisions. – Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence.  Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.
  40. Give up doing the wrong things just because you can get away with it. – Just because you can get away with something doesn’t mean you should do it.  Think bigger.  Keep the end in mind.  Do what you know in your heart is right.
  41. Give up focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  42. Give up taking yourself so seriously. – Few others do anyway.  So enjoy yourself and have a little fun while you can.
  43. Give up spending your life working in a career field you’re not passionate about. – Life is too short for such nonsense.  The right career choice is based on one key point: Finding hard work you love doing.  So if you catch yourself working hard and loving every minute of it, don’t stop.  You’re on to something big.  Because hard work ain’t hard when you concentrate on your passions.  Read The 4-Hour Workweek.
  44. Give up thinking about the things you don’t have. – Appreciate everything you do have.  Many people aren’t so lucky.
  45. Give up doubting others. – People who are determined do remarkable things.  Remember, the one who says it can’t be done should never interrupt the one doing it.
  46. Give up fussing with every beauty product on the market. – Good looks attracts the eyes.  Personality attracts the heart.  Be proud to be you.  That’s when you’re beautiful.
  47. Give up trying to fit in. – Don’t mold yourself into someone you’re not.  Be yourself.  Oftentimes, the only reason they want you to fit in is that once you do they can ignore you and go about their business.
  48. Give up trying to be different for the sake of being different. – Nonconformity for the sake of nonconformity is conformity.  When people try too hard to be different, they usually end up being just like everyone else who is trying to be different.  Once again, be yourself.
  49. Give up trying to avoid risk. – There’s no such thing as ‘risk free.’  Everything you do or don’t do has an inherent risk.
  50. Give up putting your own needs on the back burner. – Yes, help others, but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

And remember, mistakes make us human, failures help us grow, hope keeps us going and love is the reason we’re alive.  So keep learning, loving and living.  Never give up on yourself.

Photo by: Ai-lueh Chen

Download the ebook If you enjoyed this article, check out our new best-selling book.
Marc and Angel Subscription via Email And get inspiring life tips and quotes in your inbox (it's free)...

Enter your email address to get new articles delivered for free:


  • Great post as always. Thanks for the reminders, guys. :)

  • I love this article! Thanks so much…. these are things that we all forget so easily.

  • I feel excellent after reading this post. Great.


  • Oh wow…you have some great ones here. Thanks so much for the reminder.

  • in my opinion number 6 is the best
    nothing is better than starting today!! :)

  • Another great post!

  • Great post! Even if we’re already aware of most of those things, this gives us the essentials to keep in our heads and remember!

  • This is great article… one of the best I’ve read on here. Thank you so much, Marc.

  • So true! thank you!

  • “Give up Being Shy”

    Oh how important this one truly is. So many more opportunities open up to you when you overcome being shy it’s amazing!

    Thank you very much for this article :)

  • THE BEST LIST EVER COMPILED… next to a few of mine of course. LOL

  • Being everything to everyone is a hard one to give up for me. I have one of those behavior styles where I don’t always trust something will be finished unless I do it myself. So I’ve often worked on projects that don’t match my expertise’s or what makes me happy.

    It is a quick path to burnout being everything to everyone.

  • First of all, I absolutely love your site. I come here whenever I need inspiration and encouragement.

    Just something I’ve noticed lately though: The lists are becoming rather long. I can’t speak for everyone, but for me, things seem to resonate when they’re more concise.

    Thank you for all your wonderful work and keep it up!!

  • Like most of your posts loved the list.

    2 on the list don’t sit right with me.

    #12 Give up setting small goals for yourself. – Many people set small goals because they’re afraid to fail. Ironically, setting these small goals is what makes them fail.

    I don’t know if I understand the reason for this. Can anyone shed some light on it?

    #31 Give up being shy. – Network with people. Meet new people. Ask questions. Introduce yourself.

    While I think this is great advice I do believe it important to be ok with being an introvert. I know being shy and introverted aren’t the same thing but I think it’s important to understand and know you aren’t “weird” because you are introverted.

    Thanks for sharing this great list.

  • In other words - keep it easy! Just goes to show how complicated we’ve made life.

    You guys are the masters of these lists and God knows how you come up with them but I’m glad you do.

  • I don’t get along well with people who feel compelled to do #15 , #16, #23, and #25.

    If you give up #47 “Don’t mold yourself into someone you’re not. Be yourself.”, you might not be able to give up some of the other things listed. Our outward acts are a manifistation of who we are on the inside.

  • I think the first one is the most important and can have such an impact on everything else. Give up on being perfect. Nobody’s perfect, stop killing yourself trying to be!
    A recap of the Work-at-Home Moms series

  • And give up trying to do everything on everyone’s advice list — so for now, I’ll just concentrate on numbers 6 and 11 — which are probably related, anyway.


  • I enjoyed this, thanks.

  • I vow to give up #17: Give up trying to live up to the expectations of others.
    It’s gonna be hard, but as of today…no more!

  • This is like a collection self-help books in micro format. A lot of them resonate with me so well and I like how it is kept short & simple.

  • Okay, so how do you guys get so BRILLIANT & ENLIGHTENED?? I mean, really, this is beyond. Thanks so much–some of the comments in particular came at just the right time. Happy day.

  • This list is a wonderful gift. THANK you!

  • Thanks for the words and meaning behind them. You rock, dude!

  • Great reminders! There is a great symmetry between several of these, especially those stemming from #40 (like 26, 27, or 29). Too often our short term patches become long term without our realizing it. Thanks for this!

  • Give up not trusting your gut feeling!
    When I read about giving up on emotional decisions, I disagreed. We have to trust our gut feeling much more than we do now. We are always trying to investigate different options and think things over like a dozen times. But from the beginning on, we know what’s good for us. Trust that feeling.
    Of course, if you are talking life-changing decisions some intelligence and thinking can be of help :)

  • Wow, my friend sent me this and I’m so glad her did!! I feel like you wrote this post to me(I know you didn’t, but sounds nice, lol) but it touched on so many different topics, that I’m currently working on improving. Will be subscribing, to get more words of wisdom! Thank you!!

  • #35 really hit home for me. I know so many people living this way and they are suffering because of it.

  • Awesome article. I like #41 the most. When you focus on something you don’t want to happen all the time, you’ll inadvertently actually make it happen!

    Give up that sort of thinking and get on with something more positive!


    At the end of reading this one, all I was left with was simply, my authentic self!

    I love, give up the fear of making mistakes - I feel this one keeps me complacent, but realizing mistakes are part of growth is pivotal.

    Also, give up on focusing on what you don’t want to happen. Have the right mentality. Without even realizing it, my life was filled with a list of things I knew I didn’t want to occur, but with a focus on the averse, how can anything positive occur?

    It’s like a golfer who is worried about hitting the ball in the giant lake. What does he do? Hits the ball in the water. Instead the focus should lie on hitting it on the green instead of not hitting it in the water.

    Really great content Marc.


  • This is probably one of the best and most complete list of things to change for a better life.

    In terms of wording they may be limited in their impact. It might be a great idea to repost these 50 points with a positive message. I.e. instead of “giving up x” write “adopt (the opposite of x)”. This might make it easier to visualize, give a suggestions what to replace the current behavior with and lead to more dramatic positive change.

    Thanks for the inspiration,


  • Great post!
    #5 reminds me of something I heard once about how holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die.

  • To read this, makes feeling better:-)

  • Such good advice and so important to remember.

  • I’m particularly fond of #38 - giving up filling every second of our day. I’ve been sloooooooooowly working on decluttering - mind, space, digital & time - and I can tell you it has greatly improved my attitude towards everything. Enough is enough - for goodness sake - and the “white space” is good for the soul & our productivity too. Thank you!

  • I am personally trying to adopt #32 in my life - give up thinking what others think about you! Also, #44, thinking about things you don’t have is something I need to work on. Great post :)

  • Great list you’ve gathered Marc. :D

    Recently I wrote a similar topic’s post on my blog too, which I name it “The Not-To-Do List: 18 Common Habits You Should Stop Right Away”.
    And now I found this post and read, it really leads me to think that there’s so much more for us to take note on and make a change on our life towards a better self.

    Thanks for the post. :D

  • Wonderful.

  • Brilliant article and so uplifting! I so often find my myself doing #41. Time to end this useless drama. :-) Thx so much!

  • Thank you…This helps a lot especially at a time when I am asking myself “what did i do wrong” ?

  • So grateful I was introduced to your site today….We need to surround ourselves with positive, like minded individuals who share our mission to live a positive, grateful, and nourishing lifestyle. Thank you….I will add you to my gratitude list today! xo

  • OK I have a lot of work to do. Hope I don’t “give up”. Great blog.

  • thank you, this was a really good reminder today - I needed it :)

  • Love this! I did one last week “i quit” at yours is right in line with that! Love it!!!

  • Pure truths. Thank you for this, it’s self-affirming and self-evaluating all at once. I truly needed this one. :)

  • #31 resonated the most with me. I’ve been pretty shy my whole life. But, as I’m now seeing, you’ll not only miss out on a lot of opportunities that way, but you’ll also miss out on getting to meet some great new people as well.

  • quit, live and love yourself.

  • I try diligently to leave everyone I meet, people at the drive-thru, letter carrier, anyone who makes eye contact, with a smile. My smile might be the nicest thing that happens to that person all day. Most people light up when you smile at them, and that makes ME light up inside. :)

  • This will set you free from those dreams and goals which are really dead ends. Great Blog.

  • Love this list so much that I reposted it on my site today. Thank you!

  • I reposed on my site as well. Great list - thank you!

  • surendra sisodiya
    May 4th, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Really love this article! Very inspiring. :-)

  • re: #16, a phrase I really like these days is “you have to make a decision. It doesn’t matter what the decision is, but make the decision and move on.”

  • This makes me want to start taking the chances I’ve been missing. Thank you so much.

  • Inspiring! :D

  • I really like this article. I refer back to it all the time. Thank you.

  • This is one of the best advice articles I’ve seen in a long time. It’s nice to know that there are still some bloggers who aren’t completely convoluted with BS and romanticism. Despite some of the advice conflicting with other parts, if exercised with some common sense, this list is great.

  • Give up on giving up, then you will find peace.

    And especially give up to read such postings, because all wisdom is in yourself, if you allow to feel, what feels right to you now.


  • Such a wonderful list! Thank you for the wisdom.

  • Awesome list!!! I needed to read this today! Thank you!

  • Thank U! Thank U! Very much. This is Life Changing.

  • I’d add this one:

    Give up being right. We’re not always right.

  • One of the most important things I learned growing up was that NO ONE was entitled to anything. But I’m a little older and I think that’s what’s missing today. We have an entire country and a leader who has feelings of Entitlement. They feel they should be given everything for nothing. They need to read this list. It’s amazing. Thank you.

  • Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I had a bad day today, but you made me smile again!

  • Great post! I’ve been working on giving up some of these life draining things. Thank for helping me do it.

  • Great Post! It made me realize how much I’ve given up that’s why I worry less now compared to before. Will share this to my friends who badly need it to reflect.

  • These points come in handy! They’re helping me see things a bit more clearly. Thanks so much for the post. Inspiring :)

  • Thank you for this one… printing it out and posting in the house to share with others.

  • Great and fantastic post! Hope to put them to practice. Great job!

  • I love it. Great reminders of how to live life large!

  • Wonderful article. Thanks so much for sharing this valuable, inspiring advice.

  • Amazing article!

  • Wow! This post is just what I needed to read! So motivating!

  • Ahh thank you soo much for sharing this with us..

    “Good looks attracts the eyes. Personality attracts the heart. Be proud to be you. That’s when you’re beautiful”

    I love it!

  • nice articel.. :)

  • WOW great!! Thanks to Henry Lau for sharing this!

  • Thank you for the post. It’s time to give up the wrong things.

  • great post ! :)

  • Great list of things to avoid. I agree totally with avoiding multi tasking. It is very stressful and the results are usually mediocre at best.

  • Great post, lots of great advice. I’d suggest reviewing #12 however. Although we need to not set limits on ourself (which is what I believe this “give up” was pointing out), we can’t meet big goals in one jump. It is the small goals lined up to complete the big goal that allows us to achieve success. One step at a time will move you closer to your goal than giant leaps that you may never take (which also might make it easier to give up on not being 100% ready).

    Keep up the great work!
    Until next time ~ James

  • Woooow! What an exhilarating piece!
    Am a shy guy, but you have transformed me from today to sharp, inspired guy.

Leave a Reply