post written by: Marc Chernoff

15 Things You Must Give Up to Be Happy Again

15 Things You Must Give Up to Be Happy Again

Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak; sometimes it simply means you are strong enough and smart enough to let go.

Last week Angel and I received a new thank you email from a reader named Kevin.  He said our blog and book helped him and his wife Laura maintain a positive, intentional mindset as they struggled and grew through one of the most difficult periods of their lives.  Certain sections of his email made my jaw drop:

“After injuring my back, losing my job because of it, being evicted from our apartment, moving in with Laura’s parents, nursing my five-year-old through a nearly fatal bout of strep throat, I was sitting on the front porch feeling sorry for myself when my old college buddy called me crying and said, ‘Mel-Mel-Mellisa, my baby girl, just died in a car wreck.’  And suddenly I felt like the lucky one.”

Kevin then went on to say, “It was the shock of my friend’s tragic loss combined with the near simultaneous discovery of your blog and book that changed my entire outlook from negative to positive.  I suddenly realized there were people who needed me to get back up, and infinite reasons and ways to do my very best with what I had.  So I started giving up all the negative things I was thinking and doing that had been holding me back; and then I took a bold step forward, and another, and another.  And I’m happy to say you were right!”

If you can relate to Kevin’s situation in any way, and you’re ready to move forward, today is the day to start giving up the things that have been holding you back and draining your happiness.

Truth be told, it happens to all of us as we grow.  We discover more about who we are and the way life really is, and then we realize there are changes we need to make.  The lifestyle we’ve been living no longer fits.  The environments and relationships we’ve known forever no longer exist, or no longer serve our best interests.  So we cherish all the great memories, but find ourselves at a crossroads, giving up the old to make way for a new beginning.

And it’s not easy.  It’s painful to give up what’s familiar.  Angel and I have struggled through this process many times.  In the past decade we’ve had to deal with several major, unexpected life changes/challenges, including:

  1. The loss of our home after a breadwinning employment layoff.
  2. Breaking ties with a close friend who repeatedly betrayed us.
  3. Closing down our first family business when the profits didn’t follow the work.
  4. Reconfiguring our lives after losing two loved ones to death.

These experiences were brutal.  Each of them, unsurprisingly, knocked us down and off course for a period of time.  But once we accepted these harsh realities, by giving up our expired ideals and letting go of the way things used to be, we pressed forward, stronger, and with a greater understanding and respect for life.

Which is why I want to remind you that TODAY is the first day of the rest of your life.  The road ahead is wide open.  You CAN be happy again!

But first, you have to give up…

  1. Choosing to do nothing. – You don’t get to choose how you are going to die, or when.  You can only decide how you are going to live, right now.  Every day is a new chance to choose.  Choose to change your perspective.  Choose to flip the switch in your mind from negative to positive.  Choose to turn on the light and stop fretting about with insecurity and doubt.  Choose to do work that you are proud of.  Choose to see the best in others, and to show your best to others.  Choose to truly LIVE your life, right now.
  2. The excuses you keep reciting to yourself. – Sooner or later you will come to realize that it’s not what you lose along the way that counts; it’s what you do with what you still have.  When you let go, forgive, and move on, you in no way change the past, you change the future.  (Read The Power of Now.)
  3. Avoiding the reality of the present. – You can’t change what you refuse to confront.  You can’t find peace by avoiding it.  Deal with problems before they deal with your happiness.  Don’t let a hard lesson harden your heart.  Remember, life’s best lessons are usually learned at the worst times and from the worst mistakes.  When you lose something, don’t think of it as a loss; accept it as a gift that will get you on the path you were meant to travel all along.  Thank your past for all the lessons, and move on.  Say it: “Dear past, thank you for the lessons and wisdom.  Dear future, I’m ready for you!”
  4. Over-thinking and worrying about everything. – When your fears have you looking too deep into things, it creates problems, it doesn’t fix them.  If you think and you think and you think, you will think yourself right out of happiness a thousand times over, and never once into it.  Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace and potential.  Stop over-thinking everything.  Life is too short.
  5. Who you once were in the past. – Find the balance that allows you to be who you truly are.  Your worst battle is between what you know and what you feel.  One of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make is when to stay put and try harder or when to just take your memories and move on.  Sometimes you have to step outside of the person you’ve been, and remember the person you were meant to be, the person you are capable of being, and the person you truly are.
  6. Resistance to necessary growing pains. – Remember, we can’t become what we need to be by remaining exactly what we are.  Life is change, but growth is optional.  Choose wisely.  When we lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too.  So if you are passionate about something, pursue it.  Stretch yourself.  You will know you’re on the right track in life when you become completely uninterested in looking back, and eager to take the next step.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Adversity” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
  7. Doubting your own faith and courage. – You can be comfortable or courageous, but you cannot be both.  By taking a leap of faith, you find out who you are truly capable of becoming.  Faith sees the invisible, feels the intangible, and achieves the impossible; it’s about believing when it’s beyond the power of reason to believe.  And courage is being scared to death, and then taking the next step anyway.  May you always find the faith and courage to do what you are afraid to do.
  8. Thinking you don’t have what it takes. – Nobody is going to blindside you and hit you as hard as life will.  Sometimes life will beat you to the ground, and keep you there if you let it.  But it’s not about how hard life can hit you; it’s about how hard you can be hit while continuing to move forward.  That’s what true strength is.  And that’s what winning the game of life is all about.
  9. Overlooking everything that’s wonderful. – Do your best and surrender the rest.  When you stay stuck in regret of the life you think you should have had, you end up missing the beauty of what you do have.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for the good things in your life right now.
  10. Pessimism and negative self-talk. – Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction.  Break this negative habit.  Talk about your joys, your loves, and your dreams instead.  What you see in life often depends entirely on what you’re looking for.  In the end, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.  It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it.  It’s not what you see, it’s how you look at it.  It’s not how your life is, it’s how you live it.
  11. Excessive pride. – Get out of your own way.  Stop judging everyone and everything.  Pride is one of the greatest enemies to your happiness and growth.  Open your mind before you open your mouth.  Don’t hate what you don’t know.  The mind is like a parachute; it doesn’t work when it’s closed.  Or as C.S. Lewis so profoundly put it, “A proud person is always looking down on things and other people; and, of course, as long as you are looking down, you cannot see something beautiful that is above you.”
  12. Not giving the people around you a chance. – Life is a tapestry of people weaving in and out of your life, people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  Everyone has something to offer and share with you.  Imagine treating every person you encounter, no matter how fleeting, as an intriguing story waiting to be told. But the story can only be told if someone asks to hear it.  Will you ask?  That person you see standing before you, no matter who they are, young or old, rich or poor, angry or kind, is like a blockbuster movie ready to enthrall you. But, first you have to buy a ticket.
  13. Comparing yourself to everyone else. – Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel.  Give it up.  Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 15.  Follow your own path, write your own life story, and never give up on yourself.  Remember this:  Happiness formula = Do YOUR best and feel good about it. | Unhappiness formula = Compare yourself to everyone else.  (Read The Happiness Trap.)
  14. Letting the judgments of others control your life. – People know your name, not your story.  They’ve heard what you’ve done, but not what you’ve been through.  So take their opinions of you with a grain of salt.  In the end, it’s not what others think, it’s what you think about yourself that counts.  Sometimes you have to do exactly what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.
  15. Procrastinating and senselessly wasting time. – Remember, you are the customer of a bank called Time.  Every morning it credits you with 86,400 seconds.  Every night it writes off, as a loss, whatever remainder you have failed to invest to good purpose.  It carries over no balance.  It allows no overdraft.  Each day it opens a new account for you with the same deposit of 86,400 seconds.  Each night it burns the remains of the day.  If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.  There is no going back.  There is no drawing against the tomorrow.  You must live in the present on today’s deposits only.  Invest it so as to get from it the utmost in health, happiness, and success.  You’re making withdrawals right this second; make them count.

Your turn…

As you know, when you stop doing the wrong things, you give the right things a chance to start.  So what’s one habit or thought pattern that has been making you unhappy?  What can you do today to give it up?  Leave a comment below and let us know.

Photo by: Zach Klein

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  • Many thanks for sharing with this knowledge. I know my most self-limiting habit is that I waste a lot of time trying to think about things I don’t have, rather than appreciating everything I have at the moment. It’s a very challenging situation to cope with, but with the knowledge I’ve been getting from both your blog and audiobook I’m now better able to control this habit.

  • One habit I must give up to be happy again, is thinking that I can’t do it. It is so hard though. I know what I should do, but the steps to actually do them seem so long and high. Each and every day that I don’t take at least one step forward, puts me two steps backward. I am always trying to catch up.

    I want to be happy again. The self loathing I have is taking a toll on me. You have said before that others should not make us, but each new day I feel more afraid to try to go on. I believe the self loathing, and it scares me more and more.

    These posts help me sort things out. Thank you.

  • I am very discouraged and so down on myself. I know I need to stop the negative self talk, but I don’t know how. Your posts are very encouraging and helping me. Thanks for all you do.

  • Very motivating words! Thank you. The two big things I need to give up:

    1) Trying to control everything (including what already happened) - this only leads to disappointment and unhappiness, because you have to accept that some things are just beyond your control and in the past.

    2) Worrying about my failures – This used to cripple me.

    And this quote from your book has been one of my guideposts for giving these negative habits up:

    “Give up worrying about past failures. Accept your past without regret, handle your presence with confidence, and face your future without fear. You are today where your thoughts and actions have brought you; you will be tomorrow where your thoughts and actions take you.”

  • So many things you all write are so very true and oftentimes inspiring. None the less, my question is this: How do you let go of your husband that God put you with? I know everyone has problems and relationship issues sometimes, but this pain is consuming like none other. So do you have any suggestions?

  • @mandy lane: Without more detail, it’s hard to evaluate your unique situation. These two articles may help though:
    1. 6 Reasons Your Relationship is Suffering
    2. 4 Ways to Quiet the Negative Voice Inside You

  • #7 and #8. I had faith, absolute faith in what I was doing and where it was heading, my abilities and what I was capable of, and it turned out I was wrong on every single thing. Now I have no faith at all in anything, but I’m pushing through it anyway and doing something every day despite it. I don’t know if I have what it takes to make it. I don’t even know what “it” is anymore, and I don’t feel much passion for anything these days, but I’m doing something every day despite it and slowly making progress.

    @Dev Sometimes you are where you are today because the thoughts and actions of other people brought you here, and I’m done taking all the blame. I may not be able to control the past, and I think what you mean is “change” the past, because it’s already done and “controlling” what’s already done is impossible, but I CAN choose where my life goes from here.

    How do you live an intentional life if you’re at the mercy of random things that put you where you were ‘meant’ to be all along, that you didn’t choose or want? What’s the point of having goals, ambition or doing any work at all if everything is a crap shoot and is going to happen with or without you anyway?

    These mixed messages confuse me and put me right back in the same funk I keep having to pull myself out of.

    So I’ll just keep doing something every day, and maybe at some point it’ll all make sense again.

    Thank you for the post. Your work is very important.


  • This comment is for Mandy. I once heard a very wise preacher say to think of some of these major life decisions like Nehemiah’s wall. This assumes that God has truly revealed His purpose for your life to you. Achieving your purpose is like building that wall. We were never promised that things would not be difficult in building — or reaching our purpose. And getting angry, being afraid, feeling sad, etc. can very much be part of the process — including due to the ‘not nice’ actions of others. (When you think of it, there are many ways we stretch and grow through dificult experiences.) But if someone decides to hop their “butt” up onto the wall, lay across it and all-out refuse to let you lay another brick… well, that spells war. Sometimes honoring God’s purpose means long suffering. But when anything comes in to try to prevent you from achieving that purpose, that is an enemy to be battled. And, please do remember, the weapons of our warfare are not carnal. We battle with spiritual ones. Keep walking and talking with God, everything will become crystal clear. And He will give you the wisdom, strength and grace to do whatever He guides you to do. Because of your pretty obvious spiritual base, please allow me to graciously remind you that you can make all of your decisions not based on fear but based on faith. Hope this helps!

  • Dear @JMP, maybe “God” should smite that “someone” and kick him/her off the wall. Just a thought.

    I prefer to think God, or whatever your belief may be, intends for our purpose to be happy, joyful and blessed and that we as fallible human beings tend to screw it up and make it harder than it needs to be. A God that intends for it to be long suffering isn’t a God I want to know. I’d like to think God has more important things to do than micromanage our lives, in my humble opinion.

    Thank you for your comment. It made me smile.

  • Yesterday I let go of a man I truly and deeply love. He has been seeing another woman of the past 18 months, telling me that heroes love me and needs s in his life but is unsure of his path. The last insult was when he spent my birthday with her. It has taken me a long time toget to this point and I want desperately to call him and accept whatever crumbs he throws me, trying yo be strong. But love him do much.

  • Numbers 11, 12, 14, and 15 I’ll definitely remember. With any emotion, it’s your choice. Happiness, fear, anxiety, etc. For me, personally, I choose to to remain upbeat and not get upset over anything whether it’s big or small. I actually read a status from a friend of mine on Facebook who said they couldn’t stand single people who wrote depressing stuff on Valentine’s Day. He continued on writing, “In the words of Rupaul, ‘If you don’t love yourself, how the hell will you love someone else?’” What I’m saying is if people, whether single or not, loved and accepted what they were born with, the world would be less critical on appearance and there would be no need for plastic surgery. I may only be 20, but I accept what I was born with.

  • Great article! Something I’ve found to help is EFT (tapping). It helps energy flow better and unsticks emotional blockages.

  • Hey thank you yet again… This post has knocked on my door at the right time - time in my life when I feel that I am ignored even after sacrificing and waiting. Yes, I now feel it’s good to let go. What will be, will be. And something that’s never meant to be will never come, no matter how long we wait for things to be in place. It is absofreakinlutly important to live each day of your life without any regrets and lots of love.

    Again, thank you for the amazing post:)

  • I appreciate your posts. Many times I have used the information to help the children I work with who have lost their parents to AIDS, or have been abused and neglected. Your positive points give hope daily. Thank you.

  • This article was incredibly inspiring. Considering that I can relate to almost everything you have on here, I think I have my work cut out for me. As a 21 year old Biochemistry student with 2 jobs and research to do, I don’t have a lot of time to be worrying what others think, but I still do.

    This in mind, my family seems to create the biggest issues in my life. When they doubt me, I doubt myself. My apparent reasoning for this is because they are family. Clearing family from your life is impossible and dealing with the challenges is taking its toll on my attempted positive mentality. Although I find this helpful, I still need more advice.

  • This was awesome!!! Over the past several years I’ve dealt with my mother falling down the basement steps and suffering a traumatic brain injury, my father’s suicide right after that, my loss of a six figure job after 15 years, a loss of another job, a nervous breakdown, and my adult son’s coming forward to tell the family that he had been raped not once but 10 times by a family friend!!!! Just when I think I am just going to lay down and shut off, I realize that while the past 3 years have been the most horrible years in my 46 years of life, things could be much worse. I could have cancer, one of my kids could be sick with no cure, or we could be left homeless, and that hasn’t happened yet! The fact is, as terrible as these things that happened are, we’re working through them. I have a new job in digital media, and am working toward my Master’s in Forensic Psychology, my son is getting the help that he needs and is actually doing well handling the situation. It’s brought us closer and I am so proud of the way he’s dealing with the whole situation. I am on the mend from my breakdown, and heartbreak of my father’s gruesome suicide, and while mom will never be the mom I once knew…totally, she is doing better and making strides 3 yrs. later on gaining independence back and bridging over the damage that was suffered.

    Life seemed to have come to a standstill, but the world kept moving on. And once the muck started clearing away, the light started to shine through, and we survived…and there so much worse that could’ve happened, and did not. We were blessed! I was blessed! And I am here to show others, YOU CAN MAKE IT, TOO.

  • Jasmine Franchesca
    February 17th, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I have long given up about my ideals and learned to be more accepting and appreciative about what I do have. And when I do tend to ‘complain’, I always remind myself that there are people out there who are terminally ill… people who never even own a pair of shoes… and who always worry about their next meal. For me, health is one of the few that I consider vital; without it, everything else can easily fall apart. And that means being able to accept things that we don’t have any control of rather than stressing over it all the time. I believe that your mind can only take you far if you allow it, the rest is really up to us. I choose owning it rather than the other way around. Cheers!

  • Thanks, this is a great one today, for me. Especially 13-15, and the quote by CS Lewis. You two are doing good work sharing these ideas with everyone.

  • So very true, because if something is holding you back, or something or somebody is having a negative effect on your life, to move forward you have to make a change. If smoking is causing ill health, or you’re drinking too much, most people will stop smoking or drinking. Yet when it comes to relationships with family or friends we tend to put up with negative crap - we say to ourselves “they’re in my life so we ‘ll just have to accept all the baggage etc.” I find I can eradicate rubbish from my life fairly easy, bad diet, too much booze, these can be replaced by healthy habits. But as for eliminating “people” out of my life, that has never been that straight forward. Yet as I get older and I’m more aware of my mortality I find I’m not so accepting of people who cause me friction, or stop me from feeling good about myself. They are slowly taken off my Christmas card list! So the one thing I’d give up would be super negative people.

  • Jacqueline Martens
    February 17th, 2014 at 6:44 pm

    Thank you very much for all the information you supply. Devastation hit in 2009 with 3 life altering losses that left me in a deplorable state of mind at age 66. Soon after I was diagnosed with Adult ADD, serious Depression and they thought for awhile I might be bi-polar. Living alone with no close support system has been a struggle and reaching out to find sources like your book, a help. I own it, but appreciate the emails and this particular one contains messages I need to refer to on a daily basis… all 15 are sensitive issues to me at this step in my recovery and reminders of where my attention should be focused will help.

    I’m a fighter, a survivor and have overcome major issues in my lifetime…including polio. I like to tell people, “I’m 70, a polio survivor, still upright and smiling!” As such, I’m a role model to show it’s never too late. I’ve recommended your book to several and will continue to do so. Every new trail is easier to follow with a map and a guide… Your book is a map, and you two the guides…you’ve been there, done that and had the graciousness to write it down. Thank you.

  • So many of these comments are incredibly inspiring. Just awesome! :-)

  • Thank you for this post. It’s my second time reading your blog, but now I will make a habit of it.

  • Another much appreciated reminder to continue all efforts to get out of my own way. Thank you again.

  • This is a great article. Truth is, life throws circumstances at us once in awhile that are tough to deal with. Trick is, finding a way through.

    I used to worry about everything. What if this happens? 13 years ago I lost everything. Was it tough? yes. Did I survive? yes

    Most of what we worry about will never happen, and when it does it makes us stronger. Stay in the moment, don’t worry about tomorrow.

    Again, great post.

  • Wonderful article, thank you. I’m really enjoying your blog.

  • I have been a major proponent of being disciplined in doing only the small handful of things that are important to me everyday and letting go of everything else. As long as I follow my daily affirmations I always feel satisfied at the end of the day.

  • #15 really hits close to home. I wasted time from procrastinating and do things that are comfortable to me. I have to be more mindful now in doing productive tasks. I will read it every morning. It’s a great reminder to start the day right. And I will make it a daily habit to read your blog posts. :)

  • @Mandy — I too had to let go of someone that I knew God sent my way, and it was because of his actions. I was heartbroken, and still question my ability to discern the gently voice of the Lord. I had to seek help from someone wiser than myself, and was reminded that Heavenly Father gave us all free agency to follow His will or our own. My intended decided to follow his own will–and being reminded of this helped me to begin to trust my own discernment again. Bless you in your pain.

  • This was a beautiful read. Much needed in my case. Living in happiness is quite the rollercoaster. I have learned that being happy is not 24/7, but I will feel all the other emotions from sad to happy to angry to calm to melancholy. But overall, my outlook is positive and I would say I live a happy life because I am human and I get to feel all of these emotions. Some days are rough and my cloud likes to hover over my head, but with a little inspiration like this, I always get back on my feet. Thank you

  • @Kathryn: In 10 years is that someone you want to be with? Is that going to be a relationship that makes you a better person? Is that the type of relationship you would wish for your sister or closest girlfriend? Stay strong and respect and love yourself.

    @J. Patrick Greene: YOU are an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me, that even at our lowest, we truly are blessed. Big hug!

    @Jacqueline Martens: “I’m 70, a polio survivor, still upright and smiling!” What more could you ask for? Cheers! =)

    @All: Wow! I am speechless. I want to read these comments every day! By sharing your personal stories of strength and adversity you are helping everyone who reads these comments know that they can make it through another tough day. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for paying it forward. =)

  • This is so timely for me right now. My mother has an incurable, and aggressive disease; and I’ve been trying to focus on the positive with her and also within myself–especially the fact that I am able to spend time with her now.

    Sometimes its very difficult not to think ahead to when she’ll be gone, but I keep trying to turn it around and acknowledge that she’s here now & I need to appreciate that as much and as often as I can.

    Thank you.

  • Thank you. I really needed to read this today. <3

  • This is such a great article! I am a senior in college, right now waiting for an acceptance letter of some grad schools I applied to. I am valedictorian of my class and my environment gets more and more competitive by the day which is why I just cannot stop comparing myself to others. Everybody expects me to get in the most prestigious grad schools and I feel a lot of pressure. Again, I try to compare myself with everybody else to make sure I am doing better … Thanks for reminding me that this will keep me from being happy!

  • Over-thinking and worrying about everything. – When your fears have you looking too deep into things, it creates problems, it doesn’t fix them. If you think and you think and you think, you will think yourself right out of happiness a thousand times over, and never once into it. Worrying doesn’t take away tomorrow’s troubles, it takes away today’s peace and potential. Stop over-thinking everything. Life is too short.

    This is what I need to focus on. I have a tendency to read into every text, call, lack of a call/text, emoticon. You name, I’ll find something to read into. And that’s just not healthy…for me or anyone else involved. I need to LET GO of all these expectations I’ve set in my head. I need to be the strong person I know I’m capable of being…I feel very much like a scared little girl right now. I can’t even see all the things I’ve accomplished in the past several years. All I can see is what I haven’t accomplished. I turn 40 this year; single, no kids…and feel a little like time is running out. Is this really what my life is going to be like? And if it is, am I going to be ok with that? I need to learn to live in the moment and not worry about the future…put my best foot forward every day & let everything else fall into place.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts & encouraging words.

  • This was passed on to my husband from a friend…and I’m so glad! What wonderful words of encouragement. We are going through a major life change ourselves, and without God and holding on to what is positive, it would be so easy to fold under all the heartache and new responsibilities. Thanks for offering unexpected encouragement! God bless!!

  • Exactly what I needed to read today. Two things I say everyday over and over in my head: “I am good enough” and “I live in abundance”. Day by day I’m enjoying life more and feeling more courage and happiness. I love reading your blog! Keep on posting!

  • Thank you for very much for this post! #14 says it all! That’s is so me! In-laws don’t know me!

  • I think this is one of the best most inspiring articles that I have read in some time now. Every point was somehow very relevant, and as I read them I was going like I do that, oh crap I do that as well.

    I especially liked concept of time and its relations to the bank account, I use a similar analogy to stress on the importance of time: “a rich man, a poor man and you have 24 hours; it’s what you do with them what really matters.”

    Anyways hats off to the Marc and Angel, you have done a brilliant job of changing my perspective of looking at my life.

  • Oh man, this article is fab. Really hit the nail on the head. I have been in a downward spiral for quite some time. I overthink things and get depressed. I hang with toxic guys. I am currently going through a very difficult divorce. I started seeing a guy recently that is hot and cold. He loves me thinks I amazing and then backs off. I had a kind of bad reaction to some food recently and during an intimate moment a very humiliating thing happened. But it is not about my character and who I am. He is using that to pull back again because while he was a little drunk he revealed all these feelings. But you know what? Things happen for a reason. Maybe it is time for me to take care of me, make $ get out of debt and move on with my life. I need to get out of my doldrum and can’t rely on other people. I left an unhappy marriage. I can do this. We are all strong inside.

  • Patrick Madden
    June 1st, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I am a man who has been stuck in a rut for a long through all my 20s and early 30s. I have lost my mother to cancer, my family to overseas and myself to drugs and gambling. I have been wanting to turn my life around knowing it was on the wrong path but I have not had the strength or motivation to change. To be honest I don’t know if I ever will. Some good points here on this page but one struck a cord for me, the 86, 400 seconds we are given each day to make the most of. One day its gone, forever.

  • I guess the worst habitual action that prevents me from moving forward is reliving the pain of rejection , feeling insulted , worthless , guilty , angry then sorrowful and full circle to rejected again. It is like groundhog’s day, caught in a relentless loop. I’ve got to figure out how to break this vicious destructive cycle. I do so desperately want to be happy, self confident and have a feeling of self worth but I stand alone with no one but my vicious loop. This is my life right now… May God have mercy on my warped view.

  • I have had the roughest days of my life this year. I have felt like a boat tossed around at sea, lost without hope of finding land. Thank you, thank you so much.

  • I want to thank you …. For #14 especially. I felt that this was for me … its been an ongoing problem since i was a kidling … I’m now 21. I really needed this … THANK YOU.

  • I need to do this. I can’t go on like this. I can’t let a bad experience dictate the rest of my life. I have everything around me to be happy but I just don’t realize it, grasp it. I need to shake myself up and live like I deserve to live. Happy, healthy and optimistic! I’ve got this. I can do this.

  • Oh my this helps me a lot. I need to move on…thank you so much!

  • Thanks for sharing this article, it lifted my spirit up after reflecting on how I can change some aspects of my life that hinders me from being truly happy. Sometimes I feel lonely with my life. I experience sadness, it visits me once in awhile. Being away from my family and my 3 children, being a solo parent, I work abroad to support my family. There are times when it is very difficult for me to be truly happy, times when the food I eat seems tasteless, when I can’t seem to finish a movie or a book, when all I want is stay in my bed and sleep hoping when I wake up happiness awaits. But as I grew older I learned to appreciate life and to count my blessings and be grateful. Life is too short to be miserable and there is so much to experience, so much to give of ourselves to others more needy than us. Life itself is a gift and it is worth living.

  • Thank you. It’s not an easy journey. The advice given is fantastic. It’s up to oneself to take the blueprints and apply them. I myself will try hard to apply this knowledge to become more that I am.

  • Thanks! It’s funny how over-thinking problems can send you tail spinning into depression. I am going to start with not over-thinking things. I also think about old times and how life seemed almost magical, and as problems arise now life seems less so.

  • I enjoyed your article and it was inspiring. I have to say that I’m still in a spot where I am feeling that you all don’t know what happens when you look after a sick husband for so long, and he was supposedly getting better, only to have him die, and it was partly my fault that he died. He’s been dead for over a year now. My wonderful father died the same year. I tried very hard to carry on but the last few months I gave up. I tell myself that I am only living for the rest of my family so it will be easier on them. This article made me think about what would be much easier on them (and make their lives happier) is if I actually tried to live (although alone) instead of simply existing. So thank you for the article and all the positive comments that went with it.

  • Addiction

  • Thank you for sharing this. It has helped me a lot. I have a hard time letting go of mistakes I have made and forgiving myself. Sometimes the things I say to myself in my head are debilitating and I am working on changing that, so that I may work with myself instead of against myself. Again, thank you for these wise words.

  • Wow thank you so much for the eye opener, every word every sentence made sense, thank you thank you thank you x

  • I return to this post on days like these where life seems way more difficult than it should ever be. Reading it always brings me back to the present and focuses me on the positive aspects of life and what I need to do to ensure a future for my family, rather than dwelling on the past, or even my current situation.

    You have made a difference in my life, just by what you have written and I deeply appreciate and thank you for it.

  • Thank you. Yes. Wise words. At age 52 I am learning from them. Have had depression and anxiety for over 25 years. Its only in the past two years have I read all this useful information. I felt sorry for myself when I was struggling with pain for so many years. Now I realize I am not 30 any more and I can’t ask the same of myself without getting more pain and exhaustion. I also am learning to give. Just wasn’t brought up to give! So how do you learn? When you keep getting bashed down

    I have wasted time and not accepted great things in my life because I refused to live in the present. Time to keep on chipping away. I lack courage. I want comfort yet I am not happy with comfort. I don’t want riches. I want to serve and feel I belong.

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