When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.
As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
- Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
- Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. (Read The Road Less Traveled.)
- Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. 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.
- Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
- Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
- Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
- Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
- Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
- Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. (Read Stumbling on Happiness.)
- Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
- Stop 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.
- Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely. (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
- Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
- Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
- Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
- Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
- Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
- Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
- Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.
- Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
- Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
- Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. (Read Getting Things Done.)
- Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.
- Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
- Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams 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.
- Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.
- Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. 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.
- Stop 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.
- Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.
Update: Read our follow-up to this post: 30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself
Photo by: Rob Brucker
Stand out. Straight to the point and so true regardless of sex, age, race or orientation. Thank you for this piece
I’m reading this and passing this on. I have a lot of friends, myself included, going through difficult times. This, I think, will help. 🙂
Stephanie Park says
This was a great read. Thank you for taking your time to put this together and sharing it with us. 🙂
This is strong and powerful, very inspirational.
Josh Brancek says
Pure and timeless wisdom!!! Thanks Marc!!!
Tom Minton says
Thank you for the words of wisdom, its easy to forget the simple and important things in life as your too wrapped up in work or other situations.
Thank you for this article. I found it quite a while ago and re-read it each time I start to doubt everything I am and do. It is a great help.
The list is a very helpful and timely set of reminders – I’m going to print it out. The quote at the very beginning is not one that I’d seen before and I love how it sets up and balances your post. “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Inspirational words to live by. Thanks so much for sharing.
Kam Kay says
This list should be posted on people’s refrigerators as resolutions. Very inspiring! Thanks for sharing!
Reading this page really helped me calm down, I realize I need to stop over thinking everything because it’s not good for my health or overall well being. The only thing in my life that contradicts this page was that I looked for love because I was lonely, my friend set me up with one of her friends and since then I’ve been with the love of my life. Thanks for sharing! I’m going to show this to my friend and see if it helps her as much as it helped me.
[email protected] Trekker says
Well stated and I agree. Especial with the thought that you need to abandon your fears.
Inspiring and practical at the same time.
I needed this. Thank you so much!
Maruata Fanai says
Dear Marc & Angel,
I bookmarked this page and come back often. Inspiring thoughts! One of these points always speaks for me! Thanks so much! By the way, I watched your video. You guys are lovely and adorable!
Kerry Lucienne says
Thank you. This is beautifully written…and it’s everything I know and believe. I would like to print it off and put in our hallway in a frame, so everyday my four children and myself can constantly affirm all of it to our subconscious…just with a glance xo
Love all that you are!
I normally don’t comment on this kinds of things but this article is hands down AMAZING. Thank you so much for such a well written, well thought article. It literally made my day.
This is exactly what I needed to read right now! This couldn’t come to a better time. Thanks A LOT for this nice article!
Wonderful article. Keeping these in mind will make life more positive. Definitely need this in print.
Amit Kumar says
Thanks for this awesome tips and tricks. I Loved this list of 30 Things to Stop Doing in life.
Keep sharing !!
onwughalu John says
This (post) is just wonderful!!! thanks Guys!
Love this article! Such important things that we all need a little help remembering each day. Thanks for sharing.
Just For Me Today says
Thank you for this. Just found this gem. I have experienced all of the examples you mention on my path to recovery from low self-esteem. All of this takes practice; a lot of it, but it is all doable!
Very appropriate and applicable advice. Keep up the excellent work, Marc and Angel.
ANNA MARIA TAKACS says
So inspiring , so uplifting! Thank you so much!
I needed this ! its the right moment I found you guys!
I appreciate you being in my life!
This was the best article I’ve ever read. I needed that. This is the only article I’ve ever even bothered to comment on. Thanks so much.
Absolutely fantastic article .