Everyone wants to be happy. There is no shortage of great advice on what you should do to accomplish happiness.

However, I am going to approach the subject from the back door. Instead of telling you what to do, I am going to offer you some ideas on what not to do. So come through the back door with me.

In my research for this column, my source of this information is Luminita D. Saviuc, who analyzes this topic very well. These tips are from her blog post “15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy” on purposefairy.com.

1. Give up your need to always be right. This will be an eye opener for many of us.

Many of us can’t stand the idea of being wrong. Period. We want to always be right, even at the risk of causing a great deal of stress and pain, for us and for others. It’s just not worth it.

Whenever you feel the “urgent” need to jump into a fight over who is right and who is wrong, ask yourself this question:

“Would I rather be right, or would I rather be kind?” — Wayne Dyer

2. Give up your need for control.

Be willing to give up your need to always control everything. Allow everything and everyone to be just as they are and you will see how much better that will make you feel.

“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go.” — Lao Tzu

3. Give up on blame.

Give up on your need to blame others for what you have or don’t have, for what you feel or don’t feel. Start taking responsibility for your own life.

4. Give up your self-defeating self-talk.

Oh, my. How many people are hurting themselves because of their negative, polluted and repetitive self-defeating mindset? Don’t believe everything that your mind is telling you — especially if it’s negative and self-defeating. You are better than that.

“The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” — Eckhart Tolle

5. Give up your limiting beliefs.

Think about what you can or cannot do, about what is possible or impossible. From now on, you are no longer going to allow your limiting beliefs to keep you stuck in the wrong place. Spread your wings and fly!

6. Give up complaining.

Give up your constant need to complain about those many, many, many things — people, situations, events that make you unhappy, sad and depressed. Nobody can make you unhappy, no situation can make you sad or miserable unless you allow it to. It’s not the situation that triggers those feelings in you, but how you choose to look at it. Never underestimate the power of positive thinking.

7. Give up the luxury of criticism.

Give up your need to criticize things, events or people that are different than you. We are all different, yet we are all the same.

(I have to stop here for a moment and share the perfect example. My mother and her sister were helping me at my house with some organizational chores. They were folding plastic bags. After Aunt Bertha left, Mother took out one of the folded bags and with a very judgmental tone said, ‘’Bertha folded these bags wrong!’’ My response: ‘’No, Mom, Bertha didn’t fold them wrong, she just folded them different.’’)

We all want to be happy, we all want to love and be loved and we all want to be understood. We all want something, and something is wished by us all.

8. Give up your need to impress others.

Stop trying to be something that you’re not in order to make others like you. It doesn’t work that way. The moment you stop trying to be something that you’re not, the moment you take off all your masks, you will find people will be drawn to you.

Next week I will continue with “What not to do.”

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