After doing so much work on improving myself and my life, I have come to realize that happiness is nothing more than a balance between holding on and letting go. In order for you to be really happy, all you have to do is let go of the things that make you unhappy and hold on to those things that make you happy. It’s that simple and yet that complicated.
Because I already wrote an article on letting go called 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happywhich became the most viral personal development article in the history of the Internet, I decided that it was time for me to also write an article about the 15 Things You Shouldn’t Give Up to Be Happy. Ready? Here we go:
1. Don’t give up on love
Never ever give up on love and love will not give up on you. Love is what makes the world go round, it’s the glue that holds us together. A life without love is a life empty of meaning. The moment you give up on love you give up on yourself and you give up on life.
“Believe in love. Believe in magic. Hell, believe in Santa Clause. Believe in others. Believe in yourself. Believe in your dreams. If you don’t, who will?” ~ Jon Bon Jovi
2. Don’t give up on real friendships
What is life without honest, real and meaningful friendships? What is life without the love and companion of those who see the beauty, the greatness and the perfection that lies within you?
Give up on meaningless friendships, forced interactions and unnecessary conversations but never give up on real and authentic friendships.
“There are still some wonderful people left in this world! They are diamonds in the rough, but they’re around! You’ll find them when you fall down– they’re the ones who pick you up, who don’t judge, and you had to fall down to see them! When you get up again, remember who your true friends are!” ~ C. JoyBell C.
3. Don’t give up thankfulness
Life isn’t as bad as your mind is trying to make it and you will only be able to recognize this truth the moment you give up criticizing and complaining about the many things that are wrong with the world and start appreciating the many things that are right with it instead. Always remember that good things come to those who have a thankful heart.
“I’m utterly convinced that the key to lifelong success is the regular exercise of a single emotional muscle: gratitude.” ~ Geoffrey James
4. Don’t give up integrity
Learn to “live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.” ~ Marcus Aurelius
When you live life with integrity and self-determination, happiness will follow you wherever you go. Make integrity one of your core values and your life will flourish more and more each day.
5. Don’t give up hope
No matter how many times life will hit you in the head with a brick and no matter how many times you will fall down on your knees feeling lost, abandoned and defeated, never give up hope. You never know when the tide will turn and the Sun will shine on your street once again.
“No. Don’t give up hope just yet. It’s the last thing to go. When you have lost hope, you have lost everything. And when you think all is lost, when all is dire and bleak, there is always hope.” ~ Pittacus Lore
6. Don’t give up on your dreams
Dreams have the power to make you really happy and keep you fully alive. Dreams are food for your soul. A life without dreams is a life with no soul.
Don’t settle for less than you are worth. Dare to dream big. “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.” ~ Les Brown
7. Don’t give up believing in yourself
Believe in yourself and all that you are because if you don’t chances are that the world around you won’t believe in you either. You are all that you’ve got, your biggest and greatest asset. Learn to “love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~ Leo F. Buscaglia
8. Don’t give up your authenticity
Life is too short to waste it on pretending to be something you are not. Embrace the real you, your beautiful and authentic self and never let other people define who you are. Always remember than an original is worth a lot more than a copy.
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.” ~ Judy Garland
9. Don’t give up kindness
Offer your love and support to those who need and ask for it. Be kind to all living beings, not necessary because they deserve it but because you do. Give with an open heart without expecting anything in return. Why? Because giving is a sign of having and the more you give the more life will give back to you.
“When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.” ~ The 14th Dalai Lama
10. Don’t give up simplicity
Living in a constant chase to acquire more stuff, more power, more friends, more money and more of everything is exhausting. You think you’re in control when in fact the things you are chasing after are the ones controlling you. Let go of clutter, whether it is mental, emotional or material and let simplicity govern your life. Happiness comes to those who live a simple life, to those who know that less is more and that quality is better than quantity.
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
11. Don’t give up your playful spirit
Let go of all thoughts of limitations about how you should or should not behave based on how old you are. Age is nothing but a number, “an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ~ Mark Twain
We all have an inner child that wants to come out and play so why not let him or her play? Be playful, be childlike. Have fun in all that you do. Laugh until your belly hurts and then laugh some more.Why take life so seriously? Why take yourself so seriously? A playful life is a happy life and those who give up playfulness give up happiness.
12. Don’t give up faith in humanity
There are plenty of people in this world who act in horrifying and monstrous ways towards themselves and those around them but that doesn’t mean you and I should give up our faith in humanity because of them.
“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
13. Don’t give up your vulnerability
Contrary to what you were led to believe, vulnerability is not a sign of weakness but of great strength. Hold on to it. Don’t let it go. Never be afraid to open your heart to those around you. Let them see into your naked soul.
“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.” ~ Brené Brown
14. Don’t give up your humility
No matter how far you go in life and no matter how successful you might become, promise yourself to “never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up.” ~ Jesse Jackson
Humility is the path to greatness, your key to a happier life. To have a humble heart is to have a noble heart. Don’t give up your noble heart.
People will lie to you, they will use, mistreat and abuse you, but that doesn’t mean you should continue their work by holding on to poisonous thoughts of hate and resentment. Fill your heart with love and grace. Forgive and let go. Let go of bitterness and resentment but never of love and forgiveness.
“When you hold resentment toward another, you are bound to that person or condition by an emotional link that is stronger than steel. Forgiveness is the only way to dissolve that link and get free.” ~ Catherine Ponder
Let go of what makes you unhappy, hold on to that which makes you happy and watch your life transform.
What are some of the things you would want to let go in order to be happy? How about the things you would want to hold on in order to be happy?