Scott Stevens

By Scott Stevens

LifeBuzz Staff

20 Ways People Accidentally Sabotage Their Own Happiness.

Every single day when you get out of bed you prepare yourself for the upcoming day. A cup of coffee may be part of that morning routine. Whether or not it actually is, you have already made that one decision to drink or not to drink.

Over the course of a single day, a human being will make countless decisions that will shape the rest of their day. There are so many made on a single day that we don’t even pay attention to all of them. That’s because they come so naturally and most are made without any thought at all.

The same thing applies to life. If you take all of those days and roll them up you will come up with millions of decisions that are made, most without a lot of thought, and they will undoubtedly shape your life for that day, the next week or year or maybe even longer.

If you are one of those people that try to take control of these decisions to make better ones, you’ll learn a lot today. There are plenty of things that you will learn in just a few minutes on what types of decisions to make to have a clear path in life over the next twenty years or so. You’ll also learn what can happen if you decide to go the opposite route.

Marc and Angel Chernoff spend a lot of their life helping others. They don’t necessarily make the decisions for people, but they point out what is a good decision and what isn’t. They do this by pointing out what could happen on either side of the coin. You can take their info and apply it to the major decision that you have coming up. It never hurts to have an outside opinion to help deal with things and make the right decision.

1. Be who everyone else wants you to be. – Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be? As kids, we are seldom told that we have a place in life that is uniquely ours alone. Instead, we are encouraged to believe that our life should somehow fulfill the expectations of others – that we should find our happiness exactly as they have found theirs. Rather than being taught to ask ourselves who we are, we are trained to ask others for permission. We are, in effect, schooled to live other people’s versions of our lives. Every day is designed and developed as told to us by someone else. And then one day when we break free to survey our dreams, seeking to fulfill ourselves, we see that most of our dreams have gone unfulfilled because we believed, and those around us believed, that what we wanted for ourselves was somehow beyond our reach.

Darren Staples / Reuters

2. Avoid all discomfort at all costs. – Many of us don’t want to be uncomfortable, so we run from discomfort constantly. The problem with this is that, by running from discomfort, we are constrained to partake in only the activities and opportunities within our comfort zones. And since our comfort zones are relativity small, we miss out on most of life’s greatest and healthiest experiences, and we get stuck in a debilitating cycle. Let’s use diet and exercise as an example… First, we become unhealthy because eating healthy food and exercising feels uncomfortable, so we opt for comfort food and mindless TV watching instead. But then, being unhealthy is also uncomfortable, so we seek to distract ourselves from the reality of our unhealthy bodies by eating more unhealthy food and watching more unhealthy entertainment and going to the mall to shop for things we don’t really want or need. And our discomfort just gets worse.

3. Wait and wait, and wait some more for a miracle. – Inspiration exists, but it must be met by dedicated daily action. Often the difference between a successful person who is satisfied with life’s outcomes and a person who struggles to make progress is not one’s superior abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on one’s ideas, to take calculated risks, and to take small consistent steps forward. In other words, unproductive people sit and wait for the magic beans to arrive while the rest of us just get up and get to work. Remember this. We so often create a state of suffering while we wait, when we should be stepping forward. Stop waiting for someone to call your name and tell you it’s time. It is time! Stop waiting for someone to show up and give you all the answers. You have all the answers you need to take the next smallest step!

Reuters / China Daily

4. Decide that you can’t do it. – Think about ONE self-limiting belief you have – one area of your life where you believe you absolutely CANNOT do it. It can be about any part of your life you hope to change – your health, your weight, your career, your relationships – anything at all. What’s one thing you’ve essentially decided is a fact about your place on Earth? And then I want you to shift gears and think about ONE time, one fleeting moment, in which the opposite of that ‘fact’ was true for you. I don’t care how tiny of a victory it was, or even if it was a partial victory. What’s one moment in time you can look back on and say, “Hey, that was totally unlike ‘me’ – but I did it!”? Once you identify the cracks in the wall of a self-limiting belief, you can start attacking it. You can start taking steps forward every day that go against it – positive daily rituals that create tiny victories, more confidence, gradual momentum, bigger victories, even more confidence, and so on. (Angel and I build positive daily rituals with our students in the “Goals and Growth” module of Getting Back to Happy.)

China Daily / via REUTERS

5. Avoid being wrong at all costs. – If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original. To make mistakes or be wrong is to be human. To admit those mistakes shows that you have the ability to learn, and are growing stronger and wiser. Truth be told, being wrong and not getting what you expected is oftentimes a wonderful stroke of good luck, because it forces you to reevaluate things and open new doors to opportunities and information you would have otherwise overlooked. Some things in life undoubtedly fall apart so better things can fall together in their place.

REUTERS / Eric Gaillard

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