Okay, stop: this post isn’t for everyone.
Not everyone is ready to experience the truth.
I must offer you two pills for your own safety: one blue and one red..
If you take the blue pill, the story ends and you go back to your current life. You sink back into the ordinary daily grind, and nothing changes. Tomorrow will be like today, which was like yesterday (close your browser now).
Or, you can take the red pill, and I’ll show you how to break free from social constructs and become the happiest person in the world. You will experience a new life full of unlimited abundance, happiness and prosperity (continue reading).
Water. Red pill. Gulp. Your life will never the same.
The 21 Things to Let Go to Become the Happiest Person in the World
We’ve been conditioned by ourselves and by society to cling to things that don’t really matter. When you realize that everything is nothing but perspective, you become free for the first time in your life.
It gives you peace, and it removes the burden of having to act according to who you “are.” And what is left?
Sheer happiness vibrating throughout your entire body.
You can’t control everything that happens in life, but you can choose how you respond. You can learn to see opportunity where others see misfortune. It’s all down to your perception of the event.
Virtually everything that makes us unhappy is the result of the way we think, the things we cling to, and the ways we mislead ourselves. You have unlimited talent and potential, but it can’t break through until you’ve freed your mind.
When you are no longer a prisoner of your own mind, you set yourself free to do the things that really matter and start creating some truly amazing shit with your life.
Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.. – Lao Tzu
If you complete this article and apply it’s lessons then your life can become stress-free, hyper-productive, and absolutely amazing if you just let go of the following 21 things.
It won’t be easy, and changing the way you think will take time, but you can start today, taking your first steps down the path to greater happiness, personal fulfilment and unlimited abundance.
Now, buckle up, strap in, and get ready to experience the truth.
1. Let go of the past. Living in the past isn’t living at all. It’s time consuming, painful and a little crazy. Don’t be preoccupied with old errors or things you’ve lost—all of that’s behind you. The past is not a thing. It’s an illusion, a concept we all share in because it helps us make order in the world around us, but it’s not real.
What’s past is gone. There is only the present, and that’s all you’ll ever have. Live in the now and be full of life. Maybe the present is terrible. Maybe you once had the “perfect” girl and a great job, and now you’ve lost both.
It’s being here now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one. – George Harrison
Accept the things that have come before as lessons learned and stepping-stones towards a brighter future. Have a clear vision for that future, prepare in the present, and live for now!
2. Let go of the job you hate. You will live for on average 30,000 days. 10,000 of those days is spent working. When you actually stop and consider that, it’s obvious that working a job that makes you unhappy is completely insane. Why would anyone willingly spend a third of their life being miserable?
Building up your resume is like saving up sex for old age – Warren Buffet
Follow your heart and intuition and your ‘work’ will feel timeless. Find work that inspires you and everyone around you. The work that will generate the velocity to work insane hours, make the most in return, and love what you do all the while.
You can dramatically improve your happiness by letting go of the job you hate and start doing more of the things you love.
What’s your legacy going to be? Your work is your contribution to society, the mark you make, the thing you leave behind. Hone your skillset until nobody can ignore you, use your natural drive for doing what you love to fuel your efforts, and watch everything fall into place.
Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life. – Confucious
Don’t allow your obligations to dictate how all of this plays out: you can keep your day job, and use your weekends and nights to work towards breaking into what you really want to do. Resist the urge to do things solely for money and start doing the things that matter to you.
The things that put a smile on your face that screams out loud, “I am the happiest person in the world”.
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3. Let go of your need to always be right. Nobody’s right all the time, and in many disagreements neither party is truly wrong in the first place—there are countless points of view and ways to think about any given situation.
When you find yourself drawn into a heated debate, understand that there is no real way to “win.” Just let go.
You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist. ~Friedrich Nietzsche
Conversations too often become competitions which turn into arguments or fights which can last years.
Instead of enjoying a healthy exchange of ideas, we sometimes find ourselves trying to prove ourselves—to prove that we’re the smartest, that we’re the best, that we know better.
Listening is put on hold while we think of what we’re going to say next.
Learn to listen, and people will appreciate that you’re thoughtful and that you care about what they have to say.
People will find you to be the best conversationalist in the world when you start listening and become genuinely interested in what others have to say.
4. Let go of all negative people in your life people. Some people just suck the life right out of you. Some people make you a better man. You have control over the people you surround yourself with, and you’re not truly obligated to keep those in your life who drag you down.
The people you keep close should love you, challenge you, and make you want to be better.
Negative thoughts stick around because we believe them, not because we want them or choose them. – Andrew Bernstein
Those who bring negative energy into your life will only make it harder for you to feel happy or to get anything done—and they won’t be helping themselves, either. You’re not doing them any favors by keeping them around.
Simply let them go. There is no shortage of incredible people in the world, people who will help you achieve your goals and who will love and understand you—give them your time and energy, because they’re the ones that deserve it. Nobody else.
5. Let go of your need for control over everything. It’s true what they say: you’re only human. You’re no god. In general, expending energy trying to do impossible things is bad for your health. Controlling everything is one of those impossible things—and yet, many of us try to do it anyways, often without realizing it.
Understand human limitations. Know that you can’t control much in life, but you can always control your reaction. Flow through the world smoothly. When there is resistance, flow around it. When there is opportunity, flow right through it.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend. – Bruce Lee
You can’t control the situations around you, your loved ones, strangers, or coworkers, but you can sure as hell waste your time trying to. Don’t fall into that trap. Let things be and handle difficult situations gracefully.
When you let go of your need to control everything, you’ll feel much happier and have more time to do the things that truly matter.
6. Let go of your need to impress others. People are drawn to the genuine article. We appreciate sincerity, even if we don’t realize it. And all of us recognize someone who’s faking it, even if it’s at the instinctive gut level.
Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner. – Lao Tzu
Don’t try to be something you’re not just to make others like you. It won’t work. It never has, and it never will.
This is a simple truth that well-liked, popular people know. The moment you drop the mask and embrace the real you, people will flock to you. What makes each of us our most appealing are the unique traits and experiences we have—they’re your greatest assets.
When you put yourself out there as someone you’re not, you cast those assets aside.
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind. – Bernard Maruch
The harder you work to impress others, the less impressive you’ll be. Have confidence in who you are, fully express yourself openly, and devote yourself to those who appreciate the real you.
If you come across people who don’t appreciate the real you, people who want you to change who you are, don’t sweat it—do you really need them in your life so badly that you’d let them dictate who you are as a person?
Nobody should control you. You’re better than that. Stop letting the outside world tell you who you are and what you should do.
7. Let go of your resistance to change. Chances are, you believe the future can be better than the present. You probably have aspirations and desires and goals—as you should. Most of us do. Yet, paradoxically, many fear change even while we simultaneously want it.
Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge. ― Eckhart Tolle
Remember, we have no control over the things that happen to us and the changes that occur around us, but we always have control over how we respond.
Train yourself to see every change, whether wanted or unwanted, as an opportunity for something greater. You can’t see the future, so choose to believe that everything is happening for a reason.
Embrace reality and let it be. Change will help you flow from A to B.
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. – Lao Tzu
Always be moving forward in a positive direction. Follow your bliss, blaze your own path and embrace change – don’t resist it. When you let go and embrace change it becomes your greatest weapon against mediocrity.
8. Let go of your fears. Fear is just an illusion. It doesn’t even exist—you created it. It’s not something you can see and touch. It’s nothing you can cure with a pill. No amount of money can keep it at bay.
It’s a simple reality of human life, and it’s all in your head. Everyone feels fear. Winners don’t let it cripple them: they set it aside and just do it. Life’s too short to get hung up on what you’re afraid of.
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free. – Jim Morrison
On the other side of fear is growth. Clear your mind, put things into perspective, and realize that worse than fear itself is not taking action because you’re afraid of failure or a bruised ego. Inaction is what keeps lives from becoming great.
Inaction is what will rob you of becoming the greatest you.
9. Let go of all excuses. How often have you known what you need to do but put it off for some bull shit reason? Your brain tends to want to maintain a comfortable status quo and avoid pain.
As such, you naturally create excuses not to do things that your subconscious perceives as uncomfortable or risky.
Excuses prevent you from doing what you’re afraid of, and they keep you safe—at least at the surface-level. But we know that excuses are simply limiting your growth. You don’t want a complacent, lazy life. If you did, you wouldn’t be reading this.
He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.― Benjamin Franklin
Learn to identify when your making excuses. They’re limiting, and they’re almost always BS. Instead, focus on growth and improvement. When you feel yourself saying I don’t have the time or I’m just too tired, or when the temptation to distract yourself with idle pastimes rears its head, remind yourself of where you want to go.
Remind yourself that excuses will keep you from getting there. If you don’t want anything in your life to change, listen to your own excuses. If you want things to improve, kick them aside and don’t look back.
10. Let go of thinking you are not enough. You are enough and you deserve to have everything that you want. You’re also your worst enemy and your hardest life critic. If you want a girl, go get her. If you see a business opportunity, go seize it.
When you tell yourself you can’t do it, you’re always right. You can or you can’t. The decision is yours.
On the other hand, when you tell yourself that you are enough—that you can do anything and be anything that you want—nothing can stop you.
If you think you are beaten, you are… If you think you’re outclassed, you are…Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man, but soon or late the man who wins is the one who thinks he can. – Walter D. Wintle
The world is yours. It’s not magic; it takes work, and you’ll still be met with challenges and failures. But you control your mood, you control how you react to things, and you control what you do next.
Don’t let what others say or do affect you. Know who you are and be confident in what you bring to the table. You are enough, and nobody deserves happiness more than you.
11. Let go of attachment. At any second, on any day, at any moment, you could lose something or someone. Your house, your car, your phone, even your relationships—they’re impermanent, and none of them can make you 100% happy.
Happiness comes from within and that’s not a bad thing. It’s the best thing ever, in fact: it means that you can be happy right now, provided you change your mindset and just let go of attachment to the unnecessary. The most satisfying experiences in life are those which are experienced without any sense of attachment.
The reason many people in our society are miserable, sick, and highly stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to things they have no control over. – Steve Maraboli
Easier said than done, I know. It’s not impossible, though. Eastern philosophy suggests that all suffering comes from attachment. Note that this is distinct from love—attachment comes from being afraid of losing something, but love is pure, kind, and selfless.
Where there is love, there is no room for fear.
12. Let go of all external validations. You know yourself better than anyone else. You also know, both instinctively and intellectually, what’s best for you. That doesn’t mean there’s any shortage of people in the world who would love nothing more than to tell you what to do. Don’t listen to them.
Don’t be affected by your environment—be above it, self-contained, someone carving out their own wild path. Make your own code of conduct and rules of honor, and live by those.
What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. – Confucius
Don’t look to others to validate who you are and where you want to go. Just be you 100% of the time and never stop.
The same goes for other pursuits. You don’t need alcohol or drugs to have a good time and be accepted in the social crowd. You control your own mood—you don’t have to be dependent on anything external.
This applies to women as well: when you need validation from women to feel satisfied, you’re coming from a position of neediness and instability. You’re saying you’re too weak to be you without getting something from her.
Therefore, you are always taking value vs giving value which creates an environment where love cannot grow.
That’s dangerous, unattractive, and a recipe for disappointment. Be confident in who you are without needing anyone else to make you feel worthwhile. If you’re just being who you are, and the girl isn’t into you—who cares?
At the same time, you’ll find that just being you, not needing external validation from anyone and being confident will increase your success with women tenfold.
13. Let go of all anger. How many times have you looked back on a time when you were pissed off and thought, “that was a great night?” Anger is natural, but it’s usually unproductive, time consuming and painful in the long run.
It will eat at you from the inside out, and it will take its toll on your heart and your mental health, especially when allowed to fester and grow over time – sometimes years.
Whenever you’re angry, stop and put things into perspective. How significant is this, really? Will you even remember this or care about this next month? How about next year?
When you angrily linger on something instead of brushing it off, you magnify its effect on you. You give it power and surrender your thoughts to it.
The best fighter is never angry. – Lao Tzu
What’s more, anger tends to breed anger. Every time you really embrace your anger, you increase the likelihood that you’ll get a hot head more easily in the future. It becomes your default setting, and it multiplies the negative energy in your body and mind.
The world has enough of that. Don’t contribute anymore.
Instead, stay cool, calm and present. Don’t let things get under your skin. You don’t have time for that—you’ve got things to accomplish and goals to achieve, and anger is a set of bad winds drifting you off course from the things that truly matter.
14. Let go of bad relationships. You’ve probably known countless men who are miserable in their relationships. They complain about their girlfriends, they’re always fighting, and they make excuses not to be around them.
If the relationship can’t survive the long term, why on earth would it be worth my time and energy for the short term? – Nicholas Sparks
Everyone around them wonders, why do they stay together?
The answer is usually either that a) they don’t have the courage to break it off and be single or b) there’s an unhealthy codependency there.
Neither option is good, and both hold you back from the happiness you two deserve.
It’s never easy ending a relationship, but it’s like taking off a bandage: getting it over quickly is better than drawing it out. For every week you stay in a bad relationship, it becomes that much harder (and much more devastating for both of you) when it all comes crashing down.
You find yourself entangled further and further, and the knot becomes increasingly difficult to untie. What’s worse, each week you stay in the relationship is one week gone from your life in which you could have been happy, free of that weight and negative energy.
Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option. – Mark Twain
Never stay in a relationship just for the sex. Yes, physical attraction is a part of the formula for a healthy relationship, but it’s not the only thing.
Holding on to the wrong relationship will make you more miserable than just about anything else. They say 90% of your happiness or misery comes from the significant other in your life.
Choose wisely and never out of desperation, but always from a position of wholeness.
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15. Let go of all short term stimulus boosts. Corporations pour billions of dollars into new ways to convince us of what we need. Their are millions of people who make a good living telling stories that influence our buying habits.
We’re inundated daily with the message that we need to watch the newest shows to stay in the loop, get a new car, buy a house, to try the latest food craze, or to make sure our clothing tags feature name brands.
These are the symptoms of a good life, so we’re told—the things we need to consume in order to live happily.
The things you own end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything. – Chuck Palahniuk
But how much do you really get from having the best car, the hot clothes, and the penthouse apartment? Does watching Game of Thrones for five hours at a time make you a better person?
Does getting baked and playing X-Box bring you closer to achieving your goals?
How about hitting the bars and spending money on booze so you can have a “good time” and maybe if your courageous enough..talk to girls?
When temporary indulgences become all-consuming they keep you from developing a life of action. You become a passive consumer of information, products, and media, instead of a person who creates anything or, truthfully, serves much of a purpose in the world.
Don’t be someone who lives to consume themselves with the creations of others. Instead, be someone who makes a lasting impression on the world with your own creations.
16. Let go of all insecurities. Your insecurities don’t do you any favors—when you tell yourself that you’re not good enough, your ability follows suit. Insecurity breeds inaction and childish behavior, and nobody finds it attractive – especially women.
We’ve all got weaknesses and areas in which we lack confidence, but the difference between happy and unhappy people (and successful and unsuccessful people) is that happy people accept them and don’t get hung up on them.
Instead of allowing their self-conscious aspects to cripple them, they go out and work to change them.
They’re confident, energetic, and positive, so people rally around them. All they do is win.
One of the greatest journeys in life is overcoming insecurity and learning to truly not give a shit. – J.A Konrath
For many people, what’s called Automatic Negative Thinking can be crippling—throughout their day, constantly, hundreds of times, negative thoughts buzz through their head.
It’s hard to get good things done when your head’s full of negative emotions.
Likewise, automatic positive thoughts can help propel you to new levels of happiness and productivity. You set the tone and control your mind fully. Take control of it, make a habit of positive thinking, and watch the results follow. Start now.
17. Let go of living up to other people’s expectations. Friends, family, spouse, enemies, teachers, the government, the media, and a thousand other nameless, faceless entities believe they know what’s best for you. They don’t. You do. Simple as that.
Somewhere inside of you, a voice inside of you is telling you what you really want to do. So many people ignore that voice to the point that, eventually, it disappears altogether—along with their chances at happiness.
I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine. – Bruce Lee
Be honest with yourself about where your passions lie, what makes you happy, and what you really want. Trying to live up to others people’s expectations will only frustrate you, and it will distract you from doing the things that truly matter to you.
You can’t please everyone. Somewhat paradoxically, people also tend to admire those who don’t seek their approval—we recognize when someone doesn’t feel the need to meet our expectations, and we associate that with strength and intelligence.
They are being true to themselves and so should you.
That’s all the more reason to steer your life in the direction that you want it to go in. You have one life—this one, right now— own it.
18. Let go of all complaining. What good has complaining ever done anyone? Why waste your time with it? You only have so much energy to devote to your day, and every second of it you spend complaining only serves to lower your mood and get you nowhere.
Complaining does not work as a strategy. We all have finite time and energy. Any time we spend whining is unlikely to help us achieve our goals. And it won’t make us happier. – Randy Pausch
From this point forward, resolve to not let outside occurrences touch you. Be unshakable. Nothing can make you unhappy unless you allow it to. It’s another response that you have, not the specific situation.
Something that makes you miserable may make another person ecstatic—it all comes down to point of view, and you can control yours.
When you complain about something, you give it power. Be above your problems, don’t let them touch you, and don’t show anyone that you can get flustered through complaining. Starting today, you’re above that. These problems are no longer on your radar.
You’re too busy achieving your goals to worry about them.
19. Let go of all failures. You will fail in life, and that’s okay. The faster you accept this, the faster you can get on with creating more brilliant shit in your life and spending time with the people who matter. Everyone fails. Failures are a part of the process, and they impart us with lessons and experience that contribute to the larger end goal.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly. ― Robert F. Kennedy
Screwing up in the past doesn’t mean you’ll do it in the future. Trial and error is a part of all things. All that matters is what you do right now.
Remember what we’ve discussed before, that fear and insecurity are illusory of hold-ups that breed inaction.
Rid your mind of them, get back on the horse, and keep working. Failures happen, and you can’t control that. Move on and allow them to become a part of your success story.
20. Let go of comparing yourself to others. Only you can be you, with your unique gifts and talents. Your creative spark is yours alone.
Nobody in the world can beat you at being you. What’s more, there’s plenty of happiness and success to go around.
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. – Oscar Wilde
Comparing yourself to others is a waste of time. Instead, you should be focused on being the best you. Who cares what others are doing? Be concerned with what you’re doing.
Comparison is the death of joy. ― Mark Twain
Instead of focusing on the ways other people seem better off than you, focus on what your strengths are. What do you bring to the table? Work on enhancing those skills. Become the best at what you do.
Know also that you’re already fortunate and blessed in a million ways, and that means there’s plenty in your own life to be very, very happy about.
21. Let go of thinking money will make you happy. There’s no grey area, according to numerous psychological studies: money can’t buy happiness. We’ve all heard it a million times, and yet we willingly ignore it again and again.
Money’s not bad, for sure—it can make our lives easier in many ways—but the things that make us happy are intangible. Friends, family, relationships, experiences, and self-actualization?
That’s where real, long-lasting happiness lives, and those are the things you’ll look back upon fondly in your final days.
Don’t think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money. – Voltaire
Accumulating wealth and possessions is never truly satisfying, since we always want more.
Today, you may think you’d be overjoyed if you made a million dollars next year. Chances are that you actually wouldn’t be because next year, you’d wish you made 5 million. The super-rich often die alone and unhappy just as often as any other class of people.
Learn to value experiences and relationships over material items.
Self-improvement is also a strong indicator of happiness. Learning new things, exercising, and working towards goals gives us a sense of being in motion towards better things, which awakens optimistic tendencies. We know the future’s bright, and we’re happy to be barreling towards it.
So, focus on being the best version of yourself you can be, focus on the people you care about, and focus on the activities and goals you’re passionate about. When you follow your truest desires, that drive and optimism will translate into all the money you need to live the life you want.Photos: © Sabphoto © lassedesignen © Sergey Nivens © olly – Fotolia.com
*Quick Tip: I suggest you bookmark this page and come back to it. Share it with a friend and discuss these topics.
Letting go of these 21 things will help you become happier, so long as you take them to heart and put them into practice. The best part of all is that when you let go of these things, you’ll feel happier now.
Not at some hazy point in the future.
Remember this truth: now matters more than any other time in your life, because it’s what you are doing today that is determining who you’re becoming, and who you’re becoming will always determine the quality and direction of your life.
The degree to which you accept responsibility for everything in your life is precisely the degree of personal power you have to change or create anything in your life.
It really doesn’t matter who is at fault—all that matters is that you and I are committed to leaving the past in the past and making our lives exactly the way we want them to be, starting today.
Not tomorrow, not next week, or next month. You’ve got to make a decision today that you’re ready to make the necessary changes to guarantee that you will be able to create the life you’ve always dreamed of.
To take your life and happiness to a level you’ve never been before, you have to be willing to commit at a level you’ve never committed to before.
Can you make that commitment for yourself?
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- Andrew, Founder of Knowledge For Men