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10 Ways You Are Sabotaging Your Happiness

  1. Escaping Blank Time and Space

Open time and space can appear as a waste.

Why wait for a bus or train just standing there when you can listen to an inspirational podcast, scan through social media, read the news, check emails or some other technology enabling activity?

If your attention is engaged continuously, you are sabotaging your happiness.

Your brain, body, and emotional equilibrium crave time and room to be. No, I’m not talking about scheduling in meditation, or mindfulness. You can open yourself up to more happiness if you let your mind float.

Boredom while waiting in line, in the car, on the train, while walking, or while waiting for a meeting or appointment to start is what your mind needs to unleash creativity.

Giving your mind open space to make new connections, imagine, reanalyze from a new perspective, or can lead to flashes of insight and innovation.

It doesn’t matter who you are. You can be an engineer, designer, or retired to benefit from an increase in creative capacity.

Your flash of insight could be the fuel to finish your book, fix a business challenge, an answer to a personal problem, a way to improve your community, or just what to do on the weekend to create a beautiful experience and memory for yourself, friends, or family.

Stop running from blank time and space, and you could find yourself smiling and starting up an uplifting conversation with a stranger, or noticing the beauty of a tree or the clouds floating by.

Open attention can allow you to tune into the signals of your body and emotions so you can seek out a rebalance. You may decide you need a walk, a yoga session after work, a healthy snack, a few deep breaths, connection or a hug when you get home, emotional release, a mood-elevating social session, or some time for quiet solitude.

Who knew that so much could be gained by allowing boredom a place back into your life?

  1. Judging and Ranking People in Worth

From whom can you learn? Who is of more success or worth than another?

You are sabotaging your happiness if you judge and rank people. Your most inspiring wisdom could come from the most unexpected person. A job opportunity or life change could be generated fro a person you never expected could help you. Caring and loving support could arrive during a difficult time from someone you could never have predicted.

There is also the misconception in society that the very young and old have little to give. You can open yourself up to more happiness by seeing everyone, children and elderly included, as sources of inspiration and joy.

In truth our children have just as much, if not more, to teach us then we can teach them. Children hold up a mirror to show who we are, throwing up all our flaws, weaknesses, and bad habits. They push us to evolve and unfurl toward the best version of ourselves.

Quick and often to laugh, loving and playful, children can reawaken some of the best ways to access happiness daily. Children are a window to what raw joy, curiosity, and wonder look like.

The old no longer work and look diminished, so the western collective illusion is that they have nothing to give society and are unhappy. The truth is that many elders have profound wisdom to share. They know how to savor simple pleasures and understand the power of love and forgiveness to triumph over current drama.

Wise, they draw attention to the reality that life is short, and we shouldn’t put off our life’s mission and dreams until an ever retracting tomorrow.

You are sabotaging your happiness if you don’t open yourself up to learning from everyone, the young and old included.

  1. Believing in the Collective Illusion of Success

Collective illusions are powerful. You may not even be conscious of how illusions are driving and tormenting you, day after day.

One such collective illusion is that to be successful; you need to be wealthy, famous, powerful, or massively influential.

While it’s true that some successful people are certainly one or all of the above, some tread lightly upon the earth, hurting none and loving deeply.

Others leave traces that only after their death resonate outwards, touching and inspiring people in compelling ways.

There are those successful individuals that suffer illness, tragedy, or hurt, and growing strength within themselves to live with quiet courage and positivity.

You are sabotaging your happiness if you believe in the collective illusion of success, and consider yourself a failure, or not yet quite a success, perpetually.

You can decide to let go of the illusion and create your definition of success mapped by both external and internal markers. How do you want to evolve in terms of character, spiritual development, finding financial contentment, relationships, adventures, life projects, giving to others, and health?

  1. Relax the Grip of Perfectionism and Comparison

You are sabotaging your happiness if you are clutching perfectionism or letting yourself dive into comparison.

You may never earn enough money to afford the car your neighbor has, or be as fashionably dressed as your best friend. You could never reach the top rung of the career ladder, or throw a party that is as delightful as your sister. You may never finish a marathon run, or manage to pull up into a handstand in yoga class, get six pack abs, or lose those ten pounds.

Retrain your focus away from control and sweat-inducing toil to