9 Things You Should Give Up Completely to Be Happy

Photo by Gian Cescon from Unsplash

People go to great lengths just to seek happiness in life as if it’s something hidden vigorously in a cave on a remote island. Those who think happiness is something to be acquired or learned in an online course pay a lot of money to avail meditation classes handled by pretentious self-help gurus. On the other hand, some go down the irresponsible route by indulging in unhealthy vices or spending their money unwisely. Most people go on an extreme shopping spree to buy the poshest things, hoping to mask their loneliness with their possessions.

For some reason, they believe that their purchasing power to buy almost anything they want can make them feel good about themselves. They enable themselves to be dependent on these external, perishable material things as a way to compensate for their misery. Regardless of our social status, at the end of the day, we are all desperate to fill in the void inside our hearts, whatever that may mean to each one of us.

Finding happiness is a lifelong, complex inner struggle. The struggle doesn’t go away even in the brink of accomplishment and success. On the flipside, the struggle also doesn’t go away even when you sever all ties from the people who have done  you wrong. There is no guarantee when happiness will come and whether or not it is here to stay. Nevertheless, the quest to seeking happiness never stops as long as we live.

The secret to achieving genuine happiness is letting go of the burden off your chest. It’s when you finally stand your ground and remove been baggage you’ve been dragging all your life. It’s when you wake up with peace in your heart, knowing that everything will be in a good place in the end. It’s difficult to practice and maintain this state of mind. It takes discipline and desire to be happy. In other words, hard work is necessary. To be happy means to release relationships and habits that no longer serve their purpose. It’s vital to acknowledge which beliefs and ideals to replace with better ones because all decisions start in the mind. 

You might like: How to Be Happy: 25 Habits to Help You Live a Happier Life from Healthline





Even the toughest warriors have weaknesses. Even superheroes are vulnerable to something outside of his power. Every one of us has our own kryptonite. This goes to say that we can’t all be strong all the time. The superpower you must train to have is the ability to accept the crushing reality of life, that there will always be adversity no matter which path you choose. Relax those muscles. Worry less. Put a smile on your face. 

You’re a human being meant for extraordinary things. But these extraordinary goals aren’t handed-down, you have to work hard for it.
You’re given a gift, a tool, an instrument to wield to create an extraordinary phenomenon, but it’s up to you if you decide to use it and if you’re prepared to. Problems are inevitable, and they will be there to test your strength.

It’s okay to admit that you feel tired and hopeless at the moment. It’s natural to have doubts and fears. They have their purpose in your life, and the best thing you can do is to figure out what you can obtain from these internal struggles. Give up the expectation of being tough all the time. Pretending to be strong when all you want to is to be vulnerable is harsh and scary. We all need someone to lean on, so we have to allow ourselves to feel the weakness. 




Give up the need to impress others. You don’t owe anybody anything, so don’t waste your life fulfilling their expectations of you. Stop looking for their approval about your choices; you don’t need them. There’s nothing more mentally and emotionally draining than living a life without making your choices. Pleasing others means making other people happy at the cost of your feelings, health, and choices.

If your goal is to live a life impressing everybody else, then you’re living a very sad life. Your choices are reliant on their expectations and made-up ideals of you, and anything outside these boxes is considered unacceptable.
You will never find true happiness in life if you limit yourself to how people perceive you to be. It’s like forcing yourself to be bad at something to make others happy even when your potential is unlimited.

Your priority should be making yourself happy first than others. If you’re not happy at what you’re doing, go find something else that completes you. When you give up the need to please others, you start caring less about what people would think of your reputation because you’re contented with where you are now and focused on where you’re heading. 




Life is harder when the person living it denies his true nature. It’s uncomfortable trying to be perfect with everything you  do simply because you shouldn’t have to. You get so drained out easily since all your energy and concentration is focused on not showing any flaws (which is just utterly impossible). The only reason it feels good to be perfect at everything is because your ego says so. Your ego tells you everybody will adore you.

Your ego tells you their validation is a sign that you matter to them. 
But most of the time, what’s satisfying to your ego does the opposite to your soul.
Perfection is an illusion. Living perfectly would mean your self-esteem is already hinged upon strangers’ approval. The love you have for yourself is conditioned to other people’s capacity to see your worth. The harder you try to become perfect, the harder it is to embrace your true self.

Striving for perfection makes you deal with your insecurities the wrong way, like comparing your strengths and flaws to somebody else to make you feel better. This leads to gossiping about other people and their issues in life, and therefore, reeling in the negativity into your mind. When you give up trying to be perfect, you start appreciating who you are as a person and seeing yourself as a unique, one-of-a-kind individual. 




Our ego tells us we’re less of a human being if we make mistakes. If we keep pressuring ourselves to be right all the time, we would go through dirt and mud just to prove a made-up point. And while doing so, unknowingly, we look stupid in front of all the people. Obsessing over making everything about you just proves that you have never been right all your life.

People who know in their hearts that they’re right to find joy in silence. They no longer feel the need to argue when they know the truth. 
When they’re mistaken, they acknowledge their mistake, apologize, and move on.
You are not always right and you don’t have to be. You can’t go on learning if you don’t make mistakes. When you give up the need to be right all the time, you lessen getting into disagreements.

You do things that feed your soul, not your ego. You’re no afraid to ask for an apology when you know you’ve done wrong to someone. Also, you’re not ashamed to take accountability for your actions anymore. As a human, you acknowledge the fact that you will make mistakes every day no matter how much you try not to. You will start treating yourself kinder. 




Everyone is trying to be someone else. They think imitating another person’s lifestyle, beliefs, career, etc. can make them be the person they want to be. The illusion of living another’s life is an escape from living your own. This shows you haven’t confronted your inner self and resolved your issues. You’re still drowning in misery and self-pity, but not addressing it the right way.

The longer you put on a mask, the harder it is to find your true self once you finally remove it. Keep in mind that you can’t wear a mask your whole life, you will eventually have to take it off at one point.
When you do, you’re going to feel the burden of letting go of a part that you’ve attached yourself to for so long. You enjoyed and possibly had the time of your life while living someone else’s life.

But when it’s all over, you go back to your old self feeling like a fraud. You can never find true happiness if you don’t accept every single detail of yourself as a person. Be no one else but yourself. When you begin owning your whole self, you grow tired of imitating other people’s beliefs, habits, and lifestyles. No one wants a person who doesn’t have a moral conviction and moral high ground. 




Happiness comes when you stop climbing the mountain of worry of uncertainty. You can’t always be in control simply because you can’t control life. There are some things you cannot change, but for the other half where you can, you will never know the outcome unless you try. People get so attached to keeping things in order and living a seemingly perfect life that they forget their power is limited. When you become desperate to always getting the upper hand, it diminishes your chances of dealing with failure.

If you hit rock bottom, you wouldn’t know how to process your emotions in a way that benefits you because you’re too used to getting what you want.
At the smallest inconveniences, you easily get frantic when you can’t find a quick solution. You can’t control what people say or do nor can you control the circumstances which you’re in. Being in control of your life feels good for a while until reality hits you in the face.

Planning the rest of your life is good and practical, but having an open mind of the surprises of life is the right thing to do as well. Build a backbone of how you would want to live your life but learn to be versatile. Giving up the need to be in control means liberating yourself from internal and external pressure. When you learn how to play the unpredictability of life, you will master the art of floating above the tides. 




Most people are afraid of failure because they see it as the opposite of success. They think failure is a label, a reputation that will forever be with you. Their ego is too soft to even fathom the thought of failure. This is because they already think too high of themselves, and that they are entitled to everything better. If you see failure as a stepping stone aside from a road block, it would be easier for you to deal with it.

Failure is the bedrock where determined people draw strength from on their way to the road of success. They wouldn’t know of their mistakes. They wouldn’t know how to formulate a better, more versatile strategy. Most importantly, they would have no idea how to play the game of life without failure. 
In your discomfort is where transformation begins. When you’re in the brink of your success, there’s nowhere else you’re bound to go but down—to remind you of humility and standing your ground.

But when you’re at rock bottom, there’s nowhere else to go but up, along with the attributes and goals you’ve gathered while at the bottom. If you’re too scared to fail, you wouldn’t know how to deal with rejection. You become happy when you figure out a way to stay afloat. Resilience is the key to happiness in failure. You know who you are and what you’re capable of, and that makes you happy. 




When you stress yourself to be productive every day, your definition of productivity is limited to the scope of your work or career. Productivity doesn’t necessarily mean finishing a lot of tasks in a short period. Productivity can exist outside the bounds of school-related work and office commitments. You can be productive by waking up earlier than your set alarm or catching up with your friends after not seeing each other for a while.

Taking care of yourself is productive. Focusing on your small goals with determination and discipline is productive. Anything that makes you not take life for granted is productive.
Give up the overwhelming pressure to work 24/7 without rest because it doesn’t do any good to your health or your work. If your need to continue working compromises your physical and mental health, then it is the opposite of productive.

Socializing with different people is just as productive as doing paperwork. Giving yourself time to breathe and eat a nutritious meal without multitasking is just as productive. Don’t deprive yourself of the little joys in life because of your impatience and people-pleasing ambitions. Even if you love what you’re doing, it’s vital to let your body rest and your mind at ease, away from all the stress. 




In life, there’s always a time for joy and a time for sadness. There’s no other way around it, which means that we are all bound to feel different kinds of emotions in every stage of our lives. We won’t be in a happy state of mind forever. As they say, happiness is not a sustainable condition. You will feel unhappy sometimes and there’s no need to explain it. Give up the need to always be happy.

Forcing your happiness is like holding your breath for so long. You can only fake your happiness for so long until you break down, screaming to the heavens about how miserable your life is.
Truth is, you need to adapt to an optimistic outlook on life. Optimism doesn’t mean you should always find happiness in everything, but that you have the hopefulness and confidence of what’s to come in the future. 

Stop comparing your current state of mind to some choreographed, idealistic montage of someone jumping off a yacht you see on social media. Stop doubting your capacity to be grateful and happy. Just because you’re in a tough situation, that doesn’t mean you’re unable to find happiness. 



Some people pass through life without ever finding happiness. They may have experienced quite a few remarkable days in their lifetimes, but deep inside, they were never contented. They turned blind to the beauty of life because they consumed too much of the darkness around them. 
Sometimes, we get so overwhelmed with the pressure of being happy that it raises more doubt whether we truly are happy.

When we question ourselves, we feel unsure if our emotions are real and reliable. This is a normal feeling to feel, and it takes time to get comfortable with introspection. We are all prone to the negativity of the world, but what most people don’t know is you can train yourself to be strong and empathetic amidst cynicism. When we show care to ourselves, we need to be sincere and intentional about it.

We need to actually want to be happy; otherwise, we wouldn’t feel satisfied with our efforts to improving our state of mind.
Start with loving yourself by taking care of your physical health by getting enough sleep, eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and the like. Fuel positive vibrations to your energy by staying away from negative-minded people and being kinder to yourself.  Remember that you are in control of what you take in and what you release. 




“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Published by Monique Renegado

Monique started Life Begins At Twenty as a 20-year-old college student from the Philippines. In her lifestyle and wellness blog, she shares first-hand experiences and soulful advice about student life, relationships, mental health, adulting, and self-growth. Monique is passionate about literature, music, public speaking, and family. Besides studying and blogging full-time, she strives hard to become a published author with her first YA fiction novel and poems. Monique is the older sister you wish you had to help you navigate your twenties successfully. If you want a constant drive for motivation and pep talks, be a part of her journey.

8 thoughts on “9 Things You Should Give Up Completely to Be Happy

  1. These are excellent suggestions! You are well on your way to happiness having realized these things in your twenties!! Some people go their entire lives and never get to this point 🙂


  2. When you talked about giving up the need to be in control, it hit me! I was like that before things got worse in my life. During that year, I was really on my game in school. Even though I was having difficulty that time, I was still able to put things under my control until a big wave hit me. It was a unique problem that I didn't know how to handle and since I was used to be in control, I got super depressed because I cannot seem to fix the problem. And that, it's good that you talk about this here. People should know how to go with the flow with the surprises of life :))beyond beneath


  3. Oh Monique, I know you write content I love, but this one has hit the spot: it's not only perfectly written, but also just so pure. I do all of these 9 things, some of them more than others, and while I know it will take some time to get to even be able to start breaking the habits, I feel that recognising the issues it's a start! Thank you for sharing yet another great piece Monique x


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