Do you ever wonder if you will ever be truly happy in your life?
Do you wonder if happiness is just a hoax and success is an illusion?
Do you feel like they don’t really exist?
I felt like this a little while ago.
At the time, I was making six-figure income, was working for my dream company (Apple) and had a flexible work schedule. In spite of all this, I was miserable.
To make things worse one day, my 10 yr old daughter said, “ Mommy you are just not nice when you come back from your job”.
That was a wake up call.
I wanted to make a change. I wanted to be happy. I wanted to be a good mom. But I didn’t know how.
Quitting takes Courage
It was clear that my job was draining me.
But, I kept thinking, “ I can’t quit my job. Can I?
I didn’t want to be a quitter. I wanted to be successful, not a failure.
I was very scared. I had no idea what to do after quitting. I had no idea if I would make it without the corporate safety net.
I realized that quitting is not easy. I had to build up courage to quit.
I looked for ways to boost my happiness. I started scouring the Internet for answers. I read several books and research journals on happiness and success. There were so many contradictory theories and tips. I had no idea if any of them really worked.
I decided to test the popular theories out, one week at a time.
I started following practical tips to make myself happy on a daily basis. I did one new tip for a week at a time to see if it made me happy.
To my surprise, not doing something was much easier than doing something new. Quitting something made me much happier than learning and keeping at something new.
May be it is the human perception!
7 Little Things to Quit to be Happy and Successful
I would have never been able to quit my job if not for the practice I got from quitting little things.
Of all the things that I tried, quitting these seven little things made me the most happy.
1. Quit Reading the News
News headlines are usually about happenings around the world. Most times they are negative. Negative headlines make for better stories than positive headlines.
Would you read a headline that says ‘Electric Chair Makes a Comeback’ or a headline that says ‘Legislation debate in Tennessee’.
See what I mean.
Journalists have to write stories that interest us. Can’t blame them for that.
Changing the time that I caught up on the news helped me be more positive during the day. I started reading inspirational posts first thing in the morning instead of news.
I still did catch the news later around 11 am instead of at 6 am.
2. Quit Hunching Your Shoulders
This boosted my confidence levels.
We hunch our shoulders and take up as little space as possible when we are feeling nervous and not too comfortable. This is body language 101.
Keeping a posture, opening up my shoulders made me feel more confident during the day.
But, I must admit it made me more tired than usual. It took me a total of 45 days before I was doing this effortlessly.
3. Quit Keeping a Corporate Face at Work
We are all trained to not show real feelings at work. Having a corporate face is good for corporate, not for you.
Smiling all day even when I was upset lifted my mood. It made me feel better sooner than when I had a corporate face.
Studies have shown that smiling makes you happy.
4. Quit Writing Huge Goals
It is better to write and work towards goals that are achievable before starting to write our stretch goals. Stretch goals are great to push ourselves.
But, we all need achievable goals to boost confidence and to have successes that we can build momentum on.
This was very hard for me, because I am an overachiever.
5. Quit Eating Fries and Eat Oranges Instead
Fries are my comfort food. But eating them saps energy.
I ate oranges instead of fries every time I felt down and felt the need for comfort food. This not only boosted energy for me, I lost 4 pounds in a month. This gave me more energy and clarity of mind.
6. Quit Charging Cell phones Next To Your Bed
This relatively small change helped me a ton. Keeping cellphones on silent or do not disturb mode doesn’t work. It still will be very tempting to check the time or email when you wake up for your pee break at night.
After I started charging my cellphone and iPad in the living room, I slept for 8-9 hrs every day. I got enough undisturbed sleep. This helped me feel better. I was also more productive the next day.
7. Quit Inefficient Multi-tasking
This is by far the most tempting thing to do, especially with kids at home, and at work. I started time blocking my calendar and started working on tasks sequentially instead of switching between them all day.
I realized that I am able to get more accomplished in less time when I focused on one task at a time.
Quit Little Things to be Happy and Successful
What do all these seemingly irrelevant things have to do with being happy and successful?
In my case, these small wins boosted my happiness. I became much more positive and creative on a daily basis. I saw a lot of opportunities that were in plain sight but never crossed my mind before.
What do you know? Some happiness theories and practical tips do work.
This whole process of quitting little things for an entire year made me brave. I was able to take action in spite of being afraid.
I finally quit my job. I developed the courage to do so.
I handed in my resignation to my director. He handled it much better than I expected. He asked me what I was planning to do.
I told him that I was going to be consulting for businesses.
Surprise!!! Surprise!!! Something unexpected happened.
He set me up with his tech entrepreneur friend who needed marketing strategy. He was my first client.
I was delighted!!
Three months later…
I made more money than at the job. I had much better control over my time. I learned a lot and it challenged me on a daily basis. I was energized even after an 11 hour workday. I became much more positive and creative. I saw opportunities everywhere.
I felt silly for not quitting sooner.
What Will You Quit For Happiness and Success?
The idea here is to start with small wins towards your happiness. Be successful and build momentum. These little changes give you a positive outlook and confidence.
I wouldn’t have been able to quit my job almost without quitting these little things first.
Go ahead prove me wrong!
Try these things for a month and if you think, it didn’t help you at all, let me know.
In the comments below tell me the one little thing that you will quit. Which one do you think will have the most impact on your life and why.
Photo by pedrosimoes7