Doug Dvorak's Blog


Things to Abandon for a Better Life

Life is too short to spend it unhappily. Making the most out of the life you have will take a lot of work, time, and self-reflection. There are many things in life that weigh us down, some of which we don’t know how to solve and even consciously recognize until they are pointed out.
There are many nasty habits that we can fall into that will actively make our lives worse for indulging them. Knowing these habits and working to break them can make your days feel a little brighter.


1. Complaining

Not everything is going to go your way. It’s alright to feel upset and occasional vent about your problems. But constantly dwelling on them and getting worked up over things will only make you feel worse about them. Instead of focusing on the negatives, try to focus on the good things you have going for you.

Studies from the Mayo Clinic say that, “The positive thinking that usually comes with optimism is a key part of effective stress management. And effective stress management is associated with many health benefits.” Focusing on the positive can significantly help your mental health. This doesn’t mean denying that you have problems or bad things going on in the world. Rather, it means approaching them with a positive attitude.


2. Self-Pity

Nobody is perfect, so you shouldn’t expect yourself to be. Sure, it’s important to be humble and recognize when you make a mistake, but you shouldn’t beat yourself over them. Intense self-criticism will often lead to self-loathing if you fail, which may turn you into a toxic person to yourself and others. Besides, constantly feeling bad about your failures will only lead to you feeling worse about yourself and could even stifle your growth. Go easy on yourself, if it’s a mistake that you would understand if someone else made, then treat yourself with the same courtesy.


3. Doubt

Having a healthy level of doubt and realistic thinking is good to have. But constantly over thinking every “what if” scenario won’t make them any better. What if I fail that test? What if I don’t get that job? What if I never find happiness? Those thoughts won’t bring you closer to what you want. If anything, they may make you too scared to fail, so you won’t take any chances. If you’re having doubts about your abilities and are afraid of things going wrong, know that you are capable and that you can only succeed if you try.


4. Jealousy

Everyone has their own unique challenges, successes, and kinks in the road. Thus, people will reach a variety of outcomes and stepping stones in their lives. However, with our own perspective, it can be difficult to see through the path they went down and only see the results, making it easy to be jealous of other people’s success. While the situation can sometimes be completely unfair, being angry when someone else has something that you don’t won’t bring you closer to being successful. If you want something, focus on what you need to do to get it and be thankful for what you do have that others may not have.


5. Materialism

What you have doesn’t determine your worth. We need money to live sustainably and not everyone has that. However, this is not about sustainability, but luxury beyond your needs. While it’s perfectly fine to have and want nice things, if you put your value in how much you have, then you’re bound to not feel good about yourself. You’ll always want more, the newest car, the coolest clothes, and the bountiful fruits of one’s labor growing bigger than it was before. But when you die, it won’t mean a thing. Instead of focusing on material things you can get out of life, or money in general, try to find value in yourself and others.


6. Self-Obsession

It is a current adage to love one’s self. While it is unbelievably important to take care of and find value in yourself, if you swing the pendulum too hard in that direction, you may develop some self-obsessive behaviors. This can manifest as vanity, arrogance, selfishness, and more. Being too self-centered, worrying only about your own image, achievements, and interests will drive people away. Often it will make you feel hollow and unfulfilled, with only yourself to blame. So think of others, put their needs first, be courteous, and love others the way you want to be loved. The gift of kindness is an eternal one, and it always comes back full circle, so when you start focusing on helping others without expecting anything in return, your life will undeniably improve.


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