Everybody learns valuable lessons in life, but how valuable are they, really? In theory, the lessons we learn should lead to happier lives, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes the things you learn are more about being able to skate by with ease and comfort and have nothing to do with your happiness.
The challenge, then, is to unlearn some of these things that are contradictory to leading a happy life. Here are seven such “lessons” to start with.
1. Hard Work Is Best
Hard work is definitely better than no work, but you’ve probably dealt with a situation in which you put in lots of hard work but were left with nothing to show for it. This doesn’t mean working hard is a bad thing. It only means that working smart is the better option toward a happy life. You won’t kill yourself by overworking, and the results will come with an even greater sense of satisfaction.
2. Letting Go Means You’re Giving Up
It may feel like you’re giving up when you let go of something, but that is not the case. In reality, letting go is part of life, and it doesn’t mean you’re giving up. It often means you’re moving on. One of the best things to unlearn is that if you let go of something, you’ve given up on it. You haven’t.
3. Vulnerability Is a Weakness
When you feel vulnerable, it’s natural to feel uncomfortable. Don’t mistake that discomfort for weakness. On this list of things to unlearn, this might be the most difficult, but it takes courage to be vulnerable.
The challenge is to understand when you are vulnerable and fight through it. Chances are, you’ll discover how many people believe in you — and that may include yourself. Once you get past the situation, it’s likely that the feeling of vulnerability will transform into unbridled confidence.
4. Rational Decisions Are Best
Nobody wants to be labeled “irrational,” which is one reason why making so-called rational decisions feels right. You definitely don’t want to throw rationality out the window, but one of the things to unlearn is that irrational decisions are intrinsically wrong.
It can be true in certain situations, but try viewing irrational decisions as being equivalent to thinking outside the box. Sometimes the best plans or ideas come from beyond the comfort zone of rational thinking.
5. Money Equals Happiness
If you’re like most people, you probably think that having more money would make your life easier and would make you happier. Financial issues certainly aren’t fun to deal with, but having more money doesn’t automatically make all of life’s problems go away.
One of the things to unlearn is that you need money to make you happy. There are so many other factors when it comes to happiness that someday you will realize that money is relatively far down the list. Having money doesn’t hurt, of course, but it doesn’t necessarily correlate to your happiness level.
6. Problems Are Bad
On the surface it would seem a problem-free life is a happy life. There are two reasons why this isn’t necessarily true. First, overcoming problems and adversity only makes you stronger and helps you appreciate where you came from. Second, some of the world’s greatest ideas came in response to important problems that needed solving. While you probably don’t want to seek out problems, it’s also not the end of the world if you happen to have some.
7. Fitting In Means You Belong
One of the most important things to unlearn is that fitting in is the same as belonging. Some argue that fitting in is a huge barrier to belonging. When you try to “fit in,” you may mold yourself into something you’re not. Yet belonging means letting others see who you truly are. Put another way, if you’re not being yourself, there is no way you will belong.
There is one common theme here — the path to leading a happier life may mean getting out of your comfort zone and going against what you’ve always been told is right. Living outside the restraints of some of these so-called life lessons can turn into its own kind of happiness.
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