If You Want to Be Happy, Don’t Do These Six Things

I’m unfortunately writing from experience.

Jason Vincion
Aug 8 · 3 min read
Don’t go where you can’t see below (photo by author)
Don’t go where you can’t see below (photo by author)
Don’t go where you can’t see below (photo by author)

I’ve spent the past two weeks perusing 50,000 words worth of personal notes from years past to collate them into directives and ideas. I’ve tightened it up by almost 20,000 words, but more revision is required.

I also haven’t posted anything to Medium since then, so I’ll share what I’ve learned going through those notes, then get back to sifting.

01. Don’t Be an Agreeable People-Pleaser

People will like you for who you are or they won’t. You don’t have to go out of your way to make people like you, as no one is keeping score. Live life as you see fit and join people on their journey if it suits you, not if it suits them. Don’t stay in contact with people out of misplaced loyalty.

02. Don’t Beat Yourself up over Failures

You will fail — a lot. Don’t worry about it, and don’t harbor resentment towards yourself because things didn’t work out the way you wanted them to. Fail, and try again.

03. Don’t Drink Alcohol to Excess

I’m coming off an evening of doing this, and it’s rarely successful. I’ve considered it successful when it’s opened my emotions up, and I’ve written down feelings and desires that were walled away.

Still, if you want to get in touch with yourself, meditation is a much better choice, and exercise also works well.

04. Don’t Eat for Comfort or Entertainment

Food is fuel. It’s fine to have a snack or a meal that hits your taste buds in just the right way occasionally, but don’t make a habit of it. That’s how weight gain happens. Trust me, I know.

I was once 305 pounds because of this, and with a disciplined diet and exercise regimen, I got down to 190 pounds. After letting my discipline fall away somewhat, I’m in-between those two weights again. I’ve renewed my approach and will persevere to get back to 190 pounds.

05. Don’t Let People past Your Boundaries

Tell anyone that doesn’t respect your boundaries or tries to force their way into your life to leave you alone. They may be persistent, so you have to be as well.

06. Don’t Trust Others Without Knowing Their Motives

Blindly accepting things at face value is a naive way to live, and is the easiest way to be taken advantage of in life. Watch the actions of others before listening to their words.

Mistakes Are Learning Experiences

I wanted to be more eloquent with my findings, but the blunt hammer of truth works better. I’ve made some dumb mistakes in life out of fear of repercussion, but to quote Jordan Peterson:

“You’re going to pay a price for every bloody thing you do and everything you don’t do. You don’t get to choose to not pay a price. You get to choose which poison you’re going to take.”

By avoiding making people upset, I’ve paid prices that have caused hardship to myself and others. I don’t recommend it at all, but happiness comes in realizing that I will do my best not to make these mistakes again.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch

Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore

Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store