Mindful Living Personal development

11 Things You Should Care Less About To Be Truly Happy

11 things you should care less about if you want to be truly happy

This post is about focusing on the things that matter in life with a list of 11 things you should care less about, if you want to be truly happy.

Pause for a moment from whatever you are doing. Have you noticed how you seem to be in your element when you stop worrying about the results and focus on your efforts? And then, there are times when your outcomes are amazing even though you haven’t slogged away, simply because you did not fret over what others thought or feared failure?

When I say “things you should care less about”—I mean caring less about the things that don’t really matter in the long run versus caring for the important things.

Reflect on these questions

Do you tend to spend time caring about the things that make a positive difference?

OR

Are you wasting your time caring too much about things that make you unhappy?

Yes, some things are certainly worthy of your time, your energy, your attention. And there are some things that are not.

Investing your mental energy on the wrong things can sabotage your happiness. Not only is making these things a priority an absolute waste of time, but also results in unnecessary challenges in life that you can very well do without.

But what are these 11 things you should care less about?

Let me list them for you with tips.

11 Things You Should Care Less About If You Want To Be Truly Happy

11 things you should care less about if you want to be truly happy

1. Other people’s approval

‘Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.’ – Lao Tzu

Lao Tzu is right. Of the things you should care less about, number one on the list is other people’s approval. Think about how much time you spend freaking out over what others think. Of course, we all care about what people around us think of us. We are human, after all, and it is normal to want to be accepted—particularly in the age of social media and all the baggage it brings with it. We want to be loved. Or at the very least, liked. But we have to draw the line somewhere. We just cannot afford to care too much for our own well being. We don’t need the approval of others.

The more you give importance to other people’s opinions, the farther it takes you away from your happiness. Let me give you some examples. Do you pick clothes you like or clothes you think others might like? Do you care about how others will judge you if you buy a particular brand of car? Worrying constantly about what others think will make you miserable. And you’ll end up saying and doing things that don’t align with your values.

If your happiness is important to you, you must learn not to care too much. You don’t get to blaze your own trail by stopping to listen to every judgmental opinion that comes your way. Get past that need to fit in. Start feeling good about your own decisions and your life.

Some tips to feel good about yourself are:

  • Get out of the habit of apologizing unless you are in the wrong. No need to say sorry every time you have a different opinion or care for something that is important to you.
  • Don’t forget what’s important to you. Stand by the choices you make. No need to do something because you “should”. There’s no need to impress anyone. This is your life and be conscious about what matters to you.
  • Don’t overthink things. It can rush you into the trap of second guessing everyone and every situation and lead to utter misery. Don’t waste energy on things you cannot control. You can’t stop people from being judgmental. But you can certainly control your response to it. Focus on your own choices.
  • Choose the company you keep. Who makes you feel good? Who uplifts you? Who inspires you? Walk away from the naysayers and the negative folks whose main aim in life is to drag you down. It is perfectly fine to disagree with someone. Can you imagine how boring life would be if everyone held the same beliefs and ideas?
  • Appreciate others’ individuality just as you do your own. Accept others and encourage their uniqueness. Avoid being judgmental.
  • Simplify your life by caring about things that matter. Our time in this world is finite, so focus on your dreams.
  • Learn to say no—to whatever does not make you happier.

2. Things

I’d be the first to acknowledge that we need things, but turn them into an obsession and we have a major problem. You know what they say about collecting moments, not things. Sure, a big house, a big car can make us happy, but that kind of happiness is short lived. So, get what you need, but don’t make things the main priority. Same goes for money. Money is important, but it isn’t everything. Don’t get so focused on making it that you don’t have time to enjoy spending it. Your peace is in moments and experiences. So, on your list of things you should care less about, add things!

3. The Past

Sometimes it is difficult to let go of the past, I agree. But take a deep breath. Wouldn’t you agree that the past is done with, over? So what if you messed up? Maybe you said things, did things you didn’t mean to. Maybe you did not take up wonderful opportunities. But hey, life has its ups and downs. There’s pain and disappointment. Take a good look at it, learn from the experience. And move on. Life awaits. The past is among the things you should care less about.

4. Failures

Failures are a part of life. And as some great soul said, they are the stepping stones to success. But don’t get so attached to failures that you get stuck in a job or a relationship that doesn’t make you happy. Why let failure stop you from doing what you’d really like to do? Don’t fear failure. It is just “False Evidence Appearing Real”. Failure is a big deal only when you let it. Succumb to it and you will be running away from happiness.

Live more Worry less. 11 things to care less about to be truly happy

5. Your faults

Yes. Definitely one of the things you should care less about. Why worry about them? Simply fix what you can and let go of the ones you cannot. Focus on your strengths. Believe you are good enough as you are and just get busy doing what you want instead of pointing out your limitations as excuses.

At the end of the day, we only have so much time. Stop caring about the things listed above. Be free. Make space to be happy.

6. Regrets

There is no place in life for regrets, what ifs and if onlys. They are a part of life. If you have to, just forgive yourself, and others. If there’s something to learn from these moments, great. What’s the point of worrying and feeling bad about what cannot be changed? Live in the present moment, it is the only thing you can be sure of. It is so easy to drive ourselves crazy worrying about the past that we have no control over, or the future that we have no idea about. Don’t torture yourself about things that may never happen. Deal with situations as they arise.

7. Your appearance 

Sure, you should care about your image—after all, who doesn’t like to be presentable—but not so much that you obsess over it! Focus on looking after yourself—your health. You are more than what you look like. Most of all, don’t compare yourself to others. You are perfect as you are. Practice self-love. Enjoy life. Give yourself a break.

8. Rejection

Rejection is a gift, as I have learned many times in my life. We tend to be so scared of being rejected that we stick to our comfort zones. We are afraid to take risks. As the proverb goes—the magic is often outside the comfort zone. Stretch. Zap that fear. Be brave. Express yourself. So what, if things don’t go as expected? Enjoy the experience of having tried and feel proud of yourself. Be adventurous.

9. Consequences

To truly learn to care less about consequences, observe children. They’re courageous, they’re curious and they go right ahead and do what they want, even if they are aware that they’ll probably be scolded for it. They understand that with some things it is better to apologize than wait for permission. Think about how many times have you held yourself back from doing something because you were nervous about the consequences? Sometimes, it is okay to break some rules that be afraid to take risks. Live a little. Have fun!

10. Perfection

Yet another important thing you should care less about. The concept of perfection varies from individual to individual. Often, in our quest for perfection, we get into the all or nothing mode. That’s not always ideal, though because we end up not getting anything done. Not everything needs to be perfect. Instead, how about going with “good enough” and getting started…and moving on towards finishing? The faster you do this, the faster you accomplish. It is fine to make mistakes, learn from them and treat them as learning experiences. ‘Bye perfection. Hello completion. Right?

11. Details

Details are good, but there are times when you have to look at the big picture. Don’t miss the forest for the trees. Don’t get caught up with minor details and miss something important in the overall situation. Keep your main priorities in sight. This keeps you focused. By the way, looking at the big picture also works in relationships. Instead of nit-picking on trivial stuff, it helps you focus on why you are in the relationship and why it makes you happy. Not saying ignore details entirely, but it is certainly one of the things you should care less about.

Life Your Life Care less about what does not matter

What next?  

Instead of stressing over what comes next and about the future, how about focusing on the now? Be Zen. Meditate. Try to be mindful. If you pause—again—and think, you’ll realize that less can be so much more. Care more about your priorities and get rid of what isn’t important. Steer your efforts and attention towards doing things that stress you less and make you more productive.

The process of working on this post has been a huge learning experience for me. I realized I have so much to put into practice, so many things I should care less about. To survive in our world, we have to stop caring about the snide remarks that come our way and not let them get inside our heads. We must accept who we are and be comfortable with what we do, if only for our own sanity.

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Don’t let it suck your energy and time.

Caring less is more about being carefree and concentrating on what counts and ignoring the unnecessary nonsense.

Be true to yourself. Because that’s where you’ll find happiness.

What would you add to this list of things you should care less about?

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Birgit
    January 14, 2020 at 8:36 pm

    Worry…worry can do me in. With my constant pain and inability to do all the exercising that one is supposed to do and then, a few years back, I ..can’t say why I think this because I feel dumb, but I feel like I will die when I am 66. When I told my mom, she laughed and hugged me saying this is her girl and to stop thinking this way. She went on to listen to me, hug me and tell me to think on the positive. I am working on this every day and doing my best to think that I will love to be 90. I love this list and I would add work. So many people are worried about work and there are so many variations to this one that I be5 you could make a blog post just on this. Thankfully I don’t believe in regrets and I am not a perfectionist nor do I sweat the past so much. The others…I will work on. It is always worth working on and seeing the positive. Every day is a beautiful day worth seeing that I am great at what I do and that my hubby thinks I am beautiful

  • Reply
    Shilpa Gupte
    January 15, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    Been there, done that, and came out a bit wiser!
    I used to be a worrier to such a huge extent, it sapped me of the energy I could have used in something better.
    I do agree with not losing sleep over what should have been. It’s best to just accept life as it is, be grateful for what we have been blessed with and take each day as it comes. Also, accept ourselves for what we are instead of comparing ourselves with others and driving away our sleep!
    Perfect post for this month, Vidya!
    Shilpa Gupte recently posted…10 DIY skin care tips for winter.

    • Reply
      Nick Hiten
      January 15, 2020 at 6:50 pm

      Yes, worrying about others perception is not good. They live in a whole new universe. But, to me, it is very tough to follow these principles, these are the very things that tie me down.

  • Reply
    Jemima Pett
    January 17, 2020 at 12:46 am

    Ho hum. That more or less sums up everything I fret about!
    Jemima Pett recently posted…Best of 2019 Giveaway Hop – worldwide entry

    • Reply
      Vidya Sury
      January 18, 2020 at 11:51 am

      Thank you Jemima! Always good to see you!

  • Reply
    Felicia Austin
    January 17, 2020 at 6:50 am

    I am loving this list so much. I have a fear of rejection so that has held me back so much in my life. Also I want to point out your saying ‘Bye perfection. Hello completion. I think this will be my New years’ quote from now on. You just don’t know how much this has helped me and just seeing that small saying has changed me. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Richa MIna
    January 17, 2020 at 8:11 am

    Approval from people has always been my driving factor even my main decision-making factor, most of the things I do are influenced by “what would people think if I did this?”. after reading this post I realized how much taxing it is to do things because of other people and not yourself.
    I’m certainly going to change it, it’s my resolution for this year. loved your post.
    Richa MIna recently posted…Understanding Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS)

  • Reply
    Shilpa Garg
    January 17, 2020 at 8:25 am

    These are all such valid pointers. While no one would like to make mistakes but we all have a fair share of them. I think these are an integral element of human nature and part of the journey of self discovery. So, agree, that we should not regret these learning and growth experiences for we never know where failures or mistakes might lead us to. Thanks for the reminders once again!
    Shilpa Garg recently posted…9 Simple Ways to Read More Books This Year

  • Reply
    Rajlakshmi
    January 17, 2020 at 10:17 am

    You have covered pretty much everything. These are excellent points
    False evidence appearing real – love this. It’s a great thought to live your life. The first point is so apt. And yet it is one of the hardest to implement. So hard to get out of the bubble of people’s opinions. But once done, the freedom is addictive.
    Rajlakshmi recently posted…My Precious | Wordless Wednesday

  • Reply
    Damyanti
    January 20, 2020 at 11:18 pm

    I think the first point on your list is the most important.

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