There’s a roadblock to success and happiness, and it might be your own attitude.

As hard as that is to admit, it makes sense.

Happiness is out there in the world and available, and it is not related to extreme wealth or holding a top executive position. Often, it’s a matter of perspective. To help free yourself to pursue real success and happiness, here are a few things to avoid. If you try this and it works, please drop me an email and give me the backstory.

1. Negative self-talk

In my experience, the number one reason people do not feel successful or happy is because they keep telling themselves they are not happy or successful. Negative self-talk is a real problem, and it’s also easier to do that (from a brain science perspective) than positive self-talk. The secret is to stop doing it. I recommend the “bounce” principle. When you have a negative thought, bounce it away and think about something more positive instead.

2. Looking for what is wrong first

Related to this is a tendency to look for the negative side of things. That meeting with the new boss went swimmingly except for that one minor comment about your work ethic. We default to the negative and mull over it endlessly, which makes us feel like failures. The solution is to focus on what went right instead and to dwell on those positives. Make a list if you have to!

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