6. Blame themselves unfairly for their failures.
One of the hardest things about growing up is realizing that you are not going to live the life you dreamed of when you were a child. When we are young, we are taught you can do or be anything, but after you graduate into the real world, you quickly find out that you are more likely to be buried under a mess of bills than you are to fly to the moon.
Happy people learn to accept a change in perspective and accept that we cannot do everything we dream of. We are limited by the time and place we are born into. While there is a great deal we can change, some things we cannot.
If you believe you alone are responsible for your circumstances, you will blame yourself for the rest of your life for not achieving the unachievable. That is a recipe for unhappiness.
Look for ways to honor your dreams—but accept that you do not control everything that happens to you, and it is not always your fault when you fail.
7. Hold grudges.
You do not have to forget the evil things that have been done to you, nor do you have to ever accept the cruel actions or inactions of others. But you can give yourself permission to let go of the pain, anger, and resentment you carry with you.
A grudge is like a heavy stone, forever weighing you down, until you release it. Happy people learn to forgive for their own sakes. They move on emotionally so that they can have a new chance at happiness.
8. Blame themselves for the past.
One of the dangers of living in the past is not just clinging to old happy memories in lieu of creating new ones, but also wallowing in the bad ones. Happy people do not lie awake night after night running through the gamut of their past crimes.
They do acknowledge the mistakes they made, the betrayals they committed, and take responsibility to change in the present. But they do not hate themselves for things they did in the past.
Instead, they acknowledge that the person they are now is not the person they were then. They love that the person they are now would never do those awful things again to anyone else.
9. Stay in toxic situations.
Commitment is a great thing, but not when it comes at the expense of your happiness, integrity, and well-being. Happy people never stay in situations they know are going to stay toxic.
They get out of bad apartments, bad neighborhood, bad relationships, and bad companies, even if that means taking a risk or breaking an agreement. They know that not all forms of self-sacrifice are noble. Some are simply self-destructive.
10. Lie to themselves.
Perhaps the number one thing that happy people never do is lie to themselves. They accept that some truths are hard to face, and that living a true life may require some degree of pain, sadness, anger, loss, and fear.
But they also realize that the only real chance any of us have at happiness is to embrace the full range of human experience. The really amazing things are worth the pain and the struggle. Happiness is not the same thing as ease or comfort.
Truly happy people realize this and refuse to live a lie, no matter how sorely they are tempted. They know that making the hard choice to be true to themselves is worth it. It is the only way to find true friends and family who love them for who they really are, and to lead a life that is rich with meaning.