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1. You ascribe intent.

Your friend never texted you back. Someone jumped ahead of you in the queue. You were mistakenly left out of a group chat. You take it very personally. So what caused you to be so offended? You took it as a personal dig, a slap in the face.

Happy people do not do this. They don’t take things personally. They don’t see personal intent  in the unintentional actions of others.

2. You’re the star of your own movie.

Its normal that you think the world revolves around you. After all, you have been at the very centre of every experience you have ever had. You are the star of your own movie. You wrote the script. You know how you want it to unfold. You even know how you want it to end.

Unfortunately you forgot to give your script to anyone else. As a result, people are unaware of the role they are supposed to play. Then, when they screw up their lines, or fail to fall in love with you or don’t give you what you want, your movie is ruined.

Lose your script. Let someone else star once in awhile. Welcome new characters. Embrace plot twists.

3. You fast forward to apocalypse.

You have a bad habit of fast forwarding everything to its worst possible outcome and being pleasantly surprised when the result is a little better than utter disaster. Your mind wrestles with events that aren’t even remotely likely. You misplace your wallet and assume an international terrorist has stolen your identity.

Negativity only breeds more negativity. It is a happiness riptide. It will carry you away from shore and if you don’t swim away from it, will pull you under.

4. You have unrealistic and/or uncommunicated expectations.

Among their many shortcomings of your family and friends is the harsh reality that they cannot read your mind or anticipate your whims. Did your boyfriend forget the six and a half month anniversary of your first date? Did your bestie refuse to call at an appointed hour? Did your friend fail to notice your new handbag?

Unmet expectations will be at the root of most of your unhappiness in life. Minimize your expectations, maximize your joy. Give people a break.

5. You are waiting for a sign.

You won’t make a decision without receiving a “sign.” You may be waiting on a trumpeted announcement from God. Maybe fate or a higher power play a role in our lives. But you have to go out and make stuff happen.

6. You don’t take risks.

Two words: Live boldly. If you are offered a choice that involves greater risk, take it. You will lose on many of them but when you add them up at the end of your life you’ll be glad you did.

Note: There is a difference between taking an calculated risk and being stoopid. Don’t be stoopid.

7. You constantly compare your life to others.

If the grass is always greener on the other side, you aren’t taking care of your lawn. Other people are having more fun. Mary has a bigger boat. Lauren is so lucky. Aine has more money. Ciara is better looking.

Stop it.

8. You let other people steal from you.

If you had a million euros in cash under your mattress, you would check it regularly and make sure it is safe. Time is money people. But you don’t do anything to protect it. In fact you willingly give it away. Selfish people, egotistical people, negative people, people who won’t shut up. Treat your time like your lotto winnings. Guard it closely and give it only to those who deserve and respect it.

9. You can’t/won’t let go.

Sometimes you have to work at happiness This might involve letting go of some crap you’ve been holding on to for a while. Do you need to forgive someone? Do you need to turn your back on a failed relationship or friendship?

Life is full of loss. It helps us grow. It can help us help others grow.

10. You don’t give back.

One way to deal with pain is to immerse yourself in doing good. Volunteer. Get involved in life.

It doesn’t even have to be a big, self sacrificing thing. Say a kind word. Encourage someone. Pay a visit to someone who is alone. Get away from yourself for a while.

When it comes down to it, there are two types of people in this world. There are givers and there are takers. Givers are happy. Takers are miserable. What are you?

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