13 Things You Must Give Up to Live The Life You Want

By Zdravko Cvijetic on Sunday January 29th, 2017

Are You Allowing Yourself to Live to Your Full Potential?

Somebody once told me their definition of hell:

On your last day on earth, the person you became will meet the person you could have become. — Anonymous

Sometimes, to become successful and get closer to the person we can become, we don’t need to add things — we need to give up some of them. There are certain things that are universal which will make you successful if you give them up, even though each one of us could have a different definition of success. Some of them are so simple, you could give them up today, while it might take a bit longer to let go of others.

1. Give Up The Unhealthy Lifestyle

Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live. — Jim Rohn

If you want to achieve anything in life, everything starts with your health. First, you have to take care of yourself, and there are only two things you need to keep in mind: A healthy diet and physical activity.

2. Give Up The Short-Term Mindset

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. — Mae West

Successful people set long-term goals, and they know these aims are merely the result of short-term habits that they need to do every day. These healthy habits shouldn’t be something you do; they should be something you embody. There is a difference between: ‘Working out to get a summer body’ and ‘Working out because that’s who you are.’

Long-term goalsMake long-term goals and make the steps that will get you to them part of your daily life.

3. Give Up Playing Small

Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others. – Marianne Williamson

If you never take great opportunities or allow your dreams to become realities, you will never unleash your true potential. And the world will never benefit from what you could have achieved.

So voice your ideas, don’t be afraid to ‘fail’, and certainly don’t be afraid to succeed.

4. Give Up Your Excuses

It’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play the hand. ― Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

Successful people know that they are responsible for their life; no matter their starting point, weaknesses, or past failures. Realising that you are responsible for what happens next in your life is both frightening and exciting. And when you do, that becomes the only way you can become successful, because excuses limit and prevent us from growing personally and professionally.

Own your life; no one else will.

You are limitlessOnly you are responsible for your happiness, so go live the life you dream of!

5. Give Up The Fixed Mindset

The future belongs to those who learn more skills and combine them in creative ways. ― Robert Greene, Mastery

People with a ‘fixed mindset’ think their intelligence or talents are simply fixed traits, and that talent alone creates success — without effort. They’re wrong. Successful people know this. They invest an immense amount of time on a daily basis to develop a ‘growth mindset’, acquire knowledge, learn new skills and change their perception so that it can benefit their lives.

Remember, who you are today is not who you have to be tomorrow.

Alt text hereAs Einstein once said: “Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work.”

6. Give Up Believing In The ‘Magic Bullet’

Every day, in every way, I’m getting better and better. — Émile Coué

Overnight success is a myth. Successful people know that making small continual improvements every day will be compounded and, over time, will give them their desired results. That is why you should plan for the future whilst maintaining focus on the day that’s ahead of you.

Aim to improve just 1% every day.

7. Give Up Your Perfectionism

Shipping beats perfection. — Khan Academy’s Development Mantra

Nothing will ever be perfect, no matter how much we try. Fear of failure (or even fear of success) often prevents us from taking action and putting our creation out there in the world. But a lot of opportunities will be lost if we wait for everything to be perfect.

So ‘ship’, and then improve (that 1%).

Perfectionism kills progressPerfectionism kills progress.

8. Give Up Multi-Tasking

You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. ― Winston S. Churchill

Successful people know this. That’s why they choose one thing and then beat it into submission. No matter what it is — a business idea, a conversation, or a workout.

Being fully present and committed to one task is indispensable.

9. Give Up Your Need to Control Everything

Some things are up to us, and some things are not up to us. — Epictetus, Stoic philosopher

Differentiating these two is important. Detach from the things you cannot control, and focus on the ones you can, and know that sometimes, the only thing you will be able to control is your attitude toward something.

And remember, nobody can be frustrated while saying ‘Bubbles’ in an angry voice.

What you should focus onIt is a waste of energy trying to control things that can’t be or aren’t worth controlling.

10. Give Up Saying ‘Yes’ To Things That Don’t Support Your Goals

He who would accomplish little must sacrifice little; he who would achieve much must sacrifice much; he who would attain highly must sacrifice greatly. — James Allen

Successful people know that in order to accomplish their goals, they will have to say ‘no’ to certain tasks, activities, and demands from their friends, family, and colleagues.

In the short-term, you might sacrifice a bit of instant gratification, but when your goals come to fruition, it will all be worth it.

11. Give Up The Toxic People in Your Life

You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with. ― Jim Rohn

People we spend the most time with, add up to who we become. There are people who are less accomplished in their personal and professional life, and there are people who are more accomplished than us. If you spend time with those who are behind you, your average will go down and with it, your success. But if you spend time with people who are more accomplished than you, no matter how challenging it might be, you will become more successful.

Take a look at around you and see if you need to make any changes.

FriendsMake sure the people you spend the most time with are enriching your life.

12. Give Up Your Need To Be Liked

The only way to avoid pissing people off is to do nothing important. — Oliver Emberton

Think of yourself as a market niche. There will be a lot of people who like that niche, and there will be individuals who don’t. And no matter what you do, you won’t be able to make the entire market like you. This is entirely natural, and there’s no need to justify yourself.

The only thing you can do is to remain authentic, improve and provide value every day, and know that if the number of ‘haters’ grow, it simply means that you’re doing important things.

13. Give Up Your Dependency on Social Media and Television

The trouble is, you think you have time. — Jack Kornfield

Impulsive web browsing and television watching are diseases of today’s society. These two should never be used as an escape from your life or your goals. Unless your goals depend on either, you should minimise (or even eliminate) your dependency on them, and direct that time towards things that can enrich your life.

Weapons of mass distractionBe conscious of your T.V. and social media use.

Be Bold, Take the Plunge

Life isn’t always easy, especially if your heart yearns to be doing things differently. And whilst it may seem hard at first to take the plunge – that inevitable leap into the unknown – committing to being the greatest version of you; truly living your life how you envisage it, will be the best decision you will ever make.

I promise.

Words By Zdravko Cvijetic

Originally posted on Medium




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39 Responses to 13 Things You Must Give Up to Live The Life You Want

    • No, it was Marianne Williamson:
      “A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of “A Course in Miracles”, Ch. 7, Section 3 (1992), p. 190. This famous passage from her book is often erroneously attributed to Nelson Mandela. About the mis-attribution Williamson said, ‘Several years ago, this paragraph from A Return to Love
      began popping up everywhere, attributed to Nelson Mandela’s 1994
      inaugural address. As honored as I would be had President Mandela quoted
      my words, indeed he did not. I have no idea where that story came from,
      but I am gratified that the paragraph has come to mean so much to so
      many people.’ ”

        • She was perfectly right to correct, Helen. After all, she was wrong and misinformed like many people are who attribute that quote to Mandela. I for one would prefer to be corrected so I become well informed. It’s not right to attribute someone’s words to someone who did not say them. I am sure Mandela would have insisted that it be known that he used Marianne Williamson’s quote in his speech.

  1. “There are people who are less accomplished in their personal and professional life, and there are people who are more accomplished than us. If you spend time with those who are behind you, your average will go down and with it, your success. But if you spend time with people who are more accomplished than you, no matter how challenging it might be, you will become more successful. Take a look at around you and see if you need to make any changes.”

    I find this ‘tip’ more than a little asinine as far as how to handle personal relationships with integrity. I suppose the folks that are more successful than you are also lowering themselves in hanging around you or, even worse, with your inferiors? They’d have to be by the standards of this asinine formula. Conscious friendships that exhibit integrity don’t revolve around comparisons of material attainment or whether someone can contribute to your success in ways other than through the standard supportive friend role. Anyone desperate enough to take this terrible piece of advice has quite the ‘fake it til you make it’, pseudo-elitist attitude to develop in order to clear out their trove of undesirables. Seriously, how did this article end up here?

    • I think you are reading this too narrowly, or maybe not simply enough…what I took from this is to avoid having toxic people in my life and/or at least spend more time with people who enrich my life…those people who “enrich” my life will likely be different than those who enrich yours and it may have nothing at all to do with “material attainment” or “professional success” and more to do with their “personal” life and character, with qualities like “integrity” and “supportiveness”…this article appeared to me as one about how to attain success at being the best me I can be and I think Zdravko Cvijetic did an excellent job at inspiring me to do just that 🙂

      • Well, Nikki, I have to concede that my attention zeroed in on the writer’s used of the word “professional” when describing success and accomplishments, rather than taking in the entry as a whole – especially the title which describes clearing out toxic people from one’s life. After re-reading my comment, I realize I was coming from an angry place having just gotten back from an event I worked as a server. Servers in my job are often treated as inferior and the tendency to feel like the least accomplished person in the room is high. Thanks for pointing out my error and getting me to see the bigger picture. Though I disagree with a small part of this particular entry because of the inclusion of professional accomplishments, you’re right, the artice as a whole has value.

        • I totally get that, feeling as though you are being treated as inferior and under-accomplished when in the business of serving. I was employed as a server as a teen and while getting post-secondary education before moving in to my policing career and then then into an insurance adjusting career. I appreciate you giving this another look. I can add to this that the best advice I ever received was while still waitressing and starting a new administrative assistant position at a car dealership, and that was to “dress for the job you want, not the one you have”. I took this and ran with it, not just literally about how I was dressing but more about my attitude. I realized that what I wanted most was to be respected (it sounds like you might echo this) and so what I did was work really friggin’ hard at being the BEST server and assistant I could possibly be, convincing myself that “the customer is always right” even when they are oh so wrong, and always giving them my best even when I felt my worst. I decided not to allow myself to feel any less important than the people I was serving, using what I like to call the 3 ‘C’s as my keys: confidence, consideration and courtesy. When I achieved my goal of becoming a police officer (against all odds being a single mom of two with no financial assistance except what I personally earned) I actually continued serving (discretely in a separate city because, of course, this posed a conflict of interest) so that I could afford to pay for the gas needed to commute to and from work. I noticed very quickly that I treated the people who required my services as a police officer no differently than those that needed me to serve them their meals and refreshments (the 3 ‘C’s), and, as I am sure you guessed, I use the very same principals as an insurance adjuster. What you may not realize, however, is that both as an officer and as an adjuster I have been subjected to the very same feelings that you and I have as servers, of inferiority and being under-accomplished, only on a much uglier level. I encourage you to continue your fight to avoid seeing yourself and others the way some may try to influence you to. I only hope that those who have treated you unfairly have reconsidered their opinions or interpretations in the healthy way that you have.

          • I didn’t like the instruction to only spend time with those “above” us. Toxic people can be anywhere. You were right with your first post, Kathleen. I also see no wrong in some TV and Web browsing and find this article too extreme and fanatic. Chill,man.

      • You have the right idea as I was told several years ago If you want to be an eagle you must fly with the eagles. However if you scratch with the turkey’s you will remain a turkey.

    • I agree with you. How can you coach up others by doing this. This would tell the people with problems, (suicidal, depressed, bi-polar, etc.) that you have no time to help them. I spend more time with my kids than anyone, and they don’t fit this idea either. I wonder what Mother Theresa would have thought of this.

  2. Very inspiring.

    One argument with only surrounding yourself with those More Accomplished than me. If everyone takes this advice, they won’t want to surround themselves with me.

    Often, Less Accomplished people are very interesting and contribute a lot.

    That said, I get that if I’m struggling with the chains of Netflix binges, I want to be wary of forming new bonds with other bingers, and perhaps instead join a hiking club.

  3. Life changing nuggets
    Addresses key issues which have been delaying me taking action.
    I am making changes Get started doing what I am passionate about and learn as I go. Stop waiting to be perfect. I also need to upgrade the company I keep.
    Very useful article.

  4. Those who can, – do.
    Those who cannot do, – teach.
    Those who cannot do neither, – lead.
    Edward Aloysius Murphy Jr.

  5. I don’t care what they say I certainly wouldn’t give up TV or my phone. At my age that’s all that I have for fun.

  6. I thought all of these were very good habits or behaviors or whatever u want to call them to give up – a lot of these things I can relate to doing

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