3 Things To Avoid If You Want To Be Happy — and Successful

Members of my career mentoring site know that I am a big fan of The Muse.  Today I saw an Inc. article they posted called “9 Habits Happy People Ditched a Long Time Ago.”  Here are the habits…

  1. They Don’t Compare Themselves to Other People
  2. They Don’t Need to Succeed on Their Own
  3. They Don’t Ignore an Obvious Source of Fun
  4. They Don’t Wish for Luck
  5. They Aren’t Afraid of Being Afraid
  6. They Aren’t Afraid to Be “Immature”
  7. They Don’t Forget to Be Happy for Other People
  8. They Don’t Act Against Their Values
  9. They Aren’t Afraid to Be Themselves

You can read the entire article here.

All of these are good habits to break.  However, there are three that I make sure that I never slip back into: comparing myself to others, being jealous of others’ success, acting against my values.

I wrote a blog post a while back in which I mentioned that every Spring when I get back on my bike, I go a little slower than I did when I put away the bike for the Winter.  I get passed a lot.  This used to frustrate me.  Then I realized that I’m a 65-year-old guy who rides for exercise.  I don’t need to be the fastest person on the bike path – nor will I ever be.  So now, I compete only with myself.  I work on bettering my time on my typical routes.  I also focus on taking longer rides as the season progresses.  I’m much happier when I focus on getting better, not on who is better than me.

Many years ago I was a finalist for a job.  I knew the other candidate and thought I was better qualified and more motivated.  She got the job.  I wasn’t very gracious the next time I saw her.  I was a jerk.  I’ve learned that I am happier when I choose to be happy for another person’s success.  Not when I’m jealous of others who have more than me, or who get something that I want.

Finally, my personal values are important to me.  I won’t compromise them.  I know that if I say one thing and do another, I’m not happy with myself.  I strive for congruence in my life.  I am clear on my values and act in accordance with them.  I’m not perfect, I mess up every once in a while.  But when I do, I always apologize or do what needs to be done to make things right.

If you do just these three things – stop comparing myself to others, avoid being jealous of others’ success, acting in accordance with your values – you’ll be happier, more productive and successful.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to https://budbilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.


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  1. Anja Skrba says:

    I think there’s nothing wrong with aspirations – you know, you aspire to be like someone. But there’s everything wrong with expectations – you expecting to be just the same as that someone else! At the end, it’s in the human nature to put all energy in expectations and that’s why I think that we should all stop comparing ourselves to others!

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