1.  Having hidden motives.  Tactics like pretending to be something you are not or pretending to like something you don’t, may cause you to win in the short term, but always fails to satisfy your need for well being long term. In order to maintain your ruse, you must keep your true self hidden. When you don’t have anything to hide, you have greater freedom.  Freedom always leads to happiness.

2.  Not trusting people.  The world is a mirror. But what does that mean? Very simply put, it means that you don’t see people for who they are, you see them for who you are. You filter people’s characteristics and traits through your personal view of the world. If you don’t trust others, you probably don’t trust yourself either. Not trusting yourself or others will diminish your experience of life and reduce your happiness.

3.  Gossiping and criticizing others.  What you do not like in other people is simply characteristics and behaviors that you are unwilling to accept about yourself. To hijack a phrase made popular by the Dalai Lama, gossiping and criticizing is like picking up a hot coal to throw it at another. Putting others down does not make you better. It only secretly emphasizes those aspects of yourself that you don’t like.

4.  Being too darn serious.  When you take life too seriously, you miss the beauty, majesty and comedy of life. Life is what you make it. If you focus on the melodrama of life, then you won’t be a very happy person.

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