8 things truly happy people choose to ignore, according to psychology

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True happiness, I’ve learned, isn’t about getting everything you want. It’s more about letting go of the things that weigh you down.

Hi, I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder of Hack Spirit and a mindfulness/Buddhism expert, and I’ve spent years delving into the science of happiness.

There are certain things that truly happy people choose to ignore, according to psychology. They have learned to let go of these things, and that has made all the difference.

In this article, I’m going to share with you 8 things that happy people choose to ignore. If you’re ready to let go and embrace happiness, keep reading.

1) Negativity

One thing I’ve noticed in my mindfulness journey is how our minds can often become fixated on the negative.

Truly happy people, according to psychology, have a knack for letting go of negativity. They don’t let negative thoughts, experiences or people consume their mind and drain their energy.

In mindfulness practice, this is often referred to as ‘non-attachment’. It’s about observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment, and then letting them pass without holding onto them.

Yet in our everyday lives, negativity can come from a variety of sources – a challenging work situation, a difficult relationship, or even our own self-doubts and fears.

Happy people choose not to dwell on these negative aspects. Instead, they acknowledge them, learn from them if they can, and then let them go.

You have the power to choose what you pay attention to. And choosing to ignore negativity is a powerful step towards true happiness.

2) The need for approval

Another thing that truly happy people tend to ignore is the constant need for approval from others.

I’ve found in my own life that seeking validation from others can be an exhausting and unfulfilling pursuit. It’s a trap that keeps you constantly trying to live up to other people’s expectations, rather than focusing on your own happiness and fulfillment.

Thich Nhat Hanh, a renowned Zen master and mindfulness expert, once said: “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

This can be particularly true when it comes to seeking approval. We’re so used to worrying about what others think of us that it becomes a familiar form of suffering.

But truly happy individuals choose to ignore this need for constant validation. They understand that their worth doesn’t come from outside approval, but from their own inner sense of value and self-acceptance.

Choosing to let go of the need for approval can be liberating, allowing you to live authentically and find genuine happiness.

3) Dwelling on the past and future

One of the fundamental truths in Buddhism is the understanding that life is impermanent and ever-changing. This wisdom teaches us to be present and fully engaged in the current moment, rather than dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.

Truly happy people, according to psychology, embrace this Buddhist principle. They choose not to let their minds be consumed by past regrets or future anxieties.

It’s raw and honest, but the truth is, we can’t change the past and we can’t control the future. Dwelling on what was or what might be only robs us of our present happiness.

Instead, happy individuals understand the power of now. They practice mindfulness, focusing their attention on the present moment and accepting it without judgement.

By choosing to ignore the pull of past and future, they create space for joy and contentment in the now. This is a powerful decision that can lead to true happiness.

4) Constant comparison

Mindfulness is all about awareness and acceptance of the present moment, including acceptance of ourselves. Yet, in our modern society, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of constant comparison.

Truly happy people, as psychology suggests, choose to ignore this constant urge to compare themselves to others.

It’s raw and honest, but the reality is, comparison often leads to dissatisfaction and discontent. It can make us feel like we’re never good enough, successful enough, or happy enough.

But mindfulness teaches us that each of us is on our own unique journey. It’s not about being better or worse than someone else. It’s about being the best version of ourselves.

Happy people understand this. They choose to focus on their own personal growth and well-being rather than comparing themselves to others.

By choosing to ignore constant comparison, they create a more compassionate and accepting relationship with themselves, leading to greater peace and happiness.

5) Ego-driven decisions

I’ve found in my own journey towards mindfulness and happiness that ego-driven decisions can often lead us astray. These are the decisions driven by a desire to prove ourselves, to win, or to be seen in a certain light.

In my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego, I delve into how Buddhism teaches us to let go of this ego-driven mindset.

Truly happy people, according to psychology, have learned to ignore the ego’s constant desire for validation and superiority.

Instead, they make decisions based on their true values and desires, not their ego’s need for recognition.

They understand that true happiness comes from living authentically and compassionately, not from constantly striving to prove themselves.

By choosing to ignore ego-driven decisions and embracing the wisdom of Buddhism, they’re able to live with maximum impact and minimum ego, leading to a deeper sense of fulfillment and happiness.

You can learn more about this in my book. The insights shared within its pages could very well be your next step towards true happiness.

6) Unnecessary judgment

In both Buddhism and mindfulness practice, judgment is often seen as a barrier to true happiness and inner peace.

It’s raw and honest, but the truth is, when we judge others harshly, we often judge ourselves just as harshly. This constant self-criticism and comparison can lead to a lot of unnecessary suffering.

Truly happy people, according to psychology, choose to ignore this tendency to make unnecessary judgments. Instead, they strive to cultivate an attitude of acceptance and compassion, both towards others and themselves.

They understand that everyone has their own struggles and challenges. Rather than judging, they choose empathy and understanding.

This decision not to judge unnecessarily brings them closer to the Buddhist concept of ‘Metta’ or loving-kindness – a fundamental component of true happiness and inner peace.

By choosing non-judgement, they open up space for acceptance, kindness and happiness in their lives.

7) The illusion of control

We often cling to the illusion of control in our lives. We strive to manage every detail, plan every outcome, and avoid every uncertainty. But the raw and honest truth is, life is inherently unpredictable.

Truly happy people, according to psychology, choose to let go of this illusion of control. They understand that life is full of uncertainties and that trying to control everything only leads to stress and anxiety.

Buddhist monk Ajahn Chah once said, “If you let go a little, you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace.”

Happy individuals take this wisdom to heart. They accept life’s unpredictability and choose to focus on what they can control – their own responses and attitudes.

By choosing to let go of the illusion of control, they embrace the peace that comes with acceptance and adaptability, leading to a deeper and more authentic happiness.

8) The pursuit of happiness itself

Here’s a counterintuitive one. While it might sound strange, truly happy people often choose to ignore the pursuit of happiness itself.

Mindfulness teaches us to be present and engaged in each moment, not to constantly strive for some future state of happiness. After all, happiness isn’t a destination to reach, but a way of being.

In the quest for happiness, we can easily overlook the joy and contentment available to us in the present moment. We become so focused on chasing happiness that we miss out on actually being happy.

Truly happy individuals understand this. They choose to let go of the constant pursuit and focus instead on cultivating mindfulness, gratitude, and joy in their everyday experiences.

By choosing to ignore the relentless pursuit of happiness, they allow themselves to be fully present and open to the happiness that exists right here and right now.


In conclusion, true happiness isn’t about chasing a future state of joy, but about choosing to embrace and appreciate the present moment.

It’s about letting go of the things that weigh us down and focusing on what truly matters.

From ignoring negativity and unnecessary judgment to letting go of the constant need for approval or control, these choices can pave the way for a more authentic, fulfilling, and happy life.

If you’re interested in diving deeper into these concepts, I invite you to check out my book, Hidden Secrets of Buddhism: How To Live With Maximum Impact and Minimum Ego. It’s a guide to understanding Buddhist principles in a practical way, helping you live with more mindfulness, compassion, and happiness.

Remember, happiness is not a destination, but a journey. And every step you take towards letting go and being present is a step towards true fulfilment.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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