frowning woman at computer

Photo: Jupiterimages

5 of 9
Day 4: Beware Unhealthy Sacrifice
To be happy, you have to know the difference between healthy sacrifice and unhealthy sacrifice. Healthy sacrifice is giving up something that is not helpful, authentic or smart for something that is, e.g., stop saying yes to everyone, cut your to-do list in half, quit trying to please everyone and stop denying your own needs. Unhealthy sacrifice is when you try to sacrifice your happiness, your health or your integrity for something else. The reason this type of sacrifice is so unhealthy is that it doesn't work in the long run for you or anyone else.

Be Happy Exercise: When you try to play the martyr, you lose and so does everyone else. One way to undo unhealthy sacrifice is to focus on receiving. People who are carers tend to be better at giving than at receiving, and this imbalance is what inevitably leads to sacrifice, exhaustion and unhappiness. Your assignment today is to be more open than usual, to let life support you and to let people give to you. Being a good receiver is what helps you to give yourself fully without giving yourself away.