By Sunny Simon

     Those who know me understand I’m a junkie. To be more specific, I’m a happiness junkie.  Color me passionate about the study of happiness. The fabricated word for me is  Eudaimonologist, (or so I’m told) if we use the Greek word eudaimonia for happiness. Whenever I discover a new book about happiness, I consume it and make it part of my collection.

     The latest addition to my happiness library is “15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy,” by Luminita Saviuc, a Romania blogger, who like me, professes happiness is not just a birthright, it’s a skill anyone can cultivate.

     Here’s where it gets interesting. Unlike me, Luminita experienced a tragic childhood. I’m talking unbelievably dark. When she was 10 years old, her extremely abusive father discovered one of his children ate some candy he wanted for himself. Consequently, although she was not even the guilty party, he set Luminita’s toes on fire. Pretty amazing that an individual with this kind of start can dish out advice on creating a life filled with happiness and contentment.


     Logically, Ms. Saviuc began her book at the right place. Before she could learn to let any life and light into her world, the author had to let go of her past. Imagine how difficult that was when for many years she was tormented in a violent environment. Somewhere along her difficult journey, Luminita had an epiphany.  She realized taking charge of her life and moving into the happy zone could only be accomplished when she let go of all that was negative and toxic. Stop and think about that for a moment.

     Any chance you continually cling to recollections of a time when you were victimized? You know revisiting those painful memories and reliving the hurt will only serve to keep you prisoner to the past, so why continue? As Luminita points out, you must let it go. Okay, I get it. It’s not easy to make peace with past hurts, but as the author realized, you can never experience a life transformation until you do.

     Need a little help in getting there? Begin by committing to it. Say it out loud, write it in your journal,  and tell your best friend that you are no longer dwelling on the past. Make a solemn choice that your life will not be determined by pain. If you find yourself regressing, look down at your toes. No one set them on fire, right? Use them to step into a bright future. Sunny Simon is the owner of Raise the Bar High Life and Career Coaching. More about Sunny at