From a young age, most of us are exposed to a whole range of ideas about the meaning of right and wrong, according to society. We’re told how to live life to gain the approval of others. We’re taught that life is supposed to go a certain way, and the meaning of success is making lots of money. If we hold on to these so called “truths,” they can bring us down and get in the way of our happiness. Separating truth from lies is a big part of navigating this world and learning to be happy on your own terms. Here are five lies that society often tells us, that we almost always believe:

1. Alone = Lonely

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Just because someone is alone, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re lonely. Maybe you know someone who lives alone and hasn’t been in a relationship for a while. Maybe they even tend to keep to themselves. Some people are happier having their own space. Don’t assume that someone in a relationship is any happier than someone who is single.

2. You’ll Finally Be Happy When You Get Everything You Want

Happiness isn’t about materialistic things. A job promotion, a raise, a new car… Sure, these things can make you happy for a while. But they don’t define your happiness – you do. It’s easy to get so caught up in wanting more that we forget to notice and be appreciative of the great things that are in our lives already. Appreciate each day, one at a time. It’s great to set goals – but don’t let your happiness depend solely on achieving them.

3. The More Money You Have, The Happier You’ll Be

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There are times when we all wish we had more money. Maybe to travel, buy a nice car or an expensive outfit, or stop worrying about bills. You might think that having more money would make things easier for you, and maybe it would. But the amount of money you have does not dictate your happiness. There are billionaires around the world who are miserable and lonely, and children with almost nothing that find happiness in the smallest things. Money doesn’t define you, and not having a lot of it will not stop you from living a happy, healthy and fulfilled life.

4. Life Has Clear Steps

First, you finish high school. Then, you go to college, get a job and earn a degree. Somewhere along the way you find a partner, then you get married. Next comes a house, then children. That sounds like society’s standards of living, doesn’t it? But life doesn’t work out the same for everyone. Each person travels their own journey and experiences things at different times. Maybe you had a child at a young age, or you won’t end up getting married until later on in life. Who cares? Don’t be fooled into thinking that your life isn’t great just because you didn’t do things “in order.” The truth is, there is no order. There’s you and your experiences.

5. Don’t Waste Time Dreaming

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Dreaming is anything but a waste of time. Creating goals is the first step to achieving them. Make a bucket list, daydream about the possibilities, and don’t listen to anyone who tells you it’s not worth it. With a little creativity, hard work and perseverance, you can make any dream come true. Don’t ever let someone tell you that your dreams are too big, or too unrealistic. You were meant for something incredible, and it’s out there, just waiting for you to dream big enough to find it.

h/t: brightside

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