We spend the majority of our lives just waiting for them to get better somehow. But, we often forget about the power and happiness that lies within us already, activated by our awareness and willingness to dig deep inside ourselves to find real meaning.

You came to this Earth as a complete, limitless being, and you can start living an awesome life NOW, without waiting for certain conditions to be met. Despite what you may have heard before, you certainly don’t need these things to enjoy life to the fullest.

10 Things You Don’t Need to Live an Awesome Life

1. A Ton of Friends

As you grow up, you learn the importance of having a few good friends rather than a few handfuls of distant acquaintances. The saying “quality over quantity” really applies here; have a close circle of friends who you can confide in and share both the good and bad times with – you won’t feel the need to count when you really connect with the people in your life.

2. Approval of Others

You might feel comforted and reassured when others agree with you, but you don’t need their consent – you just want it to feel accepted. However, the highest form of acceptance comes when you rely on yourself and no one else for validation.

At the end of the day, caring so much what others say about how you choose to live your life will drain your energy and make you doubt your inner voice. Truthfully, you don’t need their approval as long as you trust in your gut feelings to guide you.

3. A Detailed Map of the Future

You could plan to go to college for four years, score a high-paying job, get married, buy a house, and settle down and have kids. But, what if life had different plans for you? What if you started your degree and realized you didn’t really have a passion for it? What if you developed a strong interest in yoga during your time in college, and decided to get certified to teach yoga instead?

Of course, your own scenario will probably differ from this one, but the point remains: don’t get so caught up in planning out your future that you freak out when things don’t go as intended. You don’t need to have such a rigid agenda for your future, because most of the time, life will direct you to a path you didn’t expect to find.

4. Perfection

Many times, people fall into an all too common trap: thinking they will attain happiness when they meet all the conditions to live a “perfect” life. But, what happens when they never meet all of those conditions? Will they never find happiness?

Truthfully, you don’t need to have all your ducks in a row in order to live a happy life; what you do need, however, is an optimistic, resilient attitude, and the willpower to keep going no matter what obstacles you face.

5. An Obsession with Money

Money – it can either help or hurt people, depending on how you look at it. It’s fine to desire enough money to live comfortably, but when it becomes an obsession of possession, you have crossed into unhealthy territory.

Don’t give in to the hype; money can buy basic necessities, freedoms, and help many people when you allow it, but it doesn’t define you as a person – your true value lies in the size of your heart. Money is a form of energy that can help us live an awesome life, as long as we own it and it doesn’t own us. Even so, money isn’t most important – when you focus on what money can’t buy, you’ll realize you already have what truly matters in life.

6. Living Up to Society’s Expectations

Maybe you feel pressured to have a “normal” life just because everyone else does, but trust me, you don’t need a 9-5 job, a 30-year mortgage, lots of material possessions, an impeccable credit score, or even a car, to feel happy. Society drills these expectations into people’s heads, and influences people to believe they just cannot live in any other way than the one sold to the masses. Don’t worry about measuring up to any standards; just follow your heart and focus on what makes you the happiest. Remember, life doesn’t come with a manual on how to live it; you get to write it as you go along.

7. Always Having a Romantic Relationship

Sure, romantic relationships can bring so much happiness and comfort into one’s life, but many people still use others to provide them with stability and pleasure without first finding it themselves. Just because you don’t currently have a partner doesn’t mean that you won’t in the future; just focus on living in the present and cultivating your own happiness. As you create a life you love, you will attract a like-minded partner who not only loves you but loves him or herself as well (which is just as important).

8. A Stress-Free Life

This one might come as a surprise, but short-term stress has actually been shown to have benefits by boosting brainpower, increasing immunity and resilience, and instilling motivation.

Realistically, no one can live a life completely free of stressors, but you can adjust your attitude so that no matter what situation you encounter, you can get through it triumphantly while becoming a better person in the process.

9. Constant Praise from Others

It feels good when people commend us for our accomplishments, but you should feel equally as proud of your achievements even if no one cheers you on. Family and friends will most likely support you, but don’t become so addicted to the compliments that you feel you need them to boost your self-esteem.

You can still feel awesome about yourself and have a high level of self-worth even if others don’t offer you continual praise.

10. Power

I don’t mean the power you have within – I mean seeking it outside yourself and using it to dominate others. Many of the top corporations in the world got to where they are today because of their incessant fixation on power. You don’t need to exert control and force upon others in order to feel important and worthwhile; in fact, this behavior will only isolate you from the majority of society. Stay humble, and remember that the strongest people in the world have won the most vicious battle ever fought: the war with the mind.

“Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power. -Tao Te Ching”