Book Review: 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy

The Book

15 Things You Should Give Up To Be Happy. By Luminita D. Saviuc. First published in 2016.


Sharing stories from her own life — some of them tragic and horrifying — Saviuc talks about each of the 15 things we need to give up and provides a path to achieving happiness by ridding ourselves of each one.

What you need to know

Saviuc is the creator of the PurposeFairy blog and this book is based on her most successful blog post. You can read the post here.

The parts of the book where Saviuc is talking about her own life are the most compelling. These real examples do the best job of illustrating her 15 points. The sections where she provides the “path to” are a little more abstract.

Key Takeaway

Here’s Saviuc’s complete list of things we must give up to be happy.

  1. Give up the past
  2. Give up your fears
  3. Give up your limiting beliefs
  4. Give up your excuses
  5. Give up your resistance to change
  6. Give up blaming
  7. Give up complaining
  8. Give up the luxury of criticism
  9. Give up living your life according to other people’s expectations
  10. Give up your self defeating self-talk
  11. Give up control
  12. Give up the need to always be right
  13. Give up the need to impress others
  14. Give up labels
  15. Give up attachment

Personal Impact

This book is crammed with terrific quotes on various self-improvement / personal development topics. I’ve started compiling quotes from this book and elsewhere and I’m planning to launch a “quotes” page soon on My Instruction Manual. She also includes quotes from Lao Tzu, one of the Chinese philosophers behind Taoism. I studied his writing in university and it is beautiful and profound. This book reminded me that I need to read it again as part of my journey to live better.

Worth Reading?

Mostly. I imagine it could be a huge challenge to turn a 1,000 word blog post into a 200-page book. And while the post is definitely worth of being expanded upon, I sometimes felt that book could have been a little shorter. Pick up the book, but feel free to skim the “path to” sections if it feels repetitive.


    • Of everything on the list, attachment is the one I struggle with most. To a point I think it makes a lot of sense. But taken to the extreme in some Buddhist teachings for example, it is — for me personally — an unhelpful way to live life.

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