What Makes You Miserable

So many people talk about happiness.

I talk about happiness. And I think about happiness all the time. I should do this. I want to have that. I need this. And then my mind explodes because actually so little of that is reality.

And it’s all on me. It’s my decisions and my choices that stop me from being truly happy.

That’s what makes me miserable the most. My own failure to change things.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m not a sad, whining person, shuck in my own unsatisfied bubble. On the contrary, I’m a positive, energetic young woman who wants more out of life.

Which is why I’ve read so many books on how to achieve this and be happy. I even did a course from edx with the University of Berkeley on The Science of Happiness. I really spent time learning all this.

And then I’ve also read so many articles that try to help you discover the path to happiness. Some will tell you to list the things you love and that make you happy. Once you have that list, you should start doing more of them. Or more often.

But the problem with this is that we get busier that way. We add more to-dos.

And this has the reverse effect. We become even more miserable because we do so many things but we fail to enjoy them because we have to jump from one to the other.

What these articles often forget to explain is that we not only need to list the things we love and start doing more of, but also the things we hate so that we become mindful of them and then try to eliminate them.

We can only add good things when we reduce the bad.

So before I embark on a journey of listing the positive things, I am going to get rid of the negative first to free up space as much as I can.

Here’s what makes me miserable (random order):

  • Email makes me miserable. Really miserable.
  • Meetings back to back make me miserable.
  • Work pressure makes me miserable.
  • Unreasonable to-dos make me miserable.
  • Sameness makes me miserable.
  • Rain makes me miserable.
  • Stupid questions makes me miserable.
  • Other people’s laziness makes me miserable.
  • Other people’s lack of initiative or pro-activeness makes me miserable.
  • Inactivity makes me miserable.
  • Being stuck makes me miserable.
  • Admin makes me miserable.
  • Being exhausted in the evenings after work makes me miserable.
  • Being exhausted on weekends makes me miserable.
  • Being stressed out makes me miserable.
  • Being away from my family makes me miserable.
  • Feeling lonely makes me miserable.
  • Having to be somewhere where I really don’t want to be makes me miserable.

Okay, let’s be realistic here. We can’t completely remove all that, unfortunately, nor can we change people or circumstances. But we can reduce some of this or learn to react differently to it. We can make the choice to let any of this get to us or not.

Even a little bit more free space for happiness can make a significant impact to our lives. So let’s get the miserable things away and start focusing on the happy things.

I’m curious, what makes you miserable?

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