The Pursuit Of Unhappiness

Unhappiness is the result of two things — unfavorable life circumstances and comparing oneself to others. There’s no real control we have over the cards we’re dealt and the fate that befalls us. We don’t get to choose where we’re born. We don’t get to choose either our genes or our skin color. And so unhappiness that results from choices that life makes for us is largely not in our hands. We can choose to rise above it, keep our chin up and go through life with a glass-half-full perspective. I would wager that it is easier to deal with unfortunate events that befall us. When tragedy strikes, we are able to muster all our inner strength to keep up the fight and keep going despite all odds.

What’s harder to do is to stop measuring ourselves against everyone around us. That’s because it is an infinite game. There is no end. If the basis of your happiness depends on how much better or worse of you are compared to friends, family, siblings and colleagues you are doomed to being unhappy for eternity. Does making $100K make you happy or losing 20 pounds? What about an exotic Caribbean vacation? Or luxury accessories? High end car maybe or a lucrative side gig?

If the bar you’re measuring yourself is not static. If it constantly moves based on who you compare yourself with — then you are essentially pursuing unhappiness not happiness.

Live in the moment. Put down your phone. Give big hugs. Forgive often. Be patient. Smile and take deep breaths.

You’re alive and that is the best gift possible.

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