April 06

5 Steps to Unhappiness

I see lots of articles online about how to be happy. But I think the article that really needs to be written is about the steps to UNhappiness. Here are mine. Feel free to add your own in the comment section.

1. Assume that more will make you happier

If you think that more money, more fame, more stuff, more alcohol, more friends, more shoes, more food, more recognition, more material goods will make you happy, you are destined for unhappiness. There’s a threshold for survival that’s important but the thing about more is that the more you have, the more you want.

2. Compare yourself to others

If there were a Fast Pass to Unhappyville, this would be it. Easy to say, hard to live but absolutely 100% true. There’s a reason that they put blinders on race horses. Seriously. I’m telling myself as I’m telling you.

3. Live in fear

Fear of trying, fear of starting, fear of change, fear of disappointing someone, fear of being yourself, fear of rocking the boat; all will prevent you from being the person deep down that you really long to be.

4. Living the life others have planned for you

Many of us grow up with labels. He’s the jock. She’s good at math, she’s going to carry on the family tradition of lawyers. Everyone in the family went to grad school, he can’t be a mechanic. I’ve lost track of the number of people who tried to talk me out of my chosen career path. If you’re not disappointing someone in the life you’ve chosen, you’re extremely rare. One life per person. That’s the deal. You live your life and as long as you’re paying your bills, not breaking laws or hurting people you don’t owe anyone explanations for your choices.

5. Play the Victim

In many ways in life I got a raw deal. I won’t list them all here but suffice it to say that I’ve had more than my share of loss and heartbreak. The key is to deal with it, find yourself a good therapist who can help you get your life back on track and forge ahead. Grieve your losses for sure. That’s healthy. But using your losses in life as an excuse for why your life is horrible will get you a seat on the Unhappiness Express. Be known for your resiliency not your heartaches.