Sep 122014 1 Response

Two Words Which Describe Many People I Know

Foolishly unhappy. If given just two words to describe a majority of people, these would be the two I would choose. It doesn’t define everyone, but it properly describes a good number. Look around and you will see a lot of people who are foolishly unhappy.

Few would doubt the “unhappy” description.

A significant number of people are unhappy: (See: I Just Want to Be Happy)

In relationships. Much is said about a high divorce rate, but many relationships are breaking before vows are even said. Fearing that marriage is insignificant or even a threat to love, many are avoiding the altar. Sadly this avoidance is neither leading to longer relationships nor providing a more meaningful love. By skipping marriage, many are giving up on any chance of finding a lasting, significant relationship. The result is deep unhappiness. (See: Three Things Marriage Can Never Do For You)

At work. Do you know how rare it is to find someone truly satisfied with what they do on a daily basis? Clearly no one will be happy every day at work, but it doesn’t seem far-fetched to assume a general happiness on a regular basis. We spend a majority of our waking hours at work. Besides the home, if there is any place in which we would seek happiness, it is at work. Yet a majority of individuals are frustrated, burned out, dissatisfied with their bosses, estranged from their co-workers, and unfulfilled by what they do on an average day at work.

With themselves. Nobody is perfect. We all have struggles, imperfections, and character flaws. But why is it so rare to find someone who is truly happy with themselves? Even those who suffer from arrogance seem to do so as a mask to cover up their weaknesses and insecurities. Few people I know have a balanced understanding of themselves which results in a general satisfaction with who they are. (See: Three Loves to Change Your Life)

Many are unhappy, but notice the day in which we live. There has never been a time in which an individual controls so much of their own lives. We decide whom we marry (as long as the other person says yes), where we work (at least where we don’t work), and a plethora of other aspects of our lives which many people in the past did not decide.

We control more of our lives, yet we are more unhappy than nearly any generation before us.

We are unhappy, but we the source of that unhappiness is our own foolishness. (See: Money Can Make You Happy)

Clearly there are exceptions. Some people have been dealt a hand in the game of life which is nearly unplayable. Their unhappiness is not their fault; it’s not within their control. Yet for most of us, our satisfaction with life is 100% within our control. We have decided how to live and it has resulted in unhappiness.

Our foolishness is often sourced in three areas:

1. A fixation on the future or past at the expense of the present: We often spend so much time thinking about what we hope happens or remembering what we think did happen that we lose all sense of enjoyment of the present. Like a small child who desperately wants to grow up thinking grown-ups have all the fun, many people spend their entire lives looking ahead until one day they begin looking behind them, but at no point do they appreciate the moment. Generally, we have very little to fear or dread in the present. We often have everything we need to enjoy the next moment, but sadly we often look past the next moment dreaming of what is to come or what once was.

2. A deep sense of entitlement: Many people believe they deserve happiness, as though it is a birthright. They think they should be given happiness and then they might be expected to work or make wise choices. Our sense of entitlement is so deep, we often do not see it. We actually believe we are entitled to be entitled. Believing we deserve every accolade, title, promotion, award, and recognition, robs us of one of life’s greatest producers of happiness–gratitude. Without feeling gratitude, we cannot feel happy. (See: Why We Don’t Like Grace)

3. A complete unwillingness to choose wisely: We choose what we want, not what is best. We are often so selfishly driven that we reject wise voices in our lives and simply pick what we desire the most. The problem is that our desires are rarely satisfied by what we think will satisfy them. We reject wisdom but then wonder why we are unhappy. (See: The One Piece of Advice I Would Give a 7th Grader)

Foolishly unhappy does not describe every person I know, but it describes many. While a few lack happiness because of situations they do not control, many have chosen their unhappiness.

Yet sadly they do not realize they have decided their own fate.

Living in the deception that their life is out of their control, they will continue to focus on the past or future wondering why they haven’t been given everything they deserve. They will reject wise choices in order to get what they want in the moment.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

We can:

Come to peace with our past, not overly worry about or long for the future, and deeply appreciate the present.

Live in a constant state of gratitude for the good we do not deserve.

Make wise choices.

This will not guarantee an unending happiness, but it will save us from the most common cause of unhappiness–ourselves

One Response to Two Words Which Describe Many People I Know
  1. […] It is a form of entitlement. (See: Two Words Which Describe Many People I Know) […]...

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