My friend Mark always seems to be unhappy with someone or something. His “little dark cloud” follows him wherever he goes. All of us know someone who is chronically unhappy and quite frankly they’re not much fun to be around. Lets take a closer look at five of the more common causes of unhappiness…
1. Expectations. Most of us go to our “unhappy place” when our “expectations” are not being met. When we EXPECT people to act a certain way and they don’t, we are disappointed. One of life’s most profound truths is that people are going to do exactly what they want to do regardless of what we EXPECT them to do. The key to our mental and emotional well being is to turn our expectations into preferences. In short, I prefer that the outcome look a certain way but if it doesn’t materialize, I can live with it. The challenge for most of us is to release our death grip on expectations and turn them into preferences.
2. Comparison. If I look around long enough, I can always identify someone who “appears” to be better off than I am. MY journey has been custom designed to present ME with the precise opportunities and lessons necessary to get ME where I am supposed to be going. When I am focused on the results of someone else, I am effectively selling myself short. Our challenge is to run our race and let others run theirs. FYI…In the world of human interaction, rarely are things as we perceive them to be. Regardless of how well disguised, EVERYONE is presented with their own unique set of challenges and limitations.
3. Limited vision. The grander our vision, the less time we have to visit our “unhappy place”. Once we have established a grander vision for our health, wealth and spiritual growth, we usually find that we no longer have time for feelings of discontent. On the other hand, when our vision is limited, everything effects us and we become prone to judgement and blame. Our challenge is to create a grander vision for our life, one that leads us toward a compelling future. The grander our vision, the more inspired we will become.
4. Fear of rejection and failure. Fear based people are unhappy people. When we run our lives based on a fear of loss rather than on what we stand to gain, we set ourselves up for a great deal of disappointment. Failure and rejection are necessary for our growth. (I recently wrote a book entitled Wisdom Through Failure which takes an in-depth look at the positive role failure plays in our lives) Our challenge is to confront our fear when it comes up. What we perceive as rejection is rarely about something “we did” but rather about the other person’s programs.
5. Lack of true faith. I can personally attest to the fact that talking about unwavering faith and actually practicing it are two different things. It is easy to “have faith” when things are going well but can be quite challenging when we are smack dab in the middle of the tornado. Those who truly have faith find it hard to be “unhappy” because they realize that the adversity they are currently experiencing is part of their creators master plan. Our challenge is to embrace and not question adversity. This is what it means to have true FAITH.
And there you have it. Time to “turn that frown upside down”. As always, I look forward to your thoughts and feedback!