Are some people born to be unhappy?
Are some people are born to be unhappy….whether it is a bright sunny morning or a nice cool evening they are unhappy, someone wants to visit them or vice versa they are unhappy, life is good they are unhappy and when life is not so good they are obviously unhappy. I remember as kids we would spend a large part of our summer vacations within our large family of cousins and there was this particular distant aunt whom we all would dread….she had beautiful and well mannered children and we would love to be there to play with them but when she entered the picture the fun would turn into horror. All laughter would give way to sudden silence, the kids would be on a high alert as to who would be picked for a dressing down…..it was a panic stage and there was nothing that we could do about it. She would be stressed out all the time….pointing out at the mess we had created (we were kids for God’s sake) or expressing displeasure at whatever that we were doing….and whilst she would be always be stressed out it would just freak us all out looking at her act that way.
She never lived her life the way it was supposed to let alone enjoy it. She never enjoyed her children and would constantly pick up faults in them….cribbing all the time, they don’t study, they don’t eat properly, they like to play all the time, their beds are dirty…..and she could go on and on for hours….it did not matter whether anyone was listening to her or not…..she had to keep talking. And the bickering did not stop when her energy levels went low……it was time for the mood to go from bad to worse. Now that she is no more I guess no one really misses her (including her children) for she had left no pleasant memories of herself within our minds and all we can remember till date is the constant bickering from morning till night.
So my thought was…”are some people born to be unhappy”?
I’ve read in many places that happiness is 10% actual experiences and 90% is how you perceive those experiences. I absolutely endorse that statement. I have millionaire friends who seem to have life altogether, but are quite unhappy because they view their life through pretty clouded lenses. I have friends that live paycheck to paycheck who are always bright, optimistic, and generally very fun to be around. A close friend of mine commented the other day “I may not have much of savings to boast of at this stage, but my wife and my children are my true treasures.”
As a CXO for the last 10 odd years I have had to hire many people for the various slots I have always placed a higher premium on happiness than talent. A happy person doesn’t mean a “yes” person, but it means that they are able to see opportunities like you and can create new ideas, fresh perspectives that accomplish the same goal. They are solutions people. Now, I’m not entirely sure how to filter for it yet, but I guess over the years I’ve picked up a good sense to sniff out a happy candidate.
I believe that one can choose happiness and that very little of it depends on circumstances. I choose to enjoy the entrepreneurial journey, if/when it ends isn’t as important as the opportunity to be in a startup venture every day. I’m absolutely blown away by how fortunate I am each day to be able to go into work and do what I get to do each day. It’s crazy. People working together to achieve something great and I get to be a part of it.
We all have our highs and lows and most of the times a balanced sense of mind and that is how life is meant to be lived. Reflect on what you learned that day. Part of what I think is uniquely human is our ability to reflect and learn. Not sure why many of us just want to forget the day, it’s an opportunity for us to savor life and what was memorable.
In my research on this topic I came across some very interesting articles and I gathered few of the most destructive daily habits that can create quite a bit of unhappiness within and in your own little world.
Aiming for perfection.
Does life has to be perfect before you are happy? Then happiness will not be easy to find. Setting the bar for your performance at an inhuman level usually leads to skewed self-esteem and feeling like you are either not good enough or just too good for others.
Living in a sea of negative voices.
No one is an island. Who we socialize with, what we read, watch and listen to has a big effect on how we feel and think. It becomes a lot harder to be happier if you let yourself be dragged down by negative voices.
Getting stuck in the past and future too much.
Spending much of your time in the past and reliving old painful memories, conflicts, missed opportunities and so on can hurt whole lot. Spending much of your time in the future and imagining how things could go wrong at work, in your relationships and with your health can build into horrifying nightmare scenarios playing over and over in your head. Not being here right now in life as it happens can lead to missing out on a lot of wonderful experiences.
Comparing yourself and your life to others and their lives.
One very common and destructive daily habit is to constantly compare your life and yourself to other people and their lives. You compare cars, houses, jobs, shoes, money, relationships, social popularity and so on. A very good and old saying goes “Don’t wish for the life that others live, you have no idea what their life is all about”.
Limiting life because you believe the world revolves around you.
If you think that the world revolves around you and it’s a I, Me and Myself syndrome then you are putting some big limits on your life.
Life can be pretty complicated. This can creates stress and unhappiness but then much of this is often created by us. Yes, the world may be becoming more complex but that doesn’t mean that we cannot create new habits that make your own lives a bit simpler.
I supposes I should just use these questions in my writing when I need to create antagonists and let the people in questions just get on with their sad, but happy lives.(well, if they are happy being unhappy) and just enjoy my fulfill and fortunate life.
I’ve had lots of ups and downs in my life, but nothing I couldn’t get over or change. I made many mistakes, did things I wished I hadn’t, but that’s what life is all about, learning to adapt and grow as a person.
When we were born, we all had to learn how to do many of the skill we now use today, so could it also be true to say we all had to learn how to be happy too.
Maybe, this was a lesson that some have missed out on in their early years.