I’d like to go on again about happiness. My first post about it was The Texas Shit Pit Story and is also on my blog. This one is more about why people cause their own unhappiness.

We must understand that most people are unhappy by choice. They don’t know that, but it’s true. What happens is people imagine what their lives could be if only they had money, fame, looks or whatever they imagine would make their life better. They build this picture in their head about how much better their life would be if only they had these things. They compare their real life to this idealized version of their life and the real thing looks bad by comparison. They don’t understand that if they got those things they would still create an idealized version of their life, because nobody has a trouble-free life, and their life would still suffer by comparison. It would never be enough.

People are unhappy in their jobs by choice. If the job is really the problem, get a new job. Most of the time it’s not the job, it’s their expectation of the job that does them in. If you’ve ever been unemployed, do you remember how it felt to not have a job? If you’re like most people it felt pretty miserable. You stretched your imagination to figure out what you could do to get a job. You were willing to do tasks you’d never done before just so you could go to work and feel useful and take home a paycheck. Then you get in a job and after a while you start to decide what parts of the job you think are worthwhile and react badly to the parts you don’t think are necessary. Every job has tasks to do that aren’t what you’d rather be doing. That’s why they pay you. By judging the tasks assigned to you, you’ve created your own black hole to live in. It’s not the tasks, it’s your opinion of the tasks.

Rather than comparing your life to an idealized life (that you’ve made up in your head), compare your life to your ancestors life 1,000 years ago. We live better today than the kings did back then and we’re just working class. We have more food available to us, better medicine, more information, more leisure time. Your job is easier and you work shorter hours for better wages. All of a sudden your life doesn’t even look pretty good, it looks fantastic. All because of a decision in your head.

Quit fantasizing about your ideal life, chances are if you got it, you wouldn’t like it. Live in the real world and look at what you’ve really got. Be happy on purpose.