“Happiness is not a state to arrive at, but a manner of traveling.” —Margaret Lee Runbeck
Happy people know that happiness is a choice. They know it is not a
reaction to present circumstances. Instead, happiness is an available
decision despite them. They have removed the thinking that waits for
everything to be perfect before joy in life is experienced.
On the other hand, unhappy people are always searching for happiness.
They believe happiness is reliant upon the acquisition of something new
or something different. They are constantly chasing, but never
attaining. Often times, they search for it in all the wrong places.
Consider this list of 9 Places Unhappy People Look for Happiness.
1. In their next purchase. For too many, it has been
ingrained into their thinking the proper way to attain happiness is to
find it in their next purchase. As a result, joy is sought in bigger
houses, nicer cars, cooler technology, or more fashionable clothing.
Most possessions never satisfy. In fact, the joy they bring is entirely fleeting. And those who search for happiness in them are left to chase the next purchase… and the next… and the next.
2. In their next paycheck. Perhaps, Zig Ziglar said it best, “Money won’t make you happy, but everybody wants to find out for themselves.”
I know happy people who own less than me and I know unhappy people who
own far more. Money is not the secret to happiness. It never has been
and never will be. And the sooner we realize this truth, the sooner we
can discover the freedom that accompanies no longer desiring riches.
3. In their next relationship. We were designed for
relationship and there is great joy to be found in them. But
relationship, by its very nature, requires humility and selflessness.
And believing there is another person out there that can bring complete
happiness into your life is to embark on a journey with no destination…
and often with disastrous outcomes. Our relationships become far
stronger and more fulfilling when we stop searching for someone to meet
our needs and start using relationships to meet someone else’s needs
4. In their next physical enhancement. Healthy
bodies and healthy diets are important. I would never speak against
their benefit. They allow us to maximize our days and effectiveness. But
those who seek happiness in tighter butts, slimmer waists, and larger
biceps are looking for fulfillment in physical bodies that were never
designed to bring such outcomes. Happy people understand the importance
of physical discipline. But they do not base their happiness on their
5. In their next competition. I have come to
understand the mindset of competition in our world is based on a faulty
premise. It assumes there is a finite sized pie—that one person’s
success in life equals one less opportunity in mine. But this thinking is incorrect.
The pie keeps growing. And those who seek happiness by ruthlessly
beating out another compete only against themselves. In reality, the
quickest way to find happiness in your life is to help someone else find
it in theirs.
6. In their next job. It is important to pursue work
you love in an occupation that contributes good to society and the
world around you. This type of work brings fulfillment and promise to
our lives. Unfortunately, I fear too many people nowadays are seeking
the “perfect” job with high pay, few hours, and no stress. But the
perfect job doesn’t exist. Work always requires blood, sweat, and
tears—that is what makes it work. Again, those who are continually
experiencing disdain in their present career because they think the next
one will be perfect, are chasing happiness in the wrong places. While
there may be a time for change in employment, there may also be a time
for change in your approach to it.
7. In their next escape. Unhappy people seek escape.
They believe distraction from their present circumstance is a shortcut
to happiness. They often turn to television, addiction, or weekend
getaways to numb the pain. But the entertainment always ends, the
morning always comes, and the vacation always concludes. Meanwhile, the
present circumstances have not changed—they have only been complicated.
Happy people recognize their circumstances and do not require escape
from them. Instead, they choose to practice peace inside them.
8. In the next person to solve their problems. Blame is a dangerous habit
and a very real obstacle to happiness. Shifting the responsibility for
shortcomings onto another person or external factor immediately
eliminates any need or motivation to change. Instead, the victim remains
trapped in a cell they built themselves—waiting for someone else to
come solve their problems for them. But every time we blame someone else
for our unhappiness, we lose. And in the long run, it keeps fulfillment
and happiness just out of reach.
9. In accepting things just the way they are.
Happiness can be discovered at any point in our lives regardless of our
circumstances. But finding happiness in them does not mean we are
complacent in the face of things that can be changed. It does not mean
we stop striving or growing or maturing. We do not use happiness or
contentment as an excuse for mediocrity. Instead, we walk forward in
confidence and discipline to become the best possible versions of
ourselves—not just for our own well-being, but for the well-being of
Your happiness is based solely on your decision to be happy—and this
may be one of the most important life lessons any of us could ever