5 Surprising Things Keeping You From Being Happy In Life

One thing that drives all of us is our desire to be happy in life. We all have different ways we pursue happiness.

Some of the ways people pursue happiness include:

  • Achieving more in life, whether it is financial or material success.
  • Making a contribution, which can include volunteer or charity work.
  • Developing stronger relationships with others.
  • Seeking new experiences like travelling or learning new things.
  • Following their passions in life.

Even though the pursuit of happiness is one of our core drivers in life, why is it that so many people are unhappy?

It is not uncommon when we speak to people and ask how they are, we will hear responses like, “Fine” or “Not too bad.” Those responses often mask what is really going on for people, and if they were being truly honest with themselves, they will admit that some area of their lives are not going well, which may be causing them to feel unhappy.

It could well be that there may be things they are doing or things going on for them that are preventing them from experiencing happiness on a consistent basis.

The truth is no one is ever happy 100% of the time. Even the most positive, upbeat, optimistic person will have moments which will cause them to feel down. The difference between those who are consistently happy and those who are not is that people who are consistently happy know that happiness is a choice.

We generate happiness through the choices and decisions we make on a moment to moment basis. Those who don’t experience happiness consistently often have the habit of letting external conditions and circumstances dictate how they feel.

It can be a hard thing to accept that we are totally responsible for how we feel and whether we’re happy or not. Knowing that other people cannot make us happy or sad can be difficult to accept because we are programmed to let external influences affect our mental and emotional states.

Ultimately, we are in full control of our emotional state and whether we experience happiness at any given moment. Here are five things that may be preventing us from being happy, which in turn, could be affecting the quality of our relationships, our physical well-being and our motivational levels.

  1. Lack of passion in what you do. We see it all the time — people in jobs or businesses they don’t love. And the sad truth is the majority of these people believe they don’t have any other options or they don’t believe they can make the change to do something they would enjoy more. We must love what we do. This means becoming clear on what our passions are and having hobbies or interests we’re passionate about.
  2. Lack of strong relationships with people. One of our desires as human beings is to have true and deep connections with people. Most people go through life with a mask on, not revealing who they really are. When we don’t have people in our lives who really know us or get us, then there is a void and emptiness in life. Strong relationships with others often allows for having deep conversations and being open to hearing the truth.
  3. Lack of challenges. As much as we don’t like to have challenges in life, they are essential if we want to grow and evolve. We get to know what we are capable of only when we go through difficult and challenging periods in life. If we don’t have challenges, life becomes mundane, predictable, or boring.
  4. Lack of an overarching vision for your life. We must have something bigger than ourselves to guide us in life. If we don’t have visions in life, that’s when we start to feel dissatisfaction because we don’t know where we are heading and whether what we are doing really matters or not. It’s only when we have ambition or are contributing in some way that we experience true fulfilment in life.
  5. Lack of novelty. We love new things or new experiences. Think of the last time you had a vacation or bought something new you really want. While material things only bring about short-term pleasure, it’s when we have things to look forward to that we have a higher level of drive, motivation and ambition.

Everything we do on some level is being driven by our need to feel good and experience happiness. If we are not aware of things preventing us from being happy, then we won’t experience the best of life. If we’re aware of these things, then we’ll be in a much better position to make the necessary changes in order to be happy more consistently. Being happy is always a choice.

Action Step: Start listing down at least 20 things you love to do or brings you joy. Once you have your list, start doing them as often as you can. Being happy is really simple — do that which brings you joy.

Question: What could be another thing that may be preventing us from being happy in life?

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