Top 4 Causes of My Unhappiness

Years ago, I had a conversation with a close friend, and he asked me if I am always happy. The question caught me off guard. I could not say yes because I realized I am not always in the best disposition. I am not always happy. Later that night, I thought about the question again and reflected. Why am I not always happy? What were the reasons for not being happy in those moments? I recounted some instances and got these answers:

  1. When I think about other people’s comments. Though I know that it is unwise and unhelpful to dwell on comments of other people that are not constructive in the least, I still tend to be affected by them. Fortunately, through time, I learn to only allow my mood to be momentarily influenced by them. Now, I see to it that I use those comments to make myself better instead.
  2. When I think about other people’s superiority over me. I am well aware of my weaknesses as a person, and these weaknesses sometimes cause me to feel insecure about myself. “Is it possible for someone like me to achieve such a big goal or fulfill my mission with these weaknesses? If only I were as rich as this person, or as creative as this artist.” These thoughts of comparing myself with others never fail to cause me unhappiness.  
  3. When I think about my past mistakes. Sometimes, when I am idle, I tend to remember wrong decisions, embarrassing moments, and failures from recent memory to even a distant past. These moments of recollection make me doubt myself and sometimes bring about feelings of regret. 
  4. When I think about what I do not have. I fail to see the things, big and small, that I am blessed with when I focus on what I do not have. Thus, I become unsatisfied and, in turn, unhappy. 

By then I realized that, as a whole, my unhappiness is a result of a wrong mindset and focus. I caused it myself. It is not elicited by other people, things, places, or situations though technically, my negative thoughts are about them, caused by them, or directed to them. But, there it is. The problem is me with the way I think. I should not have any business minding what other people say about me when I am not hurting other people. I should not think of myself as less than others when I have the choice to make myself better. I should not dwell in the past and fret over what I did wrong when I learned important lessons because of my mistakes. I should count my blessings and strive harder to be worthy of what I long to acquire or achieve. 

Do you also have thoughts like these? What else makes you unhappy?



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Seeing the World through a Positive Lens

LIFE IS UNFAIR. That was what a close friend of mine used to tell me when we talked about our experiences and all the challenges that came with them. I understand why she felt that way. That is common to people whose experiences in life are mostly riddled with problems, losses, rejections, or betrayals. Their view of the world would most likely be forever marred. More often than not, they would become cynical, mistrustful, and pessimistic. 

Given all the difficulties I had gone through since I was young, “life is unfair” could definitely be my motto. In fact, I also used to think that life was kind of unfair because I only saw my own struggles then. Gradually, I turned away from that belief. The circumstances I found myself in, during and after each challenge I faced, convinced me otherwise.

How can I say that life is unfair when I got no sales for many months after joining the sales team when that was the reason I developed my persistence to work more and learn from the best teachers? If I just reach the quota set each time, then I wouldn’t have the drive to develop myself to become a better salesperson. 

Can I say life is unfair when I got my heart broken repeatedly when those failed relationships allowed me to meet the love of my life at the right time? I say life brings us just what we need. It developed my patience through the different points in my life when I got stuck in waiting for my turn to be proven worthy of promotion, new responsibilities, and my own training firm. If I did not experience situations when I made a one day meal budget reach two more days, I possibly wouldn’t be keen on money management now and might not think about saving or investing for the future.   

Now, when faced with a difficult situation, I look at the bright side. Yes, it is cliche but that is the only best way to view things , good or bad. When we do so, we trust that we are being strengthened or being led to a much better condition. Don’t you think you’re not hindering yourself from becoming a better person or from a brighter future by running away from challenges?



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How I Started the New Year

At the start of 2022, I was on a roller coaster of emotions – I was happy and a bit disheartened at the same time. I was delighted because we spent almost the entire month of December and the first week of January with families and friends whom we could not meet physically in nearly two years due to the travel restrictions. I never expected a typhoon to ravage our place while we were away from our Cebu home. We were so worried, yet we did our best to enjoy the limited time we had with family. Though it was difficult due to the circumstance, I started the year in the way I knew was right.

First and foremost, I celebrated with loved ones. Celebrating the start of a new year has never been so wonderful as this year because we all felt more grateful than ever for new beginnings, family gatherings, and life as a whole. We all took time to enjoy preparing, share experiences, and savor the moment and all that came with it. I put all my worries and thoughts about work away and enjoyed every moment of our celebration.

Second, I let go of negative emotions and assumed a positive attitude. Letting go and such was not that easy. It took a conscious effort on my part. In other words, I decided to do them and took action. I identified the emotions weighing me down and led me to become unproductive, then actively chose to assume a more positive attitude. It is a decision I have taken every day since.

Third, I appreciated my wins from the previous year. This helped me have a positive mindset – counting small and big successes. I deem it beneficial to remember all that I have accomplished because being reminded of all the wins usually boosts my confidence in myself, which is one of the most important things I need to face the new goals ahead.

Fourth, I sat and wrote my goals for the year. This is one of my irrevocable traditions when welcoming the new year because I believe that if I do not write it down, I would more likely forget about my goal. Seeing my goals on paper and visualizing the process motivate me to work for them and make them happen. This technique works for me and has served me well these past few years.

Last, I made a plan on how to achieve my goals. Writing them down makes it easier for me to devise strategies to make my goals happen. Writing my plans down is as essential to me as writing down my goals because these writings would serve as reminders for when I forget or get confused about what to do next.

Following all these allowed me to focus on what’s more important. These diverted my attention from dwelling on the inconveniences brought by the calamity. Now, despite the slow pace, we have gradually accomplished the tasks we set ourselves to do to achieve our goals for the year.



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5 Ways to Handle Success

We get a lot of advice on handling failures or mistakes, but we seldom hear advice on how to handle wins or successes. We also learn different knowledge and skills to achieve our goals in life, but we usually don’t get past the achieving part. We fail to celebrate the win. Although it is important to note to never rest on our laurels and work still because success is not a one-time thing, we have to pause for a while and appreciate the factors that led to our recent success. 

First, make sure to consciously and expressly appreciate your capability and gifts. Appreciation is something that most, if not all, humans need. We do not only need to hear it from other people; we also need to hear it from ourselves. We have to acknowledge that we can overcome challenges, execute plans, and succeed. More importantly, we have to recognize the talents and gifts we are blessed with that make us capable of winning. No success is possible out of pure luck or coincidence.   

Second, express your gratitude to the people who helped you. Just as we can’t attribute successes to luck, we can’t attribute our successes to ourselves alone. In one way or another, some people paved the way for us to get what we are aiming for, whether they were aware of it or not. Therefore, never forget to tell them how grateful you are for their contribution. A grateful heart attracts more blessings. 

Third, offer your help for others to succeed as well. Success is felt best when shared. Never keep your knowledge from other people who may benefit from it when you succeed. When people you helped get what they want, the feeling of fulfillment on your end will be greater than when you have achieved what you wanted. 

Fourth, take time to celebrate in any way you can. However small you think your wins are, never stop yourself from celebrating them. Celebrate each success through an arm-pulling-down shout of yes, a jump of joy, a cheer, a piece of cake, or an all-out party; it’s up to you. Celebrating is a form of gratitude.

Last, keep learning, growing, and moving forward. While it is essential to rest and celebrate, never forget to act again on your following goals afterward. Own the confidence you gain from the competence you developed while working on your previous successes, but never allow it to inflate your ego and make you refuse to learn new things. Always remember to feed yourself with good things and grow. Don’t allow yourself to get stuck in the past.  

Do you think these pieces of advice make sense? How do you handle success?



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