The more of life that I experience the more I realize that my happiness is fueled in large part by my unhappiness. It feels dumb to write such a thing. But it is absolutely true.
Here’s how it works.
- I have a vision for who I am, and what my life is like.
- Everything that is already aligned with that makes me happy.
- All the areas where I fall short of my vision make me unhappy.
The unhappiness is a combination of unsatisfied, disappointed, frustrated, and embarrassed. However, that unhappiness is where my motivation comes from.
Family And Friends
In my head, I see myself as a great parent, husband, friend, and family member. But in reality, I am not always great at those roles. Certainly not as great as I want to be. I’m not as level-headed or as patient with my kids as I would like. I am not always as supportive or responsible as a husband-partner as I should be. I’m not always the kind of friend who walks in when the world walks out, or whatever the cross stitch about friendship in your grandma’s bathroom says. And I am unhappy about all of this.
As an entrepreneur, I experience a lot of unhappiness. Because I have significant goals and expectations of my business. And I have high expectations of myself as the leader of the business. But if it all came to an end tomorrow I would be massively disappointed that me and my businesses didn’t accomplish more. Which is how the first kid tossed out at the National Spelling Bee must feel.
However, that unhappiness I experience, which stems from my personal and professional shortcomings, drives me to work, grow and improve. That drive is a huge source of happiness for me.
- The work makes me happy.
- Growth makes me happy.
- Improvement makes me happy.
- Hitting new milestones makes me happy.
- Contributing the way I expect to in my relationships makes me happy.
- Clapping along, and feeling like a room without a roof makes me happy.
Getting To It
Getting up at 6am to get back to work makes me happy. (It is currently 6:55am and I am about to finish writing my second blog post of the day.) Every step forward makes me happy. Executing the plan makes me happy. Laying the groundwork makes me happy. And watching Adam Sandler golf movies makes me happy. Especially when he fights Bob Barker. #ThePriceIsWrong
I recognize that I don’t have to be at the destination to be happy. Traveling there does the trick. Building, growing, and progressing are highly rewarding. As long as I am on the right path and moving in the right direction I get a little happier every day.
Your unhappiness is a great navigational tool to lead you to happiness. Determine the source of your unhappiness and you will know the direction to travel to find what you are after. Lose weight, get in shape, start that thang you always wanted to start. Do more. Strengthen your weaknesses. Become the person you always wanted to be. Those things can lead to a lot of happiness. Unhappiness is simply point A. Let it motivate you to get to point B.
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