You’re Not Meant to Be Happy … and That’s a Good Thing

Happiness is temporary but the pursuit of our values provides long-lasting benefits.

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Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash
  • Living in a beautiful place
  • Getting recognized for accomplishments

The Truth About Happiness

Here’s the truth: none of those things can make you happy.

These things can only remove sources of unhappiness.

For example, loneliness is a source of unhappiness. If you’re lonely, the pain of loneliness will motivate you to alleviate it. You’ll look for friends, go on dates, and do other things to connect with people.

“Government cannot bring happiness, but it can eliminate the sources of unhappiness.”

Mogens Lykketoft, former speaker of the Parliament in Denmark (the world’s happiest country).

This is why people who “have everything” in terms of material possessions are often still not satisfied. To someone who’s struggling to get food or shelter, the worries of more fortunate people seem trivial — and often, they are trivial. But that doesn’t change the fact that perfectly fortunate people are still able to find sources of unhappiness.

Constant happiness isn’t simply elusive; it’s a myth. Human beings aren’t evolved to exist in a state of unchanging happiness.

No matter how rich, healthy, successful, or popular you are, there’s always disquietude. There will always be sources of wanting in your life, crowding into the vacuum left by things you once wanted and now have.

The Pursuit of Values

Most people don’t choose what makes them unhappy. They let the world tell them what to be unhappy about.

Author of “Hooked” and “Indistractable.” Want to overcome distraction? Get my free 80-page guide to becoming “Indistractable” at:

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