What Makes People Unhappy?

Three days ago, my boss invited me to join a non-technical training in the office. Before the session was begun, he asked us to open menti.com (an online voting tool) to answer this question: from scale 1 to 10 and 10 is the happiest, how happy are you?

There was no doubt, I gave it an 8. It would be a 9 or 10 if I already sorted out my career and love life drama. If you asked me the same question one year ago, I would definitely gave it a 9 to 10. My life was at its happiest moment back then. I was so much in love, my career was beyond exciting, and my best friends hadn't bailed on me. But well, 8 is not that bad, is it?

And apparently I was right; 8 was not that bad. It was not bad at all. It appeared that the average score of almost 20 people in the room was only 5! If I gave it an 8 and the average score was 5, it meant some people only scored it a lot less than 5! In other words, so many people in that training were unhappy with their life.

That training was not intended to make us happier; that was not even the main topic. But that one vote about happiness really consumed me. I know many people in that room and apparently, some of them are not as happy as it seems.

I looked around and I wondered, "But why?"

And then it hit me. If I got the same question twenty years ago, I would only score it at 3. Ten years later, it was 5 or 6. It kept increasing with up and down in between, but in the past one decade, it's never less than 7 even in the hardest moments of my life as an adult. It feels so amazing and I'm grateful for that!

The question now, what did I do to make myself happier? What made me unhappy and how did I deal with that?

Twenty years ago, I only went on with the flow. I had no ambition, no purpose in life, no good reason to wake up in the morning and start a new day. And then I evolved. I started to write a wish list, I started to dream, I started to work hard to make it all happen. Pursuit of dreams were never easy, but it never ceased to make me happier than who I was before.

Along with my determination to have a better life, I had also learned on how to have courage and how to fight for everything that I believed was right. I was no longer silent everytime people were unfair to me, I spoke up my mind and I stood up for myself. I've won so many battles to overcome my own fear and from all of my achievements in life, this is what I'm proud the most!

Also when I was younger, I didn't care so much about friendship. As long as I had someone to have lunch with was more than enough. And then I started to make some good friends. I started to build a friendship that lasts for decades, and for lifetime, I hope. We didn't always get along in all those entire years, but we always found our way back to each others. And it always makes me happier knowing that no matter what happens, I will never be alone.

Nine or ten years ago, I was never really into my own hobby. I simply did what I wanted to do and that was that. And then I eventually did a lot more of it. I purchased this domain for my blog, I started to travel the world frequently, I read more variety of books, I also gave myself some specific budgets to shop all the things that I wanted to buy every month! I still remember how happy I was the first time I bought my authentic leather bag. It might sound artificial, but I'm happy that I've worked so hard that I'm able to reward myself a life I always dreamed of.

And finally, apart from the broken hearts, I have to admit that I'm happiest when I'm in love. It can instantly scale up my happiness score from 9 to 10! It always makes me happy to see someone I love trying so hard to make me happy, or to comfort me in the little things. It's always lovely to know there is someone else care so much about me that he always puts me before himself. That's the reason why I was happier after I knew how it felt to fall in love. The downside, it's also the reason why once I lose it, I also lose a little bit of happiness that I used to feel.

At the end of the day, I've come to learn that happiness is a work. A hard work. You can't just sit at home hoping that happiness will come along! As much as it's important to be happy with the little things, it's also important to conquer the big things to make us happier, to make us fulfilled with joy and pride. And of course, great things in life are never easy. But then, the happiness you feel after all the hard works you put into will be the greatest happiness that make all those sacrifices are just worth it. So maybe, if you feel unhappy, that's only because you're too lazy to make yourself happy.

Life is too short to be unhappy. From all people on earth, you are the only one who can make yourself the happiest version of you. Find your way to evolve, then happiness will be no longer a myth.

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