I tell people (and you as well, if you have been reading the blog long enough) to shun the non-believers. People who don’t get it, or won’t get it or can’t get it – it makes no difference. Get them away from you before they infect you with their dangerous thinking and soul-sucking victimhood. They’ll keep you from seriously shifting. Seriously.
Here is how you can spot them. (And I know – you are going to read this, agree but then think you’re going to help them change. Unless they are a kid, you can’t change them. They have lived their life reinforcing what they believe. They are miserable, and they like it that way.)
They think that life is hard and they see themselves as victims.
They remain stuck in the “look what happened to me” mindset versus finding a way through to the other side. Conversely happy people persevere towards problem solving. They take responsibility for how they get themselves into a mess and focus on getting themselves out of it as soon as possible.
They have an ax to grind with seemingly everyone.
“These people are too this, and those people are too that.” I’m all for healthy discernment, but most happy people are trusting of others. They believe in the good in other people instead of assuming that everyone is out to get them.
They focus on what is wrong in the world instead of what is right.
There are all kinds of wrong with the world, but unhappy people turn a blind eye to what’s actually right in this world, and they make the conscious decision to focus on the bad. It’s a choice. Right now, we could argue that the world is at least unsteady and possibly a mess, depending on you see things.
Only happy people would agree that this is also the very best time to be alive in the history of humankind. Perspective, people.
They harbor jealousy.
It’s a deadly sin, my friends. Unhappy people believe (they don’t think it, they know it) that someone else’s good fortune steals from their own. They believe that there isn’t enough goodness/breaks/connections to go around and constantly compare what they believe everyone gets to what they feel they get/got, and it leads them to jealousy and resentment.
Happy people know that another person’s good luck or good fortune is something they can aspire to. Miserable people are bogged down believing that one person’s good fortune limits their possibilities.
In addition to everything already listed, miserable people are not goal-oriented and focused. They have an unrealistic life plan (or non-plan) that is always grandiose, but they fail to execute the daily activities that are critical to their happiness.
They face the future with apprehension.
Miserable people fill their heads with what could go wrong rather than what could go right. That’s assuming that they are not too busy judging others, or being victims, or harboring jealousy.
When a happy person (me, for instance) feels fear or worry I make an important distinction between feeling it and living it. I don’t live in worry, but sometimes I sure feel it; I’m mostly human after all. But what makes me a happy human vs. a miserable human is that I ask myself what I can do about it. I take personal responsibility for my life.
They gossip and complain.
Who doesn’t like a bit of gossip? Me. I’m not interested in hearing about another person’s failings, or secrets, or personal business. Unhappy people are stuck in the past. Life’s injustices and what has happened to them are their conversation of choice. When they run out of things to say, they’ll complain about other people’s good fortunes and gossip about them.
Happy people live in the now and dream about the future. They are always excited about something they are working on, looking forward to, or grateful for what they have and motivated by the possibilities of life.
Obviously none of us are perfect. I’m a happy person and I have my share of lousy moods. The difference is how long I stay there, and how quickly I get myself out. Walk, fall down, get back up again and repeat.
Being miserable isn’t being down, it’s staying down.
Your happiness has nothing to do with other people’s good fortune or connections or how easy they have it.
Everything is up to you. As it should be.