Unhappy Trying to be Happy

Photo Credit:  georgikeith
Photo Credit: georgikeith

I wanted to dig into the subject of striving for a goal verses being happy with what you have. I have touched on this topic in the past but I want to expand on it a bit more. This is a balance is difficult and different for everyone.

Ron Morriss used to say that a lot of discontent comes from a person seeing what others have and then comparing themselves to that person (I don’t remember his exact words so I am paraphrasing).

In the self improvement arena we encounter a different type of monster than most people encounter. We are constantly trying to improve ourselves, so we read about people who have achieved what we want to achieve. One example is the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris. This book is a great resource of information but we must remember that this book is to teach you a path, not the exact actions to follow to reach a specific goal.

If we get too caught up in following the exact actions of a “successful” person with the goal to reach the same height of achievement, we are setting ourselves up for failure. We are all different and it takes millions of small decisions to achieve a goal. If you don’t make the same decisions as the successful person then you may not reach the same heights they did.

So there are 3 take-aways from this.

  1. The overall arching principle is to improve yourself.
  2. When striving for a goal, be willing to accept that you may not reach the exact same point of achievement as the person you have modeled yourself after
  3. Sometimes reaching a goal takes longer than you hoped so enjoy the ride.

How My Actions Effect Others

Photo Credit: y Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Photo Credit: y Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


I am going to make this a short post since I burned out a little working on the soccer site project. The one week project finally ended after 6 weeks.

Lately I have been thinking about how my actions can possibly negatively effect others. I feel pretty confident how my actions effect others when immediate feedback is available. What about those times when the feedback is delayed and/or diffused?

For instance, I used to spit my gum on the ground when I was done with it. I was okay with this since I only spit it in places where people were very unlikely to walk like on the highway. I also assumed that it would biodegrade pretty quickly so it was no big deal. Then I started to think about things like how that gum spot would look or the was rare chance that someone would step on it. I did not want my actions to effect others negatively so i stopped spitting my gum out on the ground.

This is the same reason I am slowly starting to compost instead of throwing everything in the trash or down the disposal. I know if it goes in the landfill it will slow down the degradation of other materials or even contribute to pollution is the decomposing comes into contact with things like old batteries. Also, if I put those things down the garbage disposal I will be burdening the water processing plant more.

I know I am not going to change the world by doing these things and I know that I am not doing everything I can possibly do but by moving in this direction I am able to make myself feel better and maybe make the world a little bit better.

What can you do?


Chronicling My Intentional Living