We all claim we want happiness. We want to “hack” happiness. And yet, many of us are unhappy.
We complain all the time. We fight with family members. We play dirty office politics with co-workers. We shout and scream at other drivers in traffic. We give random people on the street judgmental looks.
“Well, not me! I don’t do that stuff.”
Yes, you do. Why? Because you’re human. I do it too.
Look, we all know how to live a happy life. The formula for happiness is not some kind of secret.
We all know that money, status, fame, or respect does not make us happy. Happiness is a state of mind. It’s something that comes and goes.
How I hack happiness
I’m always honest about these things. Some days I don’t feel happy. I want more. I think that’s a universal trait among high achieving people. And if you’re reading this, you’re in that category.
There’s a high probability you’re currently chasing something. What is it? Let me guess.
- Do you want to buy a house?
- Get a new job? Maybe a promotion?
- You want to start a business and achieve freedom?
- Or you want to grow your business?
- Get more followers on social media?
- Buy a new car?
- Settle down? Get kids?
- Go to a certain restaurant?
- Travel to a different country?
The list of human desires is not that long. Most of us aspire to achieve the same things. We’re simple beings. But you know what we also are?
Yup. We are. That’s why we show the type of behavior I mentioned at the beginning of this article. If you’re grateful, why would you complain, right?
I don’t like to blame anybody. And I hate pointing my finger towards something or someone and say, “it’s your fault!”
But let’s be real. We, as a society, are ungrateful little idiots. It’s time to change that.
Gratitude is the real hack you’re looking for
We all want to wake up happy. Go to work happy (plus stay happy during work). And come home happy to a grateful girlfriend/boyfriend/spouse.
Well, you can have all of that. Be grateful. And you know what the real hack is? When you’re grateful, you don’t only feel better, you also get a better life.
Good things come to those who appreciate what they have. No one said it better than Oprah Winfrey:
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Conversely, when you don’t appreciate what you have or what people do for you, you become bitter and resentful. You push the positive people away. And you will only surround yourself with a bunch of other ungrateful people.
If you ask me, that’s the recipe for the worst life there possibly is.
“What if people in my life are ungrateful?”
Try to share with them why gratitude is important. But don’t try to convince them because people never listen. We only change ourselves when we have a desire to change.
Just look at how all this self-improvement content works. Nobody changes their life just because of an article. No, you change because you have a desire. And an article, book, or video might serve as a spark.
I can write millions of articles but some people will never change. I’ve seen that up close as well.
My last relationship didn’t work out because my girlfriend wasn’t grateful for the things in her life. We were too different. She did change somewhat during the time we were together. But still, we had a different perspective on the world.
There’s a price you pay for living life a certain way. Most people don’t have a philosophy for life. That also comes with a price.
But I’m not going to deviate from my core values. It’s much better to find people who share the same values as you. It’s a waste of your effort to even try to inspire others to change for the better. In fact, it’s naive.
Look, I’m not taking this lightly. The quality of your own life is at stake. Yes, I give a helping hand to my neighbor. I’m all about that.
But I don’t let ungrateful people into my life. I’ve stepped away from family members and friends because of that. I might see them once or twice a year. But I have no ties with them. They will only drag you down. Instead, go up.
Life is beautiful. Treat every meal you eat like the best meal that you’ve ever had. Appreciate the people in your life. Say thank you. Remember that they can also NOT do the things they do. So no matter how little others do for you, pay them back with BIG appreciation.
Appreciate your Uber driver. Or the flight attendant who’s serving you a Diet Coke. Say thank you to your boss.
And most importantly, appreciate where you are in life. You’re alive. Thank your parents for being there for you. And if they were not there, thank them for turning you into an independent adult.
In all my years of reading and talking about the good life, I’ve never seen anything with a bigger impact on the quality of our lives than gratitude.
Treat it as a secret. There’s no need to tell others about it. For some people, it’s never good enough—no matter what they do or have. On the other hand, some people have no expectations and appreciate everything that comes to them.
Avoid the former. Cherish the latter.