Why am I not happy?

Ever asked yourself, “Why am I not happy…”? Bet you have! Everyone wonders this from time to time in rare moments of clarity and honesty. It’s scary to admit that we aren’t happy. I don’t mean when we’re mad or sad about something. I’m talking about when we are feeling low enough to admit, deep down, that we just don’t feel satisfied with the life we’re living.

And who can blame us for avoiding asking this question …it’s a scary question! The scariest thing is 1) not knowing what you did to be unhappy, and 2) being unsure how to get happy. Well–spoiler alert!–I’m going to get to the answer right away.

Today’s shortcut to happiness is…

Listen! “Listen” has two main meanings. Both are action words, so I hope you’re ready to take action, starting today. Let me amend my statement above to say, “the scariest thing [about asking Why am I not happy] is 3) you are going to have to change.” {oh crap}

Listen, meaning “Hear”.

The secret to finding happiness in life lies in asking the right questions. “Why am I not happy?” is a valid question. You might find some useful insight in figuring out what you did (or didn’t do) to get where you are.

But the more important question is, “What can I do to be happy, now?” The answer is to Listen — Listen to your heart. Your heart is always talking to you, urging you to make wise choices. Your heart urges you not only to use honesty and compassion in your dealings, but to share your gifts and talents, and to fly your inner freak flag.

As we go through life, there are so many voices out there shouting through the television, radio, internet, advertisements, news reports, or through the voice of our friends, family and others. These voices are also telling us what we should be thinking and how we should be acting. If we aren’t careful, these voices can drown out the calm, quiet inklings of our heart.

If you aren’t happy, you probably can’t hear the whisperings of your heart, so it is time to be still. Give yourself space to be calm, quiet and listen. My favorite ways to get away are meditation (or even just a few minutes of focused breathing), and my number one favorite is to go hiking in nature. Figure out your way and bring a pen and paper with you because you should always write your thoughts down in those calm moments of clarity.

Listen, meaning “Follow”.

If you’re really listening to your heart you will heed its counsel. Once you can hear what your heart is saying to you, start doing what it is saying. This question Why am I not happy only pops up because you haven’t been following your heart. Maybe you’ve been too afraid.

In my book The Shortcut To Happiness I say “The battle of happiness vs. unhappiness is all in your head.” That battle is between the angel on your shoulder saying, “Follow your heart!” and the devil on your other shoulder saying, “No, something bad might happen!” It is we who allow this battle to go on. Some of the greatest obstacles we face in life are ones we create ourselves. We conjure up nightmares that sabotage our own search for happiness. We ruin the world for others, and so ruin it for ourselves.

In other words, the battle between love and fear. If you are unhappy, you have let fear stop you from doing the things you know, deep down, will make you truly happy. Well, it’s time to stop letting fear have power over your life.

It’s time to put your foot down and choose your priorities–fear and mediocrity, or joy and triumph.

You and I both know which you want. So, Listen. Listen to your heart. Take action every day, even if it’s just a little step at a time. Make changes for the better. Seize the moment and the life you truly desire. You can do it!!

listen to your heart

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