Have you ever noticed how it seems like everyone is constantly complaining about something? It doesn’t matter what you talk about, there is always something that’s just not right. Something that keeps us from our happiness.
We could be so happy, if only… If only we had more money, more love, more clothes, more cars, more time to travel / to ourselves / for our relationships / to enjoy our hobbies – I could fill a whole book with all the things we feel are missing or not enough in our lives. We only measure our happiness by counting all the things we do not have. Or that others are (seemingly) taking from us, because of course it’s all somebody else’s fault.
It’s the politicians that are corrupt and ruining our society. It’s the foreigners that take away our jobs and money. It’s that crawler of a colleague that robbed us of our promotion. It’s our parents that fucked us up. It’s the neighbor that keeps robbing us of our sleep…and again, I could fill a book with this. Everything that happens to us is never our fault and it always keeps happening no matter what. All the things we do not have are all the things we think we need to finally be happy.
I am not writing this to point fingers, but because – as most things I write about – I noticed this about myself. How I always mope about everything I don’t have. How it all is so unfair and how everything would be some much different, if only… And I don’t like this about myself, because counting all the things you don’t have doesn’t really improve anything. It just makes the black hole inside myself grow bigger and bigger, and I’m afraid that eventually it will swallow me whole.
So instead of making myself miserable I tried to see how other people do it. Only to discover that everybody seems to be doing the exact same thing: Complaining. Counting every misfortune and failure, almost like they are treasuring it. Looking for things that might disturb their happiness – and if there are no obvious ones, then they start to create some. It seems there always needs to be something to be unhappy about…
The fly in the ointment…
For example, I have a neighbor, who seemingly has it all: A wife, a cute kid, judging by his two SUVs a pretty good job and on top of it two dogs as well. On the outside this is a picture-perfect life. But instead on enjoying it, my neighbors only purpose in life seems to be stalking around the parking lot of the apartment building and checking where everyone parks their cars. Because out of ten times I park my car, at least six times he is strolling around the parking lot. The best part: There are NO assigned parking spots for tenants – he just decided that if one parks in the same spot twice, it’s their spot. So, people like me who park at any free spot are a constant throne in his side. Which he keeps telling me regularly.
And this example also proves that our unhappiness works in dual – because if only that stupid guy wouldn’t stand there every time, I could enjoy coming home a lot more. Like I said, I’m not writing this to point fingers but to observe. Because why the hell do we do that? Why do we keep counting our misfortunes and failures instead of our chances and accomplishments? A few days ago, I read a quote saying: “Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are, it solely relies on what you think.” And I guess that is true.
It’s the way we view things that determine our happiness. That’s nothing new but as always: The simplest things are always the hardest to accomplish. I’m going to try though, because complaining doesn’t really help with anything.