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Why you aren't as happy as you could be - #4

You’re looking externally instead of internally. 

We are social, tribal beings. As such, we are very susceptible to messages from society or from our “tribe”. The actions we take and goals we set are often based on these external messages, and we think that if we live in line with those messages, or what we think society values, then we will be happier.

This frequently backfires. For example, I’ve worked with many financially successful professionals who are achieving big things in highly respected careers who, internally, are miserable because they hate their work … or they are bored with their work … or there is something they know deep down they want to do but they are scared of how others would judge them. 

When we don’t take the time to clarify and review our own personal values, we are more likely to pursue what is generally accepted and admired in society – e.g., more money, more prestige, more possessions. 

Remember, what society or those around you view as “success” may not align with what you truly value in life, what gives you meaning in life, or what makes you feel alive. You are going to experience more joy and lasting contentment when you take actions in line with what you value versus when you take actions in line with what you think you should value or what other people seem to value.


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