Good Is The Enemy Of Great: Why Settling For Anything Less Than Greatness Is A Waste Of Time

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Most of us are under the illusion that we are unhappy. The fact is, we’re not. We may not feel happy, but we aren’t necessarily unhappy, either. As an adjective, unhappy does literally mean "not happy," but as a predicate, it can best be defined as "not being pleased" or "being unsatisfied" with a situation. We understand the word "unhappy" to be best defined in this sense.

We don’t feel unhappy in the sense that we are particularly unsatisfied or displeased with something; what we mean to say is that we don’t feel particularly happy. Most often, we feel what can only be described as near neutral. We aren’t designed to be feeling emotions all the time -- at least not strong ones. Just because you don’t feel excited or particularly pleased at this very moment doesn’t mean you are unhappy. You have the ability not to be happy, but not necessarily unhappy.

The only reason to be unhappy is on the rare occasion that sh*t actually happens. I say rare because situations that are worthy of making you unhappy are just that: rare. We, of course, blow things way out of proportion every chance we get. We’re worriers, especially when an outcome we are looking forward to is important to us. When we want something very badly, we usually start to worry about how unhappy we will be if we don’t get what we want, and as a result, we feel as if we are now unhappy because we are imagining the possible unfavorable outcome in the future.

Ridiculous, no? We don’t choose to worry; worrying comes naturally. However, we do choose to focus on that worry. It is possible to get your mind off things; you just have to make the effort to extract those things from your thoughts. Either distract, meditate or rationalize (my personal favorite) with yourself and explain to yourself why it isn’t logical to worry about an outcome you have no control over.

The first step to being happy is understanding that you aren’t really unhappy. Do your best to focus on all the good things in your life. Acknowledge those things and people; talk about those things and people and surround yourself with those things and people. Allow all the things that do make you feel happy to fill up your life until there isn’t room for anything else.

You won’t feel happy all the time, but even reducing how unhappy you think you are will do wonders. Life is better when you aren’t unhappy. Eventually, you’ll start tricking yourself into believing that those neutral moments -- the ones you used to call unhappy -- are happy moments. It’s possible. You think those fools walking around smiling all the time are actually happy all the damn time? No. They may think they are, but they aren’t. This is the one and only time it’s beneficial to be a fool. If you’re going to be a fool, then you may as well be a happy one.

Happy fools are productive because they actually believe they can do anything they set their minds to. In their eyes, they can’t fail. And when they don’t succeed, they simply look at it as a slight delay; they’ll catch the next flight if they have to. Happy people fail less because they get discouraged less. They believe in themselves more than unhappy people because unhappy people surround themselves with their misfortunes and feelings of sorrow, stress and unhappiness.

They focus on all the crap they have already lived through and worry about failing when, in reality, a failure is nothing more than a discovery. If you fail, you just discovered another way not to do something. Figure out enough ways not to do something and it’s inevitable that you succeed.

Do you now understand how silly it is for you to decide to be unhappy? Not only do you feel like sh*t, you are also screwing up your entire life. If individuals who are much worse off than you can find a way to be happy, then what’s your excuse?