Being Unhappy in order to Get Happy

This has been touched on in previous posts but it really bears repeating. And I’ve never delved into to this extent.

This comes up a lot and it’s really important. So listen up.



You don’t need to make yourself unhappy in order to affect change.


You don’t need to milk your stuckness in order to move forward.


I have a client who is really smart and really committed to working on her stuff. The kind of client a coach loves working with.


She has a fear of being content because she equates that with being complacent. Except content and complacent are not the same thing; they aren’t even on the same spectrum.


She reasons that if she allows herself to be content with some area of life—her job, for example—that will makes her complacent. If she’s complacent, she’ll never want to better herself. In her mind, content = complacent = stuck.


You can see where this goes, as she continually reminds herself of what sucks about her job to make sure she stays nice and unhappy. After all, how’s she ever going to grow and improve and get happy with her career if she’s not unhappy?

Huh? Yeah, re-read that a few times if you need to.


She’s essentially looking for things that are “wrong” in order to have stuff to improve upon. But she’s making it oh-so-much harder than it has to be.


Bruce Di Marsico, founder of the Option Method, says that the only reason we’re ever unhappy is because we think we should be. He’s also been credited with saying that human beings are the only animals who crap in their own nests to get themselves to leave. I don’t know if he actually said that last statement, but it gets the point across.


Why not just choose better and get up and leave on your own accord, no crap necessary? No need to justify it with, “See? My job sucks so bad that I have to leave”. You’re allowed to change your mind and you’re always allowed to just want what you want, no questions asked.


Or “I hate my job so much I must find something else immediately”. That kind of self-torture never motivates on any real level. It always backfires, actually.


Or like my client, no need to do a mental search for all the negative things in your life in order to find something to fix. Just start where you are and make it even better. Try going from good to great if you want to change something rather than wasting time and energy searching for things that suck.


Because you always find what you’re looking for. And being unhappy in order to get happy doesn’t make the journey very fun.

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