Roadblocks to Happiness

An orange and white construction barricade sign with words What's In Your Way? symbolizing a problem or obstruction preventing you from following your dreams or opportunity

An orange and white construction barricade sign with words What’s In Your Way? symbolizing a problem or obstruction

Instead of looking at what makes us happy let’s look at the things that prevent us from being happy. I used to think that people were happy because their lives were going well. As I grew older and wiser I realised that there were people in my life facing huge challenges who still managed to enjoy life most of the time and people who had very few challenges who in comparison were miserable. Using an article from as a guide I have summarised seven roadblocks to happiness.

I am sure you will recognise at least a few of them.


  • Chronic Complaining

While it is psychologically beneficial to vent when you are under stress, there is a difference between small venting sessions and being a chronic complainer. The chronic complainer tends to always have something wrong in their life, their issues are more important than everybody elses, and when you have something to vent about yourself, they aren’t very interested in listening. If you are a chronic complainer, quit whining and talk about the things that are positive in your life and focus on what is good. If you have a problem, sit down and work out a solution. Constant complaining does nothing but push your friends away and keep you in that dark unhappy place. You have good in your life, find it, and share it.


  • Worrying

No matter what you do, you only have so much impact on what the future has in store for you.  Could you get laid off? Maybe.  Could you catch a life threatening disease? Yup.  The thing is, you have very little control over whether or not these things happen, so why spend your time worrying about it.  As long as you have a reasonable game plan and are living responsibly you should be focused on what is going on in your life now.

  • Harbouring animosity

Harbouring animosity towards somebody is like carrying around a backpack full of rocks.   Do yourself a favour, forgive. Free yourself of the hate, and move on.

That doesn’t mean you have to forget. Forgiveness is to help you not the other person.


  • Loneliness

One of the biggest causes of unhappiness is loneliness.  I’m not referring to having somebody special in your life; having a significant other doesn’t mean you won’t be lonely.  Being lonely generally stems from lack of social stimulation.  Don’t have something to do tonight? Instead of commenting on everybody’s Facebook statuses, give somebody a call and go out for a drink, you would be surprised how much better it feels to talk to a real life physical human being.

If you really struggle with making friends, read Dale Carnegie’s classic book “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.

  • Setting yourself goals that are not achievable

The problem with unhappy people’s goals, is they tend to be unachievable. One study shows that people suffering from depression often set goals that they are incapable of accomplishing  When these goals don’t come to fruition, negative self reflection begins.  For this reason, incremental goals are extremely important to build self confidence and positive reinforcement for the goal setter.  Start small, and build up steam, you are the only thing that stands in the way.

  • Trying to please others

So many people spend a ridiculous amount of time trying to please others.  This generally stems from the insecurity that other people are judging them. Stop doing things for other people and do things that make you happy. Go out with your hair a mess, wear a pair of torn up sweat pants in public and do it with a smile on your face.  Your friends will like you regardless and if you don’t know somebody, why do you care what they think?


  • Letting another person’s mood affect yours

If somebody gives you the middle finger while driving, smile back at them and let them spend their energy being cranky. Don’t let somebody else’s bad day control the outcome of yours. If you have to deal with a grumpy person, kill them with kindness.  Often times your unfounded happiness will make them realize how big of a jerk they are being.

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If you agree with me that’s nice but what I really want to achieve is to make you question the status quo. Look between the lines, do your own research. Do not be a passive observer in this game we call life.