“Often times. when people are miserable, they will want to make other people miserable too. But it never helps.”
Lemony Snicket, (Author, A Series of Unfortunate Events)
“Don’t wait around for other people to be happy for you. Any happiness you get you’ve got to make yourself.”
Alice Walker (Author, The Color Purple)
“Happiness is not something ready-made. It comes from your own actions.”
Tenzin Gyatso (14th Dalai Lama)
“You’ll have to use one of the foreign exchange student computers.”
Wait—where were these computers?
It was my fist week in college.
I went to one of the most expensive colleges in the country on an academic scholarship.
The only problem was, I was broke.
My family was broke too.
The college made a special deal with Apple and the entire campus was fitted for iMac computers only.
As part of the college’s welcome package, each incoming student was offered a special deal on a new iMac.
But the special deal wasn’t special enough.
I still couldn’t afford it.
My entire scholarship and all my financial aide went to paying for room and board.
I quickly learned that getting through college without a computer was impossible.
Two weeks into the first semester, one of my professors said that the first test was going to be a take-home exam sent by email.
I told my professor I didn’t have a computer.
That’s when he told me about the foreign exchange student computers.
There was a small computer lab at one of the libraries built for exchange students who weren’t able to ship their computers overseas.
These were the only free-access computers on campus at the time.
I spent most of my first year in the computer lab.
Half the time I was working, half the time I was sulking.
Why did all of my friends have their own computers in their dorm rooms and I had to trek all the way to the library just to send an email?
It wasn’t fair.
This went on for a while and then I tried a different tactic.
I started hoping for the best.
I figured if I acted pathetic enough someone would swoop in and just give me a computer.
They’d see how unfair my situation was, they’d see how poor I was, they’d feel bad for me, and then they’d save me.
In some weird way I justified my “poor me” attitude by writing it off as being optimistic.
But this didn’t help either.
Eventually, my bitterness and lazy optimism turned into misery.
The more I felt sorry for myself and the more I tried to make other people feel sorry for me, the more my grades dropped and the more my friendships suffered.
It wasn’t until later that year, when I began working a summer job that things got better.
Things got better because I stopped being bitter, started saving up, and eventually bought my own computer.
How Hoping For The Best Can Make You Miserable
It’s easy to become bitter in life.
When you don’t think you’re being treated fairly, you feel justified in treating other people unfairly.
You feel like you deserve to be mad, moody, or depressed.
You feel like you deserve to play the victim.
A Stanford University study reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that having this kind of victim mentality leads to a sense of entitlement and to selfish behavior.
In one experiment, participants who were asked to remember a time when their lives were unfair were more likely to refuse helping someone complete a simple task, as compared to participants who were simply asked to recall a time when they were bored.
Playing the victim makes you miserable.
But so does hoping for the best.
In fact, blindly hoping for the best can kill you.
In The Survivor’s Club, author Ben Sherwood interviewed hundreds of people that had survived a wide variety of catastrophic events and found that in prisoner-of-war camps, the people most likely to collapse and die were the eternal optimists who believed rescue was imminent and failed to plan for the possibility of long-term imprisonment.
They hoped for the best, failed to plan ahead, and died because of it.
Being positive is important but you shouldn’t be so blindly positive that you fail to take action.
Wishing and hoping for other people to save you won’t better your situation.
The only way to better your situation is to take action and help yourself.
7 Guaranteed Ways To Become A Miserable Person
Happiness is not easily obtained.
Sometimes the thing you think will make you happy actually makes you miserable.
The reverse is also true.
Sometimes the thing you think will make you miserable actually makes you happy.
You’ve been told since birth that being nice is the key to happiness.
You’ve been told that blind optimism, sharing, forgiving, asking for help, and letting others win will make you happy.
Maybe it won’t make you happy now, but it will make you happy in the long run.
This is what you’ve been told.
The truth is many of these things won’t make you happy.
Instead, they’ll make you miserable.
If you want to be a miserable person, then make sure you follow this advice…
1. Always be nice.
Being nice to other people doesn’t always pay off.
Instead, always agreeing with what other people say can make you miserable.
It can make you poorer too.
A study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed that there’s a strong negative relationship between agreeableness and earning power.
In other words, the more agreeable someone is, the less money they will make.
If you want to stop being miserable and start living a happier life—stand up for yourself.
Learn to say “no” to other people when you don’t agree with them.
Stop being overly polite.
Life is too short to let other people constantly push you around with their ideas and their agendas.
Start setting your own agenda.
Even if it means upsetting other people.
2. Let others win.
Letting other people win is a surefire way to end up miserable.
A study in the British Medical Journal reported by Science Daily asked a group of people to agree with their relationship partner’s every opinion and request without complaint, even if they believed their partner was wrong.
The quality of life of both participants was measured using a scoring scale of 1-10 (10 being the best possible quality of life).
After only 12 days, the agreeing participants quality of life score fell from 7 out of 10 to 3!
Look—if you want to stop being miserable, you have to stop letting other people win.
You have to stop turning a deaf ear just to keep the peace.
You can’t make every situation better by avoiding it.
You can’t build strong relationships by never speaking your mind.
Remember, competition is healthy. People and relationships grow stronger through adversity.
Relationships thrive on challenge.
If other people won’t be your friends just because you won’t blindly agree with them—dump them.
Real friends won’t walk away just because you have a different viewpoint.
3. Always talk about your feelings.
The more you vent about your problems, the more miserable you’ll be.
This is because complaining about your problems keeps your attention on your problems.
A study published in the Journal of Developmental Psychology and reported by the American Psychological Association found that people who vent to each other about their negative feelings for long periods of time are more likely to develop depression and anxiety.
Other studies reported by Inc. Magazine and Stanford University News found that being exposed to whiny behavior for 30 minutes or more peels away neurons in your hippocampus, the part of your brain responsible for problems solving.
Contrary to popular belief, talking about your negative feelings will not make you feel better.
Instead, it will make you miserable.
4. Never celebrate anything.
Too many people are addicted to finding problems.
When asked for their opinions on an idea or a course of action, these people immediately identify everything that can go wrong.
They talk and talk about every possible obstacle or challenge you might confront without ever offering a single solution.
At the same time, these people refuse to let you celebrate any of your victories.
Instead, they try to water down your wins by bringing up the past, telling you to be more humble, and reminding you of what could still go wrong.
These people are miserable and they want you to be miserable too.
After all, misery loves company.
The only way to avoid this kind of misery is to celebrate your victories.
Every time you solve a problem, every time you have a breakthrough, don’t just move onto the next problem.
Instead, celebrate your breakthrough.
Remember, you can celebrate past victories and take on new challenges at the same time.
A simple way to do this is by keeping a small “war chest” of mementos that remind you of your achievements.
In the book Mindset: The New Psychology Of Success, author Dr. Carol Dweck writes that small keepsakes and mementos can help you live a happier, more confident life.
The best keepsakes are objects that remind you that you can be bold (like a napkin with a girl’s or guy’s phone number on it), you are loved (like a picture with family and friends), you’ve grown (like a first place medal or most improved player award), and you’ve contributed (like a thank you card someone sent you).
5. Never spend time alone.
Being popular can make you miserable.
Feeling like you always need to be surrounded by other people is a sign of weakness.
Studies in the Journal of Personality found that having a lot of friends indicates insecurity and unhappiness, not confidence and success.
In these studies, researchers compared personality traits to levels of happiness among more than 16,000 people over a four-year period.
What they found was surprising…
The happier someone became, the more time they spent alone.
The researchers concluded that having a lot of friends ultimately makes people less sociable—the opposite of what researchers had expected.
You don’t need to be popular to be happy.
In fact, popularity can prevent happiness.
Stop living your life under the false assumption that more relationships are always better.
Instead, start being very deliberate with who you let into your life.
Don’t be afraid to spend time alone figuring out what you really want and who you really are.
Don’t be afraid to step away from the herd.
You’ll be less miserable because of it.
6. Apologize for everything.
Constantly apologizing for who you are will make you miserable.
It will also make other people respect you less.
On the other hand, refusing to apologize for yourself has been shown to increase both happiness and respect.
Studies published in the European Journal of Social Psychology showed that refusing to apologize provides several psychological benefits, including empowerment, confidence, and greater feelings of integrity and self-respect.
When you constantly apologize, you communicate to both yourself and the outside world that you’re always wrong.
This erodes both your happiness and your self-respect.
After enough apologies, you’ll stop respecting yourself altogether.
Other people will stop respecting you too.
The only way avoid this fate is to protect your apologies.
Instead of saying “I’m sorry” for routine mistakes, say, “I didn’t mean to do that” or “Here’s what I meant to say…”
Most importantly, stop apologizing just to keep the peace with other people.
Nothing is more energy draining and distracting than constantly worrying about offending other people.
If who you are offends other people, that’s their problem, not yours.
7. Play it safe.
Risk creates happiness.
When you refuse to take risks, you limit your happiness.
You also limit your success.
Studies reported by WebMD News found that people who take more risks are happier and more satisfied with their lives.
The more willing you are to take calculated risks, the happier and more successful you’ll be in life.
This includes your willingness to risk rejection.
When you step out of your comfort zone to build new relationships with different types of people—like people who are smarter and more successful than you—you increase both your happiness and your confidence.
Psychological studies reported by Sonoma State University showed that people with the most diverse circles of friends are more likely to be happy and confident.
On the other hand, people who stayed inside their comfort zones by only choosing safe relationships were more likely to feel miserable and inferior to others.
If you want to be happy in life, you have to take risks. You have to be willing to not always play nice and to not always talk about your feelings. At the same time, you have to stop apologizing for everything and start celebrating your victories. Most importantly, never be afraid to spend time alone, speak your mind, and stand up for yourself. Do this and you’ll live a more confident and focused life. Until next time, live like a lion.
To learn more about living a happier (and less miserable life), and to get instant access to exclusive training videos, case studies, insider documents, and my private online network, get on the Escape Plan wait list.