7 Reasons You Hate Your Life

The Declaration of Independence tells us that the pursuit of happiness is an “inalienable right”.No one is stopping us from pursuing happiness—unfortunately, most Americans just aren’t very good at it.Despite all of the resources and opportunities at our fingertips, just 1/3 of Americans said they were “very happy” in a recent Harris poll.If you’re one of the many Americans who seems to have it all, here are some common mistakes you may be making:

Chasing Money: While increased income does correlate with increased happiness, that’s true only up to about $75,000/year. Yet, many Americans who earn well in excess of that amount are still too invested in earning more to devote time to the pursuits that yield true happiness.

Spending Too Much Time Alone: In our fast-paced world, it’s natural to want to retreat. Too often, that means that downtime is spent in front of the television, but studies show that those who spend several hours each day with friends and family are happiest. That may not be possible during a traditional work week, but most of us could come much closer than we do.

Living by Someone Else’s Standards: Whether it’s keeping up with the neighbors in terms of new cars and toys or working toward the professional position your mother envisioned for you, you’re not likely to get happy by following someone else’s dream. If you’re not happy with your life, take a hard look at your road map (and think about tearing it up).

Spending Your Money on Stuff: Believe it or not, the latest electronics aren’t the key to happiness. People who spend their money on experiences tend to be happier than those who amass material goods.

Living for Tomorrow: While some long-term planning and delayed gratification is an essential part of adult life, waiting for some milestone to make you happy doesn’t make for a good life. If you’re unhappy now but expecting that to change when you get a promotion or can buy a bigger house or move to a warmer climate, you’re probably wrong. Even if you are that rare person who has found the right formula for future happiness…why waste today?

Comparing Yourself to Others: There’s no objective measure of a good life, and your perceptions of just how happy life is on the other side of the fence are probably skewed.

Live your life, according to your values and priorities, and don’t worry about what anyone else has or does.Lamenting the Past: Whether you’re longing for golden days gone by or regretting missed opportunities, one thing is certain: you’re not improving your present reality by focusing on the past. You can’t change what’s behind you, but you can change today and tomorrow.Are you cluttering up your path to happiness with these obstacles? If so, it’s time to kick them out of your way and claim the good life.