How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Why We Wish Away Happiness
Guest articles > Why We Wish Away Happiness
by: Lisa Earle McLeod
What's keeping you from happiness?
If you're like most people you can list the obstacles standing between you
We all want to be happy. When we're not, we're often quick to point to
reasons outside of our control. "I can't be happy because I had bad parents," or
"I hate my job" or "I'm in a bad marriage" or "I'm too old."
My favorite is the, "I'm too intelligent to be happy" myth.
This insidious little belief - frequently touted at Mensa meetings and
Unitarian cocktail parties - is that the super smart are more likely to be
tormented by issues like global warming and the meaning of life than the average
Joe or Jane. Average people, so the theory goes, are happier because they don't
fully grasp how horrible the world is.
It sounds good in theory. Unfortunately, it's not true. According to
Psychology Today, there's no correlation between intelligence and happiness.
"I'm too smart to be happy," sounds more highbrow than "I'm too fat to be
happy," but it's actually just another one of the many excuses we use to justify
The truth is, happiness is hard work. It doesn't come to you; you have to
Lasting happiness is rooted in two things: purpose and pleasure. If you want
to be happy try this:
But it's a myth.
Think back to when you were the happiest. Why was that time in your life
When most people describe their happiest moments, it's usually when they were
doing something meaningful and they experience the joy of being fully alive in
We often squander potential moments of happiness because we're distracted by
problems outside of the current moment. We ruminate about work pressures when
we're out to dinner; we worry about money while we're taking a walk with our
kids. I know it because I've done it.
It's a mistake.
You don't have to wait for your entire life to be perfect to start enjoying
it. You just have to decide that you're going to care about something, and that
you're going to look for happiness and fun in the moment.
Your life is a series of moments. You can enjoy them, or you can wish them away. It's your choice.
And the big