The Currency Of Unhappiness

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Photograph Courtesy Of Jason Leung

How Are You Spending Your Currency Of Unhappiness?

I am assuming you are a goal-oriented person. If you are like me, you are paying with the currency of unhappiness until the day you reach that perfect spot in life, where everything is going your way.

Call this place Shangri-la: that harmonious, mystical place of fulfillment and attainment.

Building Your Bank Account With The Currency Of Unhappiness

If you don’t have a bank account, how will you spend your money? It is essential to build up your reserves. To expend our currency of unhappiness, we inadvertently need to deposit some funds. Investing into the account becomes an unconscious habit that affects our attitudes.


What are your self-imposed limitations?

No one person or any one thing is perfect. Setting your bar of accomplishment too high can lead to unhappiness. But you also do not want to aspire to mediocrity. Stop tearing yourself down over the things keeping you from achieving your goals. Aim for the moon but don’t be surprised if you hit the barn.

Maybe you have time constraints and a lack of resources. Perhaps your family commitments are a hindrance, or you missed an opportunity that would have put your cause further.

Guilt can become a limitation. Are you unhappy because you gave up too soon, broke a promise, or did not stand up for someone or something when you knew the cause was just?

Using your ideals as the yardstick of success will undoubtedly end in frustration. Look at your starting point and acknowledge how far you have come. You can do this daily. Since you are a person of action, there is always another notch you can carve on your stock.

The standards we set for ourselves may not yet be tangible. Compare yourself to what you now are not to what you were.


Photograph Compliments Of Sasha Freemind

The Currency Of Isolation

Isolating one’s self can lead to loneliness. All of us have experienced the feeling of aloneness and separateness. Life transitions can significantly affect our connectedness and social isolation. Loss of friends or family, moving to a new city, and changing jobs are a few contributing factors to being seclusive.

Social isolation is associated with many physical and mental health risks. Unsurprisingly, loneliness levels have reached an all-time high, especially after the effects of the Covid Pandemic.

Most of us know someone who has chosen to separate themselves from social connectivity, especially those experiencing advancing years. Their lives are usually unhappy.


“Impatience asks for the impossible, wants to reach the goal without the means of getting there. The length of the journey has to be borne with, for every moment is necessary.” Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

We desire to attain goals. Delayed gratification can become a hindrance if we let it. Life can be arbitrary; inconvenient circumstances can come out of nowhere.

Are you waiting for Happiness? We Americans are culturally ingrained to expect Happiness as part of our lot.

The Declaration Of independence begins with: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

The implication of pursuing Happiness means we haven’t attained it; we reach for it but can’t get a hold of it.

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Other People

People are only human, and it is not uncommon for us to hurt one another.

Being lied to is a difficult pill to swallow; a deception is a form of betrayal. Our most common response is to seek revenge which is another form of the currency of unhappiness.

Do we listen to each other? Mistakes are common; sometimes, we can see the writing on the wall when others can not. It shows a lack of respect when our advice falls on deaf ears, especially if damage and hurt result from the actions of the person we were advising. The natural tendency is to disrespect the person who would not heed us. We knew we were right.

We all seek approval from others. Have there been times when someone else received credit for your hard work? You deserved recognition for your accomplishment, but another person took all the glory. Feeling resentment is a natural tendency when these situations happen.

Words can hurt. The effects of negative comments made to you only remain because you hold on to them. Your toxic thoughts aren’t helping your attitude; figure out a way to let go.

A feeling of helplessness can arise when you suffer the outcomes of someone else’s actions. Blaming others is a way to make sense of being a victim of circumstances. Does it help to do so? Were the people you blame responsible for the consequences you faced? Are you accountable to yourself?

Keeping up with the Jones‘ is part of our national character. Does it make sense to measure ourselves against the accomplishments and appearances of those we perceive as more successful? What good is comparison when the only person we need to measure against is ourselves?


Photograph Compliments Of Yogendra Singh

The Currency Of Frustration

The primary sources of frustration come from impediments. Obstructions that we encounter originate from internal or external sources. Part of life’s standard expectation is the daily compromises we have to make. Living in a First World Society, the minuscule roadblocks we experience often compound into a massive amalgam of frustrations. 

Our internet connection was too slow.

Something happened to your log-in.

We get cut off on the freeway or the grocery line.

Management makes another uninformed decision.

Co-workers do dumb things.

The client is stupid.

Your city counsel is inept.

The kids still aren’t listening.

The dishes need to be done, again.

You need to clean the Kitty Litter.

The list goes on and on. All the little things can creep up on you if you let them.


Angriness contributes to the currency of unhappiness.

Do you know people who are easily angered? Some people are born that way; it’s part of their genetic code. For the rest of us, anger is a natural response to not getting our way; it is a trait that can be unlearned.

The Character Traits Of Anger:

At times it is acceptable to feel some anger, but when we harbor it, the situation can lead to resentment and fury.

There can be a family history of anger, often from a parent or grandparent.

Projecting acrimony, rage, or malevolence can give us a sense of power and control, which are expressions of misplaced pride.

Another trait of mislaid pride is the practice of argumentativeness. A person may need to be correct, regardless of the facts. Creating strife because of anger is another form of domination.

A person who over-indulges, and is prone to severe addictions, may be dealing with unresolved anger.

A person longing for approval may use anger as a shield for self-protection.

People who wallow in bitterness, and have difficulty forgiving others, can be angry about the supposed harshness and lack of fairness in their lives.

Angry people often are obtuse about how they affect others. Their insensitivity is reinforced by habit and failing to ask forgiveness for their outbursts.

People who practice anger can easily take up offenses, real or imagined.

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Choices And Spending The Currency Of Unhappiness

Photograph Compliments Of Connor Hall

We desire to attain goals. Delayed gratification can become a hindrance if we let it. Inconvenient circumstances can come out of nowhere. Often, we have to hurry up and wait.

Sniveling can be a coping mechanism for life, and grumbling about things is an easy choice. Again, the randomness of life’s circumstances can seem pretty haphazard, which leads to whining. By practicing whining, we decide to deposit more of the currency of unhappiness into our bank accounts.

Look around you.

Where do you experience the loudest level of complaining? I bet that it is your place of employment. Why is that? Most of us would rather be doing something else. The feeling of being valued by our employers is dissipating in today’s work environment. There is a choice: you can quit your job or decide not to be like everyone else.

Spending the currency of unhappiness is a decision.

We frequently get repeated lessons in life until we learn from our experiences. As hard as it may be, gaining a positive outlook from a difficult time can help build appreciation for what we have already accomplished. By embracing a habit of gratitude, we can enhance a more helpful perspective for the good times.

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