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Why Is Nothing Ever Enough?: The Guilt of Being Unable to Find Happiness

by Matt Lyon 3 years ago in happiness

The Pursuit of Contentment

I am incredibly lucky and I know this.

I have well-off parents who have given me everything I have ever wanted, including unconditional love and support in any decision I have ever made.

I have a diverse, plentiful group of friends including several in which I am so close with, they are practically family.

I am healthy, and all of my friends and family are healthy.

I graduated from University with good marks and got a well-paying finance job right out of school at a prestigious company.

I bought my dream car at the age of 23, and have every material possession I could possibly want.

I live a life that the majority of the world could only dream of living, and I am completely aware of this. So why am I not happy? I see those who have less than me. Those in poor health or have loved ones in poor health. Those without a stable family/friend structure. Those with fewer opportunities to succeed than I have. Yet so many of these people have the one thing I am constantly searching for; happiness.

In my mind, there is always something I am chasing. I tell myself, "Once I have/do this, I will finally be happy." When I do, its just on to the next thing. First world problem, I know. For this reason, I feel guilty. Poor me, I have everything in the world and it still isn't enough. It makes absolutely no sense.

Happiness: "a mental or emotional state of well-being which can be defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy."

Contentment. The emotion I am truly chasing. All I want is to be content. Content with what I have, content with who I have, but most importantly, content with who I am.

Nothing I do, nothing I have, nothing I achieve, is ever enough to make me feel even content, let alone feeling intense amounts of joy. It baffles me. Why am I like this? Am I a bad person for this? I sure feel like one.

I am constantly comparing myself to others. Often times, I find myself wishing I could be more like someone else, or even wishing I was in their shoes. These people do not necessarily have more than me or have accomplished more than I have, which leads me to conclude my problem goes beyond personal belongings and achievements.

For most of my life, I have been extremely self-conscious and insecure, without a true understanding as to why I am like this. Perhaps genetic, or perhaps a result of heightened societal standards. Regardless, in my eyes, a poor excuse for an inability to find happiness, but clearly a factor.

This is likely the reason I place such high value on obtaining material objects and social status. I am always concerned with how my peers view me, and somewhere along the line, I have acquired the belief that these are the only two things that matter. Again, this confuses me. I do not judge others based on what they have or where they work, why would others judge me based on this? The only person who seems to judge me based on these things... is me.

The high standards I hold myself to, and the extreme amount of pressure I put on myself are a big part of the reason I am where I am today, but may also be the root cause behind my inability to be content.

While I struggle with deciding whether or not this is a good thing, I know that if I ever want to be truly happy, I must first be happy with myself. My journey in determining how to to so has already begun, but whether or not I will ever truly be happy with myself, is yet to be determined.


Matt Lyon

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