Why people become UNHAPPY

31 May


Every now and then I will encounter a person who is claiming they are unhappy with their place of employment.  It almost always baffles me when I know they have a tremendous amount going for them where they work.  They are making a good amount of money, they are being productive, they are providing a good life for their family, and the work around good people.  So what gives?  Why do they feel unsatisfied?

I heard a statistic about marriage that also matches the people who aren’t satisfied with their job.  In a marriage a spouse can only provide you with about 70-80% of what you desire, leaving them with 20-30% of their needs unmet.  Being the wonderful and well-informed spouses they are, they tend to focus their attention on those unmet needs.  Their minds become so ingrained in their desires for that missing 20-30% they seek it out in other places.   Often they will find it in other people.

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43 responses to “Why people become UNHAPPY

  1. Jamie

    May 31, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    This is so very true! Might I add that it can help to be clear about what we value most, for our job and marriage, and ensure those values make up the 70-80%. Then it’s easier to feel comfortable with what we have.

  2. cranstonholden

    May 31, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    You’re right Jamie. Priorities matter. In fact they are #1.

  3. learnactshare - Pete Ferguson

    June 1, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Reblogged this on learnactshare and commented:
    It is amazing how much energy I give away when I’m not happy – and how much free energy I get when I am. Great post.

    • cranstonholden

      June 1, 2013 at 1:44 pm

      Yes the scent on the rose will stay on the person’s hand who gives it away.
      You are a smart man Mr. Ferguson

  4. philjackman

    June 1, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Good point. We’re working with an organisation and one of their tools is to focus on all the good stories that there are in your work and tell them. You are right, there is more to be happy with than not.

  5. cranstonholden

    June 1, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    Whether you think you can be happy or you can’t be happy, you are right!

  6. Peter

    June 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

    If you get a chance, take a look at Jason Womack’s “Your Best Just Got Better”. There’s a section on identifying what your perfect day might look like. When you become aware of what that wonderful day might look like, the next realisation is how much of your current life is already perfect. Nourish that 80%. Great blog post. You’ve reminded me to nourish and focus.

    • cranstonholden

      June 3, 2013 at 7:19 am

      I’ll be sure to look at that. It sounds very interesting.

  7. ashutosh3012

    June 3, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Good One! It resounds the good old adage – “Look at the glass half full, not half empty”. Optimism is an important component of emotional intelligence and is one of the key habits of successful and happy people.

    • cranstonholden

      June 3, 2013 at 7:20 am

      True if you set your mind on a hunt for what you don’t have, it will find it. You mind is the best hunter in the world.

  8. butcheringsaint

    June 3, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Great post! I disagree on the judging people by job jumping but otherwise, I enjoyed it. I don’t think that looking at a resume and seeing multiple jobs is always a bad thing. Sometimes there was a period of transition, sometimes one bad job followed another and sometimes still one went through something huge that disrupted life for them. Enjoy the day!

    • cranstonholden

      June 4, 2013 at 7:01 am

      That’s true. There can and will always be an exception. I hope you have a wonderful day as well!

  9. Winterville First Baptist Church Media Center

    June 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    I agree, there is no perfect job, you just have to put on your “happy face” and do your job to the best of your ability and not get caught up in all the “office politics”. Don’t join in the gossip and backbiting and just be thankful that you have a job. Be friendly and helpful and just remember that when it gets bad “this too shall pass”!

    I loved the picture of the “sad” sunflower. Did you do that?

    • cranstonholden

      June 4, 2013 at 7:00 am

      Thank you so much. No I didn’t do the sunflower but I think its an awesome picture. I love that quote of “this too shall pass.” You have great insight.

      • Winterville First Baptist Church Media Center

        June 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

        Thanks! That’s a first for me. I’ll treasure that…maybe like some people frame the first dollar they made, I’ll frame your response saying I have “great insight”. :)
        I also have a sense of humor!

  10. johnathanness

    June 4, 2013 at 10:58 am

    I think part of the problem is that people aren’t honest with their spouse or employer about what they want. They put up with not getting what they want rather than rock the boat. Also, some people don’t realize that they are only providing their spouse or employer with 70-80% of what they’re looking for. If they were the 100% employee or spouse (or as near as they could be), they would probably get closer to the 100% they’re looking for from the other person. As with most relationships, you get out of it what you put into it.

  11. toddmacpherson

    June 5, 2013 at 2:31 pm

    Great challenge. Thank you.

  12. varun

    June 7, 2013 at 1:51 am

    I agree with you. Now this may sound a little exaggerated but I feel our desperate pursuit of happiness also stems from how our society conditions us. Our society discourages us from setting an equilibrium with our lives and promotes having more. This is complimented by consumerism from which the society eventually benefits. I am not sure if this is desirable or undesirable. But I feel it is the truth.

  13. Nin Ashmore

    June 8, 2013 at 1:26 am

    Excellent post! Focus on the good and not on the evil. Godliness with contentment is great gain. I Timothy 6:6. See the good in others and see the good in yourself too.

  14. thirdiradio

    June 18, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    This is awesome! Develop yourself. I love that idea..

  15. cattibrie1120

    June 25, 2013 at 2:26 am

    so true! you should focus on what you have and be thankful for what you have! the problem is the people don’t trust in their own decision and always ask theirself if they made it right or not.

  16. reflectionsintheword

    July 3, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Excellent article… and very good advice. Could, i ask you to give a reference for the statistics you quote? I believe they are correct, but a reference or two would be helpful for me.

  17. jason

    July 3, 2013 at 7:12 pm

    I think this is a good post. But, I would like to add that there are always exceptions to every rule. I believe that not everyone who jumps form job to job, or has a poor work history is someone who wouldn’t be a committed satisfied employee is given the opportunity.

    There are some people who work jobs they are overqualified for based upon the fact that they have to settle for opportunities that are available to them.

    I have a Master’s degree, and I apply to jobs daily, and the only job available to me is a part-time kitchen dishwasher, and server. No one likes to work a job where they are more educated than their managers and supervisors.

  18. chrysalisleader

    July 5, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Good post. Thanks. ‘Happiness’ I read once, ‘is less about having what you want, than wanting what you have’. How true …

  19. Jo Murphy

    July 7, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Ohhh! Luv the picture! Jo

  20. Daniel K. Eng

    July 8, 2013 at 9:25 am

    contentment really is a virtue that Americans rarely strive for. Good post, thanks!

  21. mentalmom02

    July 8, 2013 at 11:59 am

    Wonderful post and absolutely true!! We as humans are on a quest for perfection everywhere. We need to learn the art of contentment instead-contentment with our jobs, etc. and contentment with ourselves.

  22. HeatherM

    July 9, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Nice post. I also just saw an article you might be interested — somewhat in relation: 7 Unfortunate Habits of Unhappy People

  23. MunsterNCookie

    July 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    Very well said. :) I’m glad I read this.

  24. wayfinder1

    July 11, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Well stated. Complaning about one’s job also becomes a trait that can be passed along. “I saw mom and dad complain about their boss, therefore I am supposed to complain about my boss.” That attitiude will get you one of two things, at the best, miserable, at the worst, fired. A lot of this, I believe, as a career counselor, stems from folks inability to ask good questions in an interview. “But I don’t know what to ask.” I always hear. Well, for crying out loud ask things that help determine whether or not you would be happy there. For example, if you like to have your hand held a little ask “What type of feedback would I receive and how often?” If you are really particular about your quiet, private time ask “Describe for me the work environment and daily interactions in this work role.” Or if you don’t like bosses who are top down, do as I say types (I don’t like them either) ask “How free would I be to create, develop and run with my own ideas in this role?” I believe everyone should have at least 7 questions to ask at any given interview.

  25. tammyheff

    July 24, 2013 at 11:29 am

    Great post. Thanks for stopping by my blog and following it because it led me to you. Take care, Tammy

  26. cranstonholden

    August 19, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Reblogged this on todaysmanager.

  27. Sdot "The Stylist"

    August 19, 2013 at 10:39 am

    This is a really good article. Being a young adult just entering the workforce, I will definitely keep this in mind.

  28. Rajiv

    August 19, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    I could not agree more

  29. Kate @ Did That Just Happen?

    August 19, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Love this – I usually stayed at a job for 3-4 years and never left because of disinterest or dissatisfaction, but because I had learned all that I could learn and there was no where else in the company for me to go (of course, I work in a very specialized field, not typical). Each move was putting me a little higher up and in a different department so that I could learn and continue to grow. Now I’ve been where I am for over 6 years, but it’s the top of the field and something new everyday – I’ve been able to take all of the knowledge I gathered in my job jumping and put it to use every day. But – again – that is all the exception to the rule. The nice thing is that when people ask why I put up with this or that – I have an answer – the stuff that just drives me nuts is offset by all of the good things about my job! I can handle a boss that calls at all hours of the day and night because I have tremendous freedom during the day. It’s all about being happy with what you have!

    Okay – I’m done – I swear! :)

    • cranstonholden

      August 19, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      It always nice to be able to grow in the positions we have. Of course I don’t advocate staying in a job if its putting a lid on your growth. Who you become while growing is what’s important.

      Thanks and have a good day Kate

  30. Jenny Ebermann (bxljenny)

    August 19, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Whereas for many people the grass is always greener on the other side, I can only say that happiness comes from inside a person. It is a way of being and living in the present moment, accepting who you are and what you stand for. This basic happiness from within will then accompany everything you do, be it at work or elsewhere. The fundamental question is however: if your life is a street and you are in a car, where do you sit? Left in front, fully in charge or in a back seat, only observing how your life unfolds in front of you?

  31. 7718

    August 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    So true. People always seem to focus on what is missing or point the blame. we each have a say in our happiness and personal development is what many are lacking. Focus on what you have and foster an attitude of gratitude and attract that which is missing.

  32. jameskania

    August 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    Great post… Many of us are suffer and feel unsatisfied with our lives. By coming back to the present moment and realizing that we have so many things to be grateful for, we can avoid this delusion that our needs are not being met.


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