The Pursuit Of Unhappiness. Pt I

The pursuit of happiness is the right of all Americans. We’ve been pursuing it for over 200 years now, and we’ve spread happiness around the world through being the most prolific promoter of entertainment on the planet. Yet somehow we’re still not happy.
We should be happy, it’s in the Bill of Rights. We should be happy – it’s our God-given right. Right? Sure, why not. So why aren’t we happy? Why are we disillusioned with our politicians and political system? Why aren’t we all living the American Dream?
The man, the myth, the legend sums it up:

“It’s easy to say what you stand against, but it’s difficult to say what you stand for. I just wanted to go through the seeds of inspiration that enrich our lives.” – Nicky Wire

We are surrounded by negativity. Everyone is able to tell you in a heartbeat what is wrong with the world, but how easy is it to see what it right?
OK, so you’ll notice a theme here, but the Manic Street Preachers explain this:

It’s not “What’s wrong?”
It’s “What’s right?”
Makes you feel like I’m talking a foreign language sometimes.
It’s not “What’s wrong?”
It’s “What’s right?”
It’s the facts of life sunshine.

– from “All Is Vanity” – Manic Street Preachers

It’s harder to talk to people about what is right, than what is wrong. And we wonder why we’re not happy. Think about the times you can say you were truly happy with life. What were you doing?
I’m going to make a prediction that in the times you were happy one of two things was happening:

  • You were attending an event or activity. For example, you were at a wedding (maybe your own), the birth of a child, Disney World, sitting on the beach relaxing.
  • You were working towards a goal. You were planning something and working to achieve something that meant a lot to you.

The problem with a pursuit of happiness is that it leads to unhappiness. Happiness is temporary.
Here are the three takeaways for today:
1 – There is no such thing as “a state of happiness” to attain. So don’t pursue it.
2 – Happiness depends on external factors as much as internal ones. As such, happiness can never be attained on a long-term basis.
3 – When the Manic Street Preachers drop a new song I turn into a fanboy. Sorry, it makes me happy.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be happy. The problem comes in when we want to be happy all the time. It won’t happen because it can’t happen. No one has yet managed to be happy all the time. However, there is something of much more value that we can chase, and we’ll talk about that next time.
If you enjoyed this article please give a like and check out other articles at

5 thoughts on “The Pursuit Of Unhappiness. Pt I

  1. Interesting post. I agree it’s definitely not possible to be happy all the time. I think the problem is we compare ourselves to others a lot, the grass is always greener. In my opinion in order to increase happiness is to practice gratitude and to recognise what we do have.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.