find happiness

8 Mistakes People Make When Searching for Authentic Happiness

Have you been trying to find authentic happiness in life, but it isn’t working?

Do you think there’s some magic answer to your problems?

The funny thing is that there is an answer that seems almost magical, yet it is the simplest thing in the world, which is exactly why most people miss it.

In this article, you’ll discover that simple, slightly magical answer, while we go through the 8 big mistakes people make when trying to find happiness in life.

Let’s jump right in.

1.  Things

“All seasons are beautiful for the person who carries happiness within.” — Horace Friess


Things will not make you happy. This is true for everything. If you want that dream house, it may give you a boost of happiness, but it won’t last.

Even winning the lottery won’t last. Your happiness levels will return to their previous set point and you will be back trying to get more things.

The solution is to realize that things will not make you happy. Happiness in life comes from the inside, and it’s available right here, right now.

Stop looking for more things and start looking inside.

2.  Relationships

“If you can learn to love yourself and all the flaws, you can love other people so much better. And that makes you so happy.” -Kristin Chenoweth

If you could just find your soul mate, you would be complete, right?

Not really.

Even if you find your soul mate, it may sooner or later turn sour, unless you’ve done the inner work.

You have to be willing to find happiness within. No partner can make you happy, and if you think they can, you will try to change them, which will lead to suffering.

There will always be something, even in the most perfect partner, that you don’t like, or that doesn’t live up to your expectations.

Learn to love yourself first.

3.  Striving

“You will never be happy if you continue to search for what happiness consists of. You will never live if you are looking for the meaning of life.”― Albert Camus

And that brings us to our next mistake, which is striving.

This could be striving for happiness, or for something to alleviate the apparent suffering in your life.

It’s something you hope will come and fix everything. And the reality is that it’s not going to happen, not if you’re looking for it.

The simple answer to finding happiness in your life is to stop looking for it. Stop trying so hard. Welcome what is.

And let life take care of itself.

Welcome even the feelings you’ve labeled as negative.

Welcome it all in, and let it be.

Let life be.

4.  Logical Living

“Life is like a roller coaster, live it, be happy, enjoy life.”-Avril Lavigne

Logical living is living through the mind alone.

When you live a logical life, everything has to make sense. You need to plan and control everything. And if you’ve been doing this, you know it leads to nothing but anguish.

You can’t control life. You can’t plan life. Life has a will of its own, and it just happens. It takes you on highs and it takes you on lows.

The best attitude you can have is to enjoy the ride.

The reason you’re not happy is because your expectations of what life should be are wrong. Life is what it is. When you keep resisting life, you suffer.

When you let go and trust, things flow.

5.  Blame

“It isn’t what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about.” — Dale Carnegie

Is someone else the reason why you aren’t happy?

Maybe it’s your boss, your spouse or even your kids?

There’s no one that can make you unhappy without your consent. It is your reaction to people that determines whether or not you are happy.

A great example of this is the weather. When it’s dark and cold outside, we tend to say that the weather is “bad,” but the weather just is.

We assign meaning to the weather, and we decide how it makes us feel. There are people who love rain, and there are people who hate rain.

It’s all within you.

If you need to make changes in your life, do so, but stop blaming.

Let go.

6.  Excuses

“Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.” ~ Francesca Reigler

You want to be happier, but you can’t because of X.

Notice what excuses are holding you back, and let them go. You create your excuses out of thin air. They are not real.

If something is making you unhappy, first welcome it, then let it go. If a situation needs changing, change it, but stop making excuses.

If you aren’t willing to do something, don’t do it. There’s no need for excuses. Own your decisions and be content with it.

7.  Perfection

“Being happy doesn’t mean everything is perfect. It means you have decided to look beyond the imperfections.” –Unknown

You don’t have to get things perfect to be happy. Your life doesn’t have to be perfect.

Let life be messy. Let life be chaotic. You just enjoy what’s here in this very moment. Let go of the rest, because there’s nothing you can do anyway.

We want things to be perfect. We want guarantees that whatever we do will work out. But there are no guarantees.

And you never know if making a mistake is exactly what needs to happen in order for you to get to where you need to be.

It’s impossible to know what life has in store for you, so let go.

Are you noticing the pattern here?

Just. Let. Go.

You’ve been trying to become happier. It’s time to let it all go and relax.

8.  Avoiding the Now

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be.” – Marcel Pagnol

What this all comes down to is looking into the future for happiness.

It’s not there.

If you’re trying to get something so you can be happy, it won’t happen.

Happiness is right in this very moment. At your core, you are happiness, you are joy, and you are peace.

What keeps you from feeling it is all the wanting, trying to get somewhere, and trying to resist the present moment.


This all comes down to the fact that you can be happier, right now.

Your authentic happiness is right there, inside you. Everything else will pass away, but your eternal nature will always remain.

If you look inside, without thinking or analyzing, you will see this. And as you keep looking, happiness will keep growing.

Or in reality, you will discover more and more of who you really are.

Sometimes life will be hard, but that’s okay. Welcome it in.

Sometimes life will be joyous, and that’s okay, too.

You can’t have the good without the bad. That’s life. Accept what is, and let life take you on the adventure it is.

And lastly, be happy simply because…

“For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson


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44 Responses to 8 Mistakes People Make When Searching for Authentic Happiness

  1. These are good points. It’s important to enjoy the present because, in reality, that’s where we live. The past is gone, and the future never comes.

    That said, I think point # 3 about striving requires an asterisk — striving is only painful if you’re not doing anything to make your dreams happen. Hoping without action is just yearning. Don’t do that to yourself.

    Live in the present, but act for the future. One day you’ll find that the present is pretty nice place to be.


  2. Joe says:

    Great Article. It seems following all of these points leads you into an almost child like state which is not surprising as kids generally seem a lot happier than adults.

  3. Rafac1880 says:

    Very good article,  thoroughly enjoyed.  Thank you for the insight!

  4. Jose says:

    this was a very enlightening article.  Thank you…

  5. Danerickson says:

    We can’t find happiness.  It’s not a search.  We just have to live and be, and it will come.

  6. Hi Trevor, thanks for sharing your thoughts! :) 

  7. Hi KnowJoe19! Nice to e-meet you! Yes..i agree! Activating our childhood fantasies can make us happier in life :)

  8. Thanks Rafac1880! :) Am glad you liked the post! :)

  9. Hi Jose! Nice to e-meet you! :)
    Am glad that you liked this post! Do share with your friends, family and spread happiness to them as well! :)

  10. Hi Danerickson, thanks for sharing your thoughts! :) What you have said reminds me of Point 3 in the article…the simple answer to finding happiness in your life is to stop looking for it. Stop trying so hard. Welcome what is :)

  11. Jorge Blanco says:

     Right you are, Trevor. If we just keep letting life happen as it is, we won’t make our dreams a reality. We need to strive to achieve them as well. We need action and we need to move. But you shouldn’t try too hard. Strive and know when to stop and take a break or start over.

  12. hepsoj says:

    The basis of happiness and success is forgiveness. Forgiveness as self-indulgence so that you are free of the burden of thinking of the wrongs done to you.

  13. Trabini2 says:

    This is so wise.

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  24. Guest says:

    Hi so i love this article. Love all your articles actually. But i struggle with the idea that one can’t look to the future for happiness. I have a dream, it’s been my dream since I was three, it’s realistic, I’m doing all I can to work towards it yet it’s up to fate. I try to find happy moments every day and I almost always do. I’m being more positive and what not but I feel as though I will never be complete untill I’ve accomplished this goal and my dream has come true. How does one stay positive? I’m trying but I’m scared of what the future holds. Sometimes I feel excited though. I just don’t know how I can be truly happy unless I succeed in this goal. It’s what I’ve always wanted, and the closer I get, the more my heart desires it.

  25. I know exactly what you mean! From my own experience, I would just say it’s about finding a balance. I also have a dream that I simply HAVE to fulfill but I also feel it’s really important to work on your happiness along the way. Ironically, it can only help you in achieving your dream so it’s actually useful to focus on your happiness and make sure you’re feeling complete even without having achieved your main dream. I really believe you can be happy and work towards your dream at the same time.
    Good luck! Would be interested to know what your dream is?

  26. Joe says:

     Something you HAVE to do doesn’t sound like a dream. It may have the wrong subconscious drive and therefore negative chemistry. TRYING implies effort which will interfere with the flow of creativity. Have you ever tried to remember something but no matter how hard you try …… then you relax and what happens?!
    The “dream” needs some rethinking so that it comes from relaxation.
    Joe. A different Joe!

  27. Something you HAVE to do sounds EXACTLY like a dream. Just re reading THINK AND GROW RICH at the moment and Napoleon Hill is constantly talking about your desires reaching the point of an obsession before they can be achieved. This is not the only place I’ve read that either. Can find it in countless personal development books and in great achievements throughout history. The sports star who achieves incredible success, the business man who makes their fortune, the hero that ends up changing the world – all driven by dreams they HAD to fulfill. It might be scary for some people to accept, but being obsessed with achieving something or getting somewhere is a vital quality in realizing that desire. 
    I still agree with your comments about not TRYING or FORCING your dream. My own personal experience tells me it’s a fine balancing act between the compelling force of an obsession and remaining a spiritually rounded person at the same time. It is achievable though.
    Joe. The first Joe!

  28. Joe says:

    Hi Joe,

    This is interesting. I agree absolutely with your comment. there are therefore different meanings to having to do something. ‘I just have to go to work because I love it so much’, is vety different to; ‘I have to go to work to pay the bills but I hate what I do’. It is a subject which I have been developing in a series of recent articles on my website. Have a look if you wish; _44/ and _43/ are also relevant.

    Speaking of obsessions, you will find; perhaps interesting.

    This is not self promotion. We appear to be on the same wavelength. The next few articles will build on the point you are making.


  29. Thanks Joe, will check it out. 
    Certainly agree with the two different meanings of ‘having’ to do something. Definitely wouldn’t want to fall on the wrong side of that divide and find myself HAVING to do a whole load of things that didn’t bring any kind of inspiration. 
    Best wishes,

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