happy life

Are You Sabotaging Your Happiness? Let’s Fix That With 7 Easy Steps

Are you one of those people who like to complain all the time? Are you never satisfied, no matter what you do or how things change for the better? Can you always find a negative aspect of every situation you are in?

Did you know that your negative outlook can affect your productivity? You will start to focus more and more on complaining, instead of finishing your work. You may even try to recruit your colleagues or loved ones to your campaign of complaining.

Finally, you may even go as far as refusing to do your work. You start to procrastinate, because you are not happy with what you are doing. This negativity is killing your work performance.

Two essential things we forget

Complaining about and undervaluing our current situation seems to be a common trend nowadays. You can see this happening in the local supermarket, at the water-cooler in the office or even at home.

What is even worse is that we feel the cause for our complaints are never our fault – it’s always someone else’s. It’s very common to blame politicians, your neighbours or even your family members for why things are so lousy.

But do you know what is really causing all this? It’s the fact that we have forgotten two very important things and we are avoiding the responsibility that comes along with them!

First of all, nowadays we have an overwhelming opportunity to own more than we need. Advertisers will always try to hook us on to something new and exciting. And we usually take the bait again and again, even if we don’t need the stuff.

Second, where we are right now and what we have experienced so far is a result of the choices we as individuals have made in the past. It’s our job to take the responsibility of those past actions and become aware of why we are in our current situations.

Life ring in the sea of stimulus

So, here you are with your latest gadgets and trendy clothes, yet you feel like complaining.

Do you know why?

Because you don’t feel grateful for what you have or what you have experienced in life. It’s this lack of gratitude that causes you to complain and see only the negative side of every situation.

This lack of gratitude is also causing you to be unhappy. And just think about this a bit – when do you really perform at your best? When you are unhappy? Or perhaps, when you are happy?

Yes, you got it right: Gratitude + Happiness = Productivity.

Once you learn to appreciate the present and see potential for beauty in everything, you will start to feel that everything is worthwhile after all.

Don’t feel like complaining anymore? Awesome!

Do you value the present?

So how do you move from being an unproductive complainer to a happy producer?

First, you should stop for a moment and figure out whether things are really that bad. Do you find it difficult to value what you already have?

If you are a healthy person, for example, you have more than what some people will ever have. There are many people out there who would pay a lot of money to be healthy and to live a normal life instead of living in a hospital or eating pills every day.

Most of the time your situation is actually pretty good! You just have to be more aware of this. In fact, you should start to value and appreciate everything you have in life, like sunshine, a cup of coffee in the morning or the sound of children’s laughter.

Then, take responsibility for your current situation. You are where you are right now is because of your past actions and the decisions you have made.

I tend to believe that life has a plan and everything happens for a reason. So if you want to change the course of your life (you don’t like your job for example) then it’s your responsibility to take action accordingly and make the change happen.

Everything is perfect right here, right now

To get even more value out of life and shut down the complainer in you, do the following:

1. Stop for a moment. Ask yourself: “Are things really that bad or am I just complaining for nothing?” For example, you could take a walk in nature to think this through. Come up with all the good things you have in your life.

2. List all the great things in your life (whether they are small or big things). Make a list of all the great things that you have in your life and put that list on your work room wall or the refrigerator door.

You can always have a private list in Google Docs or EverNote if you don’t want to show it to anyone else.

Once you start a list of good things about your life, you will start to understand and appreciate of all the great things you have going for you.

3. Start writing a gratitude journal. This keeps you constantly reminded of those things that you feel grateful for. You could even write your journal before going to bed, so that you feel good when you fall asleep.

4. Take responsibility for your current situation. Figure out a way to change the part of your life that you are not comfortable with. Blaming others is not going to solve your problems.

5. Change your perspective. I have noticed many times that something which may seem negative on the outside has a positive side as well. It’s all about changing the perspective to see both sides of the coin.

6. Have a gratitude ritual. Do things that make you happy. For me, this includes grabbing a cup of coffee on my way into the office and sitting for a moment in our floor’s cafeteria. This cafeteria has a nice view over a busy street and I can watch the buzz on the street while I enjoy my coffee.

7. Say “thank you”. It is important to say “thank you”, whether you say this to your closest friends or to yourself.

I say “thank you” to myself because I have a two working hands and a sharp mind to write this story with. Or I say “thank you” because I can have a cup of coffee and a quick break after I finish this post.

Do these steps and feel grateful – when you feel grateful you are happy and more productive in your everyday actions.


Once you view things in your life in a more optimistic and positive fashion, facing the everyday challenges is easier. The best way to do this is to feel more gratitude in what you already have.

We like to complain about our everyday events and situations too often, but this is counter-productive.

With more gratitude in your life, you will look at the world through different eyes. You will see more positives in your daily life.

  • Excellent said. Being appreciative to people is one of the key to true happiness in life. Often people get too grumpy for things that is often not within their control or things that does not meet their expectations.  I absolutely agree that having a good thank you ritual will help you move forward in life. 

    • True.

      Especially worrying over things that we can’t control is useless.


  • Excellent said. Being appreciative to people is one of the key to true happiness in life. Often people get too grumpy for things that is often not within their control or things that does not meet their expectations.  I absolutely agree that having a good thank you ritual will help you move forward in life. 

  • Excellent said. Being appreciative to people is one of the key to true happiness in life. Often people get too grumpy for things that is often not within their control or things that does not meet their expectations.  I absolutely agree that having a good thank you ritual will help you move forward in life. 

  • you are right
    many of the pain we experience is caused by our actions

  • Good post. I have to say that we all need to grateful for what we have and will achieve. We need to show gratitude to people. Say please and thank you to people. be grateful for wht you have and then go for what you want. Be confident and have positive attitude.

    • Sure Pulin,

      Gratitude is so important.

      It’s unbelievable how good you feel, if you are grateful.


  • Nilton

    I would like to thank you for this article very well articulated and written. It comes in a time that I am actually looking for some answers for my current situation. Somebody asked what song describes me most ‘I still haven’t found what I am looking for’ crossed to my mind. Some times we felt that is missing something and we don’t see what we already have.

    • Thank you Nilton :)

      It is very easy to miss the obvious that is around us. In many cases, what we already have brings us the biggest joy and happiness.


  • chetan

    Dear Timo !  Nice post and I liked the way you have explained :)  I remember a day when I was not on job but I told my self that I am not in that bad situation where I do not have money to buy food  ( like many people face this problem)….  Thank you very Much :)

    • Thank you chetan!

      Sometimes we need to realize that things are actually on a much better shape than we think they are.


  • Great article! I’m going to print it out and post it on the wall in my office. Often times we fail to see what we already have because we don’t allow ourselves to see accomplishments. When we get close to achieving a goal we immidiately start on the next. Never taking the time to look at the vista of great things achieved and relationships built. Truly, it’s a matter of just slowing down or being more present in the moment.

    • Wow, that is nice to hear :)

      Being more present – exactly!


  • Heather

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Putting in the little bit of effort to “be in the moment” and notice what is going on around you and recognizing all we have to b grateful for can make all the difference and turn the foulest mood around.

    • Thank you Heather :)

      Yes, it makes a radical difference to your everyday life.


  • Amazing. Your 7 steps are the perfect thing to get people back on track and being grateful for all that they have even the little things. Now your last point goes hand in hand with the video on HooplaHa today Shar-ing with Shari. She reminds people of the importance of feeling gratitude and taking the time to say thank you! Please check it out, you two have the same message!

    • Kcar,

      Sure, I’ll take a look. Thanks for the pointer :)


    • Thank you! Great to hear you liked it!


    • Thank you! Great to hear you liked it!


  • It’s odd.  I thought I posted a comment earlier.  Anyway, thanks for your excellent article.  I’ll be back to read more.

    • Awesome Dan! 

      Thank you for your nice comment :)


    • Awesome Dan! 

      Thank you for your nice comment :)


  • Loved this post!

  • I like this post, Kimo! 

    I keep a gratitude journal myself, well soft of. I note down three positive things that happened to me on a regular basis. This is especially helpful especially on tough days, when all I can think of are the problems that riddled me throughout. It allows me to slow down and appreciate the good things I neglected and bring a nice conclusion to my day.


    • Thank  you Allan :)

      Oh … the gratitude journal … I forgot that completely. Thanks for the tip :)


  •  Thanks for this share mate. I have looking for this info
    for quite some time now and I am glad to come across your post.

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