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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Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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