Leveraging Unhappiness

Unhappiness is a powerful driver of change in our lives. We sense unhappiness, or even simple unrest, and we take action to dispense of whatever we deem the culprit is. This action can seem to alleviate the perception of burden . . . for a time. Eventually that sense of burden is back again, and the cycle begins anew.

What if nine-times-out-of-ten the thing that needed changing was not contained within the situation but was instead contained within your thoughts about the situation? How much time, effort, money, and heartache would you save if the only necessary adjustment was simply a shift in perception? What if unhappiness was prompting you to learn something rather than change something?

The next time you notice unhappiness, don’t rush off to change what you are doing. Try instead to do what you are doing in a different way. Get curious: what can unhappiness teach us about happiness? Notice one breath consciously, sensing the expansion which that breath fails to relinquish in the face of oppressive unrest. If possible, offer a word of humble gratitude for the situation for prompting you to connect with yourself in a new way.

If the desire for change still remains, you are now in a space ripe for effective, compassionate action. Leveraging unhappiness in this way will reveal a creative, inspired, empowered course of action that aligns seamlessly with the intention you hold for your life.

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