5 reasons you’re unhappy

By Ed Latimore Last modified

These are the 5 main reasons you’re unhappy. I don’t get down often, but it does happen. When I’m unhappy, it’s because of one of these reasons. When you’re unhappy, it’s likely one of these reasons as well.

The first reason you’re unhappy: you worry about shit you can’t control

Life is like poker. All the players will eventually get the same starting hands. Some players make money. Some players lose it. It helps if you have pocket aces, but that’s rare (which is why less than one percent of people are born to families that make more than $250,000 a year).

You don’t control the cards. You don’t control the other players. The only thing you control is how you play your hand. You’re only master of your own life.

I laugh when poker players complain about an opponent’s luck. Or when they complain that a guy should’ve folded the cards he was dealt. Instead he stayed, got lucky and won lot of money. 

Some great successes are the result of staying in a situation you shouldn’t. No one likes to admit it, but our lives are heavily governed by random events and statistical probabilities.

You can’t control the fickle forces in life. Thinking you should be able to doesn’t accomplish anything. It only frustrates you.

Life is like poker. The player who consistently wins doesn’t always have the best starting cards. He doesn’t complain when the odds aren’t in his favor. This is because he knows the game is largely out of his control.

Focus on tightening up your life game.

Don’t worry about shit you can’t control. The only thing you can control is yourself.

The 2nd reason you’re unhappy: you don’t make decisions

Few people make real decisions in their life. Therefore, few people are happy in their life. You think you make decisions, but you’re just going with the flow.

It starts when you’re young. You’re told which school to go to and which classes to take. Then it continues in college. You form the worst social habits but believe life is like this. Your parents tell you a certain field of study is unacceptable, so you don’t pursue something that would have made you a lot happier.

Maybe you meet someone. You’re expected to get married by a certain point. On the surface, it seems like you’ve been making choices. The reality is you never actually considered your options.

Most of us follow our programming. We make “choices” from within that programming, then wonder why things never change. This goes on for years until you have a mid-life crisis.

If you’re unhappy with circumstances in your life, you’ve probably been blindly following some program. 

The 3rd reason you’re unhappy: you’re missing the big picture

The “big picture” is simple and it applies to everyone. You’re going to die and there isn’t a thing you can do about it. And when you die, no one will remember you in two generations.

The pessimistic reaction is, “Fuck it! Why not just end it now?” You don’t because you still have feelings, desires, wants, and needs. You can’t just shake them. They’re part of the human experience.

Life has almost no meaning in and of itself. You are born, get to kid around for a while, you hit puberty and then sex becomes your driving force. You may or may not reproduce, and then you die. Everything else in between is whatever you want it to be.

By remembering this, you free yourself to do whatever you want knowing that it won’t matter in the long term. As long as you don’t intentionally hurt others, you are free to make yourself completely happy. Or you can live a life of service to others. The only thing that matters is that it brings you satisfaction and enjoyment.

Even though life means nothing, I place more value on it because I know it’s a one-shot deal. Life is too short for unhappiness. There’s a countdown on your life — do you realize that? You can’t waste time on bullshit that doesn’t make you happy.

Even people who believe in heaven don’t want to die to get there. This is because although death is a guarantee, nothing else is. 

The 4th reason you’re unhappy: your self-worth is shit

Realizing life is meaningless made me to want to create value. It’s like I realized I have the last diamond on earth but I’m in a bidding against myself. If you’re unhappy and it’s from none of the above causes, chances are you don’t believe you’re worth a damn thing.

Self-worth is a combination of three things—your societal contributions, alignment with your life purpose, and the status of your relationships. Most of the depressed people I’ve met are lacking in one of those areas.

Self-worth cannot be faked — it comes from truly believing in your right to be alive and enjoy life. You get this feeling from building relationships and excelling at something you love. If you believe your sadness is natural, then fuck it—that’s how you’ll proceed. It lowers how you feel about everything. Especially yourself. 

The 5th reason you’re unhappy: no one loves your ass

Your parents don’t count. Your siblings and family don’t count. They might make you feel good, but they don’t make you happy. This is because you did nothing to earn their love.

They automatically gave it. Forget all that nonsense about “unconditional love.” If you don’t have to earn something, you’re likely to take it for granted.

You should have to earn and maintain the bonds of a person. This will ensure that you remain a righteous and productive human being.

No one wants to be around a downer. If you don’t have any friends that you’ve known for more than a third of your life, been through shit with them that could have gotten you killed or arrested, gone through bouts where you haven’t spoken or had a serious fight, then don’t know what you’re missing.

Recovery from this turmoil is part of the human condition. That’s real love. It’s what will make you happy.