1. You think the world owes you.
You think you deserve the best, that the world revolves around you, and that simply by being alive, you are owed “the good life.”
Here’s the problem: Everybody, more or less, is a good person. Everybody is trying their best with the hand they’ve been dealt. If you’re reading this in a First world country you should count yourself lucky, because otherwise you’d be too busy standing in line to fill a bucket with water for you and the rest of your family. The world does not give a fuck about you. People have lived their entire lives fighting an illness they were born with because their mothers passed it onto them and died at three years old alone in a shrub. That probably happened, and if the world is heartless enough to kill an innocent little three-year-old, what do you think it’s capable of doing to your sorry ass?
2. Keeping up with the Joneses.
Also known as buying a bunch of shit you don’t need so you can appear happier than your neighbor who is also buying a bunch of shit he doesn’t need so he can appear happier than you.
Here’s the problem: In the end, this makes no one happy and everyone broke. What it does is make you happy for a very short period of time. When you buy that shiny new Lambo you’ll be on top of the world. But then guess what? You’re going to have to buy something else to get that rush of happiness again because that new Lambo isn’t new anymore. Or maybe Todd the prick next door bought a slightly newer Lambo and fuck Todd if he thinks he’s better than me, do you see my plasma TV? Todd, you prick, see it? Todd! Damn it, he’s got a bigger one….
Because life can be a real bitch sometimes, we usually just want to be distracted at the end of the day with some mind-numbing entertainment. Whether it be Netflix, video games, sex, or good old-fashioned masturbation, we’re really just closing ourselves off from reality.
Here’s the problem: More people need to be creating instead of consuming. This world is full of consumers, which goes hand-in-hand with the whole keeping-up-with-the-Joneses thing. We tend to take a lot of things for granted. I believe Howard Thurman said it best: “Don’t ask what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
4. Comparing yourself to others.
Mark Twain said comparison is the thief of joy. And he was a pretty smart dude.
Here’s the problem: If we’re always comparing ourselves to others we will never truly be happy with what we’ve accomplished because there will always be someone better then you at something. The trick is accepting that and being OK with personal achievements. When you truly realize you’re capable of anything (because you are, but you’ll never realize that if you’re constantly comparing yourself to someone you deem greater than yourself), the world will be your oyster—but most importantly you can tell Todd to fuck himself.