Happiness is just around the corner

I had to share this wonderful cartoon:

By Polyp

There’s also a cool animated version:

Does anyone honestly think that making more money, consuming more stuff, driving a bigger car or bagging that fancy title will make them happier?

It seems that many people consistently focus their time and energy on getting things that won’t make them happy – to the cost of the simple but important factors: Friends, family, meaning and fun.

Ask yourself this: How much of your time is spent doing things that make you or other people happy? And how much racing the other rats in the maze?

Here are some way to get out of the rat race:

I think Lily Tomlin said it best:

“The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat.”

16 thoughts on “Happiness is just around the corner”

  1. Alex,
    I love the way you summarise the importance of not postponing our happiness! Unfortunately, many of us have what Transactional Analists call an Until Script Process, a way to perceive life in which “I can’t have fun until all work is done”. In the end, there is always more work to do, and the time of fun never comes… Others don’t feel worthy of happiness or feel too guilty to be happy. Those and other psychological barriers are often rationalised: “I am not postponing my happiness, is just that now I need to concentrate on getting a promotion…” Fortunately change is possible, and the first step is realising that we can make ourself happier.

  2. I agree. Our disbeliefs is the main reason why we do things that don’t make us happy. We know that money can buy happiness. But why do we have to sacrifice for happiness if we can be happy without the sacrifice?

  3. Thanks for sharing. This should be a good reminder for us that we need to be realistic in making decisions. Our job is one particular answer to our need which is money.

  4. Do what you love to do and make money with it. Most people change jobs several times in a career until they find the right one. Doing what you love is a great way to spend your working hours. Your experience in business (success or failure) is worth for your future business.

  5. Peter: I agree – beliefs are crucial. It’s not what happens to you, but what you think about it.

    Steve: You mean I don’t have to spend 20 years hauling in fertilizer, building bigger and bigger greenhouses – I could just bloom right now? Who knew!

    Marco: An “Until Script Process” – that’s it exactly. I’ve never heard of that before, but it makes total sense. I’ll have to read up on transactional analysis. Know a good place to start?

    Charles: I’m afraid I have no idea – I got it in an email from a friend…

    John: I love that – “why do we have to sacrifice for happiness if we can be happy without the sacrifice?” Right on!

    Jaizki: That’s one of the best ways to be stuck in a situation: When you feel to busy to do something about it.

    Nancy: Yes. And realistically, a job that makes you happy is going to wear you down before you know it.

    Tantowi: Exactly!

  6. Great post. It’s sad though that the majority of people really don’t understand this. They believe that the rat race is the safest, therefore easiest, therefore best way to live their life.

    I’m always reminding of the quote:

    “Find a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.”

    Unfortunately not enough people are willing to go out of their comfort zone and chase their dream jobs.


  7. The bad thing is just that this whole system is built on the rat race – the race has to continue in order to keep the economy etc. alive.

    The phenomenon has been analyzed for decades, even Marx had an idea of “commodity fetishism”. Jean Baudrillard wrote that it’s a sort of hyperreality in which we (the western world) are living. Guy Debord wrote in 1967 that we’re living in “The Society of the Spectacle”.

    It’s not too far-fetched to think something fundamental has to happen in our beliefs in order to keep this planet alive. It’s not just about a few people jumping off the rat race, it’s about millions (and hundreds of millions) of people doing it.

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