Why are we Unhappy – Insights from the Wilderness #167

Why are we UnhappyDo you know who you are?  What is your life purpose? Why were you born? When asked those questions, most people don’t have a clue how to answer them. They get that panicky look on their face and stumble over words trying to figure out what to say.

However, when asked what they are against, most people have no problem coming up with one or more things they don’t like, things they think are wrong or stupid, or things that “should” be changed.

These questions illustrate several important reasons why most of us are unhappy.

Reason A) Our primitive ego loves to define who we are by what we are against. When we are anti, or against something, we tap into feelings like anger, frustration and annoyance, and we bring into awareness our certainties, opinions, and beliefs. Our primitive ego uses strong emotions and beliefs to create and maintain our sense of self-identity. Resisting “what is” gives our primitive ego a powerful sense of self-identity. The more passionately we resist something, the more our self-identity is strengthened.

Reason B) We have been conditioned to find ourselves. For example, have you found your career? Have you found what makes you happy? Have you found yourself? Most of us spend most of our life energy trying to find what we think will make us happy. We have forgotten that life is not about finding our “self”; life is about creating our “self”. We create ourselves by paying attention to what interests us, and then moving toward that thing—–one decision and choice at a time. Our life is not a lost object; it’s an evolving, unfolding process.

Reason C) We want immediate gratification. When we are against something our ego gets immediate gratification. Our self-identity is immediately reinforced. Our primitive ego does not like to delay gratification. It wants what it wants when it wants it. When we awaken our consciousness and make the decision to create our life by moving toward those things that most interest us, our primitive ego will learn to deal with delayed gratification and longer range planning.


Like our life, happiness is not found, it is created. When we stop pushing the river and resisting “what is”, we can use our life energy to begin moving toward those things that most interest us. We can begin creating the life we were meant to live. When we learn to define ourselves by what we love, and not by what we are against or don’t like, we will discover that happiness and meaning have quietly entered our lives.

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4 Responses to Why are we Unhappy – Insights from the Wilderness #167

  1. Lindsey H. October 12, 2013 at 1:39 pm #

    “When we stop pushing the river and resisting ‘what is'”… I like the idea of pushing against a river. It’s a very difficult thing to do, in fact. A river is not something you can push, it just is what it is and is flowing where it is bound to flow. There’s not messing with that. That’s a good way of drawing the parallel to human happiness. Thanks for the insight. I’m excited to listen to the audio.

    • DickRauscher October 14, 2013 at 8:16 am #

      “Don’t push the river” is one of my favorite metaphors——it captures in four simple words why we tend to create so much unhappiness in our lives.Thanks for the feedback. Glad it was helpful.

  2. Nancy October 9, 2013 at 7:52 am #

    Hi Dick!! Thank you for this, love it! Great job on all of your books too, the emails and website look great!!


    • DickRauscher October 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

      Thanks for the positive feedback. Glad the Nugget was helpful!

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