I Have Everything I’ve Ever Dreamed Of. Why Am I Not Happy?

Signs of Discontent


You don’t need a degree in psychology to know when you’re off-track, but sometimes it creeps up on you. It can seem like you wake up one day and realize that things are not right. These are a few of the signs:

•    You don’t want to get out of bed.

•    You have a hard time motivating yourself to do routine tasks.

•    You have doubts about yourself.

•    You feel mildly depressed for days at a time.

•    You sometimes overeat and/or use alcohol and drugs to feel better or escape.

•    You often feel chronically tired, deenergized, and listless.

•    You worry about how you will keep things together.

•    You feel bored or restless.

•    You wish you were somewhere else.

•    You often have headaches, stomach upset, and other body aches and pains.

•    You sleep too little or too much.

•    You have frequent bad dreams or nightmares.

•    You oversleep.

•    You complain and nag.


Feeling dissatisfied with your life is not a pleasant experience, but it can lead you in a positive direction. These feelings may be important because they are telling you that your actions are out of synch with your values, goals, or talents.


Rediscover What Is Important to You


Imagine that your life is handed back to you and you are able to do anything you want. What is important to you? What values will direct you? Consider each word on the following list individually. It is not necessary to force-rank them or compare them against each other. Assign a rating to each word:


1 = Critically important to me

2 = Important to me

3 = I can live without it


Acceptance by others

Accomplishment

Activity

Admiration

Appreciation

Authority

Beauty

Being liked

Being well-paid

Calm

Casualness

Certainty

Challenge

Choice

Comfort

Community service

Competition

Creativity

Enjoyment

Ethics

Excellence

Excitement

Fame

Financial security

Fitness

Flexibility

Fortune

Freedom

Fulfilling my potential

Fun

Growth

Harmony

Health

Helping others

Honesty

Independence

Informality

Leisure

Making a difference

Mastery

Morality

Nature

Novelty

Originality

Peace

Personal development

Pets

Pleasure

Popularity

Power

Prestige

Privacy

Prosperity

Quality

Recognition

Relaxation

Respect

Risk

Solitude

Spirituality

Stability

Status

Stimulation

Surprise

Time for friends

Time for my family

Uniqueness

Variety

Wealth

Wisdom


Now make a list that summarizes your most important values. If you think of something that isn’t listed, feel free to add it.

The final part of this process (and this is a very streamlined version of what is possible) is to compare how you are currently spending your time with your list of most important values. How well do they match each other? What clues can you find that will help you find more satisfaction in your life?


Things that don’t match:


What I can do about it: