Happiness comes in so many different forms that it can be hard to define. Unhappiness, on the other hand, is easy to identify; you know it when you see it, and you definitely know when it’s taken ahold of you.
Unhappiness is lethal to everyone around you, just like second-hand smoke. The famous Terman Study from Stanford followed subjects for eight decades and found that being around unhappy people is linked to poorer health and a shorter life span.
Happiness has much less to do with life circumstances than you might think. A University of Illinois study found that people who earn the most (more than $10 million annually) are only a smidge happier than the average Joes and Janes who work for them.
Life circumstances have little to do with happiness because much happiness is under your control—the product of your habits and your outlook on life. Psychologists from the University of California who study happiness found that genetics and life circumstances only account for about 50 percent of a person’s happiness. The rest is up to you.
When people are unhappy, it’s much more difficult to be around them, let alone work with them. Unhappiness drives people away, creating a vicious cycle that holds you back from achieving everything that you’re capable of.
Unhappiness can catch you by surprise. So much of your happiness is determined by your habits (in thought and deed) that you have to monitor them closely to make certain that they don’t drag you down into the abyss.
Some habits lead to unhappiness more than others do. You should be especially wary of the ten habits that follow as they are the worst offenders. Watch yourself carefully to make certain that these habits are not your own.