The Reason So Many People Are Unhappy at Work and at Home

This weekend was American thanksgiving.  This is a holiday for everyone regardless of religion, because everyone has so much to be thankful for.

And to get right to the point, there’s one reason that so many people are unhappy at work and at home.  It’s simply because:

We forget to count our blessings

There has never been and will never be a happy ungrateful person.  That’s actually worth putting in bold.  Write it down.  Here it is again:

There has never been and will never be a happy, ungrateful person!!

Gratitude is the foundation of a happy life, period.  And you can’t be both ungrateful and happy at the same time.  It just doesn’t work.

So, if you don’t recognize all the blessings around you (beginning with you’re alive) you’re never going to be happy.  Make a list.  Are you grateful for:

  • health
  • family
  • friends
  • a job
  • food
  • A warm place to live
  • clean water

and on and on.  My wife and I went on a date night this week and just started ping ponging back and forth about what we’re thankful for.  It took a long time to exhaust that list.

If you live in the developed world and think you got a bad shake, you haven’t read or traveled

I recently read the memoir “Prisoner of Tehran” by Marina Nemat.  She tells the story of how she was arrested in Iran as a teenager for being… rebellious?  Nothing that would raise an eyebrow in the West let’s say.  And how she was imprisoned, tortured, raped, and nearly nearly executed before she escaped to freedom.

To say that you’re fortunate to live in a free country is the biggest understatement ever.

Or read “Nothing To Envy” by Barbara Demick about real life in North Korea.  You finish that book with a very different perspective on thanksgiving, let’s say that.

If you focus on what you lack you lose what you have

We all have bad things in our lives that we wish weren’t there.  We’re victims of injustice and stuff that we didn’t ask for.  But if that becomes your focus, you lose the  happiness that can be yours.

If you focus on what you have you gain what you lack

The question is never, “Why me?”

The question is always, “What now?”  How do I build on the blessings that I have, and work to overcome the hard things that I didn’t ask for?

I encourage you this week to make a list of all that you’re grateful for.  Have your children make their lists too.  Gather your work team together and ask them what they’re grateful for.  It changes the mood instantly.

Getting ahead is about getting started!

Trevor head shot in office 1

Trevor Throness is a speaker, consultant, and author of “The Power of People Skills.”  He is also co-founder and senior instructor at

Find more about “The Power of People Skills” here:

Get Trevor's Weekly Tips Straight To Your Inbox

    Related posts

    Book Summary - Radical Candor Copy

    What is radical candor? Radical candor is when managers care personally but challenge directly their team members. This means building…

    You Can't Lead Someone You Don't Like

    Who has had a significant impact on your life? A teacher or coach? A religious leader, a friend, or afamily…

    Differences between Millennials and Gen Z in the Workplace

    Differences between Millennials and Gen Z in the Workplace Key Takeaways   Millennials and Gen Z prefer to be in…

    3 thoughts on “The Reason So Many People Are Unhappy at Work and at Home”

    1. At our “Canadian” Thanksgiving meal this year we put a large sheet on our wall and after dinner we had our kids and grandkids go up the the sheet and right down 3 things they were thankful for. It was awesome to see all they varied things that were written down by the 14 of us that were there. It turned out they wanted to go a second time because they had more than 3 things. After everyone was done my wife asked if the were more things and pretty soon the sheet was full, as was my wife’s an my heart.

    2. Man I just LOVE this. So succinctly sums up what the vast majority of people just never quite get right. We have so much to complain about in a sinful/broken world…. and yet we have infinitely so much MORE to be thankful for, so we better spend our time in the thankful sandbox 🙂

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Ready to get started?

    Learn how to get people right with our practical curriculum taught by instructors with real-world experience.

    PLI-Cert_Leadership Fundamentals_
    Scroll to Top