The latest research on happiness is a real punch in the gut. According to David Buss, psychology professor at the University of Texas, we are hardwired for unhappiness. And we have evolution to blame.
It turns out emotions like unhappiness, jealousy, distress and disgust spurs individuals to improve their conditions in order to return to a state of happiness. Unhappiness drives us to make necessary changes in our lives.
And what may be even worse, happiness is hardwired to be temporary. The purpose of this little evolutionary slap in the face is to prevent humans from becoming too complacent with their happy lives so that they will continue to do things to improve their lives in an effort to chase happiness.
No matter what amazing good things happen in our lives that make us happy, we always revert back to our happiness baseline. That’s why the happiness that results from some good fortune like winning the lottery or inheriting a million dollars or the happiness that we experience from buying something new, doesn’t last very long. If it did, humans would fold up their tents and stop trying to improve their lives.
Being hardwired for unhappiness is why we compete, why we chase dreams, why we go to college, why we start new businesses and why we sacrifice for something better down the road. This very unique, hardwired human trait, drives us to do things that will make us happy.
So, if you’re unhappy with your life, there’s a good reason. Life is screaming at you to grow and improve. It wants you to become a better human being. It’s time you listened to that voice.