Here’s Why You’re So Unhappy


Tom Corley boats - crop

The two main causes of unhappiness, in their order of significance are:

  1. Unmet Expectations and
  2. Lack of Control Over Your Work Life

Unmet Expectations

Definition of Unmet Expectation: Expectation + Negative Outcome.

The University College London is well-known for it’s numerous, groundbreaking studies, such as the Habit Study, which readers of my articles are very familiar with.

Another significant study they authored involved happiness, or rather, unhappiness. In this 2016 study, the researchers found compelling proof that expectations are the most significant factor in determining your level of happiness. Put another way, Unmet Expectations are the #1 cause of unhappiness. When you set your expectations too high and then the outcome you desire fails to meet those expectations, you become unhappy.

This is why it is so important to set expectations which are conservative, i.e. low. Lowering your expectations does not mean being pessimistic. It means being realistic. It is human nature to create unrealistic expectations. We, as humans, have a tendency to look at things through rose-colored lenses. Removing those lenses and setting realistic, or conservative expectations is one of the most important things you can do to minimize unhappiness.

Lack of Control Over Your Work Life

Two important studies focused on the effects of not having control over your work life.

In the Whitehall Civil Servants Study, 17,000 British civil servants were part of a longitudinal study (long-term study). Those civil servant bureaucrats who were the lowest in the pecking order, were unhappy with their lives.

The Bell Labs Study on one million Bell Labs employees, similarly found that those employees who were at the lowest levels within the organization, indicated that they were unhappy.

Together, these two studies concluded that individuals who do not have control over their work lives, were chronically unhappy. Worse, these unhappy individuals also had significantly higher incidents of heart attacks.

The stress caused by having little to no control over their work lives elevated cortisol levels (stress hormone), which depressed their immune systems, leading to a greater incidence of cardiovascular disease.

If you want to be happy, you need to manage expectations and find work in which you will feel valued and appreciated. This will also lead to a stronger immune system, less disease and a longer, healthier life.

Be Sociable, Share!
Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
Email Tom
| Download Media Kit

Speak Your Mind