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I always talk about taking action and changing your life, but in reality, it’s hard. Well, it’s probably easy, but we overcomplicate and overthink things and make up excuses so in the end, it’s hard. I put in all effort to practice what I preach, but sometimes I think so much about the concept of creating my life, positive thinking, taking action and living mindfully, that I get lost on the way and forget to just do stuff. Guilty!

I recently got a surprising wake- up call. Something that gave me a boost of motivation to keep working for what I believe in and what I call my dreams and goals. New fuel to keep chasing the vision I have for my future self. I feel like sharing where that kick in the butt came from.

I am happier than I have been in a long time.

But we all encounter unhappiness and dissatisfaction in certain areas of our lives. Not always in such a way that we want to cry into our pillow. Not the kind of unhappiness you feel because something horrible has happened and you can’t change the facts. Nor the average dissatisfaction that you can ignore.

It’s rather the kind of unhappiness you feel creeping up and feels like a dreadful deadline that is approaching in high speed. It causes panic and fear. So much of it, that it drowns any other rational thoughts, even if it regards only a small part of your life. It’s the unhappiness you feel when you run into the opposite direction of your goals.

You know, it’s the kind of unhappy when you figure out your relationship is going south or you identify a toxic friendship that was dear to you. The kind of unhappy when you realize you dread your job so much it goes against every principle of how you want to spend your time. The kind of unhappy you feel when you realize there is no other way but to start exercising and eating healthier because you’ve gained so much self- hate or fat or dissatisfaction towards your body, or all three of them, that there is no other way but to start doing something about your situation. When you see yourself somewhere or as someone who you dislike being.

We learn to avoid that feeling. But what is so bad about the fact that human beings need to feel like they’ve been hit by a truck to be reminded that they were running in the wrong direction? I see this deep unhappiness as motivation. It’s the trampoline you can only bounce up from. Isn’t that great? The problem with it is rather if you allow it to paralyze you, to let it slow you down even more. But if you do, it’s all a mindset thing. Because then you need to learn to believe that life happens through you and not to you.

I don’t mean that you should identify your problems early and eliminate them. I’m talking about how you should change your mindset when you find yourself pretty much at the end of a tunnel with a dead end. You can only go back and chase the light coming from the other direction. This is great!

Unhappiness = motivation?

Unhappiness, the one that leaves you asking yourself: “Why am I really doing this?” –  and you can’t find an answer to – is the biggest motivation for you to change. It’s the unknown value of unhappiness. We are all responsible for our own happiness and secondarily the happiness of the people we care about most. And we all need to be reminded every once in a while that we’re on the wrong path or that we have to put in way more effort than we thought. That what we’re doing simply doesn’t make us feel good. Remember: Unhappiness is part of life. Without suffering, we would never prosper.

This is not just a wake-up call to get active. This is a wake- up call to listen to yourself and your body’s signals. This is about not slowing down when unhappiness is consuming you. This is about hitting the gas pedal when it catches up on you. This is not about viewing unhappiness as something bad per se. This is about looking at it as the biggest motivation you could ever have to drive back up. Only up.