Where did we go so wrong?

I grew up in Kenya, went to school there, college and even worked there for about four years. I’d never really thought of moving to America, it was not even in my realm of “Things to do before I die”. That changed in 1998, when I met and married an American globe-trotting post military older guy. I began to realize I had just acquired a coveted ticket to The Land of Opportunities.

Fast forward to the year 2000. In the Land of Opportunities, I worked fast and furiously to fit into the new culture. I started a business venture that allowed me to work with lots of people on a daily basis. Lots of Americans.

What I began to notice is that Americans are an awful unhappy lot. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the usual rehearsed smile, the fickle “I’m here for you any time you need me” promises and all that. But most non-westerners pick up on the superficiality of it pretty fast.

My business allowed me to gather that loads of people in this country, and the West in general, self-medicate with various means to cover up – what? Food, shopping, drugs, more drugs, legal drugs, illegal drugs, plastic surgery, celebrity-worship. All that. And still, most people I come across, once I get to know them a little better, I realize are surprisingly really unhappy.

So, where did we go so wrong in regard to The Pursuit of Happiness?

The Truth About Happiness

Happiness is A Choice

I am not sure where people got the idea that happiness is something that happens to you. The truth is that nobody owes you happiness. Not the government, not your parents, not your spouse, not your kids. You can wake up every morning, recognize that all is not perfect with the world around you, and still choose to be happy. It is ALWAYS a choice. Now, of course some things make it easier for us to execute that choice. For example, being financially peaceful, being healthy etc all make it easier to choose to be happy. However, being happy is not dependent on any of these things. In fact, if you understand the Law of Attraction, then you know that being unhappy is a sure way to attract more of what you are unhappy about.

• Happiness is Your Birthright

What a shocker?

Yet, you were born with the ability to be happy, so how is it not your birthright? Have you ever seen a baby that doesn’t know how to be happy? So, at some point in our lives, we decide we are supposed to be unhappy, usually by buying into such things as the way religion guilts us into believing that we are born sinners that need repenting in order to be happy; or by observing your unhappy parents and internalizing it as the way things are supposed to be, or by believing your friends who told you that you were no good and in fact, you were ugly. In the famous Tony Robbins style, “when would now a good time to take that mentality and dismantle it into pulp, create a hell fire, and burn it into eternal damnation”?

• True Happiness Cannot be Pursued

I too loved the Will Smith movie. It was one of the most touching movies I’d ever seen. But I think there is also a reason the movie ends at the point at which he has just “achieved happiness”. Really, is anybody fooled that you can pursue happiness and “catch” it? You can pursue money, sex, expensive cars, the likes. But happiness is who you already are. You simply have to turn it on. I get amused every time I see a discussion to the tune of, “money doesn’t buy happiness”. I usually think to myself, “where do these people shop?”

Money doesn’t buy happiness because happiness isn’t a commodity on sale out there. It resides within you. If you already make a ton of money, have a great partner, you work out like mad and eat super healthy, you own 6 plasma TV’s….. And you are still unhappy. How crazy is that? Here’s a hint: Stop pursuing happiness and start living it. Start being it.

The Secret to Happiness

How do you know if are truly happy? Here’s a rule of thumb, if you have to ask that question, you are not. Truly happy people have discovered the greatest secret to happiness, and they live it with a magnificent obsession. That secret is: An attitude of gratitude. Being grateful means just that. It means being grateful for EVERYTHING that happens in your life. The good, the bad, the ugly. Here’s why: it is all supposed to serve your highest good in the long run. The fact that you are not deeply and genuinely grateful of your current situation is the cause of your unhappiness. Sometimes, most times actually, it is never clear how the things that are happening right now are going to serve our highest good.

But they always do.

With much gratitude,


Author's Bio: 

Kageni Pierce is a self-made expert in the field of personal development. Born and raised in Kenya, she completed her university studies and moved to the USA with her then-husband. She pursued an MBA degree and quit after 3 months, after realizing that she was meant to be doing better things.

Kageni's expertise is in Marketing and Customer Service. Her passion however is Self Improvement which she shares with the world through her info-preneurial businesses.