Usually when would I see stories like this, it would temporarily make me appreciate what I had; and for a short while things didn't seem as bad. After the novelty of the story wore off, I was right back to wishing I had "x" or wishing I had "z". -
I would usually scoff at people that told me my attitude determines my altitude, because I wasn't at that place yet where I could grasp that concept. It was much easier to blame others than to hold myself accountable because I was so caught up in the woe is me story, that I couldn't see reality for what it was. In my mind it was my surroundings that determined my happiness, for if I had "this" I would be much happier, and I deserved "that" so I spent my last to obtain it; after all I deserved it right?
Later on in life I started to come around to the idea that the key to happiness is founded on the principles of appreciation, patience, and faith. These are things that do not lie in objects, or even people; but rather in your psyche. The key is appreciating the small moments, and studies show that "people who live in the micro-moment, are more likely to exhibit more resilience against adversity, and more successful in jobs, relationships and health outcomes". Your outlook [not winning the lotto, or finding the love of your life], and attitude is key if you want to increase your happiness permanently.
Ever wonder why people that seem to have it all, STILL aren't happy? The fact is that we all have a "baseline" level of happiness. When situations change [such as winning the lotto, or buying a new car for example] your level of happiness is only temporary; after that point we tend to revert back to our "baseline" level of happiness. Your baseline is determined mostly in part by your outlook, and is also slightly genetic.
What exactly is living in the micro-moment? Appreciating what you have NOW. Not looking forward to that promotion that is 90 days down the line, and basing your happiness on it. Are you living in the micro-moment?
If not....Learn to be happy for what you have now!
Stop comparing yourself to others, their path is different than yours!
Let go of the negativity from the past, it will only hinder your progress in the future!
Stop giving yourself unreasonable time frames for your goals!
Donate to others in need!
Relax, be patient!
And as a special challenge; Buy only the things you need for two months, and learn to appreciate the things you already have [I will admit that this was one of the hardest things for me to do]
For even more inspiration: Check out this article about a beautiful young woman who was living on skid row, yet managed to make her way into Harvard.