What’s Your “Pigeon of Discontent”?

For the past few years, for the weekly video as part of the Happiness Challenge, I’ve proposed a resolution for your consideration—some concrete, manageable resolution to boost your happiness (at least, one that has boosted my happiness).

As I mentioned several weeks ago, I’ve been thinking about changing the format of the videos for 2012, and now I’ve decided that I will. Instead of proposing resolutions for you to consider as part of your own happiness project, I’m going to discuss “Pigeons of Discontent.”

Because, as much as we try to follow the Bluebird of Happiness, we’re also plagued by the Pigeon of Discontent. A Pigeon of Discontent isn’t a major happiness challenge, but rather, an ordinary problem that has settled into roost. For example: you never make it to the gym; you bicker with your kids each morning; your closet is a mess; you haven’t had time to read a book in months. The Happiness Challenge for 2012 will be the identification of these Pigeons, and the attempt to shoo them away.

At various times, such as today, I’ll ask readers to post comments about aspects of life that drag them down, and in the weekly videos, I’ll discuss them (I won’t give advice, but I’ll discuss).

So, to help me get started, if you have a readily identifiable “pigeon of discontent,” please post it here. I was fascinated to read people’s comments the last time I asked this question.

So: What’s your Pigeon of Discontent? What relatively small and ordinary issue drags down your happiness?

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  • SD

    I want to accept myself the way I am while keep trying to improve and not feeling guilty of giving up.  

  • My pigeon of discontent is not loving where I live. Not the house itself but living in the desert SW. I have always said this is America, you can live where ever you want, but now I find myself stuck somewhere I am not loving. I miss having 4 typical seasons (especially autumn), hate the traffic, politics and general mentality. I know in theory I could move but that of course would completely disrupt our family. My husband loves it here and has a really good job he likes (not something to be taken lightly in these times). So for now I understand I can’t change the situation, but how do I deal with it emotionally. What can I do to change my thinking so I can be happier? We go camping once a month to explore and plan trips to experience a little snow and cold in Dec. But how does one get through the day to day misery?

  • Taryn Rennicks

    My Pigeon of Discontent is my ridiculous ‘obsession’ with what others think of me. I have a good day if I receive praise at work, from my husband or friends, and I have a bad day if I receive any criticism, or if I don’t receive any praise, or even if I don’t feel that I have performed at 110% – I assume people are thinking poorly of me, even if I don’t have proof that they actually are! It is getting exhausting, I can’t seem to get this pigeon off my back!

  • Youtube has an auto caption feature. It’s not totally awesome, but it will get you started and then you can go in and edit the words that translate to something jumbled.

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks! I’ll check it out!