The Invisible Habit that Makes Happy People Miserable

Alan Trapulionis
7 min readMay 17, 2022

Let’s play a game.

I’ll tell you about the life of someone named John. John constantly feels like something is missing from his life, but he does not know what it is. If you can identify the tiny little habit that keeps him miserable, you win.

Every morning, John wakes up to the following view:

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

He likes to catch up on the news first thing in the morning. It’s his one hour of undisputed peace time, and he enjoys every moment of it.

After finishing his coffee, John sets out on his usual morning run.

Photo by Daria Volkova on Unsplash. Edited by me.

He does this every morning. Running helps John clear his head before the day, and it’s also been the perfect payment for all the hours spent watching Netflix. He’d never trade his morning run for anything.

The run is followed by a cold shower, which John found to be just as satisfying as the blog articles make it out to be. Sometimes, morning routines just work!

At this point, John realizes he has 30 minutes to work. He gets on his bike and rushes off.

Photo by Alisina Elyasi on Unsplash. Who are all these people on Unsplash following John around? Edited by me.

John likes working at the Apple store. He’s genuinely good at Apple devices, and the influx of customers means there’s always something to do.

It’s not his dream job, though. In the evenings, John practices graphic design. His dream is to one day sell his art for money and make a living that way.

Here’s one of his sketches:

Pretty good, isn’t it? Photo by Tatiana Zhukova on Unsplash

At this point, you might start thinking that John is some antisocial cave-dweller who spends all of his time alone. But that is not true.

Believe it or not, but John actually has a girlfriend. Here is a photo of them from their trip to Vietnam last year: