The Complete, 17-Reason Checklist for Why You’re Unhappy Right Now

And how to fix each one

Niklas Göke
4 min readFeb 3, 2021


Photo by Mathilde Langevin on Unsplash

You’re smart. Unfortunately, smart people sometimes exhibit thought patterns that prevent them from being happy.

While it takes time to change these patterns at large, each one is reflected in only a few “miseries of the day.” Those, you can shake off immediately.

You can’t go from unhappy to perfect bliss in a day. You can, however, check what bothers you right now and try to eliminate it. That’s how you uproot negative beliefs.

Here’s the complete, 17-reason checklist for why you might be bummed out today — and how to fix each one.

You think too much. You do so in 4 distinct ways:

1. You cycle through past regrets, wondering what you could have done better. The answer is “a lot,” but the past is still the past. There is nothing you can do to change it, and every thought spent on it is a thought not used to improve the present. Accept the past, move on. Always look forward.

2. You live in the future because “everything will be amazing.” You spend all your time in an imagined, perfect tomorrow, so you have no time left to make it a reality. But tomorrow is built on today. Use today.

3. You worry about what will go wrong, which seems to be everything. You conceive fallbacks for every fallback, hoping to escape nightmare-future’s crushing grasp. The future is not here yet. Stay present, do what you can, and the future will — like usual — turn out just fine.

4. You procrastinate on present-day decisions that don’t matter. You juggle a million ideas. You’re proud of how much you think, even though it won’t help most of the time. Only doing will. None of the questions you really want answers for can be solved in a day. Just keep stacking up good days.

You expect too much of yourself, others, and life:

5. You’re so focused on outcomes, you barely enjoy your greatest wins. Goals are just moving targets we push farther away when we hit them. If you don’t learn to celebrate what you accomplish, soon, you won’t be able to celebrate anything at all. Make time to enjoy…



Niklas Göke

I write for dreamers, doers, and unbroken optimists. Read my daily blog here: