7 main obstacles in the way of happiness

Many years ago I worked at a restaurant of a hotel. It was a summer job, an internship precisely. I came into close contact with one of the cooks, however –as it turned out later -he wanted a bit more from me than a mere friendship. When the summer ended and I went back to school we said good-bye to each other like co-workers do. I received lots of small gifts as farewell gift from everybody. Stuffed animals, necklace, etc. But from him, I received a memorable present: an empty matchbox…

He said:

– During this summer I got to know you quite well. You are a great friend, an outstanding         co-worker, and a good person, but you also have some faults! I give you this matchbox to make the path you want to walk easier. Pride can be a good thing but it can also set you back. Put your pride into this empty matchbox and take it out only if you really need it. When it’s necessary for survival or to protect yourself. Don’t have it always with you and don’t use it much!

I have learned two things that time: One of them is that there are countless helpers in life. They come and go, they are there only for a few moments with us or they stay for a long time but all of them help us. This is their task. Just like them, we are also helpers for others and sometimes help comes from a place you have never expected…The second thing I learnt that day was what my friend told me about pride. Really, I have been too proud too many times…Since then, we walk on different path and we haven’t met after that. We see each other only on social sites sometimes. But that moment will always be a very important moment in my life!



Now, as I’m recalling his words they inspired me to gather some other things that can be put into that certain empty matchbox. We don’t have to get rid of all „bad” things, since we are human. However, it is a fact that there are characteristics, feelings that must be put aside in most of the time.

  1. Pride

First, let’s stay at this. I imagine pride as stilts. It lifts you up over everybody’s head so you don’t have to see what is down there. The much pains, weakness, sorrow…But we don’t see the good things either…So, this characteristic must be really used only „if necessary”.

  1. Revenge, anger, rage

„The best joy is to gloat over someone!” I say only this, if somebody offends or upsets me, or if somebody betrays me. Because I believe –and it has been proved true many times – that everybody gets what he/she gives to others. I never hurt anybody especially not out of revenge. I just wait patiently until Life gives it back to him/her. Believe me, Life always gives it back, just sometimes you have to wait for it for a very long time. But I stay myself. Good and pure, you like it or not. Because I move forward and leave the bad things behind while others are still happy with their feelings in the dark prison of revenge.

  1. Laziness

It is very easy to be lazy. Lazy to become or do good. The path of bad is always easier, while the good one is harder. This has always been true and it will always be true. Just like in tales. It is easier to sit at home in front of the television than to go running. It is easier to eat fast food than to make a salad. It is easier to separate yourself from others, and shut yourself away from others than to love and listen… Well, yes. But what if I say the easier way is equal to be a zombie?  If I say „no” to something that would actually serve my interest but it’s hard to do then an angel who holds my heart in its place is screaming with pain. Of course all of us know these things. But we still don’t do as we are supposed to do. We know it, but we don’t do it. Why? Only the first step is hard. You have to say „yes” only one time, and then remember it, plant deep in your mind the feeling that you felt after you said yes. That would be the feeling when you don’t mind that you missed the evening serial on TV because jogging filled you with energy. When you didn’t eat heavy food and you don’t feel your stomach heavy. This must be kept in your mind and you will say „yes” to the next thing with ease instead of „no”, instead of laziness. Stand up from the sofa and live!

  1. Jealousy and stinginess

It is hard to decide which characteristic is the worst out of the seven, but I would vote on these. I was living for a long time in the shade of these. Stinginess was never typical of me since people who don’t have anything to give from –like me- always give easily.  But jealousy…To see people’s wealth… It is hard to watch wealth if you get nothing from it.     But I always think that these people are tragic actors in the comedy of life. (Apart from rare exceptions of course.) It was painful to see that others go abroad on vacation stay at the most beautiful hotels, go to spa, have new car etc. and all of this seemingly for one reason: to show off. But later I realized that 100 thousand forinst for them is like 10 forints to me. The scale of value is different and things that I envied before turned out to be sad: they need a huge financial satisfaction to feel happy for a few minutes which is very hard to reach. While I can have happy feelings that can brighten my day or even my whole week just because the light breaks differently on the clouds and due to that a pink veil covers my room. There is only one thing that is worse than jealousy. When I see that someone’s bank account is full with „greenbacks” but he/she denies even themselves the last forint. It is terrible to see that they could help hundreds of people with their money and yet they don’t do it. But this is their problem. It is their life and I don’t want to be there when they realizes that they could have helped…that they could have lived…

  1. Gluttony

Well, exactly a Hungarian has to think about this?! We love flavours…we love to eat! We put even 10 kinds of spices in goulash while other people do not even use salt. Yes, we are gourmand and this delicious, varied world of flavours is the reason of our characteristics.    But you can eat sensibly! I don’t say that you should eat only salad like a goat. No way! And I don’t say to try hundreds of new diets, to expose our body to a different diet system and fashion every month. No. I say: eat sensibly! That means eat while you are hungry, eat the sufficient quantity you need and eat when your organism signals you that food intake is necessary. In connection with this, I have already written an entry, so this time I don’t want to write about it but the point is that food is not an escape, not fashion, but the necessary energy intake of the organism. Eat food in the right way that promotes the right energy intake!

  1. Insensitivity

This is really one of the most infectious disease of the 21th. century. We feed it with the grey weekdays, habits, stress, much work, and actually with one thing that is collectively called: thinking.  We think much. Too much. What should I have for lunch, for dinner, what should the kid study, how will I pay the bills, what clothes should I wear…? And so forth. Sometimes we should switch off our organ called: brain. We should put it into that imaginary matchbox among the others and take it out only if we need it.

Everybody knows what intuitions are. When an impulse –like an information- comes from someone behind or from your heart. Feelings are essential. Without feelings we are only puppets, robots. We should feel more! Live, pay attention to important things like the eye colour of your coworker, as he/she pronounces words, the boss’s accent, the wish and feelings of the kid. We could save us lots of unnecessary stressful situations for sure.

  1. Being too easily influenced

We set up prison bars by ourseles by letting us influenced by the world. Advertisements,  media can take us to a direction where we might don’t want to go. Habits, monotony are also elements that can put weekdays in chain. We must change this! We must give up the beaten track for the untrodden! We must try new things! And the most important is that we must follow a little bit our own heart and also our sound logic. Those lots of influencing channels must be shut out. Media, the family, friends, and all the good advices. We must give it a try to know what we are capable to do if we listen to our heart and feelings. In this way we can discover what lies in us. We can get to know ourselves. It is the feeling of relief when you get released from the control of outside world and you face what your own mind requests, what it needs and what it is able to do!



And don’t forget! These things can’t be completely done away from yourself. It is impossible! But you can put them aside. Each an every characteristic is good for something. It can be  useful! For example insensitivity can come in handy when your boss is shouting with you for a minor mistake just because he/she has had a bad day. One ear in, the other out, you know! Or laziness: We must be able to say: „no” sometimes. We have to learn what it means when you put yourself in the first position and you choose e.g. staying in the bath tub instead of cooking dinner since we know if we continue like this the „batteries” will run down and an even greater problem might arise. We have to know when to open that matchbox….


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