In the end, I think there two basic things doom the average, mentally healthy individual to unhappiness or discontent or mediocrity.  For one thing, we don’t understand how much control we actually have over our lives.  For the other, most lack the will or discipline or self-actualization or confidence to actively drive change.   It’s easier to convince ourselves that either we are OK with the current situation or that change is not within our purview.

I emphasize that I’m thinking here of (more or less) middle and upper class North Americans, and probably most middle and upper class Europeans.  I don’t know about, nor can I relate to, people in poverty or in other cultures.  But I’m confident, even within whatever limitations exist, that few push the boundaries of personal change.  It seems to be within our nature to accept our situations…albeit, more often than not, grudgingly.  If change is to come, better that it come from someone else.