I read a note from author Eckhart Tolle that read (and I am paraphrasing):
"Don't seek happiness. If you seek it, you won't find it, because seeking is the antithesis of happiness. Happiness is ever elusive, but freedom from unhappiness is attainable now, by facing what is rather than making up stories about it."
I had to read this through a couple of times before I could fully grasp it, but once I thought hard about what he meant, it really does make a lot of sense. Don't seek happiness (...) but freedom but unhappiness. Have you ever noticed that it is much easier to recognize a time in your life when you were happy far after the fact? Like when you are miserable, it seems so easy to look back and think, "man, I remember when I was ___ years old, I was so much happier then..." That is because happiness is elusive. While you are at your happiness, you are usually seeking for even more joy, and often times not fully embracing the joy that you currently have in your grip. And so you search and search for the next big thing, in actuality: seeking for happiness. But what if we stopped looking for it? And rather... just did what we could to rid our lives of whatever unhappiness lies within them. It may sound crazy, but in focusing on the bad in our lives, and by ridding ourselves of it, we make room for the good to fall into place.
For example: lets say that I have a friend or a job that I can't stand. That "negative" in my life is continually causing me stress or hardship, emotionally exhausting me. Rather than keep that toxicity in my life and looking for more things to add to cover it up, why not purge my life of that person/situation and make room and time for a job or a friend who would be a positive influence on my life? The same can obviously go for toxic relationships with the opposite sex. Rather than date someone who treats me poorly or ignores my needs, why not ex that person from my life and make room for someone who would uplift me and enrich my life?
I think women fall into this trap in particular more than we would like to admit. We meet "Prince Charming" and find out that he has a few flaws. We lie to ourselves and say that they will change, or even worse that we can change them. We focus on looking forward, in "finding the happiness," and often spend months or years wasted on figuring out that people do not change unless they want themselves to. By looking at the situation and not 'finding' but instead recognising the unhappiness, we might save that time and effort by taking the unhappiness in our lives and ridding ourselves of it.
I guess the reason people don't do this more often is that ridding ourselves of unhappiness is often stressful (temporarily, most times), or uncomfortable, or perhaps makes ourselves and others sad. Basically it's just too hard, so we give up. We cover our world in pastels and flourescents and try to ignore the fact that some thigns make us miserable. We pretend that we're fine when we're not, or that we are having fun when we hurt.