The most common example of misery I see is the intense rush that many people seem to be in. I suppose they have somewhere to be and they are determined to get there—perhaps they're more focused than I am.
I suppose, but that's never the case when I'm in a rush. If I'm late, I am stressed and I'm trying to alleviate that feeling by rushing in hopes that it will get me to my destination faster. The returns are marginal on that rushing, so I have to wonder—why am I doing it at all?
Further than that, however, rushing is a sign of restriction. It means that I'm obligated to something and now I must sacrifice all other endeavors in order to get there. It means that there are other people relying on me to be somewhere at sometime, and my time is no longer my own.
That's all fine and dandy until most of my time becomes dedicated to others. Then my obligations don't feel like obligations—they feel like hell. They feel like I'm trapped in an endless stream of appointments, calls, and meetings that don't lead to any work being done. It's miserable.
That's when I have to rush around. All because I relinquished my freedom to other people by committing to talk to them, meet with them, and give them my time. I've learned my lesson a couple of times in that arena.
That's not to say I'll never give my time to anyone—there are some people I thoroughly enjoy wasting my time with because it doesn't feel like such a waste of time with them. How sweet. But I sure won't give it all away. Not when my time is my freedom.
There's another form of rushing that comes from pure intensity. Drivers feel the need to rush not because they are in a rush but because it's a competition. I would switch to a second-person perspective, but who am I kidding? I fall into this trap way too often. It's about time I call myself out for it.
Anyone who is driving slow and impeding me from going my speed is a moron, and anyone driving faster and calling me a moron is a miserable fool who tries to hard.
That attitude is a habit of misery. It comes because we're constantly comparing ourselves to others and letting them set the tone on our life.
An old mindset would be to fix the misery, not eliminate it. Under that framework, you would pass cars that go slower than you desire and flip off every driver that goes past you. That should fix the problem and make yourself feel better about your own speed on the road.
That's just succumbing to misery, because it means I'm active in the competition. I'm playing the game. Much like an meeting holds power over me because I decided to attend it, now the game of driving holds authority over me because I'm deciding to play it.
Maybe I should stay off the roads entirely. Wait, no. I can't play the game, that's all. I'll end up in a rush, a straight shot to misery.