Please, just stop.
Stop doing what you are doing. Take a deep breath. Look at your life and ask yourself a question:
No, not “Am I happy?”
But rather, “Are my values being met?”
In every environment, relationship, culture, or aspect of your life, ask this question. If you can’t answer it, then maybe ask first, in each construct:
“What are my values?”
I will tell you a secret, lean in close.
Happiness is not constant.
“What?” you might say, since of course, the goal of life is to BE happy, is it not?
There is no state of being in this universe that does not change, and happiness is no exception. Too bad, sorry to burst your bubble.
Life can be up, and life can be down. But if what we value in life is being met, then happiness can follow a lot of the time. More importantly however, balance, peace, and calm will follow.
Our values are our currency. We expect them back from people in all our relationships, and others expect their own back in return (whether we are aware of this exchange or not does not stop it from being true). When people take what they need without giving back, we feel violated, taken advantage of. When we take what we need without giving back, we are violating and taking advantage.
It really is that simple.
So discover your currency. Define it clearly at work, in friendships, in love, everywhere.
You will find that money probably isn’t even on your list, and if it is, how it’s not the most important.
Yet when you see the word currency, it always has monetary definition. So change that word, and define it for yourself beyond the marketplace. Find the values that make up your currency in life.
Then if you notice there is no equivalency in your economy, the solution is simple.
Start with yourself and change your life until there is.