What is the most common mistake people make without knowing about it?

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In ninth grade of school, my friend and I had an English teacher called Alice. I really liked her, but my friend didn’t. She “hated” Alice.

A year pass, and suddenly our English class is divided in half. My friend and I are now in separate classes, and while I keep Alice as a teacher, she gets a new one, Monica.

After complaining about how Alice “didn’t know English” and “gave bad grades” for an entire year, I thought my friend would be happy for a new teacher. I was very wrong.

When it was revealed Monica would be her new English teacher, my friend suddenly started to talk about how she loved Alice’s classes so much and simply wouldn’t accept she was getting a new teacher. “This isn’t fair”, she said. “They can’t just give me another teacher after one year, and at least not Monica!”

Then she spent the next year complaining about Monica’s “terrible accent” and “extremely loud voice” (actually, that accent and voice is very exhausting). However, while Monica was a far better teacher than Alice, my friend didn’t even mention this. She only focused on the negatives.

Then, after another year, the school merged our classes again, and we were pretty sure we’d get one of the previous teachers — either Alice or Monica. I’m the son of one of the teachers at the school, so I managed to squeeze some information out of my mother about who our new English teacher would be. My mother gave me great news, which I excitedly shared with my friend.

“Do you know what,” I said, “Alice is going to be our new English teacher!”

My friend's response did not match my enthusiastic reveal.

“Nooo!” she replied, in such a disappointed way it shook me to the core.

You have been f*cing complaining about your “terrible” teacher for an entire year, and when you finally get the teacher you supposedly love, that's your response?

“I need a teacher who actually knows English,” was her follow-up.

I couldn’t believe my eyes (or ears, really).

This is a very extreme case, but many people suffer from behaviors similar to my friend’s.

The number one mistake that people unconsciously make is searching for negativity. The biggest factor in deciding your happiness is not income or social status, but rather your perspective on the world.

My friend was always looking for the bad sides of everything, and failed to see the positive parts of life. You need to avoid this if you want to live a happy life.

Cultivate a grateful and positive perspective, and don’t pity yourself. Those who seek beauty will find beauty. Those who seek ugliness will find ugliness. It’s up to you to choose.

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