15 People With Shitty Lives Who Are Happier Than You Are

homeless happyRight now there’s a guy doing life in prison who’s more free and happy than every single person you ran into today, including you, me, and the dude who’s got it all.

Right now there’s a woman with no arms and no legs enjoying her life far beyond what you or I can even fathom.

Right now there’s a homeless guy who appreciates his urine-stained piece of sidewalk more than any billionaire in the world appreciates his mansion on the hill.

Right now there’s woman who was sexually abused her entire childhood who’s making a more positive impact on people’s lives than any best-selling self-help guru who’s ever promised you that you can “have it all.”

Right now there are little children playing hide-and-go-seek in a war zone with bullets flying over their heads who are more optimistic about their future than any one of the success-driven Americans repeating feel-good affirmations of personal prosperity while staring at vision boards covered with images of perfect bodies, dream homes and private jets.

Right now there’s a guy so miserable with his Barbie-doll wife that he’s trying to find some thug he can pay to “just get rid of her.” Right now there are also countless couples with physical deformations that most of us would consider too hideous to even look at who are so happy and in love with each other they seriously wonder if they’re living in a dream.

Right now there’s a guy on skid row who’s far richer than any of the great tycoons modern society worships.

Right now a future world champion fighter is not only being physically abused at home, but there’s a gang of bullies at school teasing him for being dumb and kicking his ass every chance they get.


Dewey Bozella

Right now a young girl is pregnant with her father’s child. That father is gonna die alone and afraid and none of his family will attend his funeral. That young girl is gonna grow up to be a wonderful mother and her son is gonna go on to a be an amazing father in his own right and break the cycle of abuse that has cursed that family for generations.

Right now a 14-year-old girl is trying heroin for the first time. She will fall in love with it. After decades of misery, prison and homelessness, she will go on to help hundreds of other addicts free themselves from the blood-stained claws of addiction and go on to to lead happy lives without the use of drugs or alcohol.

Right now one of the greatest artists this world will ever know, is about 8 years old and is being told by his father that he’s nothing but a useless piece of shit and will never amount to anything. Out of his own self-hatred, that father—after telling his young son what a lowlife and waste of flesh he is—will beat this boy with a belt, like he does at least 3 days a week. This boy will go on to create art that will be adored by millions and inspire people all over the world become artists themselves.

Right now, a guy who dropped out of school in the 7th grade to support his family is all grown up and he’s building his dream business doing what he loves, putting his own kids through college, and taking care of his elderly mother.

Right now a woman who is about to change the world for the better is being told she “can’t” by everyone she knows. She does not care what they think. Because she doesn’t just think, she knows.

Right now there is a man doing life without parole for a crime he did not commit. He is at peace with himself and the world and spends his days helping other inmates get their college degrees.


Charles Bukowski

Right now most people are miserable— and looking for any excuse to stay miserable.

Most people don’t appreciate what they have, and believe if they just keep getting more, at some point it will enough, and they will be happy.

Every little thing is seen as a “problem.”

They don’t see that there’s food in the fridge, a roof over their heads and that there ain’t an army of badass mother fuckers on horses coming over the hill right now to burn down the village and everyone in it. (Not tonight at least.)

At no time in human history have we had it so good.

There are more opportunities than ever. Knowledge is more plentiful than ever. Tonight we can eat Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Italian, Mexican or a good ol’ American hamburger with fries and a shake.

We can get pretty much anything we need at the click of a few buttons.

There are a hundred times as many solutions out there as there are problems. People have walked through pretty much anything and everything you can imagine, and they’re willing to share how they did it—with you, me or anyone who will listen. We can learn a lot from these people. You and I are these people.

We live in an infinite universe yet we look at the world out of a tiny hole in a shoe box.

While it’s true we will never be completely free of our judgmental, self-doubting and scared little minds; that doesn’t mean we can’t see the world from a bigger hole in a bigger box. And I’m not talking about the size of the house we live in—I’m talking about the openness of our minds.

And usually it’s not the good times that open our minds—it’s the rivers of shit we crawl through.

If Dewey Bozella hadn’t spent 26 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he would never have helped so many young people learn to defend themselves and avoid gangs.

If Charles Bukowski’s father had not belittled and beaten the shit out of him every chance he got, Charles probably never would have became one of the greatest writers to ever live.

If you had not gone through some of the shit you’ve gone through, you would not be the person you are— nor would you able to help people in the way you can today.

FE6FE8A4-F86A-4343-A99B-B2CAC8D41ACFRight now there are people who have it so much worse than you and I will ever know, yet are enjoying themselves more than you and I ever will.

Right now there are people defying every possible odd, doing things the world told them they can’t do and living beyond the scope of all currently accepted possibility. They are not as smart as you, good looking as you, as physically strong as you and many come from families that treated them like shit.

My question to you is—what’s your fucking excuse?

I don’t know what yours is, but I know right now, mine ain’t good enough either.

Talk soon,

Big Chris

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  1. I needed to read this tonight.


  2. Michelle Devine says:


  3. Scotty De Graff says:

    flippin’ awesome bro…..hitting that link that took me to Charles Bukowski’s site brought me to tears! Love this stuff man. I have no excuse but I have realized through this letter that I have helped many a people avoid some of the things I’ve had to endure in life!!! It guess it just came natural……I feel better about myself today. Thanks Boss!!!!

  4. I probably look pretty silly right now to my office mates but I just gave my monitor a round of applause and a standing ovation! This is one post I will share with everyone!

  5. Damm… That was awesome. It’s time to leave a mark on this world.

  6. Going through a job (and possible) career change right now, trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. I needed to read this today (and all of your posts, for that matter). I love your attitude and your writing style. Thank you!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    This is awesome!! Thank you for the reminder.

  8. I fucking love this post… EVERYTHING in this life is relative and it’s great to just remember that once in a while. Thanks Chris.

  9. Chris, my brother, it seems the greater good finds a way to connect us each time.

    Reading this post I began to cry (which is no easy task and has only happened once in the last 12 years, now twice).

    Everything you just said made me realize how lucky I am.

    More so it gave me real clarity as to why some things have made me better, and how the challenges I face right now (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) will all come to face a better good, if I utilize them properly.

    Thank you, Chris.

    Your reader,
    Adil Amarsi

  10. Thank you for this post today!

    I’ve been in a funk all day because of being swamped at work and stressing out over getting a pretty serious speeding ticket last night, so this was perfect timing to put me back into my usual state of positivity. 🙂

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      right on Sushi

      I was in a funk last night, it’s why I wrote this

      felt sooo much better afterwards

  11. Great reminder to stfu about how “shitty” your life is going. Good post!

  12. AJ Brown Jr says:

    I am ***NOT*** crying!! My eyes are moist because the wind is blowing hard…here in my living room.

    Brother, you are Blessed. I’ll share this with you. I wrote it to remind myself of what I have here, now:

    In this moment take this breath boldly and let go of the results. Accept what this moment brings, whatsoever it may be, and let go of the results. In this moment give thanks to god and let go of the results. In this moment accept my miracle and let go of the results. In this moment feel what I feel and let go of the results. In this moment enjoy the moment, be free this moment and let go of the results. In this moment experience the unfolding of un-imagined power and the decrease of force and let go of the results. In this moment breathe deeply, deeply. In this moment experience happiness, experience joy and let go of the results.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      ha ha, wind blowing in the living room

      love it

      and thanks for sharing your writing about letting go

      so beautiful AJ

      thank you

  13. Steve Hall says:

    Wow Chris

    I only found your blog a week or so ago. Your writing is amazing. I’ve read the self help books and been to the seminars and you know what nobody gives me a kick in the ass like you do. I don’t have an excuse. I used to. And I’ll probably come up with a few piss poor excuses in the future when I’m trying to cop out of something I know I should be doing. And I know this post will give me the kick up the ass I need then to just get over it and get on with it.

    Keep writing mate. You are making the world a better place


    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey thanks Steve, glad it resonates with you man

      yeah we all do the excuse thing from time to time, I still do it myself on the reg, just gotta call yourself on it and move forward brother, like it sounds like you’re doing

  14. Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

    Holy fuck


    Man, I am honored you took the 4 hours to write this


    thank you soooooooo much for sharing this here

    It will definitely do my readers ( and myself ) a whole lotta good

    Love your life

    • Retired Soldier says:

      Thank YOU, sir, for giving me a place to vent. Here and now, well….a few hours ago….is the first time I have posted all of that in public. Your story, Chris, gave me the inspiration to do so, brother. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Army guy like me or a businessman like yourself, it takes a whole lot of US to make a difference.

      I do love my life. Every morning I wake up and can feel the sun on my biscuit, I thank the good Lord above for still having a head to feel the warmth.

      Every afternoon, I see the beautiful green eyes of my wife of 23 years when she comes home for lunch. When I’m passed out on the couch due to pain or exhaustion, she awakens me with those wonderful eyes of hers. And her lilting voice of reassurance. The voices of my wife, my daughter and my son are the only ones that will calm me. If anyone else wakes me, I come out of my sleep with great intent to do tremendous harm to them. It scares me Chris. It scares me to death what I am capable of doing to the human body. At the same time, it reassures me that I know so damned much about how to fuck someone up just in case the worst comes about. But even so, it scares me what we are able to do to each other as I am sure you know well.

      I need to go for now. My exhaustion has become all encompassing. My frustration with my pain and limited mobility too great. Should you ever need me to “prove” my words, just let me know. I have extensive documentation. I just want you to know, my brother in life, that I will NEVER embellish nor exaggerate. What I say is true, so help me God.


      • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

        Brother, you are hardcore

        thank you so much for sharing from the heart

        that stuff about your wife, son and daughter got to me

        in a good way

        • Retired Soldier says:

          I don’t about hardcore. But intelligently stupid, stubborn and a little bit crazy? Definitely! 😉

          If my outlook on life can help anyone, then it is my duty as a human being to talk. It has taken me quite a few years to be able to do so. As with you and your extensive experience with the “Suck Ninja” kicking your ass, I’ve had my share of beat downs in life. Somehow, from somewhere within, I cannot, will not, refuse to give up.

          I surely do have my days though. It ain’t all sunshine flying out my ass and laughter from my pie hole. However, I believe it’s how you recover and move on from those days that make the person. That shows your intestinal fortitude in the face of the Suck Ninja.

          Anyone can learn how to change a habit in seven days, right? That’s the popular belief amongst the professionals that study that shit. Well, to me, being a negative, woe-ways me kinda of person is a habitual thought process by which you focus on the negatives and those negatives kick your ass. Being ruled by the Suck Ninja is, in other words, a habit. A choice.

          People don’t like to hear that, but the truth usually isn’t what most people want to hear as it pertains to themselves and self discovery. That’s the Suck Ninja man. Sucking the life out of you. Helping you to make your life suck.

          I’ve got to go buy a new microwave oven today. The kind that mounts over the stove. Of course, the wife has said she will determine which one we buy for aesthetics while I determine which one we buy based on things like will it fit, power and options. Shopping with my wife often brings the Suck Ninja flying to my immediate location at a high rate of giddy-up! Duck and cover, don’t let him find me and out the door I’m going right here shortly!

          Love your life brothers and sisters. Cause it’s up to you to live it.

  15. Eric Muirhead says:

    Awesome! as always. Thanks again. I hope you love what you’re doing because you can never quit.

  16. Kristi Chapman says:

    I didnt really want all this eyemakeup on anyway… Thank you Chris. Thank you so much.

  17. Chris. How do you do it bro? haha this post was awesome. Thanks

  18. Love you, Chris. Keep it coming.


  19. Chris,
    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve read all of your material, but this one has been the most significant for me personally. Happiness is a choice and there are no excuses for me to be bitter or ungrateful for anything at all. Wow, I’m so thankful for you bro.

    Retired soldier,
    I’m deeply sorry for your struggle but if this means anything at all I hope and pray that you overcome all of your obstacles. I know you can do it because you’ve been through so much. Thank you for serving our country and for sacrificing so much so that I’m free to do the things Americans are able to do. I appreciate you brother!


    • Retired Soldier says:

      David, thank you so much for your VERY kind words! Please, though, don’t feel sorry for me. I surely do not. I’m still able to get my sorry ass out of bed and go fishing, metal detecting and so on when I’m having a good day. When I have a bad day due to my injuries, I just chill out. I tell myself I’ve earned the right to lay my fat ass on the couch and watch the idiot box. Or clean my weapons or whatever I need to do to take my mind off how I feel. It’s not too difficult once you get in the habit of it. 😉

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      thanks David

      I spent a lot of time not being grateful for anything

      Today, I’m grateful for the little stuff

      makes everything way better

  20. Chris and “retired soldier”

    This post was awesome. I read the first couple lines and I couldn’t wait to comment.

    And then it got exponentially better when read the comments from “retired soldier.”

    His perspective is straight up impressive. It’s hard to find words strong enough to convey the emotions that I felt as I read it.

    His words coming from a first person perspective adds a level of realism and evidence to the examples you wrote in the post.

    It touches my heart to see the sincere and authentic exchange of words between you two all because you both have the insight to see the good things in life dispite the crap that can come up.

    The examples given in this post as well as the life story from “retired soldier” is a great reminder that we all, at any moment can stop and appreciate the gifts that we have in life.

    Thank you both for sharing.


  21. There is a lady in a wheelchair who I see coming from the grocery store all the time when I run on the weekends. No matter the weather, there she is with her shopping bags and a big smile on her face. I have seen her in pouring rain, blazing heat, snowstorms…nothing seems to stop her. I remember one really rainy run – I was near the end of an 18 or 20-miler and really feeling it. I was about a mile from home and starting to feel sorry for myself, which is absolutely ridiculous because I was out there by choice. I saw her with her umbrella and her smile and felt like an absolute tool – what right did I have to wallow in stupid self-pity?!? I have 2 strong, amazing legs that can propel me whatever distance I choose. I have an outrageously functional cardio-pulmonary system that allows me to push my body to its absolute limits. I have a brain that is not cognitively impaired by disease or accident…I am the richest, most blessed woman who ever lived!!!
    Thank you for this awesome reminder of just how very lucky we are!

  22. Retired Soldier, I am sending you a heartfelt cyber hug – I wish I could articulate how proud I am of you, a fellow human being who I have never met, for overcoming such trials. You make the world a better place because you are proof that “good” and “decent” are real. People like you are the true warriors in this world, holding back the dark.

  23. SFC,

    What amazing words, as a current Soldier dealing with some shit your words help. God bless you and your family. The Army needs more of your caliber.


  24. Chris,

    I have read this post several times. Some of the most amazing and inspirational words I have come across. There is nothing I can say that would do justice so a simple, thank you for what you do.


  25. I loved this post. I’m a pretty happy person, but know that I take the easiness of my life for granted. I just wrote a similar post about people not appreciating how good they have it. I wrapped it all up in my dislike of FML. 🙂 Thanks for the consistently great posts that make me think.

    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey Amy, thanks

      I didn’t know what FML stood for

      had to look it up

      Kinda like the FTW one ya know

      glad the you like the posts and they’re making you think

      always a good thing

  26. vivian phire says:


  27. Great post Chris. After years of reading all the hype in the fitness marketing world and probably giving your friend one of the biggest response filled blog post about 4yrs ago about “I Need Your Opinion” where everyone got on the bandwagon and supported him and came after me for being so critical. I learned then, it’s best to keep it moving and never respond again.

    It’s nice to see a guy like yourself that has lived a roller coaster life of ups and downs to come full circle and realize there is always someone else out there that has it shittier than you, not to mention, there will always be someone that has the bigger, better deal on the internet and being happy isn’t always about being part of some 7-figure masermind group and always chancing the almighty dollar.

    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs lowest part of the Pyramind is BASIC NEEDS….of food, water, clothing, and shelter…..after that we all need some form of LOVE in our life, but other than that, all the rest of the shit is just that, shit.

    We can’t take the cars, planes, money, jewels, etc…. to our grave, so life has to have more meaning than that.

    I am not preaching, but if we just love a little more, treat others the right way, and try to do the right thing at all times…..life for everyone can be a happier and better place, no matter how much money one has.

    Once again, great post and thanks for showing anyone can learn to see life is not all about money, as many of your current and old fitness marketing friends continue to preach….take care.



    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      Hey thanks Tom

      I remember the comment/blog post you’re talking about

      Yeah ma, I chased money to make me happy and when I got it I was miserable

      I chased it for the wrong reasons

      to fill a hole

      to feel like I’m enough

      to prove that I’m a man

      to be excepted

      I chased it out of scarcity and ego

      Now I have nothing against making money and still teach marketing in my fitness marketing niche stuff

      but many of us chase it for the wrong reasons

      and you’re right man, after the basic needs, money doesn’t really make one happier

      the difference in happiness between $60K a year and $6,000,000 ain’t much, and it definitely ain’t all it’s made out to be

      I think it making a lot of money allows one to help more people, then making that money can definitely help ones happiness

      But in life, man…. there is so much fucking more than money

      thanks for chiming in man, hope ypu’re well Tom

  28. I appreciate it man. I think just like you and after serving 20yrs in the military and being in my mid-40’s, I just try to pass on things I have learned to my kids, friends, clients, etc… and just do the right thing. It’s funny Chris, when I look back to that crazy blog post in 2009 and everyone was jumping on the bandwagon in support for your friend, but I always knew in my heart, eventually folks would see what I meant by my comments. I really did appreciate the mostly bad comments, because I learned from it, I really did. But, as years have past and I have heard from a few folks, they too are seeing things differently. If you are still close to him, I hope he saw I was just saying with all these so called marketing or fitness experts, I would like to see a guy like that come out with a book nationally or still be in the trenches with fitness or maybe share all of his knowledge maybe at a college or university. It was poorly delivered on my part, I agree, but my heart was in the right place and to get back on topic of your blog post here, I hope too he and others see what you, me, and many have found out, that money doesn’t buy happiness, it makes things easier, but at the end of the day, life comes down to what I call the Four F’s – Faith, Family, Friends, and Fitness. Notice work or money, although we bust our butt on one to get the other, but those two topics are not in the 4 F’s for a reason. If are happiness comes from work or money, we are lost. If our happiness and priorities of the 4 F’s are in order, then the work because more enjoyable and running after the almighty dollar is not a priority.

    Something for you to look into and maybe ponder with your friends, clients, etc…. is a passage from the bible that puts things in my
    life into perspective:

    James 2: 14-16 Faith without works is dead and works without faith your dead (Paraphrase)

    This is just a passage that resonates with me with regards to being happy in ones life and struggling with work, or making enough money, or building relationships or maintaining them, etc….

    If I always put FAITH first and try my best to do the right thing, (which turns out to be part of the first two commandments, 1) Love your God with all your Heart, Might, and Soul and 2) Treat others the way you want to be treated) then things in our life whether if its trying or finding happiness or living a better life, it has a tendency to work out in a positive light.

    Thanks again for your comments and a great post once again. I am happy for your bro and glad to see you are moving and doing things in a different direction. Peace and love to you and your loved ones.



    • Chris McCombs Chris McCombs says:

      hey thanks Tom, haven’t talked to him in a few years actually

      Faith without works is dead

      so true man, so true

      and I love the four F’s

      Faith, Family, Friends, and Fitness.

      yes, yes, yes and yes

      appreciate your words Tom

  29. Cindy Christina says:

    Thanks Chris. I needed this.

  30. Soo true!! we have to appreciate what we have and don’t have! Be grateful with the simple things in life!!

  31. I got out of military. I sensed that my health was deteriorating so I got out. After I left, I traveled for 10 months and then came home with less money than I thought I would have. that’s when I began to panic and my health got worse. I had anxiety attacks after taking some sleeping pills. Now I am not taking them pills and my health seems to get better slowly. But I have been out of job for more than 3 years though. My days are filled with emptiness so I listen to music trying to uplift my feelings. Do I have a good life now? I am still alone at 38, my finance is not very solid, I am thinking of moving to a different country hoping that things will change for the better. Nowadays I stay home watching TV.

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