The following clips and article, if taken to heart, will change the way you think about happiness and money.
Understand How to Measure Happiness
I highly recommend you start with the movie, HAPPY. Here’s an excerpt:
HAPPY takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy.
Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.
Here is a short trailer clip. I watched it on Netflix.
If you don’t have a Netflix account, at least sign-up for the free 30 day trial to watch this film. It’ll be worth it. Or, rent the movie for 72 hours access from The Happy Movie website.
Understand that money, in and of itself, doesn’t buy happiness.
It may allow you to purchase more things, but after you have the nice cars, expansive home, and all the fancy clothes that you desire, nothing fundamentally changes.
Think about it. If you can find happy people in an underdeveloped and economically disadvantaged country, then surely you can find happiness in yourself, if you change your focus.
For some reason, there seems to always be an ever-increasing quest for more. But why? Why is there a quest to always obtain more?
Once you find out what truly makes you happy, you’ll realize that life is more than obtaining new things.<–Click to Tweet
A High Paying Career is Not Always the Right Answer
There are so many who chase the idea of success–a high paying career.
This can be great once achieved but, unfortunately, as many people earn more money, they purchase more things.
They buy, and they buy, until their liabilities continually match their income.
In my personal finance book, How We Prevent Wealth: A Personal Finance Reflection, I call this the upgrade cycle.
Instead of using their increase in money to buy their freedom, they keep spending in order to continually chase “the dream.”
However, once they reach their dream of high income and status, they’ll soon find that, fundamentally, they have little more than what they started with.
They’ll find that in the end, they are able to purchase many material things, but would have also accumulated liabilities to keep them trapped and unhappy, unable to enjoy life to its fullest.
A person who earns $250,000 annually and has $250,000 in annual expenses is no better off than a person who earns $50,000 annually with $50,000 in annual expenses.
Worst, yet, the high paying career may make them miserable, secretly wanting to do something differently.
Perhaps, they’d want to pursue a personal passion, something that they’d want to do if money was no object?
“It is better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing, than a long life spent in a miserable way.” –Alan Watts<–Click to Tweet
Striving for Financial Freedom is the motivation required to maximize your happiness and pursue what you really love.
While the idea of buying lots of SHIT is exciting to most, it’s more exciting to pursue a life in which you can eventually fire your boss so you can comfortably live a life doing you truly want to do, when you want to do it, all the time–just like Jack Reacher.
Financial Independence, as I explained in How We Prevent Wealth: A Personal Finance Reflection, is:
“…the ability to go on a vacation, play with our grandchildren, read a book, learn a language, golf when the weather is beautiful, fish when the bass are most active, or play a video game all day without having to worry about money.
Financial freedom is about living the last third of our lives without worrying about going to a job.
It is an actual retirement.”
Life is an experience that should be maximized along the way
Last, I recommend the following article, What Happy People Do Differently, written by Robert Biswas-Diener and Todd B. Kashdanat for Psychology Today.
It’s a long read, but well worth it. So, grab your cup of coffee and indulge into this life transitional piece.
Here are some golden, summarized points:
Most people accept that true happiness is more than a jumble of intensely positive feelings—it’s probably better described as a sense of “peace” or “contentedness.”
Truly happy people seem to have an intuitive grasp of the fact that sustained happiness is not just about doing things that you like. It also requires growth and adventuring beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone. Happy people, are, simply put, curious.
The happiest people are the ones who are present when things go right for others—and whose own wins are regularly celebrated by their friends as well.
Happy, flourishing people don’t hide from negative emotions. They acknowledge that life is full of disappointments and confront them head on, often using feelings of anger effectively to stick up for themselves or those of guilt as motivation to change their own behavior.
The happiest people have a knack for being honest about what does and does not energize them—and in addition to building in time for sensory pleasures each day, they are able to integrate the activities they most care about into a life of purpose and satisfaction.
If you are ready to make a transformation in your spending habits and seriously change your outlook on life so you can pursue happiness that is based on doing what you love instead of on how much money you earn, be sure to pick up a copy of my latest book, “The Wealth Number: The Financial Solution to Pursuing the Job You Love.”
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