The happier people are, the more successful they are with their money, work and relationships, claims psychology professor Ed Diener, an author of a study conducted by the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois and Michigan State University. The study found that happy people are more likely to get married, to stay married and think positively about their marriage.
Diener compared people who were not happy to those who were happy and said that the happy people volunteered more, earned more and were highly rated by their supervisors. He also found that happy people, on average, are healthier, and live longer.
The surprising bit about this research was not that money, good work, long life and health brought happiness, but that it was exactly the opposite! Happiness brought money, good work, long life and health.
Most people spend lots of energy making money. They study or work most of their lives. Then they save their money believing that if they just have money, they will be ultimately happy. Unfortunately, that is not how it works. Money cannot bring happiness, but happiness can bring money.
The problem with money is that attaining it becomes a race. Participating in this race becomes an obsession. Researchers found that there is a minimum amount of money that we all need in order to cover basics necessities, but earning anything beyond this has no impact on our happiness. If we invest in experiences and shop for feelings, we will be happier. We often think that buying new things will give us a boost of motivation and happiness, but we get used to the feeling very quickly. It becomes our new ‘normal’. A study researched new car buyers and found that regardless of how expensive the car was, their happiness levels go up for one month, and then drops down to where they were before they bought the car. So buying one month’s worth of happiness for $30,000 rather than $20,000 is a bit expensive, don’t you think?
So, if you think you need to be rich to be happy, think again. You need to be happy to be rich. Happiness is a one way street to wealth!