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Ask most people what you think would make them happy, and the answer would undoubtedly involve “earning more money”
However, according to research presented in the book “59 Seconds“, money does not make you happy:
Contrary to popular belief, those who had won the lottery were no more or less happy than those in the control group.
What about the super wealthy folks in the Forbes 100 list? Surely they must be much happier than the average person, right?
those on the Forbes 100 list of the wealthiest people are only slightly happier than the average American
This also hold true nationally:
although people in very poor nations are not as happy as those in wealthier countries, this disparity vanishes once a country has achieved a relatively modest GNP
So, is money important to happiness?
when people can afford the necessities in life, an increase in income does not result in a significantly happier life.
So, if it’s not earning more money that will make you happier, what will?
1 – Sense of control over your life
In the book, “59 Seconds”, the author quotes a study by Ellen Langer:
In one classic study conducted by Ellen Langer at Harvard University, half of the residents in a nursing home were given a houseplant and asked to look after it, while the other residents were given an identical plant but told that the staff would take responsibility for it. Six months later, the residents who had been robbed of even this small amount of control over their lives were significantly less happy, healthy, and active than the others. Even more distressing, 30 percent of the residents who had not looked after their plant had died, compared to 15 percent of those who had been allowed to exercise such control
Having a sense of control over your life is very important! At the very least, get a pet so that you can look after it – that will give you some sense of control in your life.
2 – Maintain an Attitude of Gratitude
Keep a journal in which you write down the things for which you are thankful:
Three groups of people were asked to spend a few moments each week writing. The first group listed five things for which they were grateful, the second noted five things that annoyed them, and the third jotted down five events that had taken place during the previous week. Everyone scribbled away, with the “gratitude” group remarking on seeing the sunset on a summer day and the generosity of their friends, the “annoyed” group listing taxes and their children arguing, and the “events” group detailing making breakfast and driving to work. The results were startling.