I’ve written a number of books and thousands of blogs about investing. While I hope I’ve helped you achieve your financial goals, there are times when I wonder if I’m leading you astray.
I know a lot of financially successful people who are miserably unhappy. In fact, Pew Research has found only one-third of all Americans are “very happy.”
Should the focus be shifted from increasing your net worth to achieving personal happiness? Are these two goals inconsistent?
Let’s start with achieving happiness. Here’s what works:
Do something for others: Impacting others in a positive way – and sometimes just showing empathy – is a surefire way to increase your level of happiness.
Focus on relationships: Having positive relationships with others will give you enhanced well-being. “Others” includes not just friends and family but everyone with whom you come into contact every day. When you make their life better with a kind gesture, you improve yours as well.
Pursue your passions: It doesn’t matter if your passion is gardening, fishing, tennis or painting. People who allocate time to pursue their passion are generally happier than those who don’t.
Go outside: There’s ample evidence simply spending more time outdoors will benefit you.
Make health a priority: Health and happiness are related. Did you know factors you can control are estimated to account for as much as 80-90 percent of all cancers? Diet alone can account for 35 percent.
Meditate: More than 600 studies demonstrate those who meditate have more empathy, are in better health, have greater analytical abilities, are more creative, have less pain, and are much calmer and happier than those who don’t.
Happiness and success go hand-in-hand. Happy people are more likely to be successful; not the other way around.
If you’ve engaged in activities that have increased your level of happiness, let me know what’s worked for you.
This blog post explains why happy people are more likely to be successful.
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