Yes – but are you HAPPY?

The state of happiness is most people’s ultimate life goal for self or others:  When asked what we want out of life, we say: “I just want to be happy”.  When considering a loved one’s well-being we say: “Whatever you do, as long as you’re happy…”

But what is it?  And, more to the point, how will we know when we have got there?

Of course, there is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ when it comes to personal happiness.  This is because we all hold different things dear.  Our circumstances vary wildly.  What makes ME happy might be your worst nightmare…

So – is there any point in giving advice about the pursuit of happiness?  Well, it seems so.  Because, whilst it may look different in your life than in mine, there are a few fundamental principles about happiness of which we should all be aware.

  • Happiness is probably a journey rather than a destination.  It is often the feeling we enjoy when taking positive action, and progress is being made towards a worthy goal.
  • Happiness is generated within – not externally.  The ball in the net makes 11 players happy and the other 11 players sad – it depends on what you decide an external event means to you!
  • Happiness precedes success.  Many think that success ‘causes’ happiness.  This is the wrong way round.  The happier you are – the more successful you are likely to be.
  • Happiness is boosted by positive experiences rather than possessions.  A meaningful event is enhanced with the memory of it.  A new possession may feel good at the time – but quickly becomes the ‘norm’.

Perhaps surprisingly, there is no ‘blanket’ correlation between material possessions and lasting happiness.  More than half of all lottery winners report being LESS happy 2 years after the win than before it.  As a friend of mine says – “If you win a million pounds, you had better hurry up and become a millionaire…”  Apparently, a lottery win only works for the minority!

And household income… Studies have shown that you DO become happier the more you earn relative to your ‘tribe’ (basically whatever the norm for the place you live).  However, there seems to be a limit.    Earnings BEYOND a certain amount do not contribute to happiness at all.
In the USA this amount averages out to be a household income of about $80,000pa.  In the UK that’s about £65,000. (Remember that’s an average – it will vary across States and Regions).

Yoo Wisdom: Ultimately, I look to learn from those who have a ‘whole of life’ perspective…  On their deathbeds, most speak of relationships, family, friends, good times enjoyed.  Very few say “I had a lovely Ferrari”.  And even fewer say “I wish I had spent more time in the office!

Be your best Yoo!

Andy (and the team at Yoo)

PS In your own pursuance of Happiness you might want to take a look at my online course called ‘The Yoo Course’.  It tackles Building Confidence (through self-awareness); Great Relationships (through understanding others); and Making Changes (using mental resilience).  And I promise it won’t tell you how to make a million!

For more details, CLICK THE ORANGE BOX IN THE YOO SIDEBAR (or further down the page if you’re on your mobile)