Welcome to the very first installment of the Cracking the Happiness Code Experts Panel, where I reach out to experts across a variety of fields on an important and challenging subject.
One of the big challenges every person in the modern world has to deal with is figuring out what their relationship between money and happiness is.
So while many of us work overtime, pick up shifts, or get an extra job in order to earn more, we also find that we have a hard time getting our financial successes to translate into personal success (or “happiness”).
Two separate surveys highlight our challenge in this area perfectly:
1) Most people, when asked what they would do with an extra, 8th day each week that only they got, said they would work. (They also reported that they would rather spend time with their family, but felt obligated to do more to try to “get ahead”)
2) The number 1 regret of people on their deathbed is wishing they hadn’t worked so much (and had spent more time with family and friends).
So I reached out to some experts who are leading awesome lives and know something about both money and happiness. (Each has one of the top “personal development” blogs of 2013 or is of similar influence in a related domain)
I figured would have some useful insights on this strange relationship between our simultaneous quests to earn more and be happier. And they came through – big time – with a full range of perspectives from the practical to the theoretical/conceptual and everything in between.
I asked each of them: If you could give ONE piece of advice about the relationship between money and happiness, what would it be and why?
People have been debating what it means to lead a good, happy life for millennia. And even though it’s one of humankind’s oldest pursuits and we could fill several libraries with all the writing on the subject, to most of us, happiness remains some kind of mystery.
With rates of depression and discontentment at all time highs – despite this also being the wealthiest point in human history – means it’s more important than ever that we crack the happiness code.
It’s probably not possible to be happy all the time, but we can certainly become more content with the lives we have, escape the hedonist treadmill (a vicious cycle of dissatisfaction, frustration, and stress), and live truly to our values and desires.