September 12, 2010 at 4:10 pm Leave a comment


Originally uploaded by mlcastle

Happiness has become a goal. The goal for life used to be survival and perpetuating the species. Now it’s happiness.

An industry has grown up around this desire; an industry pushing us to buy and do and follow their formula to have happiness. As though happiness were a problem to be solved if we only know the right way.

What is happiness?

Happiness and Money
Research tells us that money has a correlation with happiness up to about the $60,000 or $75,000 point (depending on whose research you read). After that, there is no increase in happiness with increasing money. The research doesn’t tell us if it’s the number that is significant or the lifestyle it can buy. Given that $60,000 will buy a wide variety of lifestyles based on where you are and your skill at handling money, consider it an average.

Basically what they are saying is that once people have what they consider to be the minimum income to give them the lives they want, anything above that will not make them happier.

When are We Happy?
When asked, people say they are most happy when they are having sex, and least happy when they are talking to their boss. What does this tell us about happiness? In one case we experience good feelings and in the other bad feelings. Does that mean that how we feel causes us to be happy or not?

We control how we feel in any situation. It would follow, then, that we can control how happy we are.

Happiness and Optimism
Happiness is linked to optimism. The more optimistic you are, the happier you are.

Our Happiness
We have a happiness steady state that may be shifted due to circumstance (good and bad) but returns quickly to the original state.

Happiness is within our control. That means our happiness or lack of is our fault, if you want to put it that way. It also means that we are the only ones who can make us happy. Depending how you look at it, this is a good thing or a bad thing.

Happiness is intrinsically valuable. It is an end in itself. If you consider money, it is merely the means to get other things. Even food is the means to health and well-being. Happiness, on the other hand, is the end result.

The conclusion I draw from this is that happiness isn’t something to pursue or try to create; it is a result of how we live and how we feel about how we live. If we live ‘The Good Life’ however we define that, and focus on enjoying what’s in front of us we will reach our optimum happiness. Further, I think the pursuit of happiness can introduce a level of stress in our lives that can decrease our enjoyment of life.

If you want more happiness in your life, do what the song says: “Don’t worry. Be Happy.”


Entry filed under: 1. Know Where You Are Going. Tags: , , , , .

Passion Profit or Prosperity?

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The Three Success Factors

I have worked closely with 100’s of business owners and I have seen too many struggle. I have seen what works and what doesn't.

It takes 3 things to succeed:
1. Hard work - and I know you do that already.
2. Knowledge - domain knowledge: you've got that and continue to learn; and business knowledge: this is where everyone focuses and it's easy to find
3. Mindset - This is the killer app. This is what makes or breaks small business owners.

We work on Mindset here at the Business Owners Success Club: how you think about yourself and your business.

When you focus on a business that gives you what you need to live a Good Life and gives others what they need to solve a problem, everything else falls into place and you have a successful business.

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