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What I'm reading #23: Get serious about your happiness

By Sam Instone - June 08, 2022

"We are our choices."

This quote by Jean-Paul Sartre is extremely accurate...

Particularly when it comes to our happiness and overall success in life.

Examining your choices to ensure they're enhancing your well-being, can do more than just make you happier. 

Enhancing happiness is proven to have a tangible reward, and make you more successful. 

According to research, if you're happy and have happy colleagues, your organisation's performance and productivity can improve from 10% to 30%. 

If you have a happy team, you naturally support your clients better, which in turn improves the Posi+ive impact you have on them. 

Here are some steps for increasing happiness and fulfilment in your life and at work. 

Understand the basics

Some people think they're prone to being happy or unhappy. 

This isn't the case at all. 

You can take actions to enhance your own happiness and that of those around you. 

Studies suggest that roughly 50% of our levels of happiness depend on our intentional thoughts, attitudes and actions. 

Your happiness isn't hard-wired. 

Here are some drivers of happiness that are within our control: 

  1. Happiness takes effort - creating and strengthening happiness in your life is just like every other major initiative you embark on. It requires time and energy to get it right. 
  2. Happiness is a numbers game - the frequency of Posi+ive events in your life is more significant than the intensity of those events. Try raising the number of small Posi+ive moments day-to-day, rather than fewer, highly Posi+ive occasions.
  3. Happiness is a habit - happiness has to be habitual. If you're not as happy as others, try incorporating happy habits into your life, while removing negative ones. 
  4. Do more for others - unsurprisingly, when you do more for others you end up happier than when you do things to please only yourself. 

Proven paths to happiness 

Basing your decisions on the following is proven to increase your happiness: 

  1. Limit your pleasure seeking - long-lasting, genuine happiness doesn't come from seeking lots of temporary pleasures. The exhilarated feeling from short-term pleasures doesn't stick around for long and so if you do this often, you tend to feel overwhelmed when you experience moments of sadness. 
  2. Intentionally think happy - don't obsess over the small details in your life. Instead, focus on building resilience and control. You'll be surprised at the emotional outcome of altering your mood and state of mind. 
  3. Intentionally act happy - expressing gratitude is valuable when trying to shut down negative emotions. Studies have shown that regularly writing down what you're grateful for, can improve your long-lasting happiness by 25%. Additionally, you can build happiness by adopting a healthy lifestyle with exercise, a good diet and enough sleep. 
  4. Establish a Posi+ive personality - good character traits like honesty, courage, empathy and generosity are worth adopting. 
  5. Embrace deep connections - there's immense power in connectedness, which is a major driver for success in life and at work.

Act now 

Like anything in life - if you want results, you must act. 

Here are 3 immediate actions you can take to start your happiness-enhancing journey:

  1. Visualise your ideal future - write a description of your ideal life and observe the way it makes you feel. 
  2. Be thankful for your past - think of something or someone that had a Posi+ive impact on your life and write down all the ways you're thankful. The mere act of this has been shown to boost levels of happiness. 
  3. Demonstrate love - adopting this habit can play a big role in elevating happiness. 

It's time to get serious about happiness. 

When it comes to your finances, studies show people who’ve hired a financial planner are nearly three times happier with their life than others.

Yes, financial planners are there to provide investment management advice, financial planning services, and guidance for their client's financial futures.

But it doesn't end there. 

For individuals with more than $1.2 million in assets, a financial planner might just be critical to happiness.


Further reading

How should affluent investors understand and deal with risk?

How to safeguard your family’s financial future

How to incorporate family money into your life

Goals vs. capital: Are yours aligned?

3 misconceptions about market volatility you need to be aware of


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