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Time Affluence

Oct 29, 2021 | General, Lifestyle | 0 comments

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We recently came across an article about happiness that was written by Laurie Santos, a psychologist working at Yale University. We found it fascinating that around the world, we all seem to search for happiness in all the wrong places.

Wrong road

Most of us think that we should head off and earn as much money as possible. Research shows that in the United States (US) once you are earning $75,000p.a. you’ve hit the sweet spot. Research also shows that if you doubled this amount of money in your earnings, it will have very little impact or improvement on your day-to-day happiness.

Another belief that many of us hold about the routes to happiness is that the more we have the happier we’ll be and head out to buy hordes of clothes, cars and gadgets. Initially, like a sugar spike, we hit a happiness high but more often than not, the feeling is fleeting. Designers bring out new clothes, gadgets are continually upgraded and even the excitement of a new car, like the smell of its fresh interior, will fade away.

Even the high and happiness of accomplishing good school grades will eventually end in disappointment. According to Harvard Business School Professor Ashley Williams, even good grades have a negative correlation. “The kids with the best grades are currently the most miserable, with the lowest self-esteem and lowest levels of optimism …”. But why?

What are the solutions to the happiness equation?

We need to spend time with people we care about.

According to the article, people find it much more rewarding concentrating on other people rather than themselves. People who volunteer and give more time to charity work also tend to be happier than people who don’t.

Being present.

Researchers are currently doing studies where they ‘ping’ participants and ask them their thoughts in that immediate moment. More than 50% of the time, participants admitted that they were not concentrating on the task at hand. This is very dissatisfying relative to people who are in ‘flow’. In positive psychology, a flow state, also known colloquially as being in the zone, is the mental state in which a person performing some activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energised focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity, which is why we are encouraged to be mindful and concentrate on what we are doing.

The last tip given by Santos is probably the most powerful and actionable. We must realise that being rich in time is a happiness goal which we should all aim to achieve. By creating more time in our lives, we create the space to improve the other areas of our lives that give us the most happiness in life. So instead of concentrating on earning more money or getting higher grades we need to make time to be with people who give us positive energy. We need to make time to give back to society. We need to be present in what we are doing and turn off the distractions. We need to create time to think and reflect.



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