Today I’m going to discuss some secrets to a happy life.
A family member of mine is going through some help complications right now and they’ve been on my mind a lot lately . The more they are on my mind, the more I keep coming back to the tremendous example that they have set. Their life is another great example of choosing what makes you happy in life and not worrying about much else.
You see this person lived a very simple life. They didn’t focus on the quantity or even quality of their material possessions. The things that bring them happiness can’t be bought.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. They could have bought nearly anything they wanted. However, they chose to live in an old house with a single car between himself and his wife. For vacation they didn’t go to Europe or Mexico, they merely drove around the midwest enjoying time with the people they cared about.
Isn’t that what we should be chasing? While each of us may have a slight variation of it, shouldn’t this be the goal? Whats your goal and what are you chasing?
Researching secrets to a happy life
Some research by Bupa UK aims to answer these questions. This organization conducted a survey of 2,000 individuals 55 or older and asked them what makes a happy life.
The results weren’t too surprising. Some of the key themes were spending time with those you love, doing what makes you happy and doing creative pursuits.
You know what didn’t make the list? Stress. Overwork. Fighting.
I feel like a lot of the things mentioned on the list are overlooked when we are young. Either we are ambitious trying to climb the corporate ladder or are we are buying houses that are too big or cars that are too nice.
As we age we realize that maybe these material things aren’t all they are cracked up to be and realize that we already have the things in life to be happy.
Have you ever asked yourself questions like, is the big house worth it? Is the nicer car worth it? The nice clothes? Nice phone? Are they truly worth the stress in my finances or my marriage that they will cause?
I don’t think the problem is that the younger version of ourselves would answer yes to these questions. I think the primary issue is that we haven’t gained enough wisdom to ask ourselves these questions. These so called secrets to a happy life aren’t secrets at all.
Being happy with your finances
The one that stood out to me the most from a financial perspective is #8: “having enough money to do what you want”.
Isn’t that remarkable? Turns out these secrets to a happy life aren’t secrets at all. It wasn’t about having the nicest cars, houses or phones. Its just about freedom. Now don’t get me wrong, I think there’s a growing movement of people that are trying to do just this. While I don’t consider myself a part of it, the FIRE movement is growing quickly.
I think its great. Its certainly not for everyone, myself included.
I enjoy nothing more than working hard and doing my best at my 9-5. While I find enjoyment in it I believe it also sets a good example for my children.
How to get to achieve your goals, big or small
When it comes to finances I feel a lot of people overcomplicate things. I feel like a broken record but the bottom line is that the numbers don’t lie when it comes to personal finance.
Setting a vision for your life, creating a budget and working hard to increase your income is all there is to it. Budgeting can pay for the hassle it causes and I think its the cornerstone of personal finance.
A budget will allow you to know if your spending your money in life with your priorities. It ensures that undue stress isn’t’ being caused by financial decisions. I think there’s enough stress in life that we don’t need to add to it ourselves.
Losing Sight of the bigger picture
I see so many young people (myself included at times) lose sight of the bigger picture in life. These secrets to a happy life aren’t complicated. We look around to our parents, family members or others we associate with and think the biggest house or the newest car wins.
We don’t get to take these things with us. These things will wear out overtime. Are these the things that will truly add long term joy and happiness to your life?
If they are, then thats great. I know for myself and many of you reading this is simply not the case. Being a wonderful husband, father, brother, son, friend, etc and creating strong relationships with those around you is the important picture.