It's not free time or money that = happiness
- its purpose.
I am sorry that this isn’t written perfectly - I am sitting in a coffee shop doing check ins before I spend the day with my girl friend (It’s Saturday).
One check in in particular sparked this thought so I did a little brain dump here…
There is often a narrative that having more money will make you happier.. this has largely been debunked. The happiness you derive from making more money seems to plateau once it easily covers basic needs and financial security. This is likely because often making more than this requires more time and effort which has an opportunity cost and impacts other areas of your life.
Those who earn the most money generally have more stressful lives, work longer hours, spend less time with their family and ultimately give up a lot of their time freedom for financial success.
At the other end of the spectrum to money many people think that it’s freedom that is the key to happiness. And that money gives you freedom and that’s why money is linked to happiness.
I have another hypothesis.
What brings me most happiness is purpose.
Along side purpose comes work ethic, motivation, drive, resilience when things don’t go well… and for sure - these attributes make me successful from a financial point of view too (at least relative to the average 32 year old woman).
I often wonder if the people who have bought themselves freedom, retire at 40 & spend their lives ‘doing whatever they like’ are truly happy. Or if they find they lack purpose.
From observations and conversations with those who have I find this to be true.
They’ve worked hard for the dream of doing whatever they want and then look back and miss the drive, motivation and ultimately purpose that they used to have.
Yes, my businesses require a lot of time, effort and stress but I also love it.
It gives me purpose.
I love feeling driven,
unpopular opinion but - I love being busy,
I love having a full life,
I feel most alive and energetic when I have a lot on.
I thrive when I am building something bigger than myself.
It is what makes me happy.
and I would say the happiness research backs that. The baseline happiness hypothesis shows that the only thing that impacts your happiness long term is losing a job or retirement. Anything else (including losing a loved one) results in a short term decrease but happiness levels consistently return to your baseline. I’ve always found this fascinating.
It seems to me that it's not free time or money that = happiness - its purpose.