I had an interesting conversation with my hairdresser yesterday. We were talking about what we would do if we won the lottery…
I told him, “I would promptly quit my job and never work again!”
He replied, “Yea, I might take a month off.”
“Wait. Hold the phone. A month?!”
“Well, I would get bored at home and I like the social interaction with different people here.”
Talk about making you stop and think. Really? Was he serious?
Two things immediately came to mind. He really found the perfect career for him. And I really didn’t.
So I went home a little disheartened and did what I always do: research.
First, science makes it apparent that an increase in income (particularly in 1 big lump sum of money) does not increase your happiness. There was a study of 18,000 adults over 9 years that showed that an increase in income didn’t increase life satisfaction at all, but a decrease in income resulted in decreased life satisfaction. This of course implies that financial stability may be more important than financial gain. Another study demonstrated that individualism is a much stronger predictor of happiness than wealth. A third study stated once you have enough money to meet your basic needs, more money doesn’t increase your well-being. A 4th study showed as you increase your work hours (to pursue financial gain), your happiness decreases simultaneously (even if you make more money). In fact, when compared with an increase in wealth, individualism and personality growth performed way better on the happiness scale. Turns out, you are much better off fostering personality growth rather than monetary growth.
So that fancy car and mansion on the beach won’t give you happiness? Nope.
Winning the lottery and pursuing expensive hobbies and traveling across the world won’t make you happy? Nope.
I have a job. A job I do for money. Some people have careers: a job they do for advancement and achievement. Some people have a calling: something they would do even if they didn’t get paid.
I have a job.
My hairdresser has a calling.
I might need to re-think this nurse thing (and this playing-the-lottery thing). Life is too short to spend all your time doing something you “tolerate.” Going back to my favorite life motto:
Do more of what you love,
Less of what you tolerate,
and none of what you hate.
I might need to take some of my own advice on this one. What about you? What do you think about money & happiness? Do you agree with what the research suggests? Do you work for a paycheck or for a passion? Are you still going to buy lottery tickets? Do you think millions of dollars would increase your happiness?
I am interested to hear your thoughts.
P.S. (A few articles for your review)
Happiness not linked to increase in income:
Happiness linked to positive personality changes:
Individualism is a stronger predictor of well being than wealth: