Want to Be Rich? Don’t Get Too Happy
June 24, 2008
Finding total happiness is the ultimate goal for many people -- but should it be? New research suggests that if wealth and success are also at the top of your list, the two goals may be somewhat incompatible.
Income does tend to increase along with happiness, according to data from the World Values Survey -- but only to a point. Those who rated their happiness a “10,” the top score, earned significantly less than those who put down 8 or 9. Those who were slightly less happy were also more likely to have gone to college, engaged in the political process and saved money.
So if you have some strong financial goals, it may be better to limit your happiness. The researchers believed the results stem from the fact that people who are happy -- but not too happy -- are strivers, interested in making the sorts of changes necessary to get ahead in life. The 10’s, on the other hand, may be too complacent to adjust enough.
Extreme optimists (those who overestimated their own life spans by 20 years or more), additional research shows, also behaved in other ways that weren‘t good for their future. They accumulated debt and didn‘t save. Moderate optimists, recognizing that their luck could run out, saved more than the extreme optimists did.
You Have the Choice to be Happy
Who would have thought that it’s possible to be TOO happy?
You can actually get the best of both worlds by being an extreme optimist, but making sure you hold on to your ability to grow and strive for better.
Of course, I think the challenge for many people is not learning how to be LESS happy; it’s learning how to be moderately happy, or even just happy more often than not.
The good news, as Carol Tuttle, master energy therapist, points out is that happiness is a choice.
“The more happiness you choose, the more life presents you with experiences to feel happy about,” she says. “If you are feeling blue or even downright depressed, you must make the decision to ‘get happy.’”
For those of you still struggling with this choice, you can learn how to let go of your negative thoughts quickly and easily using The Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Plus, here are 20 things you can start doing right now that will help you find, and sustain, happiness in your life.