I’ve been pondering happiness a lot over the past few weeks. It could be for a number of reasons that happiness has come to mind…
- We’re a few months away from having our first child! Happy.
- I just changed jobs at work to a position that is more in line with who I am and what I love. Happy.
- I published a book on Amazon* and am working on a second with two fellow writers. Happy.
I was so interested in happiness that I watched this documentary, aptly called “Happy”.* It chronicles the lives of a cross-section of people and cultures and finds several common denominators among them relating to happiness.
It’s worth your time.
Money and Happiness
The documentary found that there is a threshold to money creating happiness…and it’s a surprisingly low threshold.
Above and beyond meeting basic needs (food, water, shelter), happiness levels for the whole of life don’t generally increase with a higher income.
Although Forbes reported that money could buy happiness, it’s findings were directed toward happiness in vocation, not for all of life in general.
Simply put: money can buy happiness, but only while you’re at work.
Conclusion: since the majority of our time is not spent at work, money doesn’t buy happiness.
Community and Happiness
I can be a bit of a loner at times. Give me a quiet corner to write, muse or read and I’ll be fine for hours. A lot of creative people are in the same camp–preferring seclusion rather than social activities.
But we need to break out and link up more often than we do.
In the film*, the happiest people were the ones who lived in close community with others. From a neighborhood comprised of multiple families doing life together in Denmark to ancient African cultures in Namibia, the findings were all the same: people felt happier living in closer communities.
Community creates happiness.
Do What You Love
We create because it makes us happy.
Sure there’s the work of pushing through what Steven Pressfield calls “the resistance”*, but we break through that barrier because ultimately, it makes us happy.
What makes you happy?
*Disclosure: A few of the hyperlinks above are affiliate links to Amazon.