“The people who make it to the top – whether they’re musicians, or great chefs, or corporate honchos – are addicted to their calling … [they] are the ones who’d be doing whatever it is they love, even if they weren’t being paid.” —Quincy Jones

Would you trade 80 hours of your week? Time with your kids? Sleep? Your marriage? Your health?  

Almost all of us trade something for money.  And, what we trade it for is often a less-than-conscious decision. What if we were willing to sit down and write out all of the things that we’re willing to trade for money?  Exhausted yet? Feel free to put away your pie chart.

Money I Just Want to Be Successful Money and Our Identity Money Resources Our Stories About Money What Is the Purpose of Money What Having Money Does to You What Would You Trade for Money? Do You Have "Enough?" You're Made It! Are You Happy? The Spiritual Side of Money Ancient Wisdom About Money Stuff. Lots and Lots of Stuff Money Practice and Exercises Money Quiz Speed Dating with Money

A much easier exercise is to write down a few things that we’re not willing to trade for money.  For instance, knowing that it’s our kid’s first soccer game, and that no amount of money can keep us from missing the game, is more where we’re heading.

“Money never made a man happy yet, nor will it. The more a man has, the more he wants. Instead of filling a vacuum, it makes one.”  –Benjamin Franklin

Quick Question

What are five things that you wouldn’t trade for any amount of money?  Examples might be things like peace of mind, date night once a week with our significant other, or our weekend getaways.

  1. ________________________________
  2. ________________________________
  3. ________________________________
  4. ________________________________
  5. ________________________________

Defining Happiness Before Linking It to Money

Happiness has 4 main Types.  We’ll define and show you how to purchase more of each type below.  Let’s explore how.

  1. Type 1 Happiness: Ephemeral Pleasures – This type of happiness is found in the short term, and we can purchase it through things like ice cream cones, nights out with friends, new clothes, nice dinners, or fun experiences like concerts.  This is the most common and easiest means of buying happiness, yet this type of happiness is also the most fleeting.
  2. Type 2 Happiness: Flow – This type of happiness is found in doing activities that engage us.  We can purchase this type of happiness through experiences like rock climbing, horseback riding, skiing, or activities that enable us to get “lost in the moment.”  Also present in this type of happiness are experiences with others like vacations. Key to purchasing this type of happiness is having both the time and freedom to engage in these experiences.
  3. Type 3 Happiness: Perspective – This type of happiness is found in achieving a deeper sense of peace, acceptance, and self-awareness.  We can purchase this type of happiness through things that give us a new sense of perspective like peak experiences, relationship workshops, meditation retreats, or personal growth seminars. 

4. Type 4 Happiness: Meaning and Purpose – Here we can purchase a deeper, longer-lasting type of happiness that we refer to as joy.  Key to purchasing this type of happiness is tapping into the Four Cornerstones of a Meaningful Life: Service, Love, Discovery, Expression.

a. Service – A common way money becomes an expression of service is by giving to causes or values we care about.  A few examples are mission trips, giving to those in need, or supporting charities we find meaningful.
b. Love – We can tap into this cornerstone through using money to express or enable a deeper sense of love for ourselves or others.  A few examples are taking a loved one on a Honeymoon, buying an engagement ring, or getting a massage. We can also spend money on things like therapy that enable us a deeper ability to give or receive love.  Love can benefit from more time with people, and when we have money, we can buy more of that.
c. Discovery – We can tap into this cornerstone through purchasing experiences that enable us to better know ourselves.  Common examples are found in Exploration like traveling to foreign countries, hiking the Appalachian Trail or Camino de Santiago, or experiences that show us our values.  Other ways we can buy discovery involve trying things out like music, textile art, personal growth experiences, etc.
d. Expression – We can tap into this cornerstone through using money as an expression of our values, beliefs, or selves.  A common way of using money as a form of expression is through creativity, such as art lessons, ballet lessons, or purchasing things that we see as beautiful.  We all want to express ourselves, and having money allows us the time and capacity to do so.

“Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.” —P.T. Barnum

Workplace Fulfillment and Joy

Now that we’ve defined the Four Types of Happiness, we better understand money’s role in relation to happiness.  Is money enough though? Money is one of four factors involved in achieving Bliss in relationship to work.  

When examining a new job we often look at the salary, benefits, level of passion we feel towards it, or opportunity for advancement.  That orientation can be problematic when trying to pick out their next career; we’re settling for only one slice of the happiness pie.  And, even if we are to find a job that has these things, we’re still missing out. Why? We don’t know what to look for in order to find Joy in relation to work.  Looking at the Bliss Map is a comprehensive way of moving towards a greater sense of job satisfaction, purpose, and fulfillment.  So, what four factors should we consider when looking for our next job

The Four Factors are referred to as the Bliss Map:

  1. Paid For It – This type of work we typically call, “Jobs.”  These jobs meet our basic human needs like Health, Safety, and Some Financial Freedom.
  2. In Love With It – This type of work involves enjoying the day-to-day tasks and even seeing work as funFlow may be frequent, and doing the work often meets human needs like appreciation, inspiration, challenge, and discovery.  These types of jobs often provide a sense of community or social needs as well.
  3. World Needs It – This type of work Serves a ‘higher/bigger purpose’ than oneself, and affirms one’s worldview.  Here, motivation and the ‘Why’ precede the work. There is a ‘Big Picture,’ and needs like contribution, hope, integrity, and belonging are met.
  4. Good At It – This type of work involves elements of Skill, Mastery, and Engagement and Flow.  Here, we see one having degrees, certifications, or notoriety. This work involves interpersonal and life skills (Enablers) engaged with familiarity. Challenge, creativity, and growth are benefits of this type of work.

“Money is multiplied in practical value depending on the number of W’s you control in your life: what you do, when you do it, where you do it, and with whom you do it.” —Timothy Ferriss

An important realization is that each factor is not a “yes” or “no” thing.  We refer to each of these components as “Dials rather than switches.”

When looking at a job and asking how it falls on this Bliss Map, it’s likely something along the lines of “I’m about 20% good at it, 80% in love with it, ‘the world needs it’ varies a great deal, and it’s paying me 50% of what I need, but I have another job paying the other 50%”.

These percentages are often fluctuating from moment to moment.  The greater the amount of all four, the larger the sense of purpose, and joy we receive from work.

Quick Quiz: How do You Enjoy Buying Happiness?

Join us in this 5 minute activity as we figure out how we feel about our current work.  Many of us have multiple jobs, side hustles, investments, or streams of income. Look at all of your revenue streams together as one, for each question below.

  1. On a scale from 1 to 10, how well do you feel you are Paid for work? Why?
    1. ________________________________
  2. On a scale from 1 to 10, How Good At your job do you feel that you are? Why?
    1. ________________________________
  3. On a scale from 1 to 10, How much would you say the World Needs what you do? Why?
    1. ________________________________
  4. On a scale from 1 to 10, How In Love With your work are you? Why?
    1. ________________________________
  5. Sum Total (Add up the numbers from 1-4), Out of a possible 40 total points
    1. ________________________________
  6. What thoughts or feelings come to mind as you reflect upon this activity?
    1. ________________________________
    2. ________________________________
    3. ________________________________

Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Make the Money: Macklemore, a modern-day famous rapper, goes into why he does what he loves, rather than pursuing a job for just the money. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis – Make the Money

Should You Sacrifice Short-Term Misery for Long-Term Happiness?

Inherent in the question is the belief that money does buy some type of happiness.  And, we’re also talking about saying “no” to your dream job in favor of a job that makes more money.  This question is tricky, yet it’s one that many of us ask. Asking questions that are either/or means choosing unhappiness at one time or the other.  Asking better questions is the key to a better life, such as:

  • What am I willing to sacrifice now in order to have more financial freedom in the long run?
    • When looking for a new job is it most important where I live, what field I work in, or how much I make?
    • Is some level of sacrifice even necessary when looking for work?
    • What level of passion do I need in order to still feel good about my salary?
    • What does financial freedom mean to me anyway?
    • How static do I imagine my orientation to money being over time?
  • What type of lifestyle do I eventually want to lead, and what is one step that I can take to get there?
    • How do I combine lifestyle and happiness?
    • How do both the journey and destination factor into my relationship with happiness?
    • Where did my idea of this type of lifestyle equaling happiness come from?
  • What’s most important to me in this stage of life, and how can I take steps towards it?
    • In this season of life, what do I most value (people, free time, discovery, growth, security, career advancement, etc?)
  • Is there anything that I will someday regret, if I don’t pursue it now?
    • What regrets in life am I most willing to accept?
  • What does my ideal life look like, and how can my next job get me closer to this life?
    • What three factors are most important to me living my ideal life?
    • How important is the job that I have to living my ideal life?

Try This: Quick Quiz

Take 5 minutes with us while we pick any three questions above and write the answer below.

  1. ________________________________
  2. ________________________________
  3. ________________________________

And with that being said, we’ll still examine the money/time trade-off below, because that is the STARTING place so many people begin their journey.

“The quality of our questions determines the quality of our lives.” –Tony Robbins

The Money Trade-Off

As we’ve mentioned before, Money can buy happiness! This piece is almost irrefutable. 

Let’s start with a few pieces of research on the topic: High income improves evaluation of life but not emotional well-being, by Daniel Kahneman and Angus Deaton.  They go on to define emotional well-being as: 

“Emotional well-being (sometimes called hedonic well-being or experienced happiness) refers to the emotional quality of an individual’s everyday experience—the frequency and intensity of experiences of joy, fascination, anxiety, sadness, anger, and affection that make one’s life pleasant or unpleasant.”  

We want to contrast this piece of research with another that shares that money leads to more happiness, almost without limit.  

Why do these studies seem to contrast each other?  What do each of these studies mean and how do they relate?  The reason why is because of a confusion of terms around what “Happiness” means and how money impacts Happiness.  Understanding the nuance here will create clarity and give us a solid foundation to move forward from.

Money acts as an Enabler (a skill, tool, or philosophy that can enable living with more purpose, intention, and joy).  Money gives us a greater opportunity to have meaning and joy in life, but doesn’t necessarily guarantee it.

Equally important though is how we use the extra money, and what we have to trade in order to have more money.  As we’ve discussed, Happiness has Four Different Types with each resulting in a different quality of emotion.  We’ll show how both of these studies have merit by exploring the relationship between the types of Happiness we get from money vs. the Bliss we get from work that gives us purpose and Meaning. 

The important piece with happiness is remembering that all factors exist simultaneously.  If we were able to have more money, without changing anything else, most of us would say “yes.” And happiness would greatly increase.  However, more money often involves trading-off something else. What types of things might we have to trade for money?

More money can come with higher demands (time, workload, responsibility, etc.), and lower opportunities for things such as leisure activities.  Other factors that can play a role in this decreased happiness are social comparison and leaving old social ties. We are also trading away parts of the other 3 Factors that impact Job Satisfaction: being In Love With the work, doing work the World Needs, or being Good At It.  

Sloww shares that too much money can even negatively impact happiness.  At certain “turning points,” the higher cost of demands outweighed the happiness provided by the money.  

Money Enables us to have more joy via Discovery  Love, Service, or Expression.  However, our work can also be a source of tapping into these Cornerstones. If we are sacrificing one of these cornerstones without spending our increased money getting Meaning back, the trade-off is a net negative, equaling less joy. 

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!”  ― Hunter S. Thompson

Is It Worth Trading Away Meaning for Short-Term Happiness?

We’ve shown a slew of considerations that also impact Meaning, Happiness, and Work Satisfaction.  All of these factors are also worth considering. However, there might be times where we are choosing between a job with more money and a job with more love, passion, joy, excitement, etc.

For this question, we’ll focus less on the happiness that comes from having the extra money and more on:

How we spend the money:
We’ll dive into the more stereotypical ways we think money will impact our lives: more things, experiences, and travel (Type 1 and Type 2 Happiness). 

What are the benefits of Type 1 and Type 2 Happiness? The benefits include spontaneity, a better lifestyle, nicer cars, an increase in excitement that comes from having more trips on our calendar, the ability to cross things off our bucket list, nicer meals, fancier parties, less financial stress, a bigger home, more options, and more experiences that allow us to stay present in the moment.

Using money to purchase things and experiences is like thinking of happiness as food.  Each time we make a purchase we are biting into happiness. However, with Type 1 and Type 2 Happiness, the hunger eventually comes back.  We must keep spending, or eating, to experience Happiness. Using our money this way, we learn to become dependent on shorter-term experiences and feelings for Happiness.

Is short-term happiness a type that most of us want?  Very few of us would want a life void of vacations, delicious food, random excitement, or nice things.

Imagine leaving a job at a nonprofit (NGO) that fills most of the Bliss Map (yet not Paid For It so much), for well-paid work that uses your organizational and people skills, yet doesn’t have a mission you love or care about. When leaving a career that provides greater amounts of Discovery  Love, Service, or Expression for one with less of those things, a natural transition in Meaning will happen, even if we are leaving this job for more money.  Why? We are going from experiencing happiness as a way of being to experiencing it as a temporary feeling, and/or one that has some of those things, but less overall.  The real question we are asking when making this choice is, “Is it worth trading away a deeper, longer lasting sense of joy, for a more intense feeling of happiness that doesn’t last?”

Like we mentioned above, there are a number of other ways to ask this question.  Another way that we prefer is, ‘What do you define as having lived a meaningful life, and how can your current job help you get you one step closer?’  

“If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, go out and sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures. Sweep streets like Handel and Beethoven composed music. Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say, here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.” –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Maximizing Meaning and Joy

A meaningful life is rich in the Four Cornerstones: Service, Love, Discovery, and Expression.  The presence of these cornerstones can all be found either at or outside of work and lead to the deepest, most abiding sense of happiness called joy.

When considering leaving work already rich in Meaning, it’s important to remember that Meaning and Joy are a mosaic, and can be found almost anywhere. There are infinite ways to create the picture.  

A key is to be both creative and resourceful when looking for meaning.  Remember, meaning can be found in the present regardless of the source: home, family, hobbies, work, grocery shopping, etc.  Becoming attached to finding meaning in specific sources limits us. Being open to the possibility of finding meaning in any moment empowers us.

Know Your Priorities

Again imagine leaving your job at a nonprofit (NGO) that fills most of the Bliss Map (yet not Paid For It so much), for well-paid work that uses your organizational and people skills, yet doesn’t have a mission you love or care about.  However, imagine this time that the added increase in salary allows you to make significant contributions to a cause that you care about (Service), three extra weeks of vacation with family (Love), more rich and meaningful experiences that allow you to better know yourself (Discovery), and the money to focus on a passion and express yourself through it (Expression).

While you might struggle to leave your nonprofit work rich in Service, the added money has now enabled significantly more meaning in other areas of life.  When deciding if it’s worth it, a key is to figure out what your highest priorities are.  For some, time with family trumps everything, where others might feel most fulfilled expressing themselves through work.  Yet, others would gladly choose a job that is less ideal to stay close to loved ones.

We say priorities because seldom is the presence of only one Cornerstone or value enough. The ideal combination of your top few priorities is the sweet spot.  For instance, a job with all the Service in the world is rarely enough without loved ones to come home to, free time to Discover and connect with yourself, or some level of financial security.

Seasons of Life Change the Picture

Seasons of life are also an integral consideration.  Choosing to forego certain needs or Cornerstones of Meaning now to attain others later is common, hence MedSchool.  The first year of parenting also requires the sacrifice of some level of sleep in order for a happy, healthy family later.  Knowing your ideal destination very often requires less than ideal seasons to get there.

Meaningful Work Matters

It might seem like what area of life we get our Meaning from doesn’t matter.  However, let’s not forget about the Bliss Map.  Some lack of joy will come from doing work that you don’t Love, aren’t Good At, aren’t getting Paid enough for, or that the World doesn’t need.  A 10 out of 10 life outside of work, can still feel like a grind at work, if only doing it for the money.

“I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” –Steve Jobs

A Real World Example of Finding Joy Through Work

Are you looking for a practical example of how to apply this knowledge?  If so, this engaging 20 minute video shares a series of life altering events in one man’s life.  Each experience has helped him examine life through a different lens and eventually tap into a deeper sense of  Love, Service, and Expression through work.  This video breaks down how to both make and spend money in ways that factor in both purpose and income in order to achieve a deeper sense of joy.  

How Money Really Can Buy Happiness – Cole Hatter

The Happiness Equation by Neil Pasricha mentions a study involving nuns, and those that they classified as happy vs. unhappy.  At age 94, 54% of happy nuns were still alive whereas only 15% of unhappy nuns were still alive. This begs the question, is a job that robs us of happiness, even if it makes us a millionaire, too large a price to pay?

Here is a 7-minute video summary of the book:

A highly scientific graph on happiness:

To summarize: there are Four Types of Happiness, and each is achieved via a different means.  Type 4 Happiness is the one that brings a deeper sense of Joy and leads to longer-term happiness.  Can money buy happiness? Yes, but it rarely buys Joy, and only does so when tapping into the Four Cornerstones of a Meaningful Life.

Money in and of itself can lead to greater momentary happiness.  More money often comes at a cost, though. Happiness (joy) is negatively impacted when it reduces our sense of Service, Love, Discovery, or Expression.  Fulfillment through work, joy, and purpose can also be negatively impacted if more money means doing work that we now Love Less, and/or The World Needs Less, and/or Aren’t as Good At.

Try This: Quick Quiz

Join us in this 7 minute activity as we explore our relationship to money, happiness, and work.

  1. What Type of Happiness (Ephemeral Pleasures, Flow, Perspective, or Meaning and Purpose) do you currently experience the most of? Why?
    1. ________________________________
    2. ________________________________
  2. What parts of your work most enable you to tap into Service, Love, Discovery, or Expression?
    1. ________________________________
    2. ________________________________
    3. ________________________________
    4. ________________________________
  3. What parts of your life outside of work most provide you with Service, Love, Discovery, or Expression?
    1. ________________________________
    2. ________________________________
    3. ________________________________
    4. ________________________________

4. In this season of life, how important is each of these components of Workplace Satisfaction on a scale of 1-10.

    1. Paid For It ________________________________
    2. In Love With It ________________________________
    3. World Needs It ________________________________
    4. Good At It ________________________________

5. Looking at the above questions, what are three things that you noticed about what is currently important to you?

    1. ________________________________
    2. ________________________________
    3. ________________________________

Your Time

Is it worth tracking every second and dollar? Forge suggests that living on an overly frugal budget involving tracking every penny, is not worth the time, emotional investment, or happiness that it costs us.  They also share that this time consuming way of living often comes from a place of fear and perpetuates fear. They offer instead to take that last bit of time and money and instead invest it in yourself.

So how should we view our time in relation to money then?  Personally. For example, to Elon Musk, 80-90 hour per week is sustainable, where to some 40 hours a week might feel like torture.  Time and Money are both Enablers and Inputs.

We recommend checking out the Choice Diary to learn more about Inputs (pieces that contribute to your happiness). 

An analogy that we find extremely helpful is that of the Jar, which includes a Jar, Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand.

In this analogy:

  • The Jar is our life.
  • Rocks represent the most important things like faith, family, and friendships.
  • Pebbles represent things we still find important, but that don’t matter as much (like our passions).
  • Sand represents the smaller things in life, like our wants.

We can only fit everything into the Jar (our life) if we make time for the rocks first, then the pebbles, and then the sand.  Everything in the Jar is going to either be Bliss Map bits, pieces of the 4 Cornerstones of Meaning, or the 4 HappinessTypes.  For a more in depth discussion on “The Jar” and Self-Care, Look Here!

By knowing what we’re not willing to trade for money, our work now has a sense of priority and a place in our life.

If we’re looking for a more time efficient way to start assessing our time, even setting one rule (such as no work after 8pm, no checking emails during dinner, or one day a week completely work free) can be a good start.   Another helpful tip is to figure out a total amount of hours that we are willing to trade (let’s say 49 hours per week towards work or 7 hours per day ). When considering this number, it might take a little trial and error, to figure out an amount of hours per week to where we still have enough time for the other things we love yet are working enough to meet our needs for contribution and purpose.

Your Health

 “Today, 86 percent of U.S. health care spending is for chronic disease,” says Jeffrey Pfeffer, a Stanford professor and author of Dying for a Paycheck: How Modern Management Harms Employee Health and Company Performance–and What We Can Do About It . “Chronic disease comes mostly from stress and stress-induced behaviors,” says Pfeffer. “Stress comes from work.”    

Today’s careers have become increasingly indoor, high stress, and in front of a computer screen.  The good news is that a sedentary lifestyle, stress, and a lack of sunshine are all things that can be overcome. 

The Miami Herald shares that, “According to the American Psychological Association, chronic stress is linked to the six leading causes of death: heart disease, cancer, lung ailments, accidents, cirrhosis of the liver and suicide. And more than 75 percent of all physician office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.”

“Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you will have had more success than you could possibly have imagined.” –Johnny Carson

Our Sense of Self / Values

Ever been told to lie or do something immoral by a boss?  Welcome to the likely world of sales! Or, what if we’re offered a job doing something that slightly compromises our beliefs, such as working for a Cigarette company when we believe cigarettes are harmful?  Finding a job or culture perfectly in line with our values equals harmony, and this is often not the case.

Even if we desire to, say, work at a nonprofit, the style of discipline they use on their patients/customers might look different than our beliefs around punishment and reward.  

Often, this part of the job search goes overlooked. And, it’s also one that results in the greatest feelings of turmoil when working for a company.  Our sense of self and values are deeply ingrained. Taking the time to find a job that aligns with our values is one sacrifice worth making for the long term. It may save us from making unforeseen sacrifices to our values in the future.

“Some money costs too much. When you bind the soul to matter, you grind the soul to dust.” – Rudolf Steiner

Our Goals and Dreams

The F.I.R.E. Community (Financial Independence Retire Early) suggests setting almost every other goal aside until having enough to retire. Their strategy is to make every possible cut to quality of life, until we have financial freedom.  We can do work we don’t love to meet a goal that enables us the money and time to further pursue our passions outside of work.  Especially if we believe our “mission” is outside of work, like being a good parent, focusing on our DJing at nights, or rebuilding antique cars, sacrificing our work hours for money might still feel like a meaningful trade-off.

However, sacrificing our dream job for a not-so dream job, with no other major passions in life, will feel more like misery.  Reasons someone might make this choice: to stay close to family in a small city, security, benefits, or salary, to name a few.

Our Relationships

In an article titled, “Money Just Ain’t Worth the Time,” the author describes his pursuit of ambition and altruism as “the most addictive drug he’s ever known.”  He reflects on running himself dry, even in the name of doing “good.”  He’s chased his dreams, traveled, and tasted success, but at what cost?  He talks about the social ties that bind us and the subtle promises we continually break in favor of our pursuit, such as missing weddings, birthdays, holidays, phone calls, and being there for those we love.  If we build a life where we can’t be counted on to be there, our loved ones eventually build lives that no longer need us to be there.

Also, what if there was a better way?  What if helping to meet each other’s needs and creating something greater than our own happiness was a possibility? The Creativity Post shares that, “Maslow’s emphasis was less on a rigid hierarchy of needs, and more on the notion that self-actualized people are motivated by health, growth, wholeness, integration, humanitarian purpose, and the “real problems of life.”  Both integration and humanitarian purpose revolve around our relationship to others.

Scientific American shares that “the self-actualized human is not just seeking to meet their own needs.”  This highest version of ourselves, is operating at a far greater potential, one that considers the needs of those around us.  This version of ourselves has an awareness of our own self-care, a love that extends beyond us, collaboration, and is working to nurture and support others.  Also, this concept begs the question, “Can one live a life of meaning, void of others?” Do we need to have some impact on the lives of others in order to fully achieve a meaningful life, or will accomplishing our own goals and dreams ever be enough?

The Four Cornerstones of Meaning (Service, Love, Discovery, or Expression) point to Service and Love as pillars of our finding meaning in life.  Contributing to and connecting with others is essential to a “life well lived.” A life without  meaningful relationships almost ensures a life void of Meaning.

Researchers have concluded:

“again and again that the single most reliable predictor of happiness is feeling embedded in a community. In the 1920s, around 5 percent of Americans lived alone. Today, more than a quarter do—the highest levels ever, according to the Census Bureau.” 

The reason that being a part of a community is so powerful for happiness is because it enables us to be firmly rooted in the Love Cornerstone.  A variety of relationships also reveal to us different sides of ourselves, enabling us to feel a sense of Social Discovery. The more time we spend pursuing these four things, the more sustained happiness is, rather than becoming like a butterfly that we are chasing.

“We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love—true love.” ― Robert Fulghum, True Love

A Pep Talk

Ahhhh, so many choices.  What to do?  

No one can be good at everything at the same time.  Learning to be “good” at being happy, having time to spend with loved ones, making time for our passions, and still staying in the good graces of our boss or business partners will forever be a learning process.   And life is a game of learning, over and over and over again. It’s also virtually impossible to be a good employee, good to ourselves via self-care, good to our dogs (who are waiting at home dreaming about their next walk), good to our sense of rest (planning its next vacation), good to our body (working out/yoga), good to our long term health (food), good to our kids (being at every recital), and so on and so on all at once. 

Life will also involve taking time to stop, examine where we’re at, and course correct.
New days, weeks, months, and years are all great times for reflection.

Try This: Meaningful Reflection

Take six minutes to sit down and reflect on Experiences that feel Meaningful.

  1. What are three experiences recently that have felt incredibly meaningful?  (Is there a way to make more time for these experiences?)
    1. ________________________________
    2. ________________________________
    3. ________________________________
  2. What are three experiences recently that have felt draining of life or energy? (See if you can reduce the frequency of experiences from your life).
    1. ________________________________
    2. ________________________________
    3. ________________________________
  3. What’s one activity or experience that would bring the most joy to do in the future?
    1. ________________________________
  4. Who are one or two people that would feel meaningful to spend time with this week?
    1. ________________________________
    2. ________________________________
  5. What is a recent thing that you regret missing out on?  Is there a way to miss out less on that thing moving forward?
    1. ________________________________

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.” ― Tracy Weinzapfel

Money I Just Want to Be Successful Money and Our Identity Money Resources Our Stories About Money What Is the Purpose of Money What Having Money Does to You What Would You Trade for Money? Do You Have "Enough?" You're Made It! Are You Happy? The Spiritual Side of Money Ancient Wisdom About Money Stuff. Lots and Lots of Stuff Money Practice and Exercises Money Quiz Speed Dating with Money