How Happiness Became the Joneses’ Next Big Thing

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It seems like everywhere you look, happiness is something that you MUST have. “Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy ___,” or “Find happiness here!” or multiple blog posts about the easiest way to be happy in life. It’s everywhere! You may read these posts or advertisements, or see books on the shelf and think, “I’m not happy yet! I need to change that!” I’m here to tell you that happiness is not something you need to acquire right now, like that 65” wifi TV or the 6 speedsnowblower the Joneses have next door. Happiness is not something to be acquired, it’s something to be earned.

Money Can’t Buy You Love  

We all know money can’t buy us happiness, even though material possession can definitely make us happy. We also know that some of the richest people are the loneliest because money can’t give you people who love you. But lately, it seems that happiness is the latest hot seller; ads, books, TV shows, blogs, etc. all promise you the most solutions to your happiness problems. In reality, though, what one person says about happiness is not what’s going to be tailor-made for your life and your happiness. In the end, no amount of self help books or seminars about happiness can help you change your situations – only you can.

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Everyone’s Doing It 

It seems like everywhere you look, people are quitting their jobs to start up amazing nonprofits and live in tiny homes, or people are leaving their dead end marriages for the hottie they met on vacation. All in the name of happiness. Of course they’re happy! But doesn’t it make you feel a little icky inside, worried that you’ll never find your happiness? In this way, the search for happiness has become a contest, something we check in with all of our friends to see who is doing the most to gain more happiness, or who is living our “happy dream.” Just like keeping up with the Joneses, keeping up with our happiness goals has become a competition.

Happiness Isn’t Instant 

Despite what everything you’re reading, seeing, and hearing says – happiness does not come overnight, with one single decision. Happiness is a daily choice, made with difficult options and plain old hard work. What makes you happy isn’t going to be easy, and what comes easy isn’t going to make you happy. When someone says they know the one thing you should do to make yourself happier right now, keep scrolling, put down the book, turn off the TV, and walk away. Happiness is individually created, and individually owned. Nobody can mass produce happiness. They can maybe give you some points, but don’t ever expect the same results as the next person. Your happiness is your responsibility, and it takes time. If you’re not patient, you won’t ever be entirely happy. You’ve heard the phrase, “The best things come to those that wait,” and happiness is truly no different.

PersonalAssistant
Hi, I’m Steven.
And Hi, I’m Monica!
Together, we make the dynamic duo behind this website. We are a married couple living in Austin, Texas with our 3 children and 4 dogs. We met in college, and fell fast in love. Shortly after we got married 6 years ago, Monica was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer.

How Success and Happiness Affect Each Other

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You know that feeling when you’ve really made it? Where you feel like you’ve made a difference, established yourself in a job or career that makes you happy? Plus it pays the bills? Maybe you don’t, but it’s something that most of us aim for, right? If you’re wondering if you have to be successful to be happy, here is why the two are often so interchangeable in our world today.

Money Can Buy Happiness 

Even if you’re shaking your head, money does buy us a modicum of happiness. It buys us a secure roof over our heads, great food on the table, lets us live our dreams (having kids, traveling the world, saving for retirement, etc.), and gives us a little extra cushion in case something goes wrong. You know this is true, because not having money means that you’re stressed, you’re digging for change in the couch cushions, and you’re wondering when you’re going to stop feeling this way. Having a successful life – whether as an employee, investor, entrepreneur, whatever you want to be – means that you produce enough income to pay for your lifestyle. Therefore, in this case, success does equate to happiness.

Work Gives us Value  

You know that soul sucking job that you just hate? How you feel like crying whenever you walk the door? And you know that job that you fantasize about, where you love your coworkers and you do work that you love? Well, this is further proof that how we define success makes us happier. If you had that job you loved, even if it paid less than the soul sucking one you want to leave, wouldn’t you be happier? Wouldn’t you be able to come home at night and not drink 3 beers just to get over the day you had? Having work we love provide us value means that we, as humans, feel more useful, more happy, and yes, more successful.

Couple on a jetty at Lake Ianthe, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand, Pacific

Couple on a jetty at Lake Ianthe, West Coast, South Island, New Zealand, Pacific

Happiness = Success 

Let’s flip the tables for a moment, and consider how much happiness can create success. Don’t you feel more successful when you’re happy at work? Doesn’t going to work with a good mood make you feel a little better about everything you do in a day? Being happy actually gives us more ability to become successful , as we have more energy and more desire to do the things that make us successful. This can either mean in monetary value – what we make from a job when we’re happier there – or in personal value – feeling like maybe we’re doing something really good for the company or others when we do this specific job. Happiness also changes our outlook on life. When we choose to be happy, doesn’t everything sort of fall into place? That washer that just went out is a pain, sure, but it’s an obstacle you can overcome because you’re not going to let it drag you down. Don’t let your external events define your happiness.

PersonalAssistant
Hi, I’m Steven.
And Hi, I’m Monica!
Together, we make the dynamic duo behind this website. We are a married couple living in Austin, Texas with our 3 children and 4 dogs. We met in college, and fell fast in love. Shortly after we got married 6 years ago, Monica was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer.