07 Oct Happiness is…having the right priorities
Most of us have thought, ‘If only I could win the lottery, then I’d be happy forever.’ But according to one of the first studies to look at long-term happiness, major life events, like a sudden cash windfall, are not what make us happy, rather, it’s the priorities we set in life.
“The main thing that’s surprising about these results is that it challenges this whole field,” said lead author Melbourne University sociologist Bruce Headey. “This study goes against the prevailing wisdom that happiness is fixed.” The study was published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Previous studies suggest that happiness is predetermined by genetics and early upbringing, and that we eventually revert back to the same level of happiness regardless of changes in our lives. Looking at data from about 60,000 Germans for up to 25 years, however, Headey found that the more people decided to prioritize goals such as good relationships and good health, the happier they were, regardless of major life events.
How do you change so-called life goals? According to Heady, one way may involve concentrating on helping others, or making family, rather than material possessions, a priority. People who prioritized having a good marriage, a good relationship with their children, and being involved in social and political activities reported higher levels of life satisfaction over time. On the other hand, researchers found those who focused primarily on being able to buy what they wanted or being successful in their careers reported less happiness…READ MORE HERE