Contrary to popular belief, there is no “one size fits all” formula to achieving true happiness. It is an inherent part of the human psyche to pursue what feels good. But, what are the real determinants of happiness? Can getting a better car, a better body, a better job or a better circle of friends really lead to a life of eternal fulfillment? Not exactly. It’s time to debunk four of the biggest myths about happiness.
Myth 1: Happiness is about the destination, not the journey.
False. People treat happiness as if it is a finish line in the game of life. On the contrary, it is a process, not a deadline. The things that people find gratifying are ever-changing. The art of living a full and rewarding life lies in allowing happiness to change its shape without being disappointed by those changes. After all, the cheeriest of people are often more curious, creative, outgoing and open to change.
Myth 2: Money can buy happiness.
Not exactly. Money certainly alleviates many pressures and challenges of daily living. After a certain income threshold, however, studies show that no additional amount of money will increase happiness levels. Enduring happiness is more likely to come from strong and meaningful relationships, adapting to change, having some outlet for creative expression, and cultivating joy, connection and gratitude in daily life. Despite what economists say, time is a more scarce resource than money will ever be.
Myth 3: Getting a dream job guarantees a lifetime of bliss.
Not quite. A Harvard Grant Study on happiness spanning 75 years found that general work contentment was a greater indicator of long-term happiness than personal career success. Feeling empowered to create a positive work experience, make a meaningful contribution, and reach goals is more likely to build job satisfaction than waiting around for a dream job.
Myth 4: Happiness won’t affect your performance at work.
Not true. There are those who believe that happiness has no effect on how tasks are performed in the workplace. In actuality, it does give them quite an advantage over those who consider themselves unhappy. Research shows that happy salespeople have higher levels of sales and happy athletes are more resilient after a loss. Positive thinking fuels better performance in almost every aspect of life.