What makes you happy?

Cara Delevingne,23, who has been modelling since she was 16, suddenly quit because it wasn’t making her happy. “Over time, I came to realise that work and getting others’ approval isn’t the most important thing”.

Jack Gleeson (who played the truly awful character Joffrey in Game of Thrones) retired at the grand age of 21. He cites the fact that he has been acting since 8 and he got to the point where he stopped enjoying it. For Jack, acting had become only a job and he wanted to go back to doing something he loved.

jack gleeson

Whilst the cynical among you may argue the pursuit of happiness is easier when you have money in the bank like Cara Delevingne and Jack Gleeson, I would counter argue that history has shown that those with the greatest amount of money were more often than not lonely and unhappy. Indeed Kennedy (2007) cited in his research paper ‘Does Growth Cause Happiness or Does Happiness Cause Growth’ found that there is no causal link from growth to happiness and vice versa. In a nutshell having more wealth doesn’t automatically make you happier!

So what makes us happy?

The concept of happiness can range from our psychology well-being to how we achieve our life’s purpose.

Happiness is what makes us feel good. It makes us feel content. It’s a positive emotion that can make us feel that life is wonderful.

Happiness Index – rates on a scale of six to zero with six being most positive and zero being most negative, what makes us happy.  We have Kahneman et al (2004) to thank for this index!

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Does success lead to happiness?

It depends on your definition of success.

For example, having a career is one thing, but it has to fulfil more than just pay the bills to make you happy.

If your success criteria is built around material things, size of your house, make of your car, the luxury holidays you go on every year for example, these may be the trappings of success, but do these things really make us happy?

If success is your ability to be doing something you love to do, then I sure there is a positive correlation with happiness.

Studies have shown that happy people are successful in relationships, work performance and health. So success can make people happy, but also happiness can foster success.

branson

What makes me happy?

  • My 7 year old daughter, Tia (she’s 7 going on 15…)
  • Arguing with my boyfriend over TV remote control rights (who controls the remote, controls life itself)
  • Sweating away at my Crossfit box at 6.30am (despite the pain and sore muscles, I have yet to leave my box in a bad mood)
  • Food.  I really like food (that’s why I’m destined never to go back to being a size 12)
  • Running around London in my jeans and trainers as the Head of HR for an amazing pub company (let’s be honest who doesn’t love food and drink?)
  • A bit of meditation here and there (nothing better than silencing a busy mind)
  • Binge watching TV shows (nothing better than back to back TV)
  • Every so often a few hours on my PlayStation just to reconnect with virtual reality (I’m trying to think of a really valid reason for PlayStation use…)

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Daughter and said boyfriend

In the pursuit of happiness…

Happiness is that ever elusive concept of joy, contentment, pleasure and satisfaction. Half the fun in life is discovering things and experiences that really make us happy.

There’s more to life than the relentless pursuit of success especially if the price we pay is our happiness.

What makes you happy?

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