Do you want to be happy? Truly happy? And what about rich? If you want to be happy and rich, stop looking at what you don't have and start looking at what you do have.

Last week, my Inc colleague, Jeff Haden, wrote an article titled: It Seems No One Is Actually Rich. Or Happy. I Looked. His experiences didn't coincide with my experiences and my friends, so I asked my friends. They responded:

Eric wrote: "I'm happy. And on days when "it's a bummer", I punch myself in the face (usually figuratively) and get over it."

L'Rae said, "I am very, very happy. I have a wonderful family, close friends, everything I need and enough of what I want. I feel positive about my future and content with my present."

Christine added, "I am by no means rich, but I am comfortable. I have some debt and am working through it. I would love to save more and travel more, but other then that I have all that I need. And I am very happy. I believe that it is just my nature though. I get up every morning and find the good throughout the day. I am grateful for so much. For example driving to work this morning we had a gorgeous sunrise and this set me up for another happy day."

La said, I'm happy. But I think a lot of people are waiting for happy to happen to them. You actually kind of have to work at it."

Are they unusual? I don't think so. They are part of the population who work towards and look for happiness. As La pointed out, it's not something that happens to you, it's something you work for.

A key point in happiness? Research indicates that a good social circle makes all the difference in the world. It even explains why women live longer than men--they have better social circles.

And what about wealth? My friend, Susan, said, "I think there is a strong link between happiness and gratitude and I have lots to be grateful for! And, no, we're not rich, but we are debt free and have been for years. No car payment or house payment." It's a stark contrast to Haden's friends who were looking for wealth in terms of buying a bigger yacht.

You want to be happy and rich? Stop waiting for happiness to knock on your door. Go out and make a friend or two. Stop thinking others have it better than you do. My friends quoted above? One works multiple jobs, one is divorced and one has high needs children. People don't wake up and say, "Gee, if I could only experience more trials, then I'd be happy!" But, trials don't destroy happiness.

And wealth? Stop looking at what others have and start being grateful for what you have. If you're reading this, you have access to the internet. You probably have a roof over your head and food in your stomach every day. The average world wide salary in 2012 was $18,000, adjusted for purchasing power. If you're pulling in $19,000 you're above average and, therefore, in terms of the entire world, rich. Celebrate your new found rich status, by inviting a couple of friends over. It will make you happier.

Published on: Oct 27, 2014
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