Money flows easier when you are truly happy. I know this from personal experience. Understanding your happiness and how to create it, honor it and cherish it is an essential piece that I think is left out of most money guru talks. They talk about the amount of money and how that will make you happy because you can do x,y,z. What I know from working with clients is that it’s almost never the “stuff” they actually want. I also know money definitely doesn’t buy happiness. However, if you use money to invest in your happiness, the dividends those investment pay are huge, both personally and financially.
What is happiness? Most people think they’re happy (or at least that’s what they’ll tell you), but when I get inside their lives I can see that they’ve substituted content for happy a lot of the time. I’ve seen this in clients and in myself. I thought content was happy for along time. Content is not happy.
Understanding true happiness is important because the more you understand it and use it as your guiding light, the better your life becomes. Understanding true happiness will influence your finances, your relationships and your destiny.
As I was writing Dealing With Your Money $h!t, I realized there is no concrete way to see this or analyze this that I’ve seen. So, I came up with the True Happiness scale. If you have a better name, I’m open to suggestions.
Often people think of happiness in opposites. You are happy or sad. Therefore, if you’re not sad, you must be happy. I think this way of thinking about it leaves a lot of room for improvement for a couple of reasons. 1.) Just because you’re not sad, doesn’t mean your really happy. 2) Happiness has a range too. Once you learn the range you have a better understanding of happiness and it’s depths.
Here’s the Happiness Scale I believe in, and use as a way to guide my happiness and my life. Rather than 1 being sad and 10 being happy. I think happiness gets it’s own scale. On a scale of 1-10 happy is actually a 5. Content is a 1 and pure joy is a 10. Identifying for yourself what content, happy, and joy look and feel like to you is a key component to using this scale effectively.
For myself, it’s like this. Content is ok. It doesn’t make me sad, but it doesn’t really strike any fuzzy feel good feelings inside me. Happy is happy. Happy is bubbly. If something makes me happy I look forward to it. I enjoy the journey and the destination of it. I participate. I feel better than I did when I started. Joy, pure joy, to me looks like those moments when I look around and take a deep breath so that I can literally take in more of the moment. Pure joy is like opening up a sports car on an open road. It leaves me vibrating, and overflowing with gratitude and energy for my life and the moment. In the moments of pure joy I am usually on the verge of happy tears because I am so filled up that the joy literally comes spilling out of me.
Can you fill the difference? I can, and the more I experience joy, the more joy I am drawn to. The more I desire it in my life. The more content doesn’t do anything for me. Which is precisely what you want. As you start to create a new life, if you use this scale to guide you, you’ll get to pure joy more often and then you’ll start refusing to settle for content. The cool thing is, it’s not a battle once you realize where you’re headed.
Saying no and letting go of things that are just “content” in your life becomes easier when you connect to what happiness and joy feel like.
Where have you been living most of your life? Content? Happy? Joy? I encourage you to take a few minutes and connect with what each of them feels like. This will give you your own personal compass to guide decisions in all areas of your life. Move toward joy!
If you have thoughts, questions or “ah-has” about the happiness scale, leave a comment. I would love to hear them.