The perfection of wisdom, and the end of true philosophy is to proportion our wants to our possessions, our ambitions to our capacities, we will then be a happy and a virtuous people. — Mark Twain
Have you ever assigned a dollar value to your happiness? A study from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School concluded that $75,000 in annual salary is the tipping point for your happiness.
Albeit I respect research from an Ivy League school, the street smart approach is always to leave no stone unturned to find the truth. If $75,000 is not the magic number, what is the salary you need to make for your happiness?
Happiness lies between your two ears.
I have a friend who lives in New York City for the last 12 years. I’ve had many conversations with him in the past several months as he is embarking on his entrepreneurial journey; he is going to open a Little Cesar’s Pizza store in the heart of Manhattan.
Since I’ve reviewed his financials, I know that his family makes a modest salary of less than $75,000. He is an anecdotal example of how misleading these research studies are when it comes to your happiness.
In short 12 years, in this country, my friend has managed to buy a small condo in NYC, which has tripled in value. In addition, he has been sending money abroad to India to buy a brand new condo in his home town.
Amazingly, he has never paid a dime in interest to few credit cards that he is using regularly while saving capital for the new business and investing in real estate abroad.
Although money is essential to live a comfortable life, key factors that influence your happiness have no nexus to how much money you make.
1. Happiness is a skill
Happiness is a state of mind. If you start introspecting your life with the aim to maximize your happiness, you will soon become conscious about spending your life-energy and hard-earned money on only things that matter most for your happy existence.
Matthieu Ricard, a French academic-turned-Buddhist monk, took part in the trials to prove that meditation can significantly boost level of your happiness.
2. I am healthy, so I am happy
A healthy body and mind fosters positivity and happiness. The salary you make has limited influence on your decision to become healthy. Focus more on healthy mind, body and soul — even if you are making a modest salary — to maximize your happiness.
3. Live a purpose-driven life
Another fallacy of assigning a dollar amount to your happiness is to assume that you lack purpose in your life, if you are making less than $75,000. I am sure that you know several people who live a purpose-driven life while making a modest salary. Don’t forget that what you are making now has no influence on what you can make in the future.
4. Live in the moment
Happiness comes from simple pleasures of spending time with your family, or from any other hobbies you enjoy most.
No doubt that money worries can cause tremendous stress in your life, but that can happen no matter what salary you earn depending on how prudent you are with your money.
If you learn to live way below your means, simplify your life, and learn to live in the moment, then you can become abundantly happy even at the salary of much less than $75,000. On the contrary, those who live like Joneses can struggle to find an ounce of happiness even if they make six-figure income.
Readers: Do you believe that $75,000 is the salary you need for your happiness?
Photo by: Johnshlau