How can you find Happiness? 4 simple questions to ask yourself
I’ve 20,440 days until I’m 93. In 56 years time.
How many of these days will I be working for and how many of these days will I be living?
How much money is Enough? How would I know?
Enough means enough money to live on for the rest of your life so you don’t have to work again.
What kind of lifestyle do you want? A big lifestyle you’ll need a big number and a small lifestyle you need a small number.
Today managing our money is a life skill. It’s becoming increasingly common to live to 100. We have a choice to continue to live paycheck to paycheck or learn to make money work for us.
‘What’s your aspiration in Life?
My aspiration in life… would be…. to be happy’
Beyonce Knowles ( 2013)
What’s the purpose of life?
Is our purpose in life to seek happiness? We are all seeking something better in life. Like the motion of the earth around the sun, the motion of life is towards happiness. Just as a flower has a tendency to lean towards the warmth of the sun and the bees and butterflies head towards flowers, we humans have a tendency to seek something better in life.
Are you happy?
Is happiness even a reasonable goal? Many other the great thinkers from Aristotle to the Dala Lama have thought so.
Is it selfish to want happiness like it can often seem selfish to want money? However unhappy people can be self-focused or socially withdrawn. Having money can make it more likely to give to charity or have the time to help others. Having an abundance mentality meaning that there will always be enough or a stoic philosophy that the worst things in life can happen and you will still be alright.
It may seem contradictory that there should be an effort towards happiness. To try to create happiness, it may even destroy its elusive mood. There may be some people to think that by forcing happiness that we should let the anguish, ecstasy, suffering and bliss take place spontaneously in humans.
To be as unprogrammed as thunder and lightning and as fleeting as a rainbow. Perhaps trying to capture happiness is the same as giving up on the beauty of wildflowers by the side of the road in favour of a formal garden. This is a romantic idea and shouldn’t be discarded as romance is made for dreams and dreams are an essential ingredient of happiness.
Today, flowers by the side of the road will only be preserved if we make a deliberate effort to preserve them. The world has become too complex and the pressures too great and confusing.
We often think that anything deliberate is ugly or mechanical. But art is deliberate and spontaneous. We can look at the beauty of an English country garden in the summertime and realise that deliberate attention can enhance beauty and not destroy it.
Our feelings of contentment are strongly influenced by our tendency to compare. When we compare our current situation to our past and we feel like we are better off we feel happy. Progress towards a meaningful goal can give us happiness.
Purpose + Progress = Happiness
Knowing what we want out of life can be the first step towards achieving happiness. Having a life plan (which is step 3 in the Money Mindset Method available now) gives you a destination to head towards. Having what you want and wanting what you have
Where can we make the greatest contribution?
Peter Drucker said it best when he said mathematicians are born, but everyone can learn trigonometry. Perhaps we are all born with an individual genius that could be used to create value for people. This value is not an art or science it’s a practice, like learning a craft we can all give a unique value to the world by having our own specialist skill. Every person now has to learn to manage themselves and your money like our own little business.
The good news is new industries like blockchain, AI, the internet of things, new scientific breakthroughs, expanding markets all spell opportunity.
This is a wonderful time to be alive.
Progress is our most important product. Ask yourself: How could I do better? We must place ourselves where we can make the greatest contribution.
We have so many choices today. How do we decide? We need to know our strengths in order to know where we have specialist skills that could solve a meaningful problem and add value to someone’s life. So we can know where we can make the greatest contribution in life.
How do we know our purpose?
By knowing your Ikigai. Ikigai is a Japanese concept which means the reason for being. It’s the reason for getting up in the morning or the thing that you live for. Ikigai means the source of value in one’s life or the things that make life worthwhile. It comes from the Japanese word meaning life and the results or fruits of our life. To work out your Ikigai you take what you’re good at. What you can be paid for. What you love and finally what the world needs. This will give you your Ikigai.
1) Our strengths. Where we have specialised knowledge?
2) Demand. What problems do people need solving?
3) Passion. What you would you enjoy talking about on a Saturday night?
4) And following what I am still trying to learn. What does the world needs?
When we look back at our lives. It’s important that we lived for something. A goal or a purpose. Whether that is simply improving a community garden patch, raising a child, or changing a social condition. It’s important that we feel that we have made a difference.
Life is not a rehearsal. Rather than working paycheck to paycheck figure out where you can make the greatest contribution and make daily steps towards that goal.
Living in harmony whilst knowing your purpose and knowing what is enough brings happiness and happiness is the purpose of life. Miss enough precious moments and you’ll miss a lifetime.
Find your purpose, discover your ikigai.
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Neil Doig’s book Millennial Money Mindset: If you want the Fruits you Need the Roots is now available on Kindle, print or audiobook on Amazon.
It was shortlisted by The Financial Times Bracken Bower award and was a best selling book on Amazon reaching number 22 in the personal Finance chart
You can find more writing by Neil Doig by following Instagram @millennial_money_mindset
Or email me NeilDoig@moneytipps.co.uk to be added to my weekly Five Bullet Friday email list