A Golden Triangle of Happiness?

[Image credit: Max Pixel]

It’s Friday and your colleagues are discussing the weekend. As everyone lists engagements you realise you have nothing on. Oh no! Then you remember you’re picking up breakfast. Make it breakfast with a friend. Wait - turn it into a whole day catch-up! Sigh... much better... One might think that busy people are just living life to the fullest, but it really depends on what their schedules are filled with. Could we be busy with plans for plans' sake? To figure it out, you might want to assess how happy your plans make you. Deakin University Emeritus Professor Robert Cummins produced the ‘What Makes Us Happy’ report which states happiness comes from the balance of the golden triangle. How's YOUR golden triangle?

Relationships Australians are socialising less, with weekly face-to-face contact with family and friends living outside the household decreasing from 79% in 2010 to 76% in 2014. This declines ever further as we enter the workforce or study. In 2014, people aged 18-24 were about half as likely as people aged 15-17 (24% and 51% respectively) to have daily face-to-face contact with family or friends living outside their household.

Sense of Purpose Your sense of purpose is completely different to the next person. A quick exercise to help narrow yours down: Take a piece of paper and write down 2 things that are on the tip of your mind that you want to achieve.

Ask yourself: 'Why' do you want these things? Write down EVERYTHING that comes to mind. 'Why' do you want these things? Write down EVERYTHING that comes to mind. 'Why' do you want these things? Write down EVERYTHING that comes to mind. If you're being honest, then by the 6th or 7th time you do this, you will have some really specific, true and constructive reasons for what you TRULY want. Not the surface answer, the true purpose. We get super-specific with this at The Income Organisers. Knowing where you're going is the only way to plan how to get there.

Financial Control Isn't it funny how the diagram that the report created showing the "Golden Triangle" has people smiling for the Relationship and Purpose portions, but looking worrisome for the Financial portion? Do you think there is a bit of an inherent "finances are stressful and there's nothing we can do about it" attitude in our society? A 2012 survey on Working Time Arrangements by the ABS found that 34% of workers usually worked overtime, of which 26% were not compensated. The self-employed are the largest culprits of 'working for free'. The ‘What Makes Us Happy’ report suggests that money affects wellbeing only when it alleviates stress, which actually rises along with household income up to about $100,000. After that the stress levels start to come down... but not as dramatically as you might hope. It depends how your spending of that income aligns with the other portions of the triangle.

Have a wonderful week,

Erika Gilbert

The Income Organisers

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