PERREAULT Magazine September 2014 - Page 50

Easy enough right? Just plug in the numbers and be happy!

Do not worry. Although this is the mathematical version of happiness, this formula does not explain your overall satisfaction in your life. It is a good formula to predict happiness levels as a result of playing a simple reward game. As I mentioned earlier, happiness is different for each individual which makes it almost impossible to devise a general formula that can encompass every individual’s variables.

Million dollar question:

Can money make you happy?

Consider the worldwide happiness statistics from the 2013 world happiness report. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands and Switzerland are the top 5 happy countries. The US ranks number 17 (right under Mexico ranked 16) despite having most of the wealthiest people, achieving the most Nobel prizes, and has most of the best universities. One of the main findings about the results is that these five countries have lower expectations. They are content with a lower salary; they are not constantly competing with the Joneses to see who has a bigger house or a boat. They enjoy simple pleasures of life such as family and friends. These events bring a whole new array of emotions that compete with your happiness like jealousy or envy. If your brain is preoccupied by you being jealous then you lose your focus on happiness. Remember that your brain pays more attention to negative emotions.

Can money make you happy then? The answer is YES and.… NO at the same time.

Although there is a correlation between increase happiness with increased wealth, it is not a linear function. There is a point where the amount of wealth has no more influence in your overall happiness. It reaches a plateau and your happiness levels stay the same. It is at early stages of your life when money and happiness have a direct effect.

You grow as an individual and start earning more income and your basic needs are met, you lead a comfortable life, your home is paid for, you do not have any more credit card debt, you indulge yourself small things that make your life more convenient and pleasurable, you are able to give to others, and save for retirement. All these events help reduce stress and preoccupation allowing happiness to take its spot. Beyond these basic treats of life money won’t really make you happier.

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Perreault Magazine - 50 -

The Happy Formula

This past month, a research group at the University College London published an article containing the mathematical formula for happiness. All the answers to your questions on how to be happy can be answered by just applying this mathematical formula (above).

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