Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Key To Happiness

When did you last feel deeply and enthusiastically happy?
Last week's Globe and Mail contained an article by Margaret Wente that expressed some of the latest research findings on happiness. (Yeah, they can get money to study anything these days).
Among the findings she describes if that the easiest life change we can make to increase our happiness is giving away money:
By the end of breakfast, Mr. Brooks has explained why almost everything I believed when I was 20 was entirely wrong. Many of the things I thought would bring me happiness did not, and many things that I despised (e.g., marriage) did. So what now? Alas, I'm not religious. Is there any other way to increase my happiness?

Yes, he tells me. Be philanthropic. People who volunteer or give money to charity are 43 per cent more likely than non-givers to say they are very happy. Conservatives are more charitable than liberals, which is another reason why they're happier. And the more you give, the happier you get.

In other words, money really can buy happiness after all - but only if you give it away.


It reminds me of a great section in Richard Foster's AMAZING book "Celebration of Discipline" where he describes the powerful joy he felt as he rode a bike to the home of someone he was giving it to one Christmas. Releasing our grasp on thinngs is truly liberating.

Now, as someone who's job involves giving away someone else's money how much joy should I be getting??

1 comment:

Medeba Guy said...

I too have often been challenged by Foster's comments on simlicity in his book and that's why we continue to use it in our Leadership Development Program at Medeba. In addition, I would highly recommend reading an entire book he published called "The Freedom of Simplicity".