Money and Happiness

There was a great article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal (page D1) about how money is not necessarily the key to happiness.  What was interesting is that high earners appear to be happier according to a 2004 survey.  Researchers posit that if our financial situation compares favorably with friends and colleagues, we’ll describe ourselves as very happy.

But the article goes on to cite a June 30 article that appeared in Science magazine.  “The five professors analyzed data for 374 workers who were asked every 25 minutes during the workday about the intensity of various feelings.  Those with higher incomes didn’t report being any happier, but they were more likely to say they were anxious or angry.”  These guys also studies government data about how people spend their waking hours.  “They found that people with higher incomes tend to spend more time working, commuting, and engaging in obligatory nonwork activities, such as maintaining their homes.”

Our course, the article had to conclude by offering pointers on what will make us happier, if money is not the answer.  The great thing about being an entrepreneur is that we can make the choices that lead to more happiness.  Such as keeping our commute short.  Choosing time over money, when we want to.  Spending our dollars carefully.  We may fall short on spending our leisure time wisely.  But for many of us, it is such a joy to get up each morning and “go to work” at something we are passionate about – that the distinction between work and leisure is not the same as for those with real jobs.

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