Happiness

Americans have a perception problem. In fact, Americans have SO MANY perception problems that you are probably considering which one I mean.

So here it is: happiness.

It does not come with a new job, house, car or vacation. It also doesn’t come with having more stuff than your family/friends/neighbors. And it doesn’t matter how many reality shows or Instagram posts tell you so.

I could say that I was a bird 200 times a day, but that simply won’t make it true.

One of the strangest things about this is the news. Media outlets of all types seem to push this mentality with their attempt to grab our attention with headlines. Since when did this sort of thing become news? And lifestyle sections….don’t get me started. Who cares what dress someone wore to an awards ceremony when there are hurricanes and starving people on this planet?

We think we know what will bring us happiness. Most of us are wrong. Including me.

It is a perception thing.  All my life have been taught to achieve and acquire.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with either of those things – as long as the pursuit of them doesn’t get in the way of being happy.

The recipe for a happy life (in my opinion) can be summed up with the following bits:

  1. Having friends & family I love and who love me
  2. Enjoying freedom in life to do what I love
  3. Being financially secure (out of debt & with savings) to sleep well at night
  4. Feeling as healthy as possible

Most of us would agree with the above list in theory, but I have found it can be difficult to implement in my life. There are two books that helped me to drastically change my perceptions about money and success. I love these books so much that I reread them often. I find these keep me grounded and my head clear.

Here they are: The Millionaire Next Door and The Millionaire Mind. I recommend reading the Millionaire Mind first. It contains more of the straight forward information. The Millionaire Mind builds on those concepts and give more statistical information. Both are incredibly interesting if you are into money, human behavior, or any combination of the two.

While these books deal mostly with money, each also touches on the other things that make life worth living. The millionaires are not always who you think they are. They are usually hiding in plain site. This book proves it.

People want to take control of their finances and their lives again. This is a good place to start. I found that when I switched over to a saving mentality instead of a spending mentality, that was the biggest step. Everything after that was easier. And I have never found a better tool to motivate me to change gears more than these two books.  It’s difficult to dispute the numbers when they are right in front of you.

This worked for me. It will work for you.

More happiness is right around the corner waiting for you. Today is a great day to go after it.

“Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For”  

Angela Christian PopeAngela Christian Pope is a teacher, author and creator of Happiosity.org. Check out more on Twitter and Facebook.