Five strategies on Money and Happiness.

Six RedBallooners Happy at our Port Douglas retreat

Six RedBallooners Happy at our Port Douglas retreat

Last weekend RedBallooners were invited to our end of financial year celebration and kick off meeting in Port Douglas. When asked by friends “What was it like?” The only answer I had was – ‘joyous’.

The excitement was palpable as soon as we met early on Friday morning. The laughter infectious, the camaraderie obvious – the sense of connection was clear.

This sense of team does not happen by accident – we work hard together, we push the boundaries – set the bar high – and then we celebrate! And on the cycle goes.

It is pretty special to be able to get away. There was plenty of work involved – but that shared sense of experience  – and laughter ensues. It is as they say ‘priceless’.

So I read with interest this week : Happy Money: The Science of Smarter Spending.   We have heard since we were small that ‘Money can’t buy happiness’. However these social scientists suggest that used in the right way money can improve our sense of well being.

Here are the five main points they make:

  1. Time is the only commodity that every person on the planet was given equally… (we have differing life span’s of course – but we each have 24 hours a day at our disposal and how we choose to spend it can greatly determine our experience of happiness). If you were to use money to ‘Buy Time’ ie how is the purchase going to ensure you are using your time to do the things you want to do. “Time Affluence”. Thinking about time- rather than money – which means being mindful about ‘spending’ time on activities that promote well-being , like being with friends / family and volunteering.
  2. Make it a treat: having too much of a good thing (ie when did party food start becoming everyday food)– Abundance is the enemy of appreciation. Have delightful things occasionally to really appreciate them. The relationship between income and happiness is weaker than many people expect, perhaps because affluent people do the things that delight them all the time, ie not too much of a good thing.
  3. Bigger is not always better. Money can by bigger cars houses and toys… but there is not evidence to suggest that these make people happier. What is the point in having a large home if you have no one to share it with you? “Remarkably there is almost no evidence that buying a home – or a newer nicer home – increases happiness. People who spend their money on enhancing their leisure activities report significantly greater satisfaction with their lives.”
  4. Do more have less. “The research shows experiences provide more happiness than material goods in part because experiences are more likely to make us feel connected to others,” … “Understanding why experiences provide more happiness than material goods can also help us to choose the most satisfying kinds of experiences.”… “Collecting memorable experiences, even at the expense of momentary enjoyment, seems to hold particular appeal for those who care about using their time productively”….  “The length of an experience has little to do with the pleasure people derive from it.” [As the founder of RedBalloon of course I was going to bring this to your attention – and clearly last weekend that is what it was all about for our team... no one will every forget the day we all bundled onto a plane from Sydney to Cairns...]
  5. Invest in others. Volunteer, help, listen, assist, give, donate – there are so many ways to invest in others. What about simply friendship! If people have a friend at work they are far more likely to enjoy their job. I delighted in really getting to know my colleagues warts and all on the weekend… there is nothing like snorkeling the great barrier reef together to get a sense of friendship. (You know that moment when you take off your mask and your face is swollen and as friends you all have a great laugh – as you compare notes on what you have seen under the sea.)

It might be a little effort for the team to put the weekend together but seriously the value of our shared experience is endless and forever.

Shared Experience

Shared Experience

 

 

 

 

 

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One Comment

  1. Dan Naugle
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    Impressive article coming from an owner of a large company. Again, these are ancient principles.

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