Diversifying happiness

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The ancient philosopher Aristotle came up with a single word for what every person wants: ‘Eudaimonia’.
Eudaimonia means happiness but more than that it alludes to a sense of fulfillment.

Many people have viewed financial planning as the management of financial goals and resources. Typical conversations would include questions like: “How much will my assets grow, how can I get X amount by the time I am this age and what will my retirement look like?”

Whilst these have been helpful questions, we are learning that they are only part of a fuller conversation. There are different questions that are starting to emerge in our conversations that are focussing more on meaning and purpose. They are not as easy to answer (sometimes they don’t need answers just yet…) but they help us frame the bigger picture of how we’d like to use our wealth for a fulfilling life.

It’s not only our wealth strategies that need to be diversified for healthy growth but our happiness strategy too.

This Spring, we suggest these happiness diversification exercises.

Exercise your way to happiness

Now that it’s getting warmer outside, it’s time to get our bodies moving again. According to a recent research study, exercise makes people happier than money does. People who stay active are better equipped to deal with stress and have less days when they feel down or depressed.

That’s not too say that too much exercise isn’t a bad thing – it’s important to have a balance and not over-exercise. Either extreme can be detrimental to our experience of happiness, but a healthy balance is a powerful way to experience eudaimonia.

Prioritise experiences and people over possessions

Invest in making priceless memories in life. Instead of buying that luxury car you do not need, try saving up for a family holiday. Going out with friends or family to concerts, movies or picnics are just some of the happy experiences you can give yourself in life. Prioritise taking walks in nature, reading a book or playing a game with your kids.

Believe in something bigger than yourself

As we spend time with other people outside of a working relationship, it becomes easier to see and believe in something bigger than our own reality. It’s not about faith or religion, it’s about connectedness. If we want to find more ways to invest in our fulfilment we need to experience generosity to causes that are bigger than ourselves.

Fulfilment, happiness and productivity should grow when we contribute to others. It’s a healthy circle of sustainable growth that is not reliant on market performance or bank balances. Being willing to ask bigger questions and find deeper meaning to our wealth is where we can begin to experience eudaimonia.

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