What Makes You Happy?

Written by Karen Bryan

In my article on how to enjoy life I touched upon some of the things that can make you happy; valuing relationships, having a positive frame of mind, being in control of your finances and trying to achieve a balance between living for today and planning for tomorrow.

I sometimes wonder if being happy is a rational goal? Perhaps inner contentment is more satisfying and attainable in the long run.  To me happiness appears to be more transient than contentment.

Naturally, a lot has to do with perception and expectations. Inevitably there will be some aspect(s) of our lives which aren’t quite perfect or precisely as we’d like them, so do we dwell on them, or concentrate of the good things? If we expect our lives to keep improving in the material acquisitions department, is lasting happiness doomed to elude us?

Here are some things that made me happy (or do I really mean content?):

  • Watching our sons grow into independent young men.
  • Having created the Europe a la Carte travel site, so I can work flexibly from home.
  • Spending time with our sons when they were young by working part-time.
  • Walking in the beautiful countryside.

Now while I don’t think that money alone can buy happiness, I do believe that you need a certain amount of money to be happy. For example I couldn’t have given up my day job to become a self employed online publisher if we didn’t have a steady income from my husband’s pension. It would be much harder to have days out in the countryside if we couldn’t afford the cost of running a car,

This article was featured in the Totally Money Friday Grapevine on 21 October 2011.