You'll Never Guess Who Is Happier - The Amish Vs America's Billionaires
Who do you think is happier, the top 400 richest Americans or a group of Amish?
I best you won't get it right.
The first group live a luxury lifestyle, fast cars, private jets, huge mansions, exotic foods and the best of everything (monetarily) that life has to offer.
The second group lead simple, agrarian lives. Travel around in horse and buggy, shun technology, do high levels of physical activity every day and their diet is plain.
Their income is BILLIONS less.
However according to research done by renowned happiness researchers Ed Diener and Martin Seligman both groups scored the same! 5.8 on a 7-point life satisfaction scale.
The basic conclusion; making lots of money doesn't equate to happiness. In fact, the sweet point, according to researchers is around $50,000. Above that and scientists say that the link between money and happiness basically vanishes.
Even people who win "life changing" sums of money in the lottery, according to researchers, find themselves back to the same levels of happiness after roughly two months!
So if money isn't the key to happiness, what is?
The thoughts you hold regarding your situation and life circumstances instruct you brain to feel happy or not.
Each of us carries around a metaphorical 'blueprint' about how we expect our life to be.The blueprint is made up of all the assumptions you hold about the world and how your life should be.Think of these are certain rules you have placed upon your world.If our 'reality' generated by our thoughts matches our rules/blueprint, chances are you will feel happy.
If it doesn't, if there is a big divide between the two, you will likely feel unhappy.
Happiness is in a large part down to your neurological 'set' point or habituated point of view.
Every thought you have activates neural pathways in your brain.
Perhaps you see a cousin post on Facebook details about a new job she has got. It sounds incredible. Tons of great perks and mega salary!
Your internal dialogue pipes up and you find yourself saying:
"Am I making as much money as her?"
You quickly conclude you are not.
And you hate your job.
Your thoughts generate a specific response in your body.
You literally start to feel your thinking.
A crappy feeling floods through you.
You now feel bad (and you start to get worse when you compare "how crap your job is.")
If you repeat that neural circuit (hearing about it over and over from other family and friends and firing off the same response) the pathway in your brain become wider, more connected.
The feeling has turned in to a generalised attitude and now perhaps the feeling has morphed in to envy.
Or worse, helplessness - you never think you could earn 'big dollars'.
But you take a breath, and remember your training.
A thought is just a thought. Your happiness is, in large part, a product of the quality of your thinking.
And your thinking can change in a moment.
When you let go of the outdated idea that external circumstances determine your happiness and recognise that happiness is an inside job; generated by your thoughts; you are free to be happy regardless if you are being driven around in a Bentley or riding a horse and carriage.
And of course, you are free to pursue either.
This orientation, seeing that happiness is lead from your thoughts, not from acquiring things in the external environment will have a radical impact on your life, when you let it sink in.
Try this on for yourself.
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