Working too hard and for too long decreases happiness
“Those who consistently have to work more become less happy,”
Bayer said in a recent press release .
People often argue over whether money can buy happiness and research says, yes, it can…BUT not if it is a short term gain. Studies show that if income increases steadily over time and is a long term upward gain then people feel more satisfied and happy. he occasional bonus may only give a temporary lift but dissatisfaction then sets in again. Working too hard and for long hours may result in more money but actually has a negative effect on happiness. I have been ridiculously successful in my past, earning large sums of money and at the same time being utterly miserable as I was living to work and not working to live. So how do you know if you are working too hard? Does that sound like a silly question?
What is the difference between ambition, passion and working too hard? Our society urges us to be “successful” – by whose definition? I tend to agree with Geoffrey James when he talks about success being linked to happiness, not money
I’m often amazed at how many people define success as making (or having) a lot of money.
It’s very strange, because many of the people who think this way are harried, stressed and, frankly, pretty miserable.
If you are ambitious there is an assumption that your objective is to rise up the ranks at work and make more money. Ambition is not necessarily a bad thing but if your definition of ambition includes the assumption that you have to work 24/7 then frankly, you are working too hard! Chasing after a millionaire lifestyle is often held up as being part of the American dream…hmmm..American nightmare more like!
The American Dream is a national ethos of the United States, the set of ideals (Democracy, Rights, Liberty, Opportunity, and Equality) in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility for the family and children, achieved through hard work in a society with few barriers.
Where in the constitution does it say you have to work long hours, hardly see your family, endure a job you hate; all to eventually be a millionaire because anything less than that is not worthy? Oh and don’t forget the idea that when you get that promotion and the corner office and are now working a 70 hour week you should be happy!
Working too hard can be a prison not of your choosing
I do understand that for many in the USA and around the world working hard is a necessity to put food on the table. I am not talking about those people who do several jobs to pay the bills. I am asking whether we have got it right when we promote success over happiness, and money over joy? Sometimes you can get trapped in this cycle of working to live and lose sight of the truly important things in life. That may be part of your upbringing; maybe your parents told you often they were working hard to give you the good things in life. I bet there were times as a child when you just wished they spent more time with you?
So, how do we avoid getting trapped in the working too hard to be happy prison?
I am a great believer in allowing yourself some time to reflect on your life. Creating that time can be difficult when you are always working so hard. I DO believe it is crucial to your well being and to the happiness of you and your family.
- Get up half an hour earlier in the morning and do some meditation or just some deep breathing to clear your mind.
- When you have a thought that pops into your head about having truly enjoyed something- write it down – it will help you build a picture of what you can do with your life to be happy
- Take a walk in nature and really LOOK at your surroundings- listen to the bird song, look closely at the flowers, the trees, the plants.
- Listen to music that uplifts you- maybe while you are doing tedious chores and SING at the top of your voice!
- Start a gratitude list and add something to it every week
- Spend real time with your loved ones- if you are busy, make the time- schedule it if need be, but protect that time.
How do you achieve happiness when you feel money is an issue?
Practical steps to take when money is an issue are to establish a budget- generally speaking until we write down everything we spend we are not truly aware of where we may be wasting money. Then you can decide what is absolutely necessary. To shift your mindset about money and attract more of it you need to shift your energy about happiness. My mantra is happiness first and riches will follow and I do understand that is difficult for some people to see. All I can say to you is that time and time again, research shows that money does not buy happiness. Money spent on experiences will be more effective in creating happiness but then experiences do not have to cost a lot of money!
A walk in the park with your children or your dog is a happy experience. Helping others less fortunate than yourself by giving your time is an experience that many find brings happiness and contentment. However, I do believe that living your passion, finding your true purpose is perhaps the most likely experience to bring happiness into your life. If you feel you are working too hard to feel happy, then what are you working for? What price are you paying for your success, your ambition?
If you can learn to find happiness in the small things in life it is like a snowball effect, it grows. The universe responds by giving you more to be happy about. Your life becomes more abundant and yes, that does include money but not money that costs you happiness.
One of the most rewarding parts of my life as teacher of Law of Attraction is helping people find their purpose and shift their lives into abundance through Choosing Happiness. If you recognize you are working too hard and missing out on happiness – let me help you – schedule a call with me and start your happiness journey.