As women, we are living in a time when we have more options than ever before. We have taken and made extraordinary measures to close and improve the gender gaps. We are more educated and have the option of making more money… But, are we happy?
A study titled, The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness, published in the American Economic Journal, analyzed data from 35 years of the United States General Social Survey. The results? The lives of women in the U.S. have in fact improved by many objective measures in the last 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men.
We ask ourselves: how and why? What triggers deeper satisfaction and contentment? What makes us feel whole and complete? How are we using our money?
Money has the ability to trigger happiness in a healthy way, but the happiness has to exist within us in order to prompt us to make smarter money choices. Spending on material objects, events that do not nurture our soul, and anything that does not serve us is short-lived and will only temporarily fill a void. Rather than filling that void with a temporary solution that will eventually fade, let’s pour into ourselves with lasting substances.
Ask yourself: what is my lasting substance? How am I most fulfilled? How am I contributing to a greater good? The lasting substance requires us to do the inner work to get there and align with our most authentic self. When we align with who we are on the inside, our highest calling and purpose in this life, financial abundance is a result of this proper alignment.
“When we align with who we are on the inside, our highest calling and purpose in this life, financial abundance is a result of this proper alignment.”
What are some ways we can spend money to create lasting and long-term happiness?
Winston Churchill said it best himself, “we make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Start to practice the seemingly simple act of giving with your friends and family. Rather than giving yourself or someone else a material object that will provide temporary fulfillment, give to a cause or perhaps a close friend in need.
Invest in Yourself
Don’t feel guilty about investing in yourself. Self-care is the gateway to our happiness and the happiness of those around us as a result. It sets the tone for self-worth, which shows that we love and respect ourselves first and foremost.
For a hubby’s birthday, a friend’s gift exchange or parent’s anniversary, offer them an experience that they would have otherwise never tried. Instead of material objects, give them a certificate for a romantic dinner out in the city’s best restaurant, a painting party or a tour of the city.
Identify and Tap Into Who You Are and Live out Your Values and Specific Truths
As Mark Sutton eloquently stated, “It is beneficial to take responsibility for your own happiness. We often displace our happiness into people, places, and things, meaning we feel we will be happy once we have this job, or we meet that person. When in reality, this is false fulfillment because your happiness can be stripped away as soon as you lose one of these things. When your happiness comes from inside, no outside circumstance can affect it.”
If you are interested in learning more about entrepreneurship education, holistic health, financial literacy and income, please visit c3nolimits.org.
By Maria Concetta Cilluffo