What makes a real difference in life-quality?
Kamilla writes about the importance of thinking about what makes us satisfied and happy in life. It can be helpful to think about what kinds of goals we set for ourselves for achieving our dreams.
Our impressions about what makes us feel content, glad, or happy in life, are often misleading us. Accumulating wealth and get famous are the top goals of the millennium generation, according to the latest questioner, in which the participants were asked about their purpose or main goals in life. Research shows that there is a correlation between annual income and life satisfaction; until a certain level of monetary gain, people report about increasing life quality. As someone is free from the struggle of daily survival, it gets easier to turn the physical and mental energy into different areas, which might help the person to climb higher on the Maslow pyramid. Our mother nature seeks to mainline the optimum level; think about our normal body temperature or the amount of sugar we could safely take in without causing damage to our system. It is important to ask, what a good-enough life is, and what are the elements of it?
Interestingly enough, sharing wealth is making people happier, than spending money barely on ourselves. Dr. Dunn conducted several studies on the science of happier spending and concluded that regardless of cultural differences, people feel more positive after they shared the money with others, even though some of the participants were in difficult life situations.
Angela Duckworth, an American psychologist created a model that she called the hierarchy of goals. In this concept, she distinguished between low level, middle level, and top-level achievements. She suggests, that identifying our top-level goal could support our purpose-making in life, it can create better integrity of self, and just opens up different doors in front of us. The top-level goal, as she suggests, needs to be abstract, that a person could approach in many different ways. Wondering about being famous or gaining an important position eventually makes us more harm than good. Imagine that your ultimate goal in life is to be a well-established person. It could be achievable, but what are you going to feel, when you finally get there, you are in a great position. What comes next? The human brain is wired to get used to impulses, circumstances, people, etc. Why wouldn’t we get bored with a job title or with barely with “fame”?
As Duckworth claims, an abstract goal, such as “I would like to contribute to the educational development of children”, could ensure many different paths that she can take, to follow up her “dream”.
She dedicates her time, energy, and knowledge to a high-level goal, and it provides life-satisfaction, flow, happiness, and motivation for her to keep up working.
What constitutes a good life for you? Do you know your inner drives and authentic needs above materialistic desires?
Enjoy your day,
Kamilla Fodor, Yeesi’s summer intern
Coursera, Science of well being course, 2020 https://www.coursera.org/learn/the-science-of-well-being
What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness by Robert Waldinger, 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KkKuTCFvzI&t=296s
Angela Duckworth on Goal Hierarchies, 2017 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5hHGd-Qh5aI