New research suggest that there is a ‘Golden Triangle of Happiness’ that is essentially the highway to achieving a happy life. All three criteria of the Golden Triangle must be met, and all three criteria must exist in balance. So what are the three points on the Golden Triangle of Happiness? (1) Good personal relationships, (2) financial security, and (3) a sense of life purpose.
Sam McKeith of The Huffington Post Australia reports:
The Deakin University research, based on more than 60,000 individual responses, found when the “golden triangle of happiness” was present it almost always resulted in positive levels of wellbeing.
Deakin University emeritus professor, Robert Cummins, said maintaining good relationships was most important.
“People on low incomes can have normal levels of happiness provided that their relationships and purpose in life are strongly positive,” he said.
For a relationship to boost happiness it didn’t need to be romantic, but did need to involve “closeness and support”, the research found.
Money and happiness were also closely linked, with the research finding that wellbeing consistently rose with household income up to about $100,000.
The power of money to buy happiness was largely its ability to alleviate stress.
“Accordingly, people can achieve normal levels of wellbeing even with low income, so long as they feel in control of how they spend it,” the research found.
“For others it may be a social activity such as being in the local tennis club or Rotary.”
Surprisingly, the research revealed health and happiness were usually unrelated.
“While satisfaction with health falls as we age, overall happiness tends to rise. Essentially, we adapt to most slow-onset medical conditions,” Cummings said.
Someone say triangle????
I’ve never been one of those people always in pursuit of happiness. I think it’s important to ingest a heaping pile of shit from time to time in order to be able to appreciate the good things in life when they come your way. How am I supposed to appreciate winning $100 on a scratch off lottery ticket if I haven’t just been hit with a $400 bill for new tires on my car? This is the yin and yang forces of life that keep me balanced (I’m probably using that wrong, but you know what I mean by the polar opposites).
I guess the only thing that I’m not quite able to put my finger on is how a study like this is able to identify something as vague as ‘a sense of purpose in life’. To some people that sense of purpose might be just feeding their dog in the morning and evening. For others that sense of purpose might be saving lives in the hospital and going into hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt in order to become a doctor. It’s just such a vague definition, which is fine in some instances, but in this instance I think you need to be able to have a set of criteria for what defines ‘a sense of purpose’ and I’ve yet to read that anywhere.