I’ve been reading a fascinating book this week called “Playing with FIRE ” by Scott Rieckens. In it, Scott and his wife search for a new way of living that’s more in line with what they deem actually important in life. They start off spending over $10,000 a month living a lavish lifestyle that provides everything they thought they wanted. However, they’re miserable. So how much does happiness cost?
How much does happiness cost?
Have you ever asked yourself that question? Do you know the answer?
Socrates states that the secret to happiness is found not in seeking more, but in developing the capacity to be happy with less. Maybe you already have enough to be happy?
In the book, Scott develops “The Ten Things Exercise” to try to convince his wife to change lifestyles, and to determine what really matters to them. As he states “the lists worked because they forced us to face an uncomfortable reality: Our spending wasn’t reflecting our values”.
The Ten Things Exercise is very simple, but provides an eye-opening look at yourself. It took me about 5 minute to determine my list. All you need to do is make a list of the 10 things you enjoy doing most on a weekly basis. I’ll share mine, but I suggest you write yours first. Be honest with yourself: what are your favorite parts of your week? What do you enjoy doing? When do you feel happy?
- Lazy coffee mornings
- Walking my dog (especially with friends)
- Climbing with Sylvie
- Cooking dinner with my guy and unwinding together
- Writing my blog
- Baking cookies
- Sunbeam naps
- Socializing with friends
- Anything outside (bonus points if it’s in the mountains)
It’s fascinating when you analyze your list. Is there anything on there that surprises you?? How often do you make time for the things you wrote down? How many activities/items are free?
So, how much does happiness cost? Likely not a lot. Your list will show you. However it does require understanding what your values and priorities are, and actually making time (and money) for those things.
People often spend large amounts of money on expensive items and experiences, yet they get the most happiness from basic (and free/cheap) things: social connections, time to relax, physical activity, good food.
Sometimes the simple answers are the best ones. You were drawn to this article for a reason. Your life may already be pretty awesome, but something made you click on the topic heading. Understanding what makes you happy can only make life better. Take the 5 minutes and write your list. Don’t complicate something that doesn’t need to be complicated.
What makes you happy? I’d love to read your list in the comments below!
For a list of all articles I’ve written (binge-reading time!) click here