A recent study revealed that, shocker, millionaires are happier than the average person. Your immediate response to this fact may be something along the lines of well, obviously. But is it all as simple as that, or is there a little more nuance to the situation? After all, we all secretly wonder just how happy we’d be if striking it rich at an online casino, don’t we?
Well, it turns out that assuming smiles will instantly start blossoming on your face the moment you have a million in your bank account is rather silly. First and foremost, millions rarely just materialise in someone’s bank account. This means that you had to have had a certain mind-set in order to become a millionaire in the first place, and this is key to how those people land up being happier than the average person in the long run.
We’re not suggesting that you wouldn’t be ecstatic hitting the jackpot, but what we are suggesting is that your ecstasy may be very short lived if you don’t also adjust your mind-set.
Smart Time Management
The study we’re talking about appeared in the Journal of Social Psychology and Personality Science, which goes into detail regarding people, their bank accounts, and what really puts smiles on their faces. One of the most glaring things that the study revealed is that, on a fundamental level, those who are millionaires and those who aren’t spend their time in very different ways. Most importantly, their leisure time.
It turns out that those who have millions in the bank willingly choose to dedicate more of their off time to active hobbies, as opposed in inactive hobbies, and that in turn drastically elevates their happiness levels. To be more specific, the average wealthy person commits roughly 22% of their off time to exercising, socialising, and hobbies. The general population only chooses to dedicate around 15% of their leisure time for such activities.
Well, sure you’re probably thinking, but that’s because millionaires happen to have the required energy for such things. After all, they’re rich. Right? They spend most of their time slacking off.
Not so fast.
Millionaires Don’t Work More Than You, Or Less
According to the report, those who are wealthy don’t work more or less than the general populace. They work approximately the same amount, around 16% – 19%.
Madness, you’re exclaiming, how is this possible?
A similar study to the Journal of Social Psychology and Personality Science’s was also conducted and published in a book called The Millionaire Next Door. The focus of the book was on roughly 600 million Americans who had more than a $1 million in the bank, and it studied how their lives differ from those who have less than $1 million in the bank.
The biggest, most glaring difference that the study found between the two groups of people was once again how they choose to spend their leisure time. The statistics in turn reflected how the two groups dedicate their energy. For example, millionaires tend to spend around 5 hours a week reading, and 6 hours a week exercising.
In comparison, a non-millionaire spends around a combined 4 hours a week doing the same things. A pattern is starting to develop in these facts. If you haven’t picked it up yet, that fact is this – those who have accumulated wealth spend far more of their time dedicated to improving themselves, learning, and just generally being present in the world.
Or to put it another way, being happy is far more about what you do with yourself and your time, than the number of zeroes that happen to currently be in your bank account. You might also conclude that one of these facts influences the other. In which direction that influence happens, we’ll let you decide.