The article below reviews the research on happiness and meaning. Why does this matter? It's important because "the pursuit of happiness" seems so ingrained in modern culture. The research cited indicates that a life of meaning has significant benefits over a life of pure pleasure-seeking.
"…when aspiring to a well-lived life, it might make more sense to look for things you find meaningful—deep relationships, altruism, and purposeful self-expression, for example—than to look for pleasure alone… even if pleasure augments one’s sense of meaning" – Laura King, University of Missouri
The things that lead to a meaningful life are important aspects of Empowered Wealth. Gratitude, Core Assets, Contribution…these elements are integral to the sense of meaning described in current research and are essential to the Empowered Wealth Mindset.
On a slightly different note, research done by a team led by Roy Baumeister, Florida State University concluded that "happiness involves being focused on the present, whereas meaningfulness involves thinking more about the past, present, and future—and the relationship between them." This is interesting because much of our work with entrepreneurs and families involves deep reflection about the past and the future before focusing on thinking and decision-making in the present.
The Difference Between Meaning & Happiness, by Jill Suttie, Jason Marsh
Philosophers, researchers, spiritual leaders — they’ve all debated what makes life worth living. Is it a life filled with happiness or a life filled with purpose and meaning? Is there even a difference between the two? Recently some researchers have explored these questions in depth, trying to tease apart the differences between a meaningful life and a happy one. Their research suggests there’s more to life than happiness — and even calls into …
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