We all want to be happy, at least I think so (some people thrive in misery).
Numerous factors can influence our happiness: money is just one of them. According to a Princeton University study, people need $75,000 per year per household, and no more, to be happy. However, when it comes to attaining happiness, wisdom and emotional wellbeing are equally, if not more important.
Happy is a man who finds wisdom and who acquires understanding (Proverbs 3:13).
Proverbs 13 makes a strong argument for living a fulfilled, happy life. It pitches the habits and characteristics of the wise versus the foolish. We learn that the decisions and actions of these 2 groups of people can influence their emotional wellbeing, pivoting them towards a happy or unhappy state of mind.
Following an analysis of Proverbs 13, I identified 5 major causes of unhappiness and their common sense antidotes.
Cause #1: Living a pretentious and arrogant life
- A pretentious, showy life is an empty life
- Antidote: A plain and simple life makes for a full life
Cause #2: Living without hope or purpose
- Hope deferred makes the heart sick
- Antidote: A dream fulfilled is a tree of life
Cause #3: Living an undisciplined life
- Refuse discipline and end up homeless
- Antidote: Embrace correction and live an honored life
Cause #4: Living with negativity and regret
- Liars walk a rough road
- Antidote: Sound thinking makes for gracious living
Cause #5: Keeping bad company
- A companion of fools suffers harm
- Antidote: He who walks with the wise grows wise
What factors do you think are important for attaining happiness? Is $75,000/year enough to make you happy?