The Economics of Happiness

The idea behind my philosophy came from a point inside of me when I realized that at my core, my ultimate desire in life, is to help people realize they can be happy. They don’t need to accept things as how they are, or definite. They can instead take control over their outcomes, or play a bigger role in deciding the path their life, and ultimately their emotions will take.

Happiness is something that most people strive for. It is less common that you will find someone who says they don’t want to be happy in life, compared to someone that says I want to be happy, I am just not sure how.

Where people differ is what they think will make them happy. There is research out there that says that you can control about 40% of your happiness. Some of it is controlled by genetics, and some by behaviours and life circumstances, these things are not always within your control. However you ultimately have a large amount of control over how happy you are, 40% is a lot of control. It is not like we have a 40% chance of winning the lottery! I would argue being happy and fulfilled in life is better than winning the lottery!

How can we actually impact our own happiness feelings and circumstances?

My theory is this… we need to have more positive units of input then we have negative units of input in a day. An input could be an interaction, it could be an activity, it could be a result of time we spend doing something. It could be our own self talk. Ultimately we need to take control of our time and more importantly our negative inputs.

How can we take such control? Identify things that make you happy and do more of them!

What makes you happy and what makes others happy are not necessarily the same thing. Often though we feel pressured by society, someone important to us, or an employment situation about where we need to spend our time and energy.

Some perspective on what I mean…

If you are reading this and reflecting on your personal life,  you may feel obligated to do things in your day like multiple play dates for your kids and some mom’s LOVE this. What if you don’t? Now you feel guilty about being a bad mom, but really, are you? Definitely not.

If you are reading this and reflecting on your professional life, are you unhappy at work? Do you feel like you are failing? Do you feel like you are exhausted at the end of even a short day? Or are you unproductive because you get a “no” and feel stuck for the rest of the day, unable to move on. As a leader do you have an employee this makes you think of?

Ask yourself:

  1. What things in my day give me energy? These are things you could do for hours and never get tired.
  2. What things do I miss if they don’t happen in my week?
  3. What things actually make me feel better when I am done them then when I started them?
  4. Who do I laugh the most with?
  5. What am I doing and where am I when my mind feels the least cluttered?

How can you organize your day and your time to do more of the things you thought of above and less of the things that cause the stuck feeling?

Sometimes we stand in our own way when it comes to the things we need to eliminate or do less of in our lives. We know they are things we want to eliminate, but struggle with owning how to actually do that. Or we say we don’t want to eliminate things because we are happy with how things are. Sometimes we 100% know what stands in our way of happiness and just truly don’t know how to change it.

Whether you feel this way at work, or at home you can still control the overall happiness you feel. I believe you need to find the right ratio of happiness creating hours in your day compared to draining hours in your day.

If you work an 8 hour day… think about it… if you had 5 hours spending time on things that increased your energy and happiness and 3 hours on things that didn’t feel as productive. At the end of the day would you be satisfied? I would! Now if you spent 1 hour on things that gave you energy and 7 hours on things that drained you, my guess is at the end of the day you would feel tired, frustrated and likely ready to just go home and drop on the couch for the evening.

The secret to happiness is not going to be found when you make more money, or have more things, it will be found when the majority of your day has more things that bring you happiness.

This blog post was written by Melissa Maloney. Catch Melissa at momondays Kitchener-Waterloo, ON on 11/20/2017! Get your advance tickets here: Buy Tickets

As a long time Senior Leader with one of the largest fitness companies in the world and Best Selling Author, Melissa has a wealth of knowledge and experience on how to shape future leaders and impact associate retention. She has an approach to leadership that is fresh, fun and energetic that has proven to work in today’s market for keeping great talent, training great sales people and building great leaders. Melissa understands driving bottom line success comes right from the people who are on the “front lines”. Melissa uses her experience in the workplace, combined with her personal story of adversity to show that ownership and happiness are yours for the taking and will create amazing results! For more about Melissa, visit

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