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Happiness & FIRE
Old 07-10-2007, 08:04 PM   #1
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Happiness & FIRE

Hello,

With FIRE within reach, I've started thinking more about the non-financial aspects. So I started reading about the sources of "happiness"

I came across this site on bbc.com that is quite interesting.
BBC NEWS | Programmes | Happiness Formula
and thought I'd share it with you.

The gist of the "formula"
- family & friends are crucial. Marriage is a positive influence.
- Have meaning in life
- Have goals that you enjoy working for (are we all happier on this board because of our FIRE goals?)

I also read this book recently - Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert - that talks about the science behind happiness. Not a "how to" book, but a synthesis of different branches of research into happiness.

Sharing this with the community that has given me so much in terms of financial knowledge - that makes me happy.

ww.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:16 PM   #2
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This is a simple idea and I know there can be some variations but here goes; AFAIK you will be as happy in retirement as you are before retirement. Maybe things will change a bit for the better or worse from the end of work but happiness is fundamentally an inside thing and people are as happy as they choose to be or are genetically set to be, whichever answer you prefer.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:47 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers View Post
This is a simple idea and I know there can be some variations but here goes; AFAIK you will be as happy in retirement as you are before retirement. Maybe things will change a bit for the better or worse from the end of work but happiness is fundamentally an inside thing and people are as happy as they choose to be or are genetically set to be, whichever answer you prefer.
[Expletive deleted.]

I am much much happier in retirement than I was before retirement.

The stress was doing horrible things to my mind/body.

Since that last day at work (spit), everything has been getting better.

I have lost 70# of stress/fat (more than a cubic foot).
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:49 PM   #4
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"the science behind happiness."


Gimme a break. OK. there is no science to happiness. You will be as happy as you want to be! No more, no less, Enjoy!
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Old 07-10-2007, 11:56 PM   #5
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There is no magic formula for happiness, but there are things we can do: stop comparing yourself to others; appreciate what you have; help others in need.
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Old 07-11-2007, 06:56 AM   #6
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... but happiness is fundamentally an inside thing and people are as happy as they choose to be or are genetically set to be, whichever answer you prefer.
The site says more or less the same thing. People tend to live within a rather narrow range of long-term happiness. That does not mean, imho, that a bad job can't make a normally happy person miserable for extended periods of time.


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"the science behind happiness."


Gimme a break. OK. there is no science to happiness. You will be as happy as you want to be! No more, no less, Enjoy!
I disagree. I think science can help us understand what, in general, makes people happy. We, as individuals, can then decide how to use that information - maybe to prioritize the use of our time or money. I look at it the same way as the science behind food & diet. I listen to all they say, but then use that in conjunction with my tastes to determine what I eat.
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Old 07-11-2007, 07:30 AM   #7
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[Expletive deleted.]

I am much much happier in retirement than I was before retirement.

The stress was doing horrible things to my mind/body.

Since that last day at work (spit), everything has been getting better.

I have lost 70# of stress/fat (more than a cubic foot).
I think that some of us are stressed/unhappy for reasons external to us, and some are for reasons internal to them. Working for the federal government can be extremely stressful, and Khan and I both seem to have the same opinions on that. Even an inherently happy person can be put into an environment that temporarily causes them to feel unhappy.

I absolutely KNOW that I am going to be a lot happier after retirement. I am inherently a happy person, and have always been known as such by my relatives. Think "Pollyanna" happily ironing a mountain of clothes or waiting in a long line, and that is pretty much me. Working presents challenges to my normally happy nature that go far beyond those of daily life and chores. Not working will allow a swing back to my normally happy nature.

Khan, by the way, I don't know if I've ever said it but congratulations on your weight loss and improved health!
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Old 07-11-2007, 08:37 AM   #8
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One book I read defined three spheres of inlfuence in life:
- Work/Vocation
- Family
- Values
and it contends that the degree of overlap/conflict between the three spheres determines the degree of happiness/stress one encounters. I think it made a lot of sense.

In retirement, vocation becomes what you make of it. For me it is portfolio manager. Happily it is a part-time job.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:28 AM   #9
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as i age i'm watching family die off. already buried my two closest friends. society says i'm not human enough to marry. i've spent a total of maybe an entire three minutes questioning the meaning of life. early retirement was never a goal nor was i ever goal-oriented.

gee, i must be one miserable s.o.b. and i'm going to take that into consideration just as soon as i stop laughing.
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Old 07-11-2007, 11:51 AM   #10
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Far easier to get rid of things that make you unhappy.
Then you are no longer unhappy, you are either happy or numb.
First, do not be wedded to a cretin.
If you did, amputate.
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Old 07-11-2007, 12:10 PM   #11
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There is no magic formula for happiness, but there are things we can do: stop comparing yourself to others; appreciate what you have; help others in need.
Good rules, Spanky.

CJ
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Old 07-11-2007, 05:07 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Khan View Post
[Expletive deleted.]

I am much much happier in retirement than I was before retirement.

The stress was doing horrible things to my mind/body.

Since that last day at work (spit), everything has been getting better.

I have lost 70# of stress/fat (more than a cubic foot).

Yeah! I've still working so this morning, I asked my doctor to prescribe "retirement" instead of upping the bP meds, she seemed to think I was joking.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:14 AM   #13
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Khan- I think we worked at the same company. Since FI/RE, these are the happiest, most carefree days of my life.
Visited Flagstaff, Az (7200' elevation) yesterday. After a light rain, the cool, clean air was scented from the pine trees. Every day there is something that just makes me feel good. I do not remember work being like that, but I seldom think of it now.
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Old 07-13-2007, 10:18 AM   #14
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Khan- I think we worked at the same company. Since FI/RE, these are the happiest, most carefree days of my life.
Visited Flagstaff, Az (7200' elevation) yesterday. After a light rain, the cool, clean air was scented from the pine trees. Every day there is something that just makes me feel good. I do not remember work being like that, but I seldom think of it now.
I need to get out of Houston.
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Old 07-13-2007, 08:56 PM   #15
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I need to get out of Houston.
In an attempt to get away from the heavy rain? It has been dry here in Minneapolis - the lawn is pretty brown.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:11 AM   #16
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In an attempt to get away from the heavy rain? It has been dry here in Minneapolis - the lawn is pretty brown.
Rain, hurricanes, oppressive heat and humidity. I'm getting past the point where I enjoy doing anything outdoors when it's 95 degrees with 95% humidity. That's about 4 to 6 months of the year.

Usually we have a great month or two in what you'd call "winter."
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