Tag Archives: financial advice

Thriving on Happiness

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The national retail federation reports that the economy is forcing 72% of women to focus on what they need over what they want. They also report that 61% of shoppers consider basic cable an untouchable necessity.

Er?

Juxtaposing the two above statistics demonstrates the how warped we have become in defining “NEED”.

So let’s apply Maslow’s theory back to NEEDING cable television during a financial crisis.

At publish date, NPR was reporting 6.5 million people are jobless. AND despite Obama legislating help for 9 million foreclosed homes, roughly 60,000 more are being added to the list monthly. I think this qualifies as an upset in financial security – threatening need #2.

Let’s get this straight – the majority of people are affected enough by the crisis to modify their behavior, close to 10% have no job to secure it, but more than half consider cable a non-negotiable necessity.

Cable seems to fit into need #21 – Fun and Play.

I know this can be rationalized ad nauseum (that’s how we arrived at this situation in the first place) but it is a great example of how we trade true happiness for momentary pleasure. People are deathly afraid of finances  so instead of aggressively planning to arrive at security, they can’t live without cable because it provides an ESCAPE from life issues. Make no mistake, escape is fundamentally different from happiness or contentment.

I’m not picking on cable or the financially insecure,  I am instead demonstrating how incorrect prioritization of needs disrupts the path to happiness. The theory works on any two needs prioritized out of sequence.

Return to the idea of becoming happy by reorienting your priorities to your needs. Take the needs list, start at #1 and write how you are ensuring each of these needs are being met now.  The results will surprise you and reorient you to what’s most important to build your path to happiness.

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