Archived Story

Curve balls needn’t dent our happiness

Published 11:30am Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Each Monday, I get an e-mailed column from an author, keynote speaker and business consultant on various topics. Most of them relate to how different aspects of life affect our business relationships, though I think the information also applies to our personal lives.

The one sent this week talked about how secondary relationships directly affect individuals. For example, if my friend’s brother is happy, my friend is happy and that affects our relationship in a positive way.

The column’s author cited a Harvard study of 30 years with more than 12,000 people. The study found your odds of being happy increased by 15 percent if a direct connection to you was happy. Similarly, it found the same thing was true for indirect, or secondhand relationships, though the percentage was slightly lower.

A Gallup Wellbeing Finder, an assessment of people in more than 150 counties, found that five universal elements shape our lives, said the column author. They are career wellbeing, social wellbeing, financial wellbeing, physical wellbeing and community wellbeing.

What that tells me is that all aspects of our lives must be healthy for us to feel good about ourselves. Perhaps that sounds like a no-brainer, but I can attest it is certainly more difficult to achieve than you might think.

It seems that life is always throwing us curve balls and those balls can put a dent in any of the previously-mentioned aspects that affect our happiness.

Perhaps by daily diligence to our overall wellbeing — by surrounding ourselves with positive people, maintaining our health, bettering our financial outlook and giving to others — we can lessen the impact of those curve balls.

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