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How To Make Life Suck Less

  • Post published:February 23, 2015

Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, you’re struggling with something right now.

You might be trudging outside on the daily, combating the snow mounting on your boots while flurries freeze whatever parts of your face the giant parka you sport is failing to cover. Maybe you wish you were someplace cool, because you’re about sick of sweating and eighty degree nights are failing to offset hundred degree days.

The grass is always greener, tomorrow continues to look a bit better than today ever did and you’re really just attempting to make a good go at life.

If we are to believe the founder of behavioral economics, Daniel Kahneman, the secret to life satisfaction comes in four factors: friendship, religion, meaning and goals. But that’s not all.

Passion means satisfaction.

According to Kahneman, people who characterize as being severely passionate about something, who have consistent minor successes in their lives versus larger, more rare achievements and who are not materialistic are leading the pack when it comes to happiness.

There are small ways we can add more of the four above referenced factors in our lives; incorporating a coffee date with a good friend into the week may seem like a chore at first but the feeling you’ll have after the fact will almost certainly contribute to your overall satisfaction. It’s more the community-based, ritualistic nature of religion that seems to drive its happiness factor, so we’ll consider that another social behavior as well.

Meaning and goals, however, aren’t quite as simple. So what do these two factors have in common?

Having a sense of purpose and a highlight to work toward are both mentalities that the right job can provide. That means that once you’ve solidified a good occupation, 50 percent of the “satisfaction recipe” could be fulfilled. This, in turn, will equate to a better quality of life, as happy workers are good workers and good workers will work harder for any given company. Hard work means more revenue.

Friends/Community + Meaning + Goals – Materialism = Happiness

As simple as this formula seems, we could all use a bit of simplicity in between the rush hour traffic and lunch lines that define our lives. So perhaps before writing off these basic facets we should all re-examine what we want.

After all, no goal looks too daunting when you’re trudging through that snow; you have to get through it anyway.