Money can't buy happiness. Happiness, however, can buy you a longer life. A new study published in the National Academy of Sciences found older people who are happy have a 35% lower risk of dying over a five-year period than unhappy people.
But, how does one attain happiness? That was the topic when noted author and lecturer on spiritual matters Deepak Chopra stopped by The Daily Ticker set earlier this week to chat with Aaron Task.
Chopra, the co-author of the book War of the Worldviews, says happiness can be boiled down to a formula.
Happiness = set point in the brain (how you look at a situation) + conditions of living + voluntary choices
Let's take a closer look at these variables.
1. Set point in the brain
Whether you're a glass half full or half empty kind of person is largely formed at a young age. "Unfortunately, this happiness set point is determined for us in our childhood in the first three years of our life," says Chopra. While that may be true, there is hope for those inclined to a pessimistic point of view. "You can change the way you think, you can start to question your limiting beliefs, you can take time to be silent and reflect."
2. Conditions of living
Here's where money comes into play. And, when it comes to happiness, money is not a big factor. "Only 10-12% of our happiness experience comes from money," Chopra says. "Real happiness comes when you have fulfillment, you have creative expression, you enjoy your work, you're engaged, you make other people happy, you have meaning and purpose in your life."
So while it may not be the root of all happiness, money can lead to evil. "The love of money could be the root of evil," Chopra says, when people are concerned with money for money's sake.
Tell us what you think!
- Deepak Chopra