I’m not a “quiet time” person. I need background clatter.
Something to balance all of the clutter.
I heard a researcher on the radio yesterday describe his study of America’s happiest millionaires.
If you happen to be one of the subjects invited last year to participate in this study and already know from first-hand experience what this is all about, I hope this doesn’t bore you. (or worse… make you unhappy…)
But for the rest of us, the study’s findings contained a few nuggets – especially as we are all smack-dab in the midst of pushing along our not-so-lazy, not-so-hazy, yes-there’re-crazy “Back to School” projects.
The researcher on the radio said that the primary characteristic possessed by many of the happiest and richest people has to do how they behave whenever problems come their way.
I had guessed that the key characteristic was “marrying right” – so once again I wasn’t even close.
Apparently, many of the rich people who are happy – as well as many of the happy people who are rich – don’t initially look at their problems through a “good news” or “bad news” lens.
Naturally, this predisposition isn’t applicable when faced with a tragic accident or the sudden loss of a loved one, but for the most part, the majority of people in the study consistently benefitted by greeting common everyday problems with a welcoming and inquisitive spirit.
The radio host asked if this presented the classic “which came first – the chicken or the egg?” dilemma.
But the researcher said “no.”
The choice of attitude directly impacts both financial and emotional health, not the other way around.
Some people, he discovered, are simply better than others at accepting their problems as “interesting puzzles” and appreciating them for the challenges they pose.
Just grappling with challenges on a regular basis – whatever their eventual outcomes – nurtures valuable personal growth skills, from creativity to networking.
And these people are habitually honing the very skills that enable them to take on bigger and bigger obstacles.
Sure makes sense to me.
But I can’t say I’m happy about it.
I just sent in my deposit to a “delegate your problems away” workshop!