Viewing 40 posts - 201 through 240 (of 308 total)
  • More money vs quality of life.
  • charlie.farley
    Full Member

    Why ‘Happiness’ is a useless word… and an alternative

    tjagain
    Full Member

    I’m not buying any of this – its looking for happiness in inappropriate things thats the issue IMO

    Jeepers – live miserably if you want but I am quite content with a life spent in the pursuit of happiness.

    Happiness sought in service of others ( Its nice to be nice), in watching sunsets, in a well earned pint, in the new vistas found over the hill, a chat with a pal.  I am sure happiness is not found in material possessions or hedonism but it taking joy in simple things, in helping others and in friendships

    alpin
    Free Member

    I think the word you’re looking for is content.

    Generally contentment brings happiness.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    IMO

    Happiness is more than contentment.  Its contentment plus joy. We need those touches of joy whatever they are

    alpin
    Free Member

    Ok, just watched that short video.

    Turns out it’s eudiamonia we should be looking for. Bloody Greeks.

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Photos of baby seals – Brigitte Bardot! Pain – BDSM! Ancient Greeks – homosexuality! Da Vinci – Mona Lisa and war machines! Suffering physically – masochism! Goals – footy! Make a difference – Nelson Mandela!

    Oh I love a motivational simplistic bollocks Youtube. 🙂 So we need to be fulfilled to be happy but that will make us unhappy, right? It was nice swimming in the local pool in the pool in the sun today, utterly futile but nice, then I had a siesta because the effort in coldish water knocked me out, and woke up happy, having achieved absoultely nothing and done nothing to make the world a better place.

    All this motivational stuff completely misses the point, most people have too much on their plates without looking for more fulfillment. They’d just like a sunbed next to a nice sunny swimming pool next to their mate possibly with their kids splashing in the pool and an mtb to thrash along some trails if they can be arsed.

    brownperson
    Free Member

    I don’t believe that modern society is geared up for an individuals happiness.

    It’s geared up so that a few profit from the misery of the masses.

    You’re sold the idea of happiness… Buy this, but that. Gratiate your “needs” now. Little view to the long term. People generally are ever more isolated with little time for others.

    How many people do you know that are on pills so that they can function? Function in terms of fitting into society.

    I would rather not be prescribed pills so that I fit into society. I would prefer a society that is geared up for the individual. I know this might sound ironic to some given the amount of drugs I willing take. I think for many, not being sober is a coping mechanism, myself included.

    Interestingly, it’s been my experience that people that have less have been the most generous. The more wealth someone has, the less willing they are to help others.

    I agree with this. The idea that we need money to be happy, is a myth perpetuated by those who seek to profit from the pursuit of gratification.

    I think a lot of people try to find meaning through consumption and are encouraged to do so by capitalism. I think that many feel insecure and compensate through status symbols. I also think that many people are just basically unhappy.

    So surely the aim would be to keep people a little bit unhappy, so they’ve still got something to need to buy? New iPhone, anyone?

    tjagain
    Full Member

    I do not believe this is deliberate – there is no big conspiracy or puppetmaster. its just the way capitalism works. In general people are conditioned from an early date that happiness comes from having stuff. Buy a new car or phone and be like the smiling happy beautiful folk in the adverts. Feeling down – have this sugar and fat laden snack – it will make you feel better ( and it does) . Want to feel like a “success” buy these nice toys and trinkets etc etc

    I have seen so many people in their middle years wake up and think “is this it?” I got the good job and worked hard to progress. I have the spouse and my kids in a nice semi in suburbia, I have my nice car on the drive, my big telly with all the frills etc etc. But I’m drowning in debt, a wage slave till I drop and I am not happy.

    Capitalism has done some wonderful things and dragged us as a species out of the mire but now it creates conditions where a large part of the population is unhappy.

    Our society should be built around happiness not consumption

    mikertroid
    Free Member

    Sitting next to my Dad in his final few hours in hospital, a few years ago, it was very obvious that regardless of life’s trappings, you go out with what you came into this world: nothing.

    I’ve been lucky to have the mindset throughout life that every day should be made the most of, however I’m in the age bracket where mates are starting to fall seriously ill etc.

    The most important things we have as individuals are Health and Time. Money can assist in both, but when it comes at the expense of either, then its time to make a change.

    I’m lucky to be well paid, but feel like my personal life is very subservient to my professional life at the moment. Part time will hopefully make a big change. Retirement needs to be factored in, but that may or may not ever happen….I might not live that long, so I’m not going to flog myself literally to death…

    Cycling and my other hobbies are pricey, but sensible life choices allow them to happen. As much as I love a good holiday, regular events to look forward to are more important, even if it’s an afternoon on a bike.

    We all only have one shot at life. No boss is ever going to thank you on your deathbed for the extra shifts….

    We all make our choices and you’ve got to do what make you (and loved ones) happiest.

    “You can’t change the past. You don’t own the future. All you have is now.” Mikertroid ’99

    brownperson
    Free Member

    I do not believe this is deliberate – there is no big conspiracy or puppetmaster. its just the way capitalism works.

    Of course. But companies do have marketing strategies to ensure the perpetuation of consumption; Apple will announce a new gizmo, and there will be loads of marketing guff about how much faster and better it is than the previous model, with fancy graphics and even slick animations etc. But in reality, the differences will be barely noticeable at best. Very slight improvements if you’re lucky. But that won’t stop many people from immediately rushing to buy the latest model.

    In general people are conditioned from an early date that happiness comes from having stuff

    I think this is where things take a more philosophical turn. Small children will often become jealous and possessive over things, toys etc. I think this in inherent part of human nature; we need a certain amount to survive, so a shortage or absence of thing, real or perceived, is going to be of concern. Hence wars. We need to control our own immediate environment and ensure our own survival, even if that’s at the expense of others. So if we have plenty, then surely we’d be more content? But it doesn’t seem to work like that. How much is enough?

    alpin
    Free Member

    “nice semi in suburbia”

    Pervert.

    hammy7272
    Free Member

    Very interesting thread. I often wonder how happy other people are behind closed doors. I think there are some very brave faces out there unfortunately.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Hmm, well operation ‘step back’ hit its first hurdle yesterday, seems very much as if my company would rather lose an employee than allow someone to step back into a role with less responsibility. I think this is partly an industry thing as they explained my stepping back would just mean more work for others or having to hire another employee to fill the role I’ve just stepped back from.

    Given how busy we are I can only assume the fees are terrible and thus we can’t afford another employee, or they just can’t hire as there aren’t enough suitable candidates on the market ☹️

    I sometimes wonder though if there is societal aversion to someone in their forties wanting to step off the ladder and focus on quality of life again. Talk is always about ‘progression’ and never about just being happy in the role you’re in. Our industry’s solution to stress and workload is just ‘get better at your job’ rather than ‘let’s find a role you CAN excel at’.

    I think I need to focus on operation ‘Sideways Step’ instead and just get the hell out of this industry 🙄

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    Many years ago hubby and I decided to go the ‘less money, fewer working hours, be happier and have more time route’. It’s been fine. We still have great holidays, many days out etc, but to do this we’ve led a slightly more frugal lifestyle than others. I can’t stand telly programmes such as ‘Apprentice’ which seems to be driven by greed and unkindness.
    Our lifestyle isn’t for everyone but I’ve never missed having things that other people desire, eg a better phone, a bigger telly, new clothes all the time. But, It would be nice to have a little more money to cushion things such as healthcare (glasses, dental work etc) for the future. Health is everything and one can’t buy that, but without a bit of money to buy good food, go out and socialise then life is going to be difficult.
    I know many wealthy people through my job and they are no happier than me.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    I do not believe this is deliberate

    I think it is.

    There is no reason for everyone to still be working 40+ hours per week. And yet anytime a four day work week (or any other form of increasing people’s free time) comes up groups like The ‘Taxpayer’ Alliance materialize to lobby against it. Someone is funding these groups. They are not grass root organisations. So there is definitely a group of people within society who have a vested interest in maintaining a population that is time poor.

    somafunk
    Full Member

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member
    Hmm, well operation ‘step back’ hit its first hurdle yesterday, seems very much as if my company would rather lose an employee than allow someone to step back into a role with less responsibility.

    **** em, tell them from now on your doing the bare minimum

    brownperson
    Free Member

    Many years ago hubby and I decided to go the ‘less money, fewer working hours, be happier and have more time route’. It’s been fine. We still have great holidays, many days out etc, but to do this we’ve led a slightly more frugal lifestyle than others. I can’t stand telly programmes such as ‘Apprentice’ which seems to be driven by greed and unkindness.

    My wife and I made a similar decision about 10 years ago. Circumstances forced some significant changes, but these turned out to be the best move. I effectively ‘retired’, my wife went from 5 days a week to 4, then 3, and we aren’t actually any ‘poorer’. We were however extremely fortunate in both inheriting money, so this helps enormously. I struggle to see how us earning more would improve our quality of life; we’d both have to work more, and then have less free time. Swings and roundabouts. I now get to choose work, which is far more varied and interesting, and even fun. I spent Monday and Tuesday this week stripping out a friend’s bathroom of mouldy sealant, and replacing it with fresh stuff. I now have the promise of future work re-dong said bathroom, and also the kitchen. I never intended to go into decorating, but it’s actually quite rewarding. But I don’t have to rely on it, that’s the key. I have another project in mind that involves a lot of work and will not be financially rewarding at all, but it will be fun, and I totally appreciate the position of luxury and privilege I am in to be able to do so. This will involve enabling others, particularly younger people, to pursue creative avenues, so actually very close to realising my ‘dream’ in life really. I totally appreciate I would not be able to do this if I had to do a 9 to 5, Monday to Friday type job. Many people really need to take a step back and appreciate such privilege in life, if they have it. Not enough do.

    jwt
    Free Member

    I’m sure there was a Howies ad years ago, with the tag line something like
    ‘Time not money’

    MSP
    Full Member

    There have been numerous studies on the increase in productivity and employee satisfaction and happiness from shorter working weeks and hybrid working. But the dictorial nature and establishment mentality of corporate power structures still drives the idea that employees should be unhappy drones.

    https://www.bbc.com/worklife/article/20230905-workers-now-face-a-hard-line-on-return-to-office-policies

    The system is corrupted by those that have power in it, just by their narcissism of needing to exert power over their underlings, it isn’t even good for the bottom line.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    @Bunnyhop – I think that’s the paradox, taking a step back from the rat race makes us happier, but at the same time, if we’re happy, we generally know that a bit more money would make us more happy.

    wooobob
    Full Member

    I’m sure I read somewhere that a study suggested that £50k was a bit of a threshold salary, whereby happiness/satisfaction increases up to that point then drops off slightly, or increases much more slowly or something. Seemed plausible to me, it’s more than many will get obviously but likely to allow much of the freedom and flexibility many of us would like.

    I dropped some hours two years ago allowing me to do a four-day week. It was a revelation, one of the best things I’ve done. Freed up time, mental capacity and energy. It’s given me the chance to do things I wouldn’t have done otherwise, namely volunteering, which is leading me towards the possibility of retraining and a career change.

    I do think it’s slightly impacted my long term financial situation but I’m also happy in principle to work for longer – if that means being paid to do something I like and have some control over rather than vice versa. But never more than four days a week!

    brownperson
    Free Member

    if we’re happy, we generally know that a bit more money would make us more happy.

    Personally, I’m more than happy with my current financial situation. I cannot envisage how having more money would make me any happier. But we all have different needs; cultural, social, economic. I can buy whatever I want; I just don’t want very much really. Spending money doesn’t bring me any more happiness. I worked that out some time ago, took stock of what I had, how lucky I was, and how I needed to fully appreciate all that. The things that make me happiest are spending time with my partner and others, sharing experiences and having fun. We socialise a lot, but we aren’t going to the Ritz; a cheap meal or drink with people we love is far more rewarding and joyful than expensive things. My wife went out with two friends last night to a ‘posh’ restaurant; she really enjoyed it, said the food was great, but although we could ‘afford’ to go to such places regularly, we feel it’s nicer to have occasional ‘treats’; anticipation makes the experience that bit more special. I completely appreciate that we are lucky enough to still have significant enough income to be able to make such choices. But our bar is somewhat lower than others, perhaps. For me, coming from the experience of poverty, how I live now is utter luxury by comparison. So this is it. I’m content. I don’t need more.

    steamtb
    Full Member

    Definitely with @brownperson. We worked very hard early in our careers and realised several years ago we really didn’t need or want to pursue more money. I enjoy reading a book at a local coffee shop more than the £40k holiday, the latter I find more punishment than pleasure. I’m now 51 and my wife is 47, we both work 25 hours a week; I don’t have plans to stop a job I love and has total flexibility, my wife does intend to retire in the not too distant future and she will just continue with charity work. We have mortgages paid off, no debt and have put enough away for our daughter’s future too. That’s not really because of really high salaries or even purposeful saving, we’ve just never felt the need to spend much money. Bizarrely at our grand age, we’ve never bought a sofa, which makes me laugh 🙂 We certainly don’t get paid badly but keeping our lives simple has made us happier and we seem to be in a pretty good place financially and better than many people we know who earn many multiples of our salaries. Take pleasure in whatever you are doing and simple is often brilliant. I have adopted that to my riding too, I definitely take more pleasure nowadays in just riding. Wherever. Definitely feel very grateful to be in the position we are in, life can be hard for so many reasons.

    Marin
    Free Member

    I’ve only bought one sofa at 53 perhaps that’s how to achieve true zen.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    if we’re happy, we generally know that a bit more money would make us more happy.

    Only up to a point, past that point I don’t think money makes any difference.

    Yes I could buy more crap, or go on holiday somewhere more expensive, but it wouldn’t make me any happier.

    NB I work a 4 day week through choice, as I’d rather have more time to do other things…

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Bizarrely at our grand age, we’ve never bought a sofa, which makes me laugh

    I have never bought any furniture new – nor crockery and cutlery. All secondhand and mainly bought with houses. Ive never owned a car. Most of my electronics are secondhand

    I’m 63

    kerley
    Free Member

    if we’re happy, we generally know that a bit more money would make us more happy.

    That is completely dependent on whether what makes you happy requires money and whether you already have enough money to do all the things that make you happy.

    I don’t think more money would make me happier.  For example, I love cycling and could buy very expensive bikes but I don’t, I have only one bike and it would cost around £1200 to build up.

    Speeder
    Full Member

    Some interesting takes on life in here. I’m going to try to be less consumeristic and buy better and 2nd hand where possible (I do this already but should do more). Also going to try and declutter my and our life by some margin. The amount of stuff I/we own is incredible and I’m not sure that it’s good for my mental health at all.

    As isn’t the 40hr “work” week, I do despise having to come into the office 8.5 hours a day whether I have anything to do or not. If I was a boss it would be a work when needed regime and if you’ve done your bit go home. If “cover” is needed, work it out between yourselves so that someone can do that but make it fair and keep everyone happy.

    The utopian dream of all this tech was supposed to give us so much more free time but all it’s done is allow businesses to employ less people and pay bigger fat cat bonusses.

    kerley
    Free Member

    The utopian dream of all this tech was supposed to give us so much more free time but all it’s done is allow businesses to employ less people and pay bigger fat cat bonusses.

    The free time has been taken up by “bullshit” jobs to keep everyone in work.

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    The comment I made about having a bit more money was purely to cushion the future, or something for a rainy day.
    Our house needed some maintenence work in 2022 and 2023. Luckily we had some savings , but it would be nice to have some extra for health care and other ‘rainy days’,in the future.
    I also think living a more frugal lifestyle helps one to appdeciate the little treats in life, such as a meal out with friends, a new saddle, etc. I treated myself to a plum tree last week, planting it brought lots if joy.

    argee
    Full Member

    Reality is most folk want more money @bunnyhop, on here there is a bit of a middle class ideology, a lot of the population live in normal jobs where they won’t get offers of cutting days, and can’t anyway as they have families and increasing costs, they could cut back, but the minute a crisis hits they’re stressed again, the boiler goes bang, where can i find 3k, etc, etc.

    For me happiness is just a state of mind, it’s something you have now and again, it’s not a permanent setting, you get more quality in life and more happiness through working out what balance works for your life and lifestyle, utopian dreams of part time hours, no money worries and early retirement are for the lucky few, more than the masses.

    redmex
    Free Member

    Why does some of this thread make me think of Pulp and Jarvis Cocker singing about she came from Greece she had a thirst for knowledge
    She studied sculpture at St Martins college

    brownperson
    Free Member

    I knew someone who was actually studying sculpture at St Martins College, when that song came out (I loved Pulp btw). He wasn’t Greek though.

    I treated myself to a plum tree last week, planting it brought lots if joy.

    Beautiful.

    Reality is most folk want more money  @bunnyhop, on here there is a bit of a middle class ideology, a lot of the population live in normal jobs where they won’t get offers of cutting days, and can’t anyway as they have families and increasing costs, they could cut back, but the minute a crisis hits they’re stressed again, the boiler goes bang, where can i find 3k, etc, etc.

    But many people choose to live right up to the very margins. My aforementioned soft-bed-linen-loving neighbours could choose to save instead of spend, then they’d be able to absorb the occasional cost like a new roof. But they make their own choices based on their own priorities. My philosophy is to always have a little extra in case of a rainy day. Because at some point, it will pour. This is life.

    argee
    Full Member

    Having extra is great, but for the masses earning the average salary, with a kid or two, trying to buy a house or save for a deposit and so on, i doubt they’ll have 3k readily available to pay for a roof to be fixed, or a boiler, or a second hand car after their car fails it’s MOT and so on.

    Having a rainy day fund is great, but in this day and age it’s raining every day, literally and figuratively.

    Kramer
    Free Member

    From what I know of the evidence, it’s that up to a certain point a lack of money makes people unhappy, because they can’t afford the necessities. Past that point, if you’re happy, then more money generally makes you happier, however if you are not happy then it doesn’t.

    So it’s not worth working to the point of making yourself unhappy in the belief that more money will make it worthwhile.

    charlie.farley
    Full Member
    Kryton57
    Full Member

    The last few posts are very much er… on the money (sorry). I was chewing the fat with an ex colleague last night – we both worked as senior sales in a prior company, both now in our early 50’s both took the chance to move from highly paid roles as expectation turned to shit, and now both not enjoying work.

    The summary was as above – we both earn and can continue to earn – decent money to live decent lifestyles for our families with little significant worry. Both of us would like to find a role that makes us smile when getting up for work in the morning, but both of us agreed that the pursuit of more senior roles, more money, better job titles is likely not worth the stress, risk and unhappiness at the age we are.

    Before I first started sales I was given this advice “remember that as long as you can shut off from work and enjoy a beer and a pizza on a Saturday night, everything is fine”

    It probably sums up the above – reaching an amount of earnings and satisfaction in life whereby the pursuit of “happiness” via money would only be contrary to that level of satisfaction.

    Oh how we learn the hard way though eh?

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    Before I first started sales I was given this advice “remember that as long as you can shut off from work and enjoy a beer and a pizza on a Saturday night, everything is fine”

    Aha, well that’s where it gets interesting. Personally I’ve allowed my ambitions in life to creep beyond a beer and pizza on a Saturday night, and perhaps that’s where we go wrong, i.e. losing perspective and thinking that society owes us the time and wellbeing to be out riding bikes and climbing mountains all the time.

    Out for a walk this morning before trying to get some work done over the rest of the weekend, hobbling because I’ve obviously aggravated my S.I. joint (doing exercises for my piriformis probably!) so not in the best mood. Had some tunes in, beautiful morning, just plodding along the same old walk which typically isn’t something that motivates me, I’d usually either want to be running/riding or at the very least going somewhere new.

    AAAAANYWAY the walk was actually pretty nice in the end and I even stopped for five minutes to watch a family of Bullfinches which lightened the mood. It was a good lesson in enjoying simple things.

    Problem is, I aspire to so much more. I still want to be fit and strong enough for the 300km Audaxes, the 150km gravel rides, I have a guidebook I want to write, I want to be Youtubing awesome new gravel routes that I’ve been planning on Strava. This morning made me realise maybe I just need to accept that’s not my lot in life, and I should be satisfied with plodding around the local dog walking loop, and yeah, maybe enjoying a beer and a pizza tonight.

    It’s funny how innocently you can end up with unrealistic ambitions, maybe I’ve just lost perspective in thinking that I SHOULD be able to do all that awesome stuff whilst supporting a family etc. and I don’t have any right to expect to be pain free, fit and strong in my forties. I suspect older generations suffered much worse in terms of wellbeing and fitness, but their expectations weren’t as high.

    Perhaps it’s time to log off Strava and the Facebook gravel groups (and here, dare I say it!) and lessen the F.O.M.O!

    Edit: minor epiphany there, if I have to accept I’m not going to be the world’s greatest gravel cyclist, I guess it would be fair of society to not also expect me to be world’s greatest employee! 😂

    tjagain
    Full Member

    “I even stopped for five minutes to watch a family of Bullfinches which lightened the mood. It was a good lesson in enjoying simple things”

    Take the lesson. Embrace wandering around the countryside by bicycle

    wbo
    Free Member

    Money absolutely cannot buy happiness. However…

    ‘We were however extremely fortunate in both inheriting money, so this helps enormously. I struggle to see how us earning more would improve our quality of life; we’d both have to work more, and then have less free time.’

    That is a very privileged position to be in, but does mean an appreciation of other situations might be difficult. Because, I can assure you , a lack of money can make you very unhappy, very quickly

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