I used to work 100 hours a week. My family took a back seat to my fast-moving, high-paying career, and I eventually paid the price in the form of exhaustion, stress and a non-existent family life.
I have since recovered from this work fanatic, pressure-cooker life and have done a complete 180. I now focus completely on my values, beliefs and ideals, and as a result enjoy total life balance between work and family, and I coach people on how to do the same.
Laura Carstensen, director of the Stanford Center on Longevity and a professor of psychology at Stanford University, says that people do generally get happier as they age. Here’s a quote from professor Carstensen from The Wall Street Journal based upon her research: "How often one feels sad, angry, disgusted, contemptuous – that frequency declines. And in addition to that, when negative emotions occur, they don’t last as long."
If happiness increases with age, does unhappiness increase as well?
Not generally. Peter Ubel, a professor of medicine and psychology at the University of Michigan, said: "I know a lot of unhappy 80-year-olds, but if you look, on average there are a lot more grumpy young men than grumpy old men. We just don’t call them grumpy. We call them angry or irritable."
Why do people experience greater happiness as they age? Ms. Carstensen believes that it relates to an individual’s desire to make the most of the time he/she has remaining.
"When people perceive time is limited, they focus more on well-being," she says. "They get rid of the riff-raff in their lives and select the people who are most important."
So, if you’re unhappy today, do you need to wait a few (or more) years to achieve the happiness you desire? Absolutely not. If you wait for happiness, it simply means that you haven’t started living.
My suggestion? Start living today.
- Know yourself and what defines fulfillment in your life,
Identify your personal and professional goals.
- Honor what inspires you.
- Recognize what supports your self-esteem and what you need to do to keep your relationships satisfying.
Consultant David Bohl of Hartland has written a new e-book, "Your Life In Balance: A Breakthrough Guide for Creating the Life You Desire!" Bohl documents his transformation and gives the reader step-by-step guidance on how to change their life for the better by focusing on the things that bring a powerful, sustained sense of joy, happiness and fulfillment. For additional information, visit www.LiveLifeandSucceed.com or contact him at (262) 538-1300.