Peering into the lives of rich people is a guilty pleasure. Collectively love to hate them, even as we scroll through their Instagram pages or read what they buy.
However, are they really happier than the rest of us?
What is interesting is that their happiness stems less from what they buy and more from how they spend their time.
Researchers compared how a cohort of wealthy and middle-class people spent their time both at work and on leisure and their overall satisfaction. When they came back with the results, there were few variations in the data.
One key difference was the type of leisure these groups engaged in. While millionaires spent about the same time as everybody else on leisure, they were significantly more likely than the general population to use that time for active activities – praying, socializing, exercise, hobbies, and volunteering. Middle-class people spent more of their time on passive ones – watching TV, napping, relaxing, and doing nothing.
The two groups also differed in the way they work. Millionaires worked about the same amount as the general population; however, they enjoyed greater autonomy at their jobs.
We learn that the wealthy gravitate toward active leisure and job autonomy. Money certainly makes both of these more attainable, but those in any income bracket incorporate these into their lives.
Start a hands-on project (like starting a blog using WordPress), learn a new language (Portuguese, Spanish, Mandarin), or spend time traveling.
These luxuries are not exclusively reserved for the rich, so why not enjoy them now?
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