Do You Think Getting The Job Will Make You Happy??
Updated: Jul 23
How many times have you told yourself, "I'll be happy when _____." You could envision happiness for yourself when you win a job, when you complete the degree, when you make more money, when you get married, you name it. But guess what, it's not true.
The fact is that our perception of the effect these things will have on our lives is often misguided. We believe each of these "big" moments will have an exaggerated positive effect on our happiness. And research backs this up.
In a study of high-level managers who voluntarily changed jobs, they experienced a honeymoon phase with increased satisfaction and happiness, but a year later, their satisfaction returned to pre-new job levels. This was compared to controls or managers who stayed who had little change in job satisfaction. Meaning, for many people, their happiness level has more to do with them than their surroundings.
Sonja Lyubomirsky wrote, "if we want success - recognition, authority, rewards - because we think our happiness depends on it, we are limiting our happiness now and jeopardizing it in the future. Happiness does not come from the outside of us; it dwells within."
There are obvious and critical exceptions to the idea that the "next thing" won't make you happy. There is a certain increase in money that is critical to anyone's health and happiness so that basic needs are met. No one should have to wonder if they are going to be able to afford rent, or medication, or food in a month. In this scenario, we know an increase in money does equate to more happiness. There is contradictory evidence on how much happiness increases with money. One study tops out at $90,000, the other....significantly higher. While there is a great disparity between the two numbers, the point is, there is a cap in which happiness increases with income.
Other exceptions include leaving abusive situations whether that be work or relational.
For everyone else, leaving the "it's always greener on the other side" mentality will serve you well. And gratitude plays a big part in that. One strategy I recommend is keeping a running list of all the things you are grateful for on your phone! Somedays my list includes only that I had a bed to sleep in and a roof over my head. Other days have big memories like getting into the postdoc I wanted or getting married or living in the city of my dreams! When I'm having a hard day and start catastrophizing how bad my life is (it isn't), I look at the list of blessings and it helps bring perspective!
If you're looking to learn more on the topic, I cannot recommend the book The Myths of Happiness enough. It's a research-backed book told through the lens of easily-digestible stories. If you've caught yourself repeatedly in that cycle of believing the next big thing will increase your happiness, only to be disappointed again, this book is for you!
I hope you'll consider clicking on the link below and adding this book to your collection! I am an Amazon affiliate and do receive a small portion of the sale from this link to support my small business! This is the first book I've ever recommended, and I hope you will find it as helpful as I did!
Remember, Healthy Musicians Are Happy Musicians!
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