By Joni Lindquist

Remember the TV comedy show Frasier?  In one episode, Fraiser’s brother Niles asks him “are you happy?”  This led Frasier, a psychiatrist, to hilariously psychoanalyze himself.   Don’t worry, I won’t get too deep here, yet the question is worth asking.  We get so busy with our lives and various responsibilities; we don’t stop to smell the roses or even think about if doing so will make us “happy.”

A client sent me an article by Jacob Sokol entitled “12 Things Happy People Do differently.”  In it he mentions that research shows that the “things you have in life only bring about 10% of your happiness.”  As financial planners, we see this with clients.  So if the “stuff” you have – your car, house, electronics, etc. only account for 10 % of your happiness, what else does?  While Jacob lists a dozen things, five items resonated with me.  Here are my views:

1)      Optimism – we can choose our attitudes and my observation is the people I know who lean toward optimism naturally lean toward being happy.  The glass is half full.

2)      Increase Flow Experiences – flow is when you are totally engaged in an activity.  Another client recently mentioned she intended to collect “experiences” and not “stuff.”  I love that.  Find time for those activities that truly engage you – mind, body and soul.

3)      Savor Life’s Joys – good things happen to each of us – but do we stop and enjoy the moments or do we just keep moving on?  SLOW DOWN!  Enjoy the little things that make you happy.

4)      Commit to your Goals – It’s interesting to align this with happiness. There are 2 components: 1) It speaks to “engagement” – when you are “into” something, you’ll experience flow and truly enjoy what you are doing.  The journey is part of the joy.  2) By committing to your goals, you are more likely to reach them.  And we all love achieving our goals.

5)      Take Care of Your Body – we all know how stress is so damaging to our brains and bodies.  We are only given this one body, so taking care of it is critical.  Plus, exercising provides “highs” that can help make us happy long after the exercise.

Take the time to first understand what makes you happy and then find the time for those things.  For help reaching those happy goals, schedule a meeting by clicking below, contact Joni Lindquist –, or call (913) 345-1881.

Photo credit: ell brown / Foter / CC BY-SA