4 Steps to Feel as Happy as Billionaire
It doesn’t take much more than four steps to feel as happy as a billionaire!
When it comes to seeking worldly advice it’s perhaps more useful to ask what makes someone happy as opposed to salivate over how they spent their money… especially if they are worth north of $96 billion.
Such is the wealth and generosity of Bill Gates, you can find out both in these stories but given I don’t have even $9.6 million to splash around and wealth doesn’t always bring joy let us stick with happiness.
On a recent ‘ask me anything’ on the platform Reddit Bill, who is now 63 and the second richest being on Earth, gave his take-away four top tips about what worked for him.
And as with all good advice anyone at any time can start doing more of these four common-sense actions which sadly in our frenetic worlds can be overlooked, flouted and ignored.
To background his mindset Bill explained when young he felt older people in their sixties didn’t have much fun or were very smart. He now admits to having changed his mind.
First step to happiness: Follow through on your commitments
Interesting to have this one first because commitments sound much more onerous and boring than dreams which we are frequently exhorted to follow first.
But a commitment can be much more than having to put out the rubbish bins on Tuesdays. The definition says it’s a state or quality of being dedicated to a cause or activity and can involve a pledge or undertaking.
Committing yourself to something or someone outside our own sometimes selfish selves is one thing. Following up that commitment through thick and thin can be unexpectedly difficult but surprisingly rewarding. Did anyone mention marriage?
It’s inevitable we shall leave some commitments, perhaps being a godfather, under-done but to avoid disappointment and regret and foster positive accomplishments it makes sense to keep trying.
Step Two: Have a mindset of giving
Again, Bill doesn’t just say give because how can you match his family foundation’s goal of ending extreme poverty and hunger? It’s the mindset and the habit of giving as well as the action which can count for more that the crude amount.
Sure, we can give money and as a rich country our declining contribution to foreign aid is shameful but there’s so much we can do ourselves involving our time, our skills, mentorship, our unused unwanted excess possessions etc.
Giving does make us feel healthier and more connected. But for all those hoping a gold coin donation to the Salvo’s Red Shield appeal will do the trick Bill, the world’s greatest philanthropist, has a warning.
“The most amazing philanthropists are people who are actually making a significant sacrifice”.
In other words, it might not matter how much but it might help you if it hurts.
Step Three: Treat your body like a temple.
It’s a turn of phrase from the Bible but all the latest scientific advice works with this faith-based encouragement.
Put your body to work with the kind of exercise and movement you can manage and multiply and you’ll be happier, healthier and less prone to the diseases which not only cut life short but make it increasingly miserable too.
Likewise eat and drink modestly but enjoyably and try to eat more fruit and vegetables and less red meat and you’ll lose weight and enjoy the self-evident benefits listed above.
The temple mention also suggests making time for some reflection, stillness perhaps even meditation as a way to unplug from the unhelpful chatter of the world. Put away your it works!
Step Four: Put family first
Last but certainly not least. As Bill said he gets his greatest kicks from seeing his kids do well a feeling any parent I hope can identify with.
Of course, families take time and making time takes effort and commitment (see above). When I hear people say they are working so hard for their family and so are unable to spend enough time with them I do wonder about the value equation.
Jobs come and go but your family, whatever size or shape, should be there forever and are an investment we overlook at our peril
Bill’s is not an unachievable ten-point plan. There’s nothing to download or buy merely a memorable sharing of four simple but potentially endless actions we can all take starting today.
We might not end up as billionaires, but we can feel as good as one.