Your Happiness Is Your Most Valuable Asset
If I was to ask you what your most valuable asset is, what would your answer be? Your house, maybe? Your career, that allows you to earn what you need to sustain your life? Perhaps you might count your education and the opportunities it has given you as your most valuable asset, or maybe it’s a chunk of savings that you’ve been burrowing away for a time when you might need them. All of those are very valid answers, but if you gave them to me in relation to this question, I would argue that you were wrong. Because the most valuable asset you have is your happiness.
There’s a tonne of scientific evidence to back my argument up. Let’s start with the basics: happy people are more productive and tend to do better at work. In fact, research shows that happy people are almost 20% more productive than their unhappy colleagues, and they go on to be more successful in their chosen industry and earn more money as a result.
Happy people are also healthier - studies have proven that they’re less likely to catch colds or flu, and wounds heal faster in people who have greater subjective well-being. Scientists have even shown that happy people could live longer than their peers. Isn’t that mind-blowing?! Being happy could quite literally buy you more time here on earth.
And so on a really basic level, the happier we are, the more likely we are to achieve traditional success and live long and healthy lives - basically all of the things we’re taught to strive for, right? Great.
Let’s add to that the fact that happy people make better (and faster) decisions, and have better quality relationships. Oh, and happy people are more creative, more resilient and cope better with stress and trauma. Yep, all claims backed and supported by evidence and data. And that’s just the start - the list goes on and on and on.
Put simply, being happy is the single best thing you can do to improve your quality of life. Your happiness can earn you more money, improve your social circle, help you bounce back from setbacks, and protect you from poor health. It is without a doubt your most valuable asset.
And yet, despite all of this, I still see so many people who treat their own happiness like it’s just another thing to be added to their to do list. They see it as something way off on the horizon that they’ll get to eventually, once they’ve excelled in their careers or bought their forever home or found the right partner. I see so many people who push for success in the hope that it will make them happy, instead of realising they have a much better chance of achieving that success if they focus on their happiness first.
Because happiness is sold to us as the icing on the cake, isn’t it? We can have the happiness once we’ve worked hard and built the foundations and proven that we’re worthy of it. We can have the happiness once we’ve toiled and struggled and sacrificed to show how much we really deserve it. It doesn’t occur to us to prioritise our happiness first, because that sounds a little bit selfish and snowflakey, doesn’t it?
But prioritising your happiness, looking after your number 1 most valuable asset? That is the very best decision you can make, both for yourself and the people around you. It isn’t selfish to throw all of your energy into being happy when you realise that it strengthens your chances of being a successful, healthy, contributing member of society.
And so, I urge you to start thinking about what your life would look like if you started with the happiness first. How would things change if you let the happiness lead to success and good health, rather than the other way round? What decisions would you make if your only focus was protecting your happiness?
Because they’re the decisions you need to make. They’re the changes you need to invest your energy into. And when you do, you’ll soon start to realise that your happiness is your very best asset.