The prevailing thought is that money can buy happiness.


But truth be told, it can – only to a certain extent.

After taking care of necessities such as safety, food, and relationships, it’s really difficult to say that having more money actually adds to your happiness levels.

Although there are many conflicting studies, general consensus is that approximately ~$70K per year is the sweet spot.

After that, having more money doesn’t significantly add to your baseline happiness levels. (Despite that, there certainly is a nation-wide frenzy with the MegaMillions at a whopping $1.6 BILLION, as of 10-22-18).


If increasing your income is a personal goal, I get it.

Maybe it has nothing to do with being more happy in the short-run, but more so about your ability to express personal mastery and control. If this is you, read on.

Research has found that there are personal characteristics (Big Five) that are more correlated to higher income:

1. Conscientiousness – high level of self discipline, being careful, and desire to do well; 

2. Agreeableness – warm, sympathetic, and cooperative. But contrary to what you’d believe, low levels of agreeableness were found to be correlated to better results in the workplace/higher income.

In addition to these two personality traits, there is something else that’s being researched in relation to income levels:

Achievement Motivation.

Achievement motivation is comprised of two sub-traits: Fear of Failure, and Hope for Success. Those who identify highly with fear of failure tend to have lower levels of income than those who identify highly with a hope for success. Fear of failure measures include questions like,”I’m afraid of tasks that I cannot work out or solve,” while hope for success is measured with items such as, “I like situations where I can find out how capable I am.”

Researchers noted that for people with a high fear of failure may benefit from motivational and confidence training.

What can you do to increase this type of mindset?

  1. Dress nicely. It’s amazing how you look has an impact on how you feel about yourself. Find clothes that not only look good on you, but that helps you feel like yourself.
  2. Replace negative with positive chatter. Mind chatter exists, whether you deny it or not. Learn to identify your mind and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. This can most practically be done by setting random reminders on your phone. When the reminder(s) go off, identify what thought(s) you’re having, and replace them with positive ones if negative.
  3. Identify and express a positive observation to a stranger. It can be a stranger in passing on the street – identify something nice you can point out to them, and do it. It boosts not only their mood, but yours as well.
  4. Know your values. Acting in a virtuous manner not only increases self-confidence, but it also boosts competence. By knowing your top three-five values in life, and acting in accordance, you increase a sense of being in the driver’s seat. Life mastery starts with intention.
  5. Give. Whether it’s time, money, effort, or attention. Give to someone/something you believe in today. Make connections that matter.

Live with intention. Lead with inspiration.