The Internet is awash with snake-oil sellers promising unlimited wealth, health and happiness for anyone naïve enough to share their credit card details with them. Sadly, the vast majority of these scams and schemes (because most of them are just that) simply prey on the lazy, greedy or those just plain desperate enough to be lured in and ultimately heap more misery on those seeking a quick win.

I’m lucky in the fact that I enjoy my job. I’m self-employed and therefore have a fantastic boss and am fortunate enough to work with some amazing brands like iContact. Because I enjoy my work, I believe I have found a fairly good (but not perfect) work-life balance. Despite this, as anyone who has successfully broken the shackles of traditional employment will tell you, my standard 9-to-5 workday often looks more like a 5-to-9 marathon session (so much for the 4-Hour Work Week).

Ask me if I’m happy and I’ll tell you, “Most of the time.” I didn’t, however (until now), have a secret formula for building a successful professional/personal life other than try and find a job that you enjoy, work hard and take time to remember why you are putting so much effort into your job in the first place (family, friends, etc.)

But finding happiness in everything you do might not be as complicated as you might believe.

A call from a listener to a recent BBC Radio 4 talk show discussing the concept of happiness and whether government was responsible for ensuring its delivery seemed to nail it. The caller suggested that true happiness wasn’t connected to wealth, success or social standing. Instead, to be truly happy you must have three things:

  1. Something to love (This could be family, friends or even a pet).
  2. Something to do (A job, a hobby, time spent volunteering or in education).
  3. Something to look forward to (A holiday, a social event, a regular meeting with friends).

Could this be the reason why my postman greets me every morning with a tuneful whistle and the gentleman who works crazy hours in my local convenience store always seems to have a smile on his face? Did they discover this formula long before I did?

Are we trying too hard to find happiness, or is the opportunity staring us right in the face?

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