Australians care more about happiness than money

Peter Terlato 25 October 2016

woman happiness cheering

NAB study suggests we're not just about the dollar signs.

New research shows the measurements by which Australians personally define success are in complete contrast to the ways in which we believe society views success, ranking happiness, relationships and health as the best gauges of personal achievement.

National Australia Bank's (NAB) Rethink Success Whitepaper 2016 analysed the views of more than 2,000 Australians aged 16-70. The report reveals the majority of respondents define success as being happy (57%). Two-fifths of Aussies feel having good family relationships (40%) was the measuring stick for success, while a similar proportion believe being fit and healthy (38%) is what's most important.

A third of Australians feel having a good marriage (33%) is the pinnacle of success, while surprisingly only a small amount rate being in control of their life (29%) as a crucial element of achievement.

These personal measures of success are a far cry from what Australians believe society considers significant accomplishments.

When asked to rank how society defines success, most respondents list being rich (46%), owning a house (45%) and having a well paid job (42%) as benchmark pursuits.

Last month a study found high ranking corporate executives have greater than expected levels of psychopathic traits, heralding them "successful psychopaths".

While the majority of Australians believe they have achieved success in their lives (65%), a greater proportion are still keen on attaining success (71%).

A great number of respondents say procuring success is in our own hands (80%) and many feel confident in their ability to create a successful life (68%).

And how do Australians believe they'll realise success? Working hard and being good with people are the two most favourable paths.

Aussies are also conflicted when it comes to prioritisation. Living in the now (44%) is secondary to saving for the future (56%), earning more money (43%) is less important than having a better work/life balance (57%) and job security (58%) outweighs the freedom of owning your own business (42%).

Bettering personal health and fitness is the number one goal for Australians moving forward.

If you want to achieve happiness and contentment, consider meditation and mindfulness.

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Picture: Shutterstock

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