Are you chasing happiness? Are you always asking yourself if you are happy?

When discussing money with clients, my conversations validate how we all have different definitions of happiness.

Some people define happiness by the things they want to accumulate.

Others define happiness by the relationships they have with family and friends.

Some define happiness as having a higher-paying job.

Others define happiness by all of the above items.

Some of my recently divorced clients decided to move forward with their divorce because they were unhappy with their relationship.

But when asked what would make them happy, most did not have an answer.

They had been struggling with surviving an unhappy marriage for so long that they never took the time to think about what would make them happy.

Some clients are unhappy because they don’t like their job.

Their unhappiness may be because they don’t like their responsibilities.

Sometimes, their unhappiness is due to a difficult manager or co-worker.

When asked what would make them happy, they find it difficult to articulate.

If you’re chasing happiness, have you defined what you need to be happy?

Think about the goals you’ve set for yourself or the lifestyle you’ve envisioned for yourself.

Is your definition of happiness realistic or idealistic?

Do you define happiness by what you see on social media or television?

Is it an emotion you expect to feel all the time or at least 70 percent of the time?

I believe in dreaming big to challenge yourself.

But if you tie your happiness to only accomplishing that dream, are you missing out on the journey?

There’s nothing wrong with chasing happiness as long as you are realistic about it.

And more importantly, enjoy the journey.

As you progress in life, your definition of happiness may shift.

While no one item or person can make you happy, they can help you attain the joy you’re seeking.

Stay PEF (positive, enthusiastic, and focused), and enjoy the journey of chasing happiness.

(Update to original post from April 26, 2018)


Niv Persaud, CFP®, CDFA®, RICP®, is a Managing Director at Transition Planning & Guidance, LLC. Life is more than money. It’s about living the lifestyle you want and can afford. For that reason, Niv consults with clients on money, life, and work. Her approach capitalizes on techniques she learned throughout her career, including as a management consultant, executive recruiter, and financial advisor. Her services include developing  comprehensive financial plans, divorce financial reviews, and retirement plans. Niv actively gives back to her community through her volunteer efforts. She believes in living life to the fullest by cherishing friendships, enjoying the beauty of nature and laughing often — even at herself. Her favorite quote is by Erma Bombeck, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say ‘I used everything you gave me.’”