Sunday, October 18, 2009

Women Are Unhappy? And You're Surprised?

Marcus Buckingham tells us that women are accomplishing more and more and becoming increasingly less happy in the process. As surprising as this might seem to some, my response is more along the lines of, "of course!"

A couple of months ago, as I began this series about aspiration and inspiration, I wrote an article entitled, What Do You Want Out Of Life, Really? For some, the answers would seem to lie in measures the "real world" would understand: money, cars, jobs, houses and other kinds of physical world accomplishments or acquisitions. However, many of us have gone through that cycle, acquired like crazy, and still wound up feeling unfulfilled. Sound familiar?

My experience in working with thousands of individuals over the past 30+ years leads me to believe there is very little correlation between material world success and happiness or fulfillment.

Having read the articles Marcus has written so far, my response is more toward "of course" than "surprise" that women might be experiencing less happiness over the past two decades. To be clear, there's no such thing as "women" in the sense that if you are a woman, then you are necessarily one of these women who, statistically speaking, are less happy. That's an individual experience, and, in my world view, an individual choice. Or more accurately stated, a consequence of individual choices made or avoided - more on this in another article downstream.

In my work on the difference between symbols vs. experience, I have found that many people seem to suffer from the illusion that happiness, satisfaction or fulfillment (experience) are a result of accomplishing some goal or, more to the point, of acquiring something in the material world (symbol).

As Marcus addresses the rhetorical question of "what's going on here," he offers several tips in his article about What the Happiest Women Seem to Have in Common. His first two tips resonate strongly with what I have learned over the years and provide a foundation on which to build a more fulfilled and successful life. Marcus calls them: Focus on moments, more than goals, plans or dreams and Accept what (you) find.

Read the full story by Russell Bishop

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