I have to admit it, I am really proud to be an Australian. My mother is from Papua New Guinea, and I am proud of that too. Growing up in Australia, I just love the place, and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.
It seems the rest of Australia feels pretty much the same way I do. Every year, a study by Australian Unity — in partnership with the Australian Center on Quality of Life at Deakin University — is conducted to find out the well being of the country.
Over the last 15 years since the study began, Australians have maintained an average score of 75, meaning we have a positive sense of well being. A score of 60 and lower means a negative sense of well being.
Throughout the 15 years of the study:
They have found the ‘golden triangle of happiness,’ which they believe is the essence of well being.
So what is this ‘golden triangle of happiness’ that they have found? Well, it consists of three components:
Strong personal relationships
According to the study: “Being part of an intimate relationship is perhaps the most vital component of well being. The relationship doesn’t have to be a romantic one, but closeness and support is the key. A good close relationship (or many good relationships) with someone you can share your thoughts, secrets, hopes, dreams, and fears — and who will remind you that you are loved and valued, provide a critical resource to defend against life’s challenges. Those who don’t have this intimate relationship are at a much higher risk of the difficulties in life overwhelming them.
The study says: “There is no denying that income and well being are linked. Well being rises consistently with household income up to about $100,000, at which point their paths become less intertwined.
However, the power of money to affect well being lies in its capacity to alleviate stress and create an environment for happiness. Accordingly, people can achieve normal levels of well being even with a low income, so long as they feel in control of how they spend it.
Sense of purpose
In the study, it says: “It is imperative for personal well being to be doing something that provides meaning in life. People are happier when they are active, particularly when that activity gives them a sense of purpose or responsibility. For some, this may be their job, but the job has to provide more than just financial security. For others it may be a social activity, such as being in the local tennis or Rotary clubs. Or it may be volunteering as a lifesaver, caring for someone, or doing something as simple as gardening.
I know I have good personal relationships and a sense of purpose, but I will have to work on my financial control.