Pearson Education

May 12, 2006 06:17 ET

What the Happiness Formula may have missed.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(CCNMatthews - May 12, 2006) - Why has the BBC devoted a whole new series to "the Happiness Formula" without considering the evidence of a link between fulfilment and financial well being?

For most people, happiness is inextricably linked to their sense of control, i.e being able to choose what to eat, where to live, how to have a sense of career progress. This sense of control is, for most people, directly linked to how much they earn.

In my last book Make Money Be Happy , I argued that the search for personal happiness has to include a way to become financially in control.

We're in a trap. We're all looking for a well-stocked lifestyle, with elegant homes, interesting holidays, occasional splurges on whatever takes our fancy. Paying for this with savings? On mastercard more like. And working long hours to pay back credit card debts is not a recipe for happiness.

Spiralling levels of personal debt, much of it fuelled by the lure of "retail therapy", mean that most of us are working to stay still, financially. This is leading to a society where people are not in control, and not happy.

As a social activist, I think we have to recognise that lives are being drained of all joy by this vicious circle. And I'd like to offer a solution. On a purely personal level, we can do two things. First, recognise that personal happiness is likely to be linked to satiety, to feeling satisfied with who we are and what we already have - rather than after we've added another grand to our credit card buying that fantastic new car/outfit/sofa. So we don't need to spend so much after all.

Second, unlocking the ways to become more valuable to our employer and gain the level of income that buys assets (property, shares etc) which eventually means we have to work fewer hours.

So, what about an article or programme that asks - how can you become financially free, so you can have time to be happy?

If you are interested give me a call on 07710 057 955 or email me at

Note to Editors

Carmel McConnell is one of the UK's leading Social Entrepreneurs (she is the founder of Magic Breakfast She is in demand as a speaker, teaching people how to make money and be happy.

If you cannot reach Carmel you can reach her publicist, Elie Ball, on 07803 392 710

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