Rich and Happy – Why Wealthy People are Happier People

I am about to shatter your very understanding of happiness. For some this may be discomforting; for others this may be a revelation.

On any given day, if you ask someone if they are happy, their response will be dictated by their current state of happiness. If they are nearing, or in the midst of a happiness event, they will say they are happy. If they are recovering from, or in the midst of an unhappiness event, they will say they are unhappy. Happiness is event-driven.

The quantity of happiness events you have during your lifetime is the only true way to accurately measure your level of overall happiness with your life. Those who have experienced more happiness events during their life will view their life as happier overall. Those with less will view their life as less happier overall. The key to overall happiness, therefore, is to accumulate happiness events.

Which brings me to my research. I have often been asked by the media if my research on the daily habits of the rich and poor indicates that the rich are happier than everyone else. The answer is yes. But while wealth cannot buy happiness, it can rent it.  The rich are happier because they are able to create more happiness events during their lives than everyone else.

To understand the importance of happiness events we must first dissect what causes happiness:

  • 50% of happiness is determined by your genes
  • 40% of happiness is determined by your activities
  • 10% of happiness is determined by your circumstances

Genes play a major role in your level of happiness. Some people are simply hardwired genetically for happiness or unhappiness. They have a happiness baseline that they were born with. But the good news is that, irrespective of your genetic makeup, you can increase your level of happiness by engaging in certain activities that will make you happy and that will also change your circumstances in life.  This is the true secret to why the rich are happier than everyone else. They engage in happiness activities more frequently than others and some of those happiness activities also altered their financial circumstances in life.

From my research I have identified specific activities that increased happiness in the lives of the wealthy and, at the same time, improved their financial and non-financial circumstances.

Happiness Activities That Improve Financial and Non-Financial Circumstances:

  • Pursuing some long-term goal, big dream or major purpose in life
  • Engaging in the daily habit of educational reading
  • Practicing gratitude
  • Practicing optimism
  • Engaging in some creative pursuit like painting, writing, building, music, manufacturing, inventing etc.
  • Engaging in new activities
  • Overcoming a fear
  • Aerobic exercise
  • Mentoring others
  • Helping others
  • Doing work that you love in which you can make money
  • Solving problems
  • Overcoming obstacles that interfere with achieving some goal or realizing some dream
  • Living in the present – enjoying happiness events without thinking about anything else
  • Receiving awards for something you’ve done
  • Losing weight
  • Saving money
  • Being productive at work
  • Building relationships with other successful people
  • Vacation homes – 52% of the wealthy own vacation homes. This allows them to engage in more frequent weekend retreats with business associates, customers, clients etc.
  • Country Clubs and Golf Clubs – Many of the wealthy are members of country clubs or golf clubs. They engage in activities at these clubs with business associates, customers, clients etc.

Happiness Activities That Have No Effect on Financial Circumstances:

  • Vacation homes – This allows them to engage in more frequent weekend retreats with family and friends
  • Country Clubs and Golf clubs – They engage in activities at these clubs with their family and friends
  • More unique social gatherings – Because the wealthy surround themselves with other successful people they are able to participate in more unique social gatherings
  • More unique vacations – The wealthy are able to go on more unique vacations with family and friends
  • More parties – Because the wealthy have more money they can have college graduation parties for their children, they can also afford to pay for weddings for their children and they can afford more parties for family and friends

Happiness is activity-driven. It is not a destination. It is the culmination of frequent happiness events. The wealthy are able to engage in more happiness activities because of the wealth they accumulate in life.

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Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley understands the difference between being rich and poor: at age nine, his family went from being multi-millionaires to broke in just one night, due to a catastrophic fire that destroyed his Dad's thriving business. For fourteen years they struggled with poverty. There were eleven in Tom's family, and they lived in constant fear of losing their home.

Driven by the desire to unlock the secrets to success and failure, Tom spent five years studying the daily activities of 233 rich people and 128 poor people. He discovered there was an immense difference between the habits of the rich and the poor. During his research he identified over 300 daily activities that separated the “haves” from the “have nots.” Tom decided to write a book to share what he learned. That book, Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals (1st Edition), went on to become an Amazon Bestseller in the United States forty times over a three year period. To give you some perspective, in order to be a true Amazon Bestseller in the United States, where you actually receive a specific Bestseller designation from Amazon, you need to be in the top 100 of all books sold by Amazon in the United States in a given day. Rich Habits did that for nearly thirty straight days, rising as high as #7, eclipsing such Bestselling authors such as Stephen Covey, Robert Kiyosaki and J.K. Rowlings. Imagine that - an unknown, first-time, self-published author selling more books than J.K. Rowlings!

Tom now travels the world, sharing his Rich Habits and motivating audiences at industry conferences, corporate events, universities, multi-level marketing group events, and global sales organizations’ presentations and finance conferences. He has even spoken on the same stage with famous entrepreneurs and personal development experts, such as Sir Richard Branson, Robin Sharma, Dr. Daniel Amen, and many others.

Tom has shared his insights on various national and international network, cable, and Internet television programs such as CBS Evening News, NBC News, Yahoo Financially Fit,, India TV, Australia, and a host of others. He has been interviewed on many prestigious nationally syndicated radio shows, including the Dave Ramsey Show, Marketplace Money, and WABC.

Tom has been featured in numerous print magazines—such as Money magazine, Inc. Magazine, SUCCESS Magazine, Entrepreneur magazine, Fast Company magazine, More magazine, Epoca Magazine (Brazil’s largest weekly) and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine—and various online publications, including USA Today, CNN, MSN Money,,, and the Huffington Post. Tom is a frequent contributor to Business Insider,, and a few other media outlets.

National publicity has garnered international media attention for Tom and his Rich Habits research spanning 23 countries. Broadcast media, online publications, and television throughout Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the United Kingdom, and Central and South America have shared his powerful message.

In an effort to help parents, grandparents, teachers and adults become success mentors to the younger generation, Tom released his second book, Rich Kids: How to Raise Our Children to be Happy and Successful in Life in 2014. This book was the self-help category winner of the 2015 New York Book Festival and Runner-up in the prestigious 2015 Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards Contest. In 2016 Tom released his third book, Change Your Habits, Change Your Life. This book provides the latest science on habit change as well as more of Tom's unique research on the specific habits that helped transform 177 ordinary individuals into self-made millionaires.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, and hold a master’s degree in taxation. As president of Cerefice and Company, CPAs, Tom heads one of the premier financial firms in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
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