According to an often cited study from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School, having money will make you happy, but at the equivalent of about $75,000 a year the “happiness effect” hits a plateau. No matter how much more than $75,000 per year a person makes, they don’t report any greater degree of happiness.
Of course, when we talk about happiness we’re not discussing your day-to-day mood, but rather the deeper satisfaction you feel about the way your life is going. Your base level of contentment and serenity.
I am not super wealthy, but since health and fitness is an industry where you can make a lot of money if you wish, I interact with many people who are wealthy and even what we would consider “rich”, and from my personal experiences I can agree with the findings of this study, at least by saying the following – I haven’t noticed any particular trend of wealthy people being happier than your average person.
The same can be said for your body.
Whether you consider this a sad statement on our society or not, the fact remains for people who are overweight losing weight has the ability to make you happier, feel better about yourself, and increase your overall sense of self-worth… to a point.
If you imagine getting as “lean” as the $75,000 mark, and getting “shredded” the equivalent of getting rich, I can tell you from both interacting with people and being on both sides of the scale myself that being shredded isn’t going to fix all your life problems.
In fact, chasing the perfect body is like chasing money, it has the ability to consume you, to eat away and challenge your integrity, and in many cases all but destroy your body image and sense of self-worth.
It’s all relative, and it’s all relative deprivation.
It has the ability to skew your expectations and it skews how you view your own body.
Plus, getting ultra-lean is a bit of a fool’s game… Anyone can do it, but the results are fleeting. Very few people stay ultra-lean all year round. They exist, but if you were one of them, you’d know already. And the quest to get ultra-lean will take up a great deal of your time. Family time, friend time, work time, even you time.
Your time on this planet is finite, and as much as I hate to say this, your body is like money, you don’t get to take it with you when you die.
Now please don’t get me wrong. I want you to have the body you want to have, and I’ll help the best I can, but consider the following…
Many people have created and maintained very nice bodies working out 3 to 4 hours per week, and eating a flexible, yet responsible diet.
It is absolutely possible to become lean and strong working out for 45 minute to an hour, 3 to 4 times per week.
It is absolutely possible to become lean and strong by eating responsibly without feeling bad about eating treats occasionally.
Manage the time and mental energy you put into pursuing your dream body carefully – it’s time and energy you will not get back. When you are in the gym be focused and present and do good work – anything worth doing is worth doing well.
When you are eating, enjoy yourself but eat responsibly.
Avoid spending too much time on Instagram looking at beautiful bodies in perfect lighting with perfect poses, that may or may not have been “slightly touched up”. Don’t worry about the latest diet trends either. There are no magic pills or short cuts. Consistency and effort is what will get you there but always remember, there are diminishing returns in this health and fitness game. So do what you need to do, but remember that past a certain point the return on your time-investment begins to shrink dramatically.
You absolutely can get ultra-shredded, but please be aware of the time, effort, and energy it will take, and always remember that the results are not, and never will be permanent.
Just like getting rich, with the exception of the few who were born into it and the even fewer who win the lotto, it takes a lot of work and a lot of sacrifice, so always remember to keep your happiness and your investment of time and mental energy in mind.
With whom you eat will always be more important than what was eaten.