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December 10, 2015

Linda Steinberg on What's Your Happiness Quotient? 4 Things #MFRWorg #goodhealth #moneycan'tbuyhappiness #love

In the movie City Slickers, when Billy Crystal’s character Mitch asks Curly for the secret of life, the old man replies that it’s just one thing and you have to figure it out for yourself. 

It’s true that we’re all different, and we each have something special and specific that drives us. But we also all have common needs. The secret to a happy life? I believe it’s just four things.

1.  Health.  This somewhat underappreciated gift is often taken for granted, until we lose it. If serious illness befalls you or a loved one, your happiness barometer will drop from full to empty in seconds. Even a minor ailment can make you miserable. When I was suffering from pinkeye and a persistent virus, I couldn’t see clearly, I didn’t feel like doing anything, and I felt like a useless human being. Now, besides the gratitude I feel for waking up each day, I tell myself how lucky I am to be able to see, to hear, and to walk without help.

2.  Time.  Most of us feel we never have enough time to accomplish the things on our To Do list, let alone our Want to Do list. We may juggle a day job, family obligations, and if we’re writers, struggle to eke out a little time for our craft. We’re expected to multi-task, always be available and responsive, and keep all the balls in the air, and that causes stress. And stress, in my opinion, is the single most powerful deterrent to happiness.

3.  Money. Of course it’s essential. Money alone can’t buy happiness but it’s hard to be happy when you’re always worried about making ends meet. Worry causes stress. Stress makes us unhappy. But how much money do we need to be happy? As Curly might say, that depends. Some people can be happy living in a shack by the river and fishing for their daily food. Others can’t be happy, or think they can’t be, unless they drive a BMW and own a vacation home and a yacht. We’d all like to have more money, but to be happy, you may not need as much as you think. Here’s my formula: You need enough money to pay the bills to maintain your current lifestyle, with a little bit left over for an occasional night out, vacation, or that too-expensive hot pink sweater you’ve been dying to purchase.

4.  Love. We all need someone with whom to share our hopes and disappointments, someone who has our back, someone who cares if we wake up in the morning. That person doesn’t necessarily have to be a spouse or a lover. It can be a close family member, or a best friend. Or a whole family circle and several good friends. Loving and being loved is what makes us human.

So what’s your happiness quotient? Give yourself one point for good health, and a point each if you feel you are managing well with your time and money. Add two points for love. Because without love in our lives, having health, time, even wealth doesn’t mean much.

And this awkward segue leads into a shameless plug for my new four-book romance series. The Unforgettable Nights books are about four friends who meet for lunch every Tuesday. Each has a one night stand that changes her life. And the first book in the series, One Night with a Stranger, is FREE.

They’re single.
Living in L.A.
And not nearly as edgy as they’d like to think.

One Night with a Stranger  (Free)
On the rebound from a bad breakup with Mr. Wrong, Lisa Randall does something she’s never done before:  has a one night stand with a stranger she meets in a bar. As amazing as the night is, the last thing she expects is to hear from the guy again. But when one night turns into two, and then three, and then more, Lisa wonders whether her infatuation with Matt is keeping her from meeting Mr. Right, or whether a passionate one night stand can actually lead to true love.

Matt Owens has always considered himself the King of Jumping into Things Too Fast. He met his ex on a Tuesday, proposed on Saturday, and married her a month later.  This time around he wants to take things slow, enjoy the moment. And the attractive woman he picked up in a bar seems to fit the bill. Lisa doesn’t even want to know his last name, let alone plan a future.  But as he begins to develop feelings for her, he knows his one big secret could ruin any chance for something more.

One Night with a Stranger Download available for Free at: 
Amazon   Barnes and Noble     Apple     and other e-book vendors.

Also available now for purchase or pre-order:
One Night with a Fantasy

                   One Night with an Obsession  
One Night with the Best Man

If you’re still with me after my sales pitch, I’ll reveal my own Happiness Quotient: 4.5.  I’m in reasonably good health (.5).  I’m retired and have enough time to do the things I want and enough money to do them. And I’m blessed with a loving mate, two wonderful daughters, a granddaughter who always makes me smile, and loyal, supportive friends.
I wish everyone a HAPPY holiday celebrating the love of family and friends.


Cathy McElhaney said...

3...a .5 for health and time, each...a 2 on the love (although that number could be higher, with all the love I feel around me!), but a 0 on the money right now. We have lost a huge chunk of income over the past year and my 2 heart attacks have added much more debt. I am currently looking for a part time job that will allow me to be at home with the grand kids in the evenings. My husband and I are raising the 4 of them. Stress is the reason for both heart attacks. I am doing well now and the doctor said my heart should be back to 100% capacity, so I was 1 lucky heart attack victim! I will finish out cardiac rehab at the end of the month and hopefully stop procrastinating on my writing!
I will be downloading your book just as soon as I get my Kindle off the charger!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Happy new book, Linda!

Unknown said...

So Sorry to hear about your troubles, Cathy. You sound like you're keeping a positive attitude and that's the only antidote for stress that I know of that's within our power. Good luck on your rehab and I hope things go better for you soon

Unknown said...

Thanks, Vicki. The first book, One Night with a Stranger (FREE) is #33 now on Amazon Women's Fiction/Romance

Kathy Ivan said...

Congratulations on the new releases, Linda. And you are right, we sometimes don't think about or take for granted the things we have have. Whether they are big or small, they all impact our lives in ways that make us who we are and for which I say a prayerful thank you every single day. While I might not have all the things I want, I am blessed with the things I have. Great post!

Sylvia said...

Congratulations Linda on releasing so many books at once. Glad to see they're doing well. My happiness quotient is actually very high. I'm lucky to be doing a job I love (most days!), I'm healthy and I have a wonderful husband who takes care of me. All in all I'm blessed. I could use more time and the money...well some years are better than others. Next year is going to be a great money year.

Liese said...

Congrats on the new releases!

I would say I've got 4 out of 5. I NEVER seem to have enough time. All the others, I have in abundance.

Wishing all the princesses a happy (5 out of 5) NEW YEAR!

chris keniston said...

Funny I consider myself healthy even though I have to watch my diet because of temporary teeth issues and stress. But it never occurred to me not to say healthy. I find time is something I make or don't make. I truly have control over it. Money can be a problem sometimes I have it sometimes I don't LOL. Love I have but I value friendship just as highly often more. My friends will call me and say Frank Sinatra is on TV tonight my family may not be so thoughtful :) And yes I'm happier after watching frank.

For me the key to happiness is a lot like a Spanish toast: LOve, Health, and Wealth. If you have the love of friends and family - then you are truly blessed. If you have good health then life will be much easier. If you have wealth you can delegate everything else !

I'd probably give myself a 4.0

Unknown said...

Good point, Kathy. Isn't it interesting that when we stop whining about what we lack and focus on what we actually have, our lives seem so much happier?

I also find it interesting that though we all might focus more on money, for most of us, like Liese, time is the element that is always in shortest supply.

Sylvia, love your positive attitude. Unlucky in gambling, lucky in....?

Chris, I also value friendships. I love my family but let's face it, those are the people who Have to love you. Your friends are there for you because they choose to be. And I consider myself blessed to have several great gal pals in my life.

Jillian Burns said...

i give myself 3 points. No points for time or money, but I got health and love, so I guess I'm doing ok. Great post!

Unknown said...

Love this post, Linda, Just wish it didn't involve MATH!!! ;)

But I think you've given us plenty to think about! My own area that needs improvement is time: I worry that I am not spending enough of it on writing, because I have made more time in my life available to my family, for their enjoyment/stress relief as well as for mine! :) And I would include family and friends in the love department. Friendship and encouragement are such wonderful and necessary things in this publishing game.

Thanks for a wonderfully thought-provoking post. Cheers!

Unknown said...

Thank you all for stopping by and sharing your blessings.