Harvard psychologist: The toxic money mindset that even millionaires have—and how to break out of it
I’ve surveyed thousands of adults around the world — from the financially affluent to the middle-class to the poor — about two very simple, universally valuable resources: Time and money.
Unsurprisingly, most people focus too much on working and making money, and not enough on having more time. But shifting your mindset to prioritize time over money can have several benefits.
Studies show that those with a time-centric mindset have:
- Higher levels of happiness: People gain half as much happiness from valuing time more than money as they would from being married. This boost holds across demographics: It’s not explained by how much they make, their educational background, the number of kids they have or their marital status.
- Better social connections: Focusing on time encourages us to put our social relationships first. Even fleeting social interactions (e.g., chatting with that person you always see on the bus) can play a significant role in reducing time stress and increasing happiness.
- Healthier relationships: Time-focused people have happier spouses than money-focused people. For example, couples who spend money on time-saving services (e.g., paying for a house cleaner) to have more quality time together derive more happiness from their relationships.
- Greater job satisfaction: People who value time work the same number of hours as people who value money. Ironically, they also often make more income than those who worship money, because they’re more likely to pursue careers they love. In turn, they are less stressed, more productive and creative, and less likely to quit.