Fed Chief Tells Graduates: “Don’t Go for the Gold, Be Happy” [Repost]

By Jeannine Aversa, AP Economics Writer

WASHINGTON — Your parents were right. Money can’t buy you happiness.

That was the message from the Federal Reserve chairman Saturday to graduates of the University of South Carolina.

“We all know that getting a better-paying job is one of the main reasons to go to college. … But if you are ever tempted to go into a field or take a job only because the pay is high and for no other reason, be careful!” Ben Bernanke said in his commencement address.

“Having a larger income is exciting at first, but as you get used to your new standard of living and as you associate with other people in your new income bracket, the thrill quickly wears off,” he said.

The Fed released his prepared remarks before he delivered the speech.

Studies found that just six months after winning a large lottery prize — even in the million of dollars — people reported being not much happier than they were before winning, Bernanke said.

Bernanke’s advice blended what economics and social science have to say about personal happiness.

When you boil down all the studies and fancy formulas, it sounds a lot like what your parents told you.

Other findings: Happy people tend to spend time with friends and family. Happy people tend to do what they love for a living or a hobby. Happy people tend to feel in control of their lives.

Happiness research is useful for policymakers, too, Bernanke said.

The Fed’s goals include promoting economic growth and employment. Richer countries tend to report higher levels of satisfaction because they tend to be healthier, have more leisure time to pursue hobbies and have more interesting work, Bernanke pointed out. Richer countries tend to have few citizens in deep poverty, he added.

Sometimes being unhappy is a good thing.

“It is possible that doing the ethical thing will make you feel, well, unhappy,” Bernanke told the graduates. “In the long run, though, it is essential for a well-balanced and satisfying life.”


Artikel di atas saya kutip dari USA Today, 9/5/2010.

Saya tersentak membacanya karena apa yang beliau katakan, adalah sama dengan apa yang selama kurang lebih sepuluh tahun saya sampaikan ke seluruh fresh graduate yang join di perusahaan tempat saya bekerja, AdIns.

Bahkan pada acara outing dalam rangka AdIns’ 10th Anniversary, saya sampai menyempatkan khusus membuat presentasi akhir dengan judul IT IS NOT ONLY MONEY.

Saya, yang sudah cukup umur di dalam bekerja, terus terang sangat khawatir dengan end-in-mind adik2 saya sekarang yang sangat focus (sebetulnya baik sekali focus ya :)) pada goal mereka, yaitu gaji setinggi-tingginya.

Padahal di dalam bekerja, banyak hal lain yang perlu ditimba, selain HANYA gaji atau employee compensation.

Hal lain yang perlu ditimba selama bekerja, tidak kurang dan tidak lebih adalah pengalaman bekerja, pengalaman berorganisasi, pengalaman mengelola orang lain, pengalaman teknis, pengalaman mengelola boss, relationship, friendship hingga pengalaman mengelola lawan jenis alias pacar :).

Tapi kalau focus hanya pada uang, uang dan uang, maka semua hal di atas akan menjadi kabur, dan yang bersangkutan akan menjadi kutu loncat dari satu perusahaan ke perusahaan lain. Yang pada akhirnya tidak akan memperoleh apa yang dia inginkan, karena nafsu manusia tidak pernah ada batasnya…..

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