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  • Writer's picturePeter

The Price of Happiness

Updated: Jun 4

Rusty Markets Cairns
Rusty's Market Cairns

The Weekend is upon us and this means “the markets are coming!”

Tropical Fruit. Mango’s Lychee’s, Custard Apple’s, Coconut’s, Dragon Fruit, Jack Fruit and much, much, more. The second best part about the markets is interacting with the stall owners and growers.

Since moving up to Cairns I better appreciate the quality of interaction is of greater value than the transaction itself.

The revelation? Lower costs, greater opportunities, better relationships, less stress, increased profits and an improved quality of life.

The price of happiness? Convenience is good, however relationships are better. Comparing the pair/pear :)

Before moving to Cairns I would drive my car to the shopping centre. Shop in a sterile feeling supermarket. Select my fruit and vegetables from a pre-selected limited range of choices (most probably assessed by a MBA hired by the supermarket for most popular- to maximise their profits) i.e. apples, bananas, oranges, and strawberries, all conveniently pre packed for convenience.

During this experience I didn’t often talk with anyone except for asking them to move out of the way, or be asked to move aside. My bill often was in excess of $50 for the week (just for fruit and veg), and require at least 2 ½ hrs of my time in addition to frustration and decreased quality of life.

Today I go to the market either walking or I ride my bike. The markets are open air and each stall has their own personality and speciality.

I go to Banana Joe’s stall (as I like to call him- he has a long white beard and digger’s hat) for my bananas. Talking with him he always throws in a couple of extra bananas for me.

Then I go to Mariko and Paul’s stall for my Pawpaw, sweet potato and capsicums. I then meander around other stalls chatting, tasting the various produce and buying what I need and is in season, often these are mangos, avocados, lychees etc..

These days I often have change from $30 and I’m done shopping in less than an hour. The experience is so great I actually look forward to shopping each week!

Casting this appreciate wider I am now beginning to see the lure of convenience may in fact have been impeding my happiness and the happiness of many of us. Think Social Media, Television, Easy Meals,

Online Shopping, Streaming Movies etc. and the impact it is having increasing or decreasing our quality of life in the pursuit of our happiness.

Today in this busy world, I’m still an advocate for convenience however I am becoming better at identify the activities that add to my happiness rather than diminish it.

Here are some tips I apply to my own life:

  • Automate activities to save time and fill this time doing activities you receive a direct benefit from i.e. exercise, prayer & mediation, relationship building and new experiences.

  • Invest support and be involved in local community.

  • Physically invest time in relationships.

  • Satisfaction occurs on three levels. Having a good life. Having a good day and having an increase of our endorphins.

  • Listen more and ask great questions i.e. let others do 90% of the talking

  • Eat before shopping.

  • Exercise more and be more engaged with nature. Mountain bike, nature walks, snorkelling, etc.

  • Live your values.

This post was written by Me, as such they are my personal views and not financial or general advice.

You should always seek independent financial advice when it comes to choices about your personal finances. This is one area of your life where it’s worth paying for it to be done right.

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