Photo: Aatik Tasneem
A new study of 5,000 American men found that the #1 factor that makes men happy is being satisfied at work – ranking far above health and income.
The study was sponsored by the men’s grooming company, Harry’s, in partnership with Dr. John Barry of University College London, with the aim of identifying the “values and priorities” of American men, as well as the contributors to their emotional, physical and mental health, and general wellbeing – in short, their happiness. The men ranged from 18-95 and lived all over the country.
The values American men most desire, the study says in its introduction, are those of “everyday heroes: “fathers, father figures, respectful co-workers, mentors. There are hardworking, loving, friendly men with a conscience … ” These gentle, Christ-like values, combined with the existence of a conscience, it is explained, is “great news for the men, women, and children in America.”
But really, it’s good for jobs, and vice-versa. Onto the data.
The strongest indicator of a “positive mindset” in men is being satisfied with their work – it’s three times higher than the next-strongest indicator
The “positive mindset index” used in the study included feeling more “optimistic, happy, motivated, emotionally stable, confident, with a sense of control.” Therefore, the more fulfillment at work that men felt, the more they felt those emotions.
94% of men with the highest job satisfaction rating had normal or better levels of mental positivity compared to 49% who gave the lowest rating for job satisfaction.
After work gratification, the things next-strongest indicators of a positive mindset were:
- their health
- age – men get happier as they get older
- being married
- sports and leisure
The top event that made this group of men satisfied at work wasn’t income – it was making a difference: Engagement matters.
Pop quiz: Who’s the happiest man in America? According to the study, it’s married men over 50 who have found fulfillment in their job, have a good income, and take care of their health. But if you’re a man and you can only pick one, strive for happiness in your job – that’ll get you most of the way there.