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LUV and Happiness

Adventurer C
I was inspired by an article I read recently on Motley Fool by Selena Maranjian titled, Go Ahead and Buy Happiness. In it she talks about whether money can bring you happiness and references Gretchen Rubin's website with things you might do to spend money by creating an environment to make or keep you happy. Now this gets interesting. Can money buy you happiness? Some of the examples used in the article that help create happiness reminded me of the Culture that we try to keep at Southwest Airlines that maybe has become a part of me as well. These examples included: • Spending time with family--You've read in various posts in the blog how we try to create an environment of family at Southwest. The photos of people and their families that line swahallswide.jpgthe walls of our Headquarters is another example of creating a family environment. Travel also allows families to stay in touch. I appreciate this with my family and friends across the country. I've realized that once-annoying parents, siblings and cousins are fun and important to me. • Experiences rather than things --Travel, by nature, is a means that provides memorable experiences, and I have been very fortunate to use my benefits to connect with my family and friends as well as see the world and try my hand at new experiences, like surfing! Fortunately or unfortunately, I will not be leaving Southwest to pursue the surfing tour. • Exercise (OK, maybe a stretch here at Southwest)--Now that I'm a little older, my health has become more important to me, and exercise is a part of my routine. OK, and buying an iPod Shuffle has definitely made it more enjoyable. I think I'm actually enjoying running listening to my killer list of songs (Special thanks go to The Fratelli's!) on my Shuffle. • Making someone else happy--Our various Culture activities that have been written about show how rewarding it is when you do things to thank others and remember them. The Adopt-A-Pilot program, LUV Rations, and other activities I've been involved with at Southwest have definitely shown how great you feel when you do things for others. Selena talks about creating a happiness index that included Southwest Airlines and other companies that fit in with the examples above. What about buying stock in companies that fit these goals? Interesting. Why not? If you enjoy these activities, you'd consume the services or products of these companies and, hopefully, they'd be profitable. Maybe I'll create my own happiness index. It's an interesting perspective on how we view money and I think she has some very valid points. I'm happy. So what do you think? Can you buy happiness by spending money on these types of stocks/activities/things?