London - Bachelors take note. When it comes to success, it seems the secret is not wealth or fame but that little ring on your finger.
Married people are more likely to feel successful than those who are merely in a relationship, a survey has found.
This may be because many of us feel that success is not simply about money, said the researchers. Instead, it is about achieving what we want in life, from strong friendships to good health.
The news may make interesting reading for well-known bachelors such as George Clooney. The Hollywood heart-throb – who was wed to actress Talia Balsam between 1989 and 1993 – has said he is happy not be married because he “wasn’t very good at it”.
Clooney, 52 – who recently split from model Stacy Keibler and has a long-standing bet with actress Michelle Pfeiffer that he will never get married – has also told how he is in no hurry to start a family, asking: “Should I go, ‘I got to get me some kids right now!’ and rush out and impregnate someone?”
About 2 000 adults were polled in the survey by energy giant GE. It found that overall, 52 percent were either happy or very happy with their personal levels of success.
However, 60 percent of those who were married or in a civil partnership considered themselves successful. This fell to 52 percent of those merely living together, suggesting that marriage is seen as an achievement in itself. Being married was not the only factor boosting our feelings of personal fulfilment, however.
The poll found we also tend to perceive ourselves as more successful as we get older – perhaps because we can look back on all that we have achieved. It showed that the happiest people in Britain are those with the best balance between work and personal life.
The poll looked at four ingredients of a balanced life: Being good at something, having networks of friends and family, good health and community interests such as politics or charity. Overall, health was considered the most important factor. But younger people considered socialising more important.
GE commissioned the study to launch an educational programme for schools called Build My Future. Mark Elborne, its chief executive in the UK, said: “Success is not just about fame and fortune. It is about achieving what you set out to achieve.
“Having family, security, skills that make you stand out or a good network of friends, family and workmates are seen by individuals as the measure of personal success.” - Daily Mail