Someone in life—Dad? Mom? Santa?—once told you that your character is more important than your bank account. But as life goes on, just about everything seems to point the other way. Who wants to be the honest, kind, loving person with a studio apartment at age 40, a $20 haircut and a 10-year-old dented hatchback? Well...as it turns out, a lot of people. In a recent study at the University of California, Berkeley, researchers found that overall happiness isn't related to how much money you have
but how much respect and admiration you have from the your closest friends, co-workers and family. Respect, of course, usually comes from doing the difficult, life-changing things, like helping out an elderly parent instead of buying a new car.