Over half the respondents in the American Express LifeTwist Study aspired to be wealthy, but only about a third felt that their bank account balance is a key factor in measuring success in life.
When it comes to spending money, the majority of respondents said they would rather pay for experiences like travel or family activities than for material possessions, according to the survey whichasked2,184 adults how they define success, what their priorities are, and what experiences are on their bucket lists – things they want to do before they die.
Keys to success
Amassing wealth only ranked number 20 on a list of 22 aspects of a successful life, with 33% of respondents noting it was key. Number one on the list though was good health, with85% of people saying that was a vital component. The top ten keys to success (more than one answer was allowed) are:
- Good health – 85%
- Making time for important things – 83%
- Happy relationships – 81%
- Spending money well – 81%
- Work/life balance – 79%
- Job satisfaction – 75%
- Pursuing passions – 69%
- Physical fitness – 66%
- Learning new things – 65%
- Embracing change – 65%
Experiences, not possessions
When asked whether they would choose to spend their money on material things or experiences such as travel, education, or family trips, 72% said that experiences trumped material goods.
Although 57% of people polled did say they wanted to be rich, the pursuit of wealth was not an overriding factor in their life goals and plans. As for what things are on their bucket lists, travel was at the top. The priorities were:
- Traveling – 88%
- Having kids – 76%
- Pursuing passions – 75%
- Volunteering for a cause – 70%
Open to change
Most folks are ready to greet life’s twists and turns with open arms, according to this survey. Fully 95% of people said that the road to success is filled with detours, and 83% consider themselves a work in progress.
As far as trying new things is concerned, 58% indicated that the past five years have opened their minds to new ways of thinking. The reason? More than half (55%) said they know themselves better now and know what they will find fulfilling, while 43% simply expressed a desire for more variety in life.