Can Money Really Buy Happiness?
So many times do people set their sights and dreams on being rich, thinking it will be the answer to all of their problems in life. What’s so funny about these people is that they don’t understand that life only gets harder after you start making money. As the late and great Biggie Smalls said, more money, more problems.
Yes, money can buy happiness. But, there are two major factors that come with making money that can completely override the feelings of accomplishment and success having money can bring. The first is that when people do attain such wealth, they almost feel that nothing is good enough for them anymore because they think they have already seen the greatest things life can show them.
So what can possibly be next, alien sex? That is why so many people who are of that stature rely on drugs to make them forget they are fighting a losing battle for satisfaction.
The second issue is that people tend to spend money on things that don’t result in long term happiness. Thus, a lot of people aren’t optimizing their investments and purchases for the goal of self-sustaining security and stability.
There have been multiple studies that try to determine if we are happier if we buy more things. The studies show that people are making purchasing decisions that don’t translate into the pursuit of happiness. The problem lies within our society and our misunderstanding of what it means to be happy, fulfilled and satisfied.
What many don’t realize is that new pair of shoes or that all inclusive vacation to Puerto Rico is not what brings happiness. It is the little things that count.
The mindset of many people in our world today has been altered significantly by the perpetuated interpretation of what it means to be wealthy. The lack of knowledge that many consumers currently have in regards to what actually brings happiness is frightening in this day and age. Money can buy happiness, as proven by many studies on the subject, but the problem is that most people aren’t spending their money on things that actually translate into happiness.
Most people don’t know the basic scientific facts about happiness—about what brings it and what sustains it—so they don’t know how to use their money to acquire it. It is not surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about wine end up with cellars that aren’t that much better stocked than their neighbors’, and it should not be surprising when wealthy people who know nothing about happiness end up with lives that aren’t that much happier than anyone else’s.
In 2010, the New York Times published an article about consumption and how it relates to happiness.
In this article, a professor discussed a study that identified the number one category to be positively related to happiness. Surprisingly, the top category wasn’t cars, home improvements or even a shiny new necklace from Tiffany’s. The number one category was leisure activities: vacations, entertainment, sports and equipment used to enhance a freeing experience such as golf clubs, yoga mats or a surf board.
Thus, buying authentic memorable experiences should be our primary focus when looking to optimize our lives using a paycheck. So, if you want to spend your money on something worthwhile, think about the things you love to do and the best possible way you could do them.
Whatever would make the fun things you love to do more enjoyable and beneficial to your life is apparently what we should be spending our money on. Anything that can make the most liberating experiences even more comfortable or cathartic will add value to the time you spend doing it. Focus on what you already know your body and mind take pleasure in and make those times the best they can be with every dollar you earn.
Preston Waters | Elite.