The Money and Happiness Equation
This article by Anneli Knight gives a great insight into the relationship between money and happiness. It is often said that money doesn’t buy happiness, and this is true to an extent. However, a certain amount of money is necessary for happiness- having enough money to live comfortably and buy food and clothing and other necessities is vital to happiness; however beyond a certain point, money loses its ability to generate happiness. It is at this point that we must look further for our happiness needs- to love, relationships and self fulfilment.
Basically, money CAN buy you happiness, but only if you use it right.
The article draws on research put forth by speakers at the recent ‘Happiness and Its Causes Conference’ held in Brisbane. Among them were behavioural psychologists, academics, scientists, Buddhist monks (including Matthieu Ricard featured previously on the Thrive Blog) and the Dalai Lama.
One of the speakers, Biswas-Diener said that people who say money doesn’t buy happiness might be spending their money on the wrong things. Research has shown that spending money on experiences or using money for philanthropic causes brings more happiness than spending money on consumer items.
Also, when it comes to earning money, people are too focused on making more rather than doing something that they enjoy. This unhealthy focus on earning potential is actually counterintuitive, as research suggests that when you shift your focus from purely earning more to other things such as relationships, exercise and a healthy diet, you are actually a more productive worker and could potentially end up making more money!
So I guess the lessons we at Thrive want you to take away from this are:
- Try to find a job you are passionate about
- Shift your focus from earning more money to the other important things in your life, such as your friends and family
- Spend your money on experiences rather than possessions
- Be more philanthropic with your time and money- donate money or volunteer for a good cause
Check out the article here: http://www.smh.com.au/money/investing/the-happy-medium-20110726-1hxin.html