According to a latest survey that involved more than 200,000 youngsters across 279 colleges, ‘being well-heeled’ is the most important aim in their lives. Why do you think these youngsters want to earn so much money? The ultimate aim of our lives is to lead a happy life. Isn’t it? So what role does money play in achieving ultimate happiness?
To understand this concept more clearly, we asked an accomplished realtor, who has a flourishing business, about how happy he is in his life. The realtor owns a holiday home, two top of the line sports cars, and even a yacht. He told us that initially everything was fine. He and his wife were really happy in the beginning, enjoying all the glory his position has brought, but from the last few years their happiness has started to diminish. He admits that keeping himself motivated became more and more difficult with time.
Is Being Rich = Being Happy?
Studies have shown that even though money can bring an enormous amount of well being in your life, there isn’t any direct link between the two. If your basic necessities are being fulfilled comfortably, you can lead a happy life. Of course, with money you can acquire many luxuries and pleasures of life. Not only your status rises on the social front, but you get better opportunities to showcase your talent, and also you feel more secure and independent as a person. But if you are assuming that all these things automatically lead you to happiness, you are wrong.
According to various researches, the impact of ‘being well-off’ on the everyday life of a person can be pretty negative. In a study published in the year 2010, wealthy people were generally found to be much less satisfied and happy as compared to those who were still struggling to acquire the tag of a ‘rich guy’. The day-to-day life of a wealthy individual is full of stress, anger, and anticipation. Because of this, there is hardly any space for emotions like joy, satisfaction, and affection in their lives.
Nothing Is Enough?
You must be thinking, how is this possible? When you achieve a better financial position in life, you are bound to become happier. In order to solve this puzzle, you need to understand the concept of ‘hedonic adaptation’ which roughly means getting used to a better lifestyle quickly and readily. For example, when your salary increases, you feel happy for a couple of months, but after that you get so used to it that you don’t even notice in which way your life changed after the raise.
The truth is that it’s our experiences that make us happy. Materialistic things give us pleasure, but that pleasure stays with us for a very short duration of time, while experiences are etched in our memories for a very long duration of time. Our experiences generate more powerful and memorable emotions as compared to our materialistic possessions.
Make Happiness Your Ultimate Goal
The best way to generate happiness with money is by utilizing that money for accomplishing need-satisfying goals. In other words, you need to utilize your money to accomplish goals like developing your personality, decision making power, and abilities to garner better interpersonal relations. For example, learn a new sport, celebrate a friend’s birthday, take someone who is less fortunate to a fancy dinner party, or travel to new places in order to experience new cultures and lifestyles. Accomplishments like these will garner emotions of satisfaction, compassion, and joy; all of which will lead you to your ultimate goal – happiness.
Another strategy you can adopt in order to buy happiness is by spending money on other people’s causes. You can do that by making donations every now and then or by sharing your fortune with less fortunate ones. The key to buy happiness with money depends on how you are planning to spend it, instead of devising plans on how you’ll earn more and more without knowing what to do with it!