Since the day we’re born we all want more. More nourishment, more comfort, more love.
More of everything.
But as long as there have been humans walking this earth there’s one thing we’ve all want more of than anything else: Happiness.
My focus on this site is all about the “happiness mindset” and how to develop and how to maintain it through the “new immunity”. But today I want to talk about one particular aspect of the debate about how happiness is achieved…
More money: Does it bring happiness or not?
I was working on this post when I came across a CNN piece written by Peter Bregman. In it he makes the point that having happiness and having money are not to be confused.
Indeed, Mr. Bregman points out that maybe, in this particular time in human history, we need to learn to be happy with less.
I can’t agree more.
After all, trying to add to our happiness by throwing money at the problem only ever works for the short term. Then it’s back to wanting… more.
Now let’s be clear here I’m not saying that money isn’t necessary. We all need money.
Our personal existence depends on having the basics of life met each and every day. And that does cost money. But when it comes to happiness, research by University of Illinois psychologist Edward Diener, a.k.a. “Dr. Happiness”, shows that additional income does little to raise our sense of satisfaction with life.
Today’s challenges are so complex and pervasive that our happiness has come under constant attack especially since job losses are at an all-time high with whole industries in peril. However despite that, the most recent Gallup Poll shows that consumers, at least in the US, are experiencing a slight easing of worry over finances (34 on the scale) within the last two weeks (down from 38).
But stats are always changing and there’s no guarantee we’ll see a lasting improvement at all.
There’s always hope though. I’ll talk about that in a post a few days from now (look for my next new post: “H.O.P.E. for the Future”).
For now there’s a funny quote from Kin Hubbard that sums up the happiness debate:
“It’s pretty hard to tell what does bring happiness. Poverty an’ wealth have both failed.”
For years he’s been a practicing cosmetic surgeon who spots an unusual trend. He can’t help but notice that, even though he performs hundreds of very successful operations, many of his patients remain depressed as if the physical improvements made to their faces had never happened. He decides to author a book and in it he describes his observations as well as his impressions about such things as self-image. He also details his thoughts about the unseen world of energy within us that he believes somehow directs the healing process.