Friday, August 13, 2010


What makes a person truly happy?

I have been reading the most fascinating article.

We've all heard that money can't buy happiness. Obviously. We may think, "but money may buy me things that make me happy." Not so.

There is, however, an exception to this rule. The research in this article indicates that the only happiness money can actually buy is in an experience. Vacations are better than a new couch.
Think back on shopping as a younger person - you saved, you anticipated, the whole thing became an adventure that made your purchase seem to provide happiness. But it wasn't the thing, it was the resulting experience(s). As I've become an adult and purchased more and more things for myself, I've seen a noticeable difference in the "rush" I get from a purchase. I remember how I used to scrimp and save to buy myself two Disney DVDs for my birthday and how I ran home to watch them with my roommates and basked in the glow of my new treasures. Now? I own over 500 DVDs and the feeling just isn't the same. Purchasing is like a drug - the more you do it, the less impact each purchase has. And let's face it - I don't remember most of what goes on in those movies, but I remember who was watching with me and what we talked or did before and after.

One filmmaker, Roko Belic, has been making a documentary on what makes people happy and he said, "The one single trait that is common among every single person who is happy is strong relationships." I truly can't think of anything that makes me happier than relationships with loved ones (yes, including kitty). People are also quite likely to compare their possessions with another to try to "one up", but less likely to compare the joy of an experience for a "one up" because we are unique and different things make us happy.

What makes you happiest?

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