I’ve learnt quite a bit about happiness over the past couple of years. I’ve learnt that:
- People who apply a “tit-for-tat” attitude to life are more likely to be unemployed, have a smaller circle of friends and be less happy.
- Interestingly, humans are VERY bad at imagining what will actually make them happy in the future.
Money is surprisingly bad at making us happy. Once we escape the trap of poverty, levels of wealth have an extremely modest impact on levels of happiness, especially in developed countries. Even worse, it appears that the richest nation in history – 21st century America – is slowly getting less pleased with life.
This contradicts one of the central assumptions of modern society, which is that more money equals more pleasure. It seems that having money to buy the best things in life may actually undermine one’s ability to reap enjoyment from life’s small pleasures.
The end result, perhaps, is that people with less money are better able to enjoy what really matters, which is all the stuff money can’t buy. Read more here.