Does money buy happiness?

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I bet you did not know, that Americans spend about $750 million a year on self help books, as well as a whopping $1 billion a year on motivational speakers, all in hopes to boost happiness levels. You would think that with how much money we sink into this cause, Americans would be the happiest, and most positive humans on the face of this earth. However, there is still a large portion of our society that chooses to create excuses which block their journey to complete happiness. Some common sayings that people have come up with are "people on the West Coast are the happiest, because of the warm climate", "happiness declines with age", "if I was rich, I'd be ten times more happy" or "I haven't had the opportunity to have a job like that, where I am able to travel to Europe". It seems to me, that with these excuses, people are trying to make it seem like they have a disadvantage compared to others when it comes to happiness. In my opinion, happiness is available to everyone no matter where you live, how much money you have, how old you are, or what experiences you have partaken in, in your lifetime. Being happy is a state of mind that you, and only you are in control of.



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No matter how wealthy someone is, there will always be something for them to complain about because life is and never will be perfect for anyone. As humans I almost think we love complaining and having self-pity. Now I'm not saying that money doesn't buy happiness, but what I am saying is it won't buy you 100% happiness. I just can't understand why we spend so much money on motivational speakers. I personally believe that motivational speakers will make someone happy over a short-term, but in the long term I don't think they are that inspiring.

This is such a great point and I think it is noticeable with any amount of money that people are hardly ever happy. I feel that people with an average amount of money seem to be the happiest. People with too much money just seem to be greedy and want more and people that are less fortunate seem to struggle with normal life circumstances which would obviously make anyone upset. I agree when you say that happiness is available anywhere and to everyone and people should really just make the best out of their situation even though I too am guilty of complaining about my own situation.

I agree with your post 100%. People can almost always find happiness in something they do. For example we are in college that is a privileged and we should all have at least that to look to. Seeing those numbers on how much money we spend was absurd to see. There are so many people out there that look for something to pity about which is quite sad because there problems dont even compare to people who suffer everyday in 3rd world countries. The richest people are rarely the happiest. The happiest people are the ones who dont take things for granted and appreciate what they have. The people who are always wanting more will never be able to find happiness.

While I mostly agree with you, I would say that money does play a role, albeit a small one, when it comes to finding happiness. I mean, if you were homeless and had to beg others for food, and had no where to take a shower or wash your clothes, you may have a harder time finding happiness than someone who is of means. That being said, I think there is a point where money stops influencing our happiness. When someone has enough disposable income to live a comfortable lifestyle, I think money just doesn't have an effect on how happy or unhappy that person is. From then on, it's the relationships that someone possesses and the meaning a person gives their life that really matters.

For the most part I agree with your post, as another commenter said, money does have a small effect on your happiness if you cannot afford to feed and house yourself and your family, but I will agree that after a certain point of income, it doesn't effect your happiness. Happiness may be under our own control most of the time but I would argue that some people have chemical deficiencies or abundances in the brain which they have no control over which can cause depression, and in that case happiness is really not up to you, or your outlook when you are depressed because of chemicals in your brain.

I would agree with your post, money does not buy happiness. I grew up in a middle class suburb, and the extent of ones happiness had no correlation to their happiness. There were some kids who were lucky enough to go on many trips across the world, or go to many different concerts, but that did not make them the happiest people in school. It seemed to be those same kids who always wanted more, leading them to never be satisfied, hindering their happiness. On the other hand, I knew kids who had never left the Midwest, and they were some of the most joyful people you could ever meet. They did not have the money to travel, rather they spent time with their family and friends. I believe it was those close connections that lead to their happiness.

One interesting aspect to analyze about money "buying" happiness is lottery winners. I know that I have read it about a hundred times that a seemingly high percentage of lottery winners end up either depressed or bankrupt. This would certainly provide evidence to the claim that money cannot buy happiness.

I agree that anybody can be happy, however, it takes some effort to be happy. There are many different ways of looking at peoples' basic needs. Maslow's hierarchy of needs comes most quickly to mind. They have to go through a process to be able to be happy, and until they are there, they can't be truly happy. So yes, you are in control of your happiness, but you must work to get there.

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This page contains a single entry by dirke008 published on April 1, 2012 2:55 PM.

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