How do Happiness & Money go together?

Money, money, money… it’s a simple, yet contentious reserve of value. How has it come to be so important? Money is an agreement, a form of self-fulfilling trust. It is a measure – how valuable is our behavior on the planet? Sometimes we are granted with money, with a smile, or with a punch in the face. The attempt is huge and heroic: to strive to evaluate every skill and vocation, without letting anyone upset. I like that we try to estimate what we considered to be immeasurable. Once upon a time, consultancy was an occasional chat with a friend. Nowadays, it’s an industry.

 

If your target in money spending is happiness, scientific research shows that experiences have to be chosen over things. When eventually buying stuff, it is useful to think about what experience you’re going to get. I love buying books. The purchase makes me happy already. When the pack is delivered to my door, I’m so excited I can’t wait but break it open. And the best is usually yet to come. Books inspire, books connect, books relieve. It’s not an ode, just an example of how objects could be valuable to us, thus a beautiful experience to buy.

 

I believe that every of us, the so called “market”, has already understood that. Stuff pricing falls, while service’s mostly arises. Services become more valuable when provide us with exciting, better experiences. Objects do the same, but the technology razor kills the costs by exponential ratios. Scientific research suggests experience has a major impact on happiness due to experience-related positive peaks, that we are likely to remember. That might be the explanation to another, seemingly dual research statement:

“Money is related with self-oriented actions. Happiness is mostly developed within relationships.”

Experiences are usually shared, while buying is mostly a solo act. When money is spent on objects and experiences that enhance our connections, happiness comes in.

 

Pay now, consume later.

It is a little counterintuitive, still research-based piece of advice. Credit cards are an example of attractive tools that allow us to delay pain (yes – spending activates neural areas witch are related physical suffering). But the payoff is eventually to get into even more pain (debt shows to be the most stressful issue overall). What about doing the opposite? To buy in advance is fruitful – you get a free excitement while waiting for the purchase, and once the time has come, you might have even forgotten and you kinda get a self-given gift!

 

Bottom line: turn the focus on earning more into changing the way of spending what you’ve already got.


All of the above was mainly inspired by the episode #50 of the fantastic You Are Not So Smart Podcast. Check it out!

Exploring the dimension of giving

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.

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I feel the need to focus on something valuable to do. What is the contribution I want to give to the world?

Yesterday evening, while I was going through the latest Anthony Robbin’s book, I realized that relationships grow through giving. The focus was specific on money, and I felt quite ashamed. I am not willing to give money away (I don’t feel I have them, btw), have been conditioned by painful past experiences. I gave money away to people that were not thankful, and I lost the good taste of giving. It all comes to the understanding of seeing what others actually need, and try to provide them the best, which usually is not money. Generosity is not one-direction based, it is established upon the feeling that comes together with the giving act.

Simone Weil saw attention as the highest form of love. I have plenty of time, I’m so lucky to be able to choose where to focus it. I would start from here!

I believe that true action comes out of inspiration. I want to influence people around me, for the better. Right now, inspiration I mostly get comes from different authors, and I feel incomplete and unworthy just to share their thoughts by clicking a button on my FB account. I want to be inspired to produce something on my own, without feeling ashamed of not being the original author – not yet! – because ideas have no owners, just great channels to be spread through. And let everything else happen.