Posted on: April 13, 2015 at 3:40 pm
Last updated: September 20, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Money is fleeting – it comes and it goes. Happiness shouldn’t be.

We have so much that we need to spend our money on: bills, rent, groceries, and stuff. And it’s the stuff that gets us.

Focus On Happiness

When focus on “buying happiness” we focus on the stuff that will last the longest. A new car lasts longer than a concert. A new iPhone will make us happier for a longer period of time than an art show. Or going to a museum. But will it really?


“One of the Enemies of Happiness is Adaptation”

We adapt. We get “used to” stuff. When you buy that new phone, you’ll be happy in the moment, and probably for the first couple of months you look at it. But then you’ll get used to it. The novelty wears off.

“Our experiences are a bigger part of us than our material goods.”

Dr. Thomas Gilovich, professor of psychology at Cornell University, suggests. He goes on to say that regardless of how attached we are to our material goods, we will always be separate from them. They are what they are – objects – and we are what we are – humans.

The Sum of Our Experiences

You are only you because of what you’ve seen, done, and (I’ll admit it) own. But what you own makes up your Perceived-Self, the you that you want everyone else to see you as. Your opinions and beliefs actually come from your experiences, and these experiences are never inanimate objects.

Even negatives experiences can affect our positivity. Research shows that after talking about experiences (negative or positive) we feel more positive about them. It is much harder to compare experiences than to compare things.


“How many carats is YOUR ring?”

“How much was YOUR phone?”

The answers to those questions are quantitative. There’s a direct answer to both questions. But what about, “How much fun did you have?” or “What was your favorite part?”

These questions are qualitative. They’re looking for your opinion. They want you to think about and remember your experience. The answers to these questions are uniquely yours.


Collect Experiences, Not Things

Things come and go. You can’t bring every couch or TV you buy with you when you move. Phones drop and break. Shoes get ruined and replaced on the regular, spending more and more each time. But we can’t break experiences. We don’t run out of memory.

When we get out and do things, we’re buying our own happiness, at prices we set. Yes, concerts and events are expensive, but if you find something memorable, something you love, it will last a lifetime

And happiness will come with it.


The Hearty Soul
Health Network
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