The Washington Post has a great story on how money really can’t buy happiness.
A wealth of data in recent decades has shown that once personal wealth exceeds about $12,000 a year, more money produces virtually no increase in life satisfaction. From 1958 to 1987, for example, income in Japan grew fivefold, but researchers could find no corresponding increase in happiness.
The journal Science reported last week yet more evidence and another theory about why wealth does not make people happy: “The belief that high income is associated with good mood is widespread but mostly illusory,” one of its studies concluded. “People with above-average income . . . are barely happier than others in moment-to-moment experience, tend to be more tense, and do not spend more time in particularly enjoyable activities.”
The only good reason I can think of for trying to make lots of money is to give it to charity, the way Warren Buffet has.
I’ve always believed this, and I’m glad that I’ve now got more proof for it. I think true happiness isn’t from money but from having great friends, a stable family life, good health, and the satisfaction of working hard on things that are meaningful to you.
This article is even more important in the face of growing consumption hurting the planet, outlined in One With Nineveh. People with higher incomes are almost always consuming more than those with less. Why try to make more money to consume more if it’s not going to make you happy or help the planet?
Save the world by: focuysing less on making money and more on doing things you enjoy.