Yentily – Happiness and Money

I recently met an engineer who argued as to why it is futile for us to chase our aspirations. His logic?
Just as we achieve one desire, another springs up. And to satisfy newer aspirations, we should work harder to accumulate more money.
But money cannot bring happiness because our desires are endless. Philosophical as it sounds, this argument seemed worth a discussion. So, is it true that more money cannot necessarily bring more happiness?
You need money to satisfy your basic requirements such as house, car and modern-day needs including vacation and electronic gadgets.
And once you have satisfied such desires, your happiness may not increase proportionately as your wealth increases.
Being ‘new rich’
If you accumulate enough wealth, it is highly likely that you will begin to associate yourself with richer people. And being the ‘new rich’, you might not possess the same luxury products as they do. You may have had the costliest car in your previous locality.
But now that you have moved to an upscale neighbourhood, even your new luxury car may not compare well with your neighbours’ because all of them have bigger cars.
So, even though you upgraded your car, your happiness did not increase; in fact, your happiness could reduce if you continually compare yourself with your new neighbours.
So, can you spend your money better to improve happiness? It turns out that we are bad at using money to buy goods that will make us happy.
Happiness is not easily measurable. Money, however, is. Therefore, we believe, perhaps wrongly, that accumulating more wealth will bring us more happiness.
Luxury goods
That is, money can buy us more luxury goods, which in turn could bring us more happiness. The problem is that the novelty of a luxury product wears off after a while; your diamond-studded hand-made watch becomes just another collectible after a while!
This brings us back to the question: Can money buy happiness? If psychologists are to be believed, we are, perhaps, asking the wrong question.
Money could, perhaps, buy happiness if we know what will make us happy. If not, we may simply acquire luxury products in the hope that our possessions will bring us long-lasting happiness.

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