From the research and link below
- both material and experiential wealth tends to reduce people’s ability to savor simple joys and experiences.
- Many people believe that becoming rich is the path to happiness, but pursuing wealth may be an ineffective means of pursuing well-being
This is the evidence for what I said a few days ago about Appreciation and action as a currency. That was based on my experience of helping wealthy people with technology.
The report says many interesting things that having continual pleasurable experiences may decrease our ability to be happy. That too many experiences and material possessions will decrease our happiness. I have seen this with single people. They are having pleasure all the time yet they complain they are unhappy. It doesn’t make sense on the surface because you would think short-term good feelings would translate into long-term good feelings.
However when you think about it more, it makes sense. Happiness doesn’t seem to consist in doing something, but in being something. If we are always doing, how much are we just simply being? What is it to be? It is to be able to be content without being amused by other things, or needed to feel drawn to stimulation to make us happy. You see this in people with addictions. They feel that they need to do their addiction to be happy, yet their addiction only gives them temporary relaxation at best and then they feel worse. What a strange idea we have that if we only increase our addictions, we can be happy?
Why do I focus on happiness so much? I see everyday when I help people that they think that technology will make their life better. Yet the truth is that is only a tool that can be used to help as well as harm. When people use technology to further their additions, it clearly is not making them happy. It is not things in themselves that bring us happiness, but our intension to use them that makes all the difference. Are you asking yourself as a famous person once said “Are those who have that thing/activity happier for doing/having it?”. If not, perhaps we should leave that alone and find something that gives us a sense of contentment long-term, not just a momentary thrill.