Does money buy happiness?

Posted on October 26th, by Dr Rob Yeung .

I’ve been reading a book by a professor of economics at Princeton University. Based on research studies, he concludes that: “the emotional lives of the poor are not very different from those of the rich, though the poor are much less satisfied with their lives.”

The professor distinguishes between emotions and satisfction. Yes, satisfaction is affected by wealth. Wealth allows people to avoid ill health and buy material comforts. People who can see that they have more than those around them tend to feel more satisfied.

However, he notes that: “riches are no protection against anxiety, fear, and sorrow, and they are not required to experience the happiness and enjoyment of everyday life.”

To me, that’s a pretty inspiring message. That doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t aspire to achieve success and accumulate more wealth. But it does mean that wealth alone is no guarantee of happiness. Whatever our station in life, we can all do much to reduce emotions such as anger, disappointment or anxiety. And we can all look to experience more joy.

So here’s a challenge for you. Tomorrow, monitor your feelings, your emotions. And let one negative feeling go.

When you feel yourself getting worked up about something, make a conscious effort to let it go. Imagine it’s a leaf floating on a stream and see it disappear.

And try to do something that makes you feel a positive feeling – it could be something as simple as savouring a coffee, looking back at photos of a happy event or arranging to meet up with a friend.

Will you do that – for yourself?

This is the skill of resilience, although I called it Centredness in my book E is for Exceptional. You can also read further advice on Centredness if you like.

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