Is it possible to buy happiness? Most of us will immediately answer no, but without really believing it. Deep down, we all wish we had more money to spend. We wish we had a cool sports car like our next door neighbor—or a bigger house to compete with the Joneses. There are so many things we wish were a part of our lives.
And yet … when you do manage to buy things, how long does your excitement last? Before long, you find yourself dreaming of a bigger house, or a sleeker sports car, or a more powerful computer or gaming console. The things we thought were the secret to happiness turn out to be just “things” after all.
[pullquote]We have all heard the saying that the “grass is always greener on the other side.” Maybe that is true, but it does not mean that the secret to happiness is out of our reach.[/pullquote]
In fact, science shows that the real secret to happiness may be to let go of our urge to acquire more and more possessions. Instead, we should focus on buying experiences: vacations, concerts, events, and so on.
This may seem counterintuitive. Experiences are fleeting, after all. They end quickly. How can something that is over in a moment or a day be the secret to happiness?
Nonetheless, studies show that this is the secret to happiness. Not only that, but we tend to underestimate how long that happiness remains in effect.
Long before an actual experience (like a vacation or a concert) takes place, we anticipate it, and this feeds into our happiness. And long after it is over, we recollect it fondly as a high point in our lives, and that also adds to our overall joy in life.
This makes sense when you think about it. We tend to live in the future and the past as much as the present. No wonder the secret to happiness might only occupy a moment in time.
Of course, the secret to happiness may not seem all that affordable, and that is the downside. But there are things you can do to reduce the costs, including signing up for a travel rewards program which helps you save on airfare and hotels.
If you are really dedicated to applying the secret to happiness to your life, you will probably find there are areas where you can cut back on other costs to pay for new experiences. Skip upgrading your cell phone and go skydiving instead. Take a trip instead of putting on that addition to your house that you don’t really need.
Want to learn more about why buying experiences instead of possessions is the secret to happiness? Check out this infographic from InvestmentZen.
Is It Possible To Buy Happiness?
Click Infographic To Enlarge