what you dtdn t know about money and happiness
ver the past 15 years,researchers have studied the connection between money and happiness. their findings shatter many misconceptions. here are five of the most surprising results.
1. everyone needs a few luxuries to be happy.
a six-figure income affords a family many pleasures-- a more luxurious home, perhaps a trip to disneyland or a fancier car. but do such things make you happier?pleasure is not the same as happiness. pleasure is a temporary release.happiness comes from experiences in which one＇s mental and emotional energies are invested.just as happy families value pleasures that involve personal effort, so they value possessions that have personal meaning, like grandma＇s wedding ring. unhappy people,however, are more likely to prize possessions because of their cost or utility, a car that handles well or an expensive necklace.
2. happiness is a permanent vacation.
would you quit your job if you didn＇ t need the money?many americans said quitting work was an important reason to be rich. yet researchers find that work is one of life＇s chief satisfactions for people,a job, studies show, is more than a paycheck. doing something well can increase confidence and self-worth.
3. a big raise would make you happy.
if jobs are so important, wouldn＇t salary size be a gauge of job satisfaction? americans think so. a survey found that almost 70 percent of the respondents said they would be happier if their families had twice as much household income. yet studies show that job satisfaction comes less from how much people earn than from the challenge of their jobs and the control they are able to exert. work that doesn＇t engage a person will never seem rewarding, no matter how lucrative it becomes.
4. nothing comforts like cash.
in times of crisis--a debilitating illness or loss of one＇s home--money can come in pretty handy. but for all its benefits, it cannot fortify you against the inevitable pain and sadness that follow the crisis. for that, researchers say, you need close friendships. "human beings are hard-wired to be social
animals". "they＇re not built to handle things alone."
5. happiness and wealth aren＇t mutually exclusive.
it＇s possible to have both--or neither. but most believe that those who have happiness, in the long run, have more.even author oscar wilde agreed: "ordinary riches can be stolen from a man. real riches cannot. in the treasury house of your soul, there are infinitely precious things that may not
be taken from you."