The happy medium – wealth and happiness

The happy medium – wealth and happiness

In today's SMH and the Age there's an interesting article about the link between happiness and money; and I'm quoted in it!

Here's the bit in which I'm involved…

Myths about wealth

The founder of Sydney-based The Happiness Institute, Dr Tim Sharp, says there is nothing wrong with working hard or making money; it is just crucial that people step back and reflect on what they are doing rather than getting lost in a cultural belief that working harder will bring you more money, which will bring you more happiness.

''One of the greatest myths in our society is that happiness will come from more possessions, bigger houses, faster cars, just more stuff,'' Sharp says. ''And that comes from and is propagated and reinforced one thousand times every day by advertising and marketing. That's what those industries are built on: encouraging people to buy more.

''I'm not saying that's bad but I'm encouraging people to stop and think … working long hours itself and making money is not a bad thing but if happiness is your ultimate outcome measure then there are better things you can focus your time on than revenue generation. The issue becomes: we've only got so many minutes in the day; every extra hour I spend at work I'm not spending time on other things. The greatest joys are time in nature, time with family and close friends and enjoying things in life like food and exercise.''

The problems arise when people blunder through life blindly and do what they think they should do, Sharp says. ''Maybe a BMW will make me a little bit happier for a bit of time but how much happier will it make me if I spend more time with my wife or see my friends more? We forget about those things and that's problematic. How much are you going to get to enjoy it if you're in the office 70 hours a week or if you're in hospital because you haven't spent time on health and well-being.''

The way you meter out your spending can also affect your happiness, Sharp says. ''One of the related myths is that people can buy happiness through big purchases: a big holiday, a big house,'' he says. ''What the research suggests is if we are going to try and buy happiness, then more frequent, smaller purchases tend to make us happier than bigger ones.''

You can read the full and original article HERE

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