Sunday, July 13, 2014

Money can't buy Happiness

      A lot of people think that money can buy happiness, while some believe otherwise. In a way, both arguments are correct, but the first one is valid only when we use money for the well being of others and not entirely for ourselves. Like if we are donating some money or buying some food for poor people with all our heart then it will give you true happiness. It is only possible when we truly want to help others and not when we want to showoff.

      A spate of retail therapy is said to be good for boosting your mood, but it turns out spending money doesn't always buy happiness, especially if you're materialistic. It also brings us to a point that when you depend on things to be happy then you're soon going to be bored with it and will no longer will be happy to have it or buy some more things. Let me relate this with a real life example, How many of you love spending time either with your friends/family? Almost everyone. Why? because they are fun to be around and you understand each other well and help each other out whenever possible. But, if I ask some of you to spend some hours with your best friend and spend some hours with your gadgets which you like, then the result will be that you will have more fun and will be more happy when you spend time with your best friend rather than spending time playing around with gadgets. From this we can conclude that things or gadgets cannot give us happiness in long term but they can give us temporary happiness. 

      Have you ever got suddenly happy when you saw an infant smiling and you start playing with that infant even if you don't know the child? The Answer to this will be, Yes, for most people. Infants can bring such joy to us, have you ever wondered why? It is because human beings are meant to share their happiness with people around them and that is simply because happiness never decreases when shared, it only increases.

      You all might have thought and hoped that a lottery win will make you happy forever. Think again, because evidence suggests a big payout won't make that much of a difference. Many of us do think that it will make us happy forever, but it doesn't. Winning the lottery isn't a ticket to true happiness, however enticing it might be to imagine never working again and being able to afford anything you want. One study famously found that people who have big wins on the lottery ended up no happier than those who have bought tickets but didn't win. It seems that as long as you can afford to avoid the basic miseries of life, having loads of spare cash doesn't make you much happier than having very little.

      Happiness isn't a quality like height,weight,etc which could be measured, in fact a lot of people try to measure happiness so that they can make most out of it, but happiness can't be measured by anyone in this world. It even seems like the very act of trying to measuring it can distract us from what might make us most happy. An important study by Christopher Hsee of the Chicago School of Business and colleagues showed how this could happen.

      Hsee's study was based around a simple choice: participants were offered the option of working at a 6-minute task for a gallon of vanilla ice cream reward, or a 7-minute task for a gallon of pistachio ice cream. Under normal conditions, less than 30% of people chose the 7-minute task, mainly because they liked pistachio ice cream more than vanilla. For happiness scholars, this isn't hard to interpret - those who preferred pistachio ice cream had enough motivation to choose the longer task. But the experiment had a vital extra comparison. Another group of participants were offered the same choice, but with an intervening points system: the choice was between working for 6 minutes to earn 60 points, or 7 minutes to earn 100 points. With 50-99 points, participants were told they could receive a gallon of vanilla ice cream. For 100 points they could receive a gallon of pistachio ice cream. Although the actions and the effects are the same, introducing the points system dramatically affected the choices people made. Now, the majority chose the longer task and earn the 100 points, which they could spend on the pistachio reward -- even though the same proportion (about 70%) still said they preferred vanilla.

      Based on this, and other experiments, Hsee concluded that participants are maximizing their points at the expense of maximizing their happiness. The points are just a medium, something that allows us to get the thing that will create enjoyment. But because the points are so easy to measure and compare -- 100 is obviously much more than 60 -- this overshadows our knowledge of what kind of ice cream we enjoy most. So next time you are buying a lottery ticket because of the amount it is paying out, or comparing jobs by looking at the salaries, you might do well to remember to think hard about how much the bet, or job will really promote your happiness, rather than simply relying on the numbers to do the comparison. Money doesn't buy you happiness, and part of the reason for that might be that money itself distracts us from what we really enjoy.

     If you do something which can make others happy then, you will have the same feeling as I have at the moment and I will say it with the help of a quote,

Do you agree with me? You can comment below and share your views regarding it.