Back up evidence for “Money can’t buy happiness”

According to the article How Of Happiness, The Scientific Pursuit of Happiness by Sonja Lyubomirsky, how we spend our money and not how much we have of it has a deeper impact in a person’s happiness. The author gives an example of the statement above by talking about the results she obtained when she spoke to an Ivy League educated plastic surgeon. She mentions that the person worked long hours in order to obtain a significant amount of money, and he has expensive objects such as sport cars and yachts. However, as time passed by the surgeon lacked motivation for his job. Lyubomirsky states that according to research, the relationship between income and well-being is significant but not as strong as it is presumed to be.

Later on in the article, it is stated that to some extent people who are wealthier are happier since they are able to have better access to nutrition, health care, security and control. However, the author explains that when wealthy people were asked about their “moment-to moment happiness” they resulted to be less likely to have experienced a joyful moment in the past day. Followed by this, the author continues to explain that she has found that humans are more likely to adapt easier to positive changes than negative ones. Therefore, happiness is not in how much money a person has, but it matters how money is being spent. The author proceeds to talk about how experiences have a greater effect in our happiness than buying material things. This is due to the fact that people get used to positive changes faster, which means that by buying a material thing you will get used to is presence quickly therefore you lose the happy feeling at a faster pace. Rather than buying something material, is better to share an experience with someone because each time you remember the experience you will feel the joy you experienced at the moment.

Furthermore, the author continues to explain that spending money on others is also a way to make you happy. She gives an example where a University of British Colombia study gave a survey to a group of employees before and after they received a financial windfall. The results were that it didn’t matter what the size of the bonus was but, people who spent the bonus in charities or buying something for others were more happy. The author proceeds to explain that when people give to others they are more likely to forget about our own problems and the problems the world is facing. People feel like they are helping the world’s issues when they give to others. Flowingly, the author mentions that reports show that people who are about to die wish they could have done something as mentioned above so they could have been happier.  The author finally re- estates that it doesn’t matter how much money we have but how we are spending it throughout our lives.

I think that this article re-enforced the evidence from the last article “How to buy happiness” by Elizabeth Dunn and Michael Norton. I found it interesting what Sonja Lyubomirsky says about how we adapt faster to positive changes than negative ones and it’s why material things only makes us temporarily happy. I agree with this and I also think that it is true that we feel happier when we buy something for others. On Tuesday it was my mother’s birthday and I decided that I was going to go shopping with her and buy her clothes then have dinner with her and the rest of our family. The reaction of my mom towards my present to her made me very happy because she told me she was very grateful for everything. We also had a great time shopping and having dinner together, so I will definitely remember this experience forever and it will indeed cause me joy all the time I remember it.