Can Money Buy Happiness?

Across time and space, in widely different cultures and religions, there is an amazing amount of consensus that the answer to this age-old question is an emphatic “No”. The legend of how the golden touch of King Midas turned his daughter to gold teaches this lesson to children. Early in the twentieth century, some influential thinkers argued that even though greed for gold was bad – a “disgusting morbidity” – it could be harnessed for a good end. Unchaining the powerful drives for accumulation of wealth would create wealth for the society as a whole, ultimately freeing man from all worldly worries.

But my view is different from above narrated perspective. Yes, money can buy you happiness. The issue is that a lot of people don’t understand what they should be buying to result in happiness. Most people are spending their money on things that aren’t related to long term happiness. Thus, a lot of people aren’t optimizing their investments and purchases for the goal of long term happiness.

I recently read the study, If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy Then You Probably Aren’t Spending It Right. The researchers behind this study uncover and identify a shocking disconnect and failure in society. People are making purchasing decisions that don’t translate into happiness every day in its pursuit. From this, I started thinking of the ongoing troubles found within our society where unconscious consumption runs rampant. The issues run deep and are not only related to over consumption but also to life dissatisfaction and overall unhappiness. For example, young professionals are feeling overwhelmed and many are struggling to cope with the expectations being placed on them by society and their parents. As a result, young people are committing suicide and young professionals are becoming depressed – It’s what I call, a Happiness Epidemic.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled across a Facebook update from a friend asking:

“Who wants to go to the Mall with me? I need some retail therapy! ASAP!”

What’s alarming about this post is that this person honestly believes that a brand new pair of shoes will actually impact their emotions and make them happy. What’s even more alarming is that this is the mindset of people all over the country and better yet, around the globe. People with this mind set are being celebrated through organizations, corporations and the media on a regular basis. Now, this is not an attack on corporations or businesses. As a marketer and entrepreneur, I recognize that businesses have a job to do and their job is to make money. My issue isn’t with corporations trying to increase their bottom line. My issue in this world of over-consumption is the lack of knowledge we (consumers) have in regards to what will actually bring us happiness and what will not……

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