We CAN buy happiness but the key is not to spend the money on something, but to spend it on someone.
Nothing we could buy would make us happier in a year from now than we are already. We could win the lottery tomorrow and be no happier in a year - conversely we could end up being paralysed tomorrow and still be as happy, in a year's time, as we are today. It's a proven fact. Our level of happiness is basically ingrown and we need to work out how to be content with what we have right now, or we'll never be happy.
And "happiness" is a relative term. Some people are very happy, just being grumpy. It all depends on our viewpoint.
Founder of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, says that as long as we have enough money to barely get by, the only things that will make us happier are; using our "signature strengths" in our daily life, being grateful for what we've got, being optimistic in our outlook on life and doing stuff for others. And that's it. Sounds simple enough and totally possible to achieve, but it's not easy......it takes effort and will.
And today, in the spirit of "Pay It Forward" day, see this TED talk about how we can buy happiness by doing stuff for others.
I love the idea of teachers being able to ask for donations to help them buy props and equipment for their lessons - the feedback from the kids would be wonderfully motivating to make us want to do it some more.
When we donate our hard-earned cash, we want to support specific projects and feel part of the change; to feel like we've really made a difference.
And the simple message here is that helping others, helps us even more.
To quote Martin Seligman from his book "Flourish":
"Find one wholly unexpected kind thing to do tomorrow and just do it. Notice what happens to your mood."
"... outstanding in the field of feeling better ... "
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