I will admit it, I am becoming addicted to listening to TED Hour podcasts when I run every morning. If you are familiar with TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) talks, you know how interesting and informative they are. I can’t help but reference these talks. They keep giving me ideas to talk and write about. If you have not checked out TED talks do it today. The people who give the talks have something very interesting to say that usually gives a brand new perspective on old ideas, or new ideas all together.
Yesterday, I listened to a talk about money, called the Money Paradox. The most interesting part of the podcast was when the question was posed, “Can money buy you happiness?” An experiment was performed and the data was conclusive. Strangers were given an envelope with $5-$20 in it with a note that either said spend this on yourself today, or spend it on someone else. The subjects were interviewed, the results across the board were that when people bought something for someone else, or gave the money away they were happier in every situation.
I believe we can buy comfort, to not stress about paying bills, and have the ability to take vacations if we had more money. However, I have heard from another study that comfort level only goes up significantly when people make %15 more than they are making now, anything over that had no better effect.
So, happiness is about giving to others. No wonder so many people in individualistic societies have problems with depression, and anxiety. We need to give and feel that we have a purpose in our lives. You can’t buy happiness but you can give it away and get some in return.