Funds over Fun? Think Again. By marIah segura

We live our lives in a one big competition to simply earn money. We all grow up and daydream about becoming successful the right way. We aspire to go to school, become educated, earn a degree, get a career, make money, and last but not least- be happy. In today's day and age, you and I live in a world where something as simple as happiness in somebody's life is mostly measured by the amount of cash he/she has in his/her bank account or how big of a house they have or what make and model their car is. However, are these the factors that decide whether you are happy? Has this era basically brainwashed us to truly believe that our happiness is driven by materialistic items that money really can buy? I'd beg to differ. Sure, money can buy you luxuries like that new convertible or a house in that gated community, but the happiness that comes out of those things lasts only temporarily. In the long run, it cannot buy you long-term happiness.

A majority of what we think about people on the luckier side of the spectrum when it comes to money and wealth comes from television, movies and media — and most of the time, it's inaccurate. Think a grand lotto win would make you happy...forever? Unsurprisingly, many of us do, including a US shopkeeper who just hit the $338 million prize in the Powerball lottery – the fourth largest win in the game's history. On the other hand, before you go out and place all your hopes and dreams on another lottery ticket, here’s something you should know: All the evidence and statistics indicate that a big payout won’t make that much of a difference in the end.

Winning a grand prize like the lottery, for example, isn't a one-way ticket to true happiness, despite how perfect it may seem to imagine never working again and being able to afford anything you want. Studies have shown that having loads of spare cash doesn't make you very much happier than being somebody who doesn't. One way of accounting for this is to presume that people that have won the lottery get used to and become well accustomed to their new status of wealth, and begin to simply adjust back to a baseline level of happiness. Another reason why money doesn't bring long-term happiness is that our happiness also depends on how we feel relative to our peers and those around us. For instance, imagine you win the lottery. You may feel wealthier than your neighbors, and begin to think that moving to a multi-million dollar home in a new neighborhood would make you happy, but that would soon fall short the minute you look out of the window and reality hits you hard when you see that all your new friends live in bigger homes.

Plenty of people believe buying materialistic things that are on the pricer side are worth spending dough on. However, according to Ryan Howell, a professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, clams that neither life experiences made organically with little to no money involved nor material items bought with money will make shoppers remotely happier than they were before purchasing something. Even with lottery tickets, everyone fantasizes about hitting it big so they could quit their dreaded job, live in a breathtaking mansion and spend the rest of their days doing whatever they please without hesitation. However, according to a study conducted by BBC News, studies show that people who had big wins on the lottery were beyond overjoyed that they have won a large amount of money, but later on in life, they eventually ended up no happier than they were before they won the prize.

Whether it's sleeping, nature, painting, or music, everyone has their own pick for their own personal glimpse of happiness. What makes you happy? Hearing your favorite song? Receiving a warm embrace? Or maybe a newborn baby’s smile? Money has nothing to do with any of these yet these little things inflict immense joy to us.

So next time you are considering purchasing a Powerball ticket because of the amount of money it's awarding, or choosing things such as clothes just by looking at the price, or comparing careers by looking at the salaries they have to offer, you have to remember to think hard about how much the bet, clothes, or job will really bring you true happiness, rather than simply counting on the numbers to do the judging for you. Money certainly does not buy you inner happiness with yourself and those around you. Money, itself, blinds us from what we truly enjoy. After all, the best things in life come free to us.

Created By
Mariah Segura
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Credits:

Created with images by Tax Credits - "Wasting Money" • agitprop - "Happy" • Hermann - "lotto lottery ticket bill" • KitAy - "Scratching to Win" • guard113 - "drinking man lonely" • [jf] - "happy"

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