Please tell your friends...
Can you Really Buy Happiness?
by Chris Wesley
And if life is a sea of moments (and it is - I checked - see here), then yes - I say money can buy you happiness.
Is The Best Price a Good Price?
I'm willing to bet that when you're buying stuff, you're looking for value for money. You don't want to pay more than you need to for anything. And in fact, most of us define value for money in terms of relative pricing - getting a good deal. We look for good deals on the things which society thinks we need.
Let's look more carefully at money in the context of our lives.
Money is Power
Money is literally power - the power to make things happen in the world. It can make food appear, it can put us in a nice house, and so on. Each time you buy something, you exchange some power for some stuff. After that, you have some new stuff - and less power. Many of us will end each month powerless - so it's a finite resource - and we always wish we had more.
Burning the Sacred Cow
The main point in this article is this - given our basic survival needs covered, it seems sensible to ask the question:
Am I using the power
I have in my money
to make my life
as happy as I can?
So instead of asking "am I getting the best price for this?" ask "Is this what I should spend my money on?". It invites us to step back from those societal norms and re-examine where our unhappinesses are (very un-British!) and to consider what we might do with our limited resources (money) to address those areas.
Another way to put it is that you're doing a "cost/benefit analysis", where the benefit is measured by how happy the stuff we purchased makes us. This breaks down into fundamental questions:
Here are some exercises for you to play with. Before you start, please try hard to adopt a fun-loving, dis-respectful view of your life. Think the un-thinkable, question the "obvious". Be happy with tinkering.
I know from experience that describing the technique seldom gets it done, so here are some practical examples from my practice of how this new thinking makes real lives more happy.
I hope you can make it work for you. Buy some happiness today!
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