Think Money Can Make You Happy? Think Again

It’s generally assumed that greater wealth means greater happiness. So most people get into the model of putting success over relationship. Wrong!

A recent article by Askmen’s Alexander Kjerulf puts it this way:

” The clearest sign that this mental model is bogus is probably the number of highly successful career men who are failing miserably at life. You know the type: The 50-something VP who, yes, gets the stellar salary and the company Mercedes, but who also hates his job, is recovering from a double bypass operation, is hated and feared by his employees, just had his third divorce and whose kids refuse to talk to him.

In the article, Kjerulf exposes the 3 most important scientific reasons why this model of work life is a sham:

1. You end up sacrificing the two most important things in life

According to positive psychology (the scientific study of happiness), the two major factors that contribute to a happy life are a good romantic relationship and deep, lasting friendships. Studies show that men who have a solid relationship live six years longer on average. You don’t have to be married, but a loving relationship with your spouse or your life partner is essential for your mental and physical well-being.

2. You’re always left wanting more

Let’s say you get that promotion, that bonus or that raise you’ve been working so hard to get. Will that make you happy? Odds are that you will simply readjust your expectations and start gunning for the next advancement. This is how our minds work: When we want something (anything), we’re convinced it will make us happy. Once we get it, we start taking it for granted and move on to wanting the next thing — whatever that is.

3. Career advancement is essentially meaningless

Finally, true satisfaction at work is never going to come from getting a raise. In fact, studies show that getting a raise or a promotion only makes people a little happier for about two weeks. And while companies could solve that by giving people raises every other week, that’s probably not a viable business model.”

“It’s not that it’s literally the greenbacks in your wallet that make you happy, but rather… being able to make choices about your life and making choices that give your life meaning,” said Justin Wolfers, professor of economics and public policy at the University of Michigan.

Don’t take me wrong. I think being wealthy is great. But a successful life not always comes in the form of money.  Money can buy you a few more things, but you’re not likely to feel any more enjoyment or happiness on a typical day. You’re no more likely to laugh or smile on a typical day.

H/T: Askmen

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