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jackg

Money ≠ Happiness

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I've always tried to explain to people that financial status is self-accustomising. That hedonic treadmill theory is exactly what I was getting at.

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there's also maslow's hierarchy of needs

money makes you happy up to a point but there's diminishing returns after that

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right you are indesertum!

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Edited by jackg

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I feel like I read/heard somewhere that the peak earnings/happiness were around 75k for the average American family, that it afforded a stable lifestyle and home, but didn't demand excessive work schedules or time away from pursuing goals, something like that. I'm not necessarily sure it's about making more money as it is about being realistic about expenses. I think this downturn in housing will actually net a happier and more stable generation, prob just take a bit longer to see it happen or recognize it.

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great thread jackg, I think advances in neuroscience are especially important when considering happiness, for example the hedonic treadmill idea boils down to neurotransmitter release associated with performing certain actions and activating reward pathways in our brains, after a period of conditioning/brain rewiring or whatever. we can get used to anything if we do it enough times, that's the nature of our bodies and minds, something we evolved to do in order to become the most dominant species on the planet. our reward pathways have always been the same, structurally speaking, but the from birth our wants and desires are modified by the environment around us, capitalist monopolies, mass media, familial values, religious ideals, etc. we don't inherently want money, our brains have become accustomed to the idea that money allows us to be happy in so many ways, and so we feel happy when we find money unexpectedly, since our brains reward system is being stimulated.

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"Once you have money you realize it's not important. What money gives you the opportunity to do is forget about money."

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im selling all my possessions to really focus on achieving level 5 ascension by the end of the year

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i think then the secret to happiness is randomly finding small piles of money on the ground

but not too much money

and not all at once

Yeah thats nice and all but you cant dive scrooge mcduck style into small piles without getting hurt.

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money can buy you experiences you wouldn't otherwise have. at this point in my life, i'd rather work and be "unhappy" (not doing what I want to do at that exact moment) in order to have periods of extreme happiness than live a low work / low maintenance lifestyle but miss out on those big bursts of seratonin.

peaks and valleys versus stable baseline is what i'm saying.

Edited by Stacks

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but do experiences you may or may not have equate to true happiness?

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i guess that assumes that anyone knows what true happiness is (maybe you do). i would think true happiness would mean total peace with oneself and one's surroundings and no regrets. i imagine that any critical thinker (and/or nonbeliever) will second guess their life at some point (the mediocre existence line mentioned in the original post) and whether it makes them happy no matter what they are doing. if i had a stable baseline with low maintenance i expect that I would have deathbed regrets about not having all of those experiences i was curious about.

based on that theory that it is impossible to avoid regrets, i get a sense of fulfillment (happiness?) from

1) having new experiences with the hope that i will enjoy them

2) having "old" experiences that i enjoyed previously

3) living in comfort

some experiences are more expensive than others. #3 is definitely hedonistic treadmill, though.

edit: i'm also addicted to the struggle and want to thrash until the light goes out but this may be a product of relatively youthful thinking.

Edited by Stacks

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Guest DANKTHRONE

satisfaction with work is one of the only things that correlates significantly with happiness

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money can buy you experiences you wouldn't otherwise have. at this point in my life, i'd rather work and be "unhappy" (not doing what I want to do at that exact moment) in order to have periods of extreme happiness than live a low work / low maintenance lifestyle but miss out on those big bursts of seratonin.

peaks and valleys versus stable baseline is what i'm saying.

but do experiences you may or may not have equate to true happiness?

1) having new experiences with the hope that i will enjoy them

2) having "old" experiences that i enjoyed previously

3) living in comfort

some experiences are more expensive than others. #3 is definitely hedonistic treadmill, though.

“To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea... 'cruising' it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

'I've always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can't afford it.' What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of 'security.' And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need - really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? â€

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Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? â€

if you haven't already shed your financial restraints, feel free to cast them off on me.

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Not having money is stressful, and I'm basically flat broke. Even so, I've had a number of great moments over the last month or so that made me stop and realize, hey, there's no way that Richard Branson is happier than I am right now. He may be equally happy, but happier? Impossible.

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^^^similar idea: http://www.ted.com/talks/sasha_dichter.html

a couple other thoughts:

1. money cant buy lasting happiness, but it sure as shit can buy temporary pleasure.

2. not having money adds a lot of stress and anxiety to one's life which leads to unhappiness

3. discussion on a recent world wide gallop poll on happiness and the effect money has on it:

http://businessjourn...ve-and-75k.aspx

http://www.washingto...0070100039.html

http://www.scienceda...00701072652.htm

4. excerpts from a speech given by writer Charles Wheelan to the dartmouth graduating class of 2011: http://www.dartmouth...11/wheelan.html

im gonna boil some of his main points on happiness down to these...check the spoiler if you would like a longer read.

a. one of the single factors with the highest correlation with happiness is having meaningful and lasting relationships with other human beings (family, friends, organizations, social movements, ect).

b. leading a life of purpose (however you define it) is also strongly correlated with happiness

c. economists have quantified having a happy and successful marriage as having an impact on happiness equivalent to earning an extra $100,000 a year. also, if both spouses have an income then economic prosperity is much easier to attain (duh) so marry someone smarter than you.

d. if you want to do cool shit and be successful no doubt youve gotta work hard, but nothing tomorrow is ever promised today. if you were to get hit by a bus tomorrow, would you regret the way you spend your life (how much you work/what you do for work)? on the flip side if you dont get hit by a bus tomorrow, will you be happy with where your current life path is leading you in 10-20-30 years?

Researchers are now studying happiness. They are literally asking, “What makes us enjoy life?†What we know—what comes up significant in every study of well-being using every possible methodology—is that one of the most important causal factors associated with happiness and well-being is your meaningful connections with other human beings: family, friends, organizations, neighbors, social movements. In other words, the people around you today.

One of our most intriguing sources of data is the Harvard Study of Adult Development. Beginning in 1937, this study followed Harvard sophomores for 70 years: through graduation, and marriages, and careers, and illness, and in some cases death. The value of this kind of longitudinal study is that you can follow the same people over decades and make meaningful inferences about what behaviors in life are associated with what outcomes, in terms of health, career success, coping with adversity, and overall sense of well-being...When the director of the study was asked what he has learned from decades of data on the Harvard students, he replied, “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.â€

The same pattern keeps coming up.

You may have seen a reference to a recent study which found that joining a group that meets just once a month has the same effect on your sense of well-being as doubling your income.

........

Marry someone smarter than you are.

This was of the smartest things I ever did. I bring this up for three reasons. First, for all the controversy over marriage lately, there has been virtually no public discussion of the role that marriage plays in economic success...highly educated people are likely to marry each other, as are poorly-educated people. The result magnifies many of our underlying social trends, including income inequality.

To make it much more personal...the benefit of marrying my Phi Beta Kappa classmate, whom I met at orientation freshman week, is not merely that she is fun and beautiful, but that it’s like having another economic oar in the water. When I was getting a PhD, she was working. When she wanted to start a software company, I had a steady income. When I wanted to take a year off to write books, she had a steady income...I’m telling you that you’re getting a professional teammate for life. So pick wisely.

Now the second reason I bring this subject up is that a healthy marriage will make you… Yes, happy! We’ve got research on this, too. In fact, the economists even think they can quantify it. In terms of happiness and well-being, a healthy marriage is the equivalent of earning an extra $100,000 a year.

........

If you want to do great things in a decade or two, you need to grind away now. You need to do things that you would prefer not to do, to spend time on things that you don’t particularly enjoy. Frankly, that’s an important part of your 20s...But you can’t lose sight of the fact that there are no guarantees in life. If you grind away miserably to become the CEO, no one can promise you that it will work out that way, or that the sacrifice will be worth it even if it does. On the other hand, if you spend most of your time skateboarding with friends and playing video games, I can pretty much assure you that your professional accomplishments will be limited.

You have to navigate that trade-off. On this point, I do have advice, which is to take joy in the journey, rather than building your life around how good you expect the view to be when you get to the top. Again, by the way, the happiness research is clear. Most people overstate how much they will enjoy that next promotion and the stuff it can buy—because we get used to them so quickly.

Academics like to formalize things, so I propose to you the “hit by a bus†rule. Would I regret doing this, spending my life this way, if I were to get hit by a bus next week, or next year? Is the journey still worthwhile if the mountain turns out to be enshrouded in fog at the top?

Of course, there is an important corollary: What if I don’t get “hit by a bus� Does this path lead to a life that I will be pleased with and proud of in 10 or 20 years? There are plenty of things you can do that will comfortably pass both of those tests. One of my favorite assignments for the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine was writing a piece on Paul Tsongas, Class of 1962, who ran for president as a Democrat in 1992. Tsongas was the first declared candidate against George H. W. Bush, who had an approval rating of 91 percent at the time...I was traveling with Tsongas, and at one point I asked, “Do you really think you can win?†He said, “I don’t have to. I just have to run a race that my grandchildren will be proud of.†He did.

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this thread has inspired me to stop my pointless pursuit of fleeting physical objects

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Not having money is stressful, and I'm basically flat broke. Even so, I've had a number of great moments over the last month or so that made me stop and realize, hey, there's no way that Richard Branson is happier than I am right now. He may be equally happy, but happier? Impossible.

he may not be happier, but he's probably chillin in his private spaceship right now with a topless model clinging to his back

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Buying undercover and visvim makes me happy.

I then post on the Recent Purchases thread hoping that other posters will rep me.

I get unhappy when people ignore my purchases.

So I buy more.

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Getting rep for bragging about my sexual conquests on sufu gives me happiness.

It helps compensate for the inferiority complex I've struggled w/ my entire adult life.

When posters neg rep me and make fun of my posts it makes me sad.

So I go fuck more bitches.

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everything in moderation.

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