Money can buy happiness has long been considered a truth, money can not buy happiness, but scientific research shows that this is not necessarily the case. Cornell University researchers have found that if you use your money to buy the right things, such as experience, money does make you happier.
This may seem counterintuitive, because having a physical object that we really want, such as a new smartphone, gives us a persistent illusion, and an experience, such as travel, seems short-lived. But physical objects become obsolete, crack, and quickly lose their appeal, and experience becomes part of us, always with us as a memory.
There is no denying the short excitement of buying the latest gadgets or fashions. But if we can learn to break the endless buying cycle, we will be happier.
Travel Experience "Most Valuable"
The science behind this is somewhat complicated, but in short, once we buy what we want, our expectations of buying disappear. On the other hand, experience, especially when we share it with others, increases people's perceived value over time. They are social activities that unite us as a community, and shopping is a more lonely activity.
Sarah Wilson, a British expatriate who had traveled for a year in 2002 but still hadn't returned home, concluded: "I used to spend time working, paying my bills for my purchases and putting them aside. Now, I don't have much property, but my travel experience is the most worthwhile.
I realized this almost unexpectedly in my later years. In 2011, at the age of 50, I sold everything, retired early and started traveling around the world. I am not unhappy. On the contrary, after I spent my entire adult life as a consumer, I began to realize that I liked travel, relationships and experiences best.
Some people may call it a radical way of life, but it brings me great happiness.
Obviously, the idea has caught on: a recent MasterCard survey found that Americans spent record amounts on air tickets and accommodation. On the other hand, retailers'sales are relatively depressed.
Devaluation of things
"The experience we create is the product of ourselves, our thoughts and actions," says McMannes, who runs the SOAP4LIFE charity. What we accumulate is the product of other people's thoughts and actions. I want my life to be personalized to suit my passion, not a bunch of things created by others.
Life is an adventure, not a series of purchase decisions, which makes my life more fulfilling and happy on the whole. Even the negative or stressful experiences I experienced after four years of travel, though not very pleasant at that time, turned into interesting stories or learning events. This is the beauty of living for the sake of experiencing, not for the sake of getting more. Things will depreciate, but through experience, people's appreciation of life continues to rise.
Of course, I occasionally take a look at the latest cool gadgets, and sometimes even do it for myself. But I always measure the potential cost of something, not only in terms of money, but also in terms of lost experience.
Scientifically speaking, spending on travel and other experiences is a long-term investment in your happiness. Who can disagree?