Money Isnt Everything Short Essay Example

Money isn't everything: Family, friends and a fulfilling job all count more towards happiness, survey claims

By David Derbyshire Environment Editor
Updated: 08:51 GMT, 1 July 2010

If you think that winning the lottery will leave you feeling contented for the rest of your life, think again.

Money can buy you only a little happiness, says the biggest survey of its kind ever held.

It found that while wealth improves quality of life and 'life satisfaction', it has only a small impact on day-to-day mood. 

Rich, but not necessarily happy: Wealth can have little impact on day-to-day mood, the survey found

The poll of 136,000 people in 132 countries found that happiness was much more strongly linked to being respected and the sense of having control over life.

Support of family and friends and working at a fulfilling job were also far more important than income, the researchers found.

The survey, carried out by Gallup and published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, is one of the most detailed polls of its kind.

Dr Ed Diener, who led the study at the University of Illinois, said: 'We knew from earlier research that money to some degree is associated with happiness, although the effects are often fairly weak.

'So the answer to the question, "Does money make us happy?" was, "Yes, a bit". But we see a much more interesting pattern than that simple answer.

'It's pretty shocking how small the correlation is with positive feelings and enjoying yourself.'

The pollsters used telephone surveys in richer countries, and door-to-door interviews in poorer parts of the world, to ask about income, standard of living, housing conditions and diet.

Respondents were invited to evaluate their life on a scale of zero to ten, and to

describe the negative and positive emotions experienced the previous day.

The poll also asked if they felt respected, whether they had family and friends they could count on in a crisis and how free they felt to choose their daily activities.

The links between money and happiness were the same for young and old, different social classes, men and women, and town and country dwellers.

Dr Diener found that life satisfaction rises with personal and national income. But positive feelings were much more strongly linked with other factors.

'Everybody has been looking at just life satisfaction and income,' he said. 'And while it is true that getting richer will make you more satisfied with your life, it may not have the big impact we thought on enjoying life.'

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“Money doesn’t make you happy,” time back my grandma insisted, while she was whipping carrots and tomatoes out of the kitchen cupboard, one fine morning. “Money doesn’t make you laugh when you are lonely, or make you full of contentment on a New Year. But wherever you are, you have to work for your living,” she added.

So, do you think that a lottery win would make you happy forever? No, a big payout won’t make that much of a difference. Winning the lottery isn’t a ticket to true happiness, however enticing it might be to imagine never working again and being able to afford anything you want.

It seems that as long as you cannot afford to avoid the basic miseries of life, having loads of spare cash doesn’t make you very much happier.

Our happiness depends on how we feel relative to our peers.

Lottery win may make you feel richer than your neighbours. You may move to a new mansion in a new locality, which may make you feel happy.  But, sooner, you will realize that all your new friends are living in bigger mansions.

Happiness isn’t a quality like height, weight or income that can be easily measured. It is a complex, nebulous state that is fed by transient simple pleasures, as well as the more sustained rewards of activities.

Actually, happiness is having satisfaction and meaning in your life. It’s the propensity to feel positive emotions, and holding a sense of purpose. Happiness is not having a lot of privilege or money. It’s not a constant pleasure. It’s a broader thing: Our ability to connect with others, to have meaningful relationships, to have a better community. People who say they’re happy have strong connections and communications with other people – that is a sort of recipe for happiness. Money increases happiness until about a certain level of earning, and after that our emotional well-being doesn’t increase with income.

Close circle of friends and family is most important for happiness. The material possessions like iPhones, computers, being wealthy and owning a sports car will not provide the same level of contentment.

So, to sum up, true happiness lies in rewarding relationships, and not in material wealth and money.

DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author's own.

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