How much do we need to shop to be happy?
By: Maryam Hedayat
It is human nature or human tendency of having no satisfaction. We get more still we crave for further more. We are never gratified with what we have at present, instead we always desire for better and beyond.
How much money do we really need to be happy? And how much do we need to spend to be joyful?
Most of us believe that once we reach a certain financial target we will be happy and not want more, but the fact is that nothing is ever enough for us as human beings.
We no longer strive to be strong or thoughtful, noble or bold but have our identities and status created for us by the car we drive, the mobile phone we use and the brand of clothes we wear.
Perhaps some people consider that they will gain respect after being seen with the latest mobile phone, stylish new clothes or in a beautiful new car. We are all driven by goals in life. Unfortunately many of the values are given to us by television and advertising.
According to an ancient philosophy, we are living in a culture that is ‘doomed to be dissatisfied’.
In fact, spending too much can make us happy for a short time. It is like a festival day when we were eight or nine. We play with that new toy for a day or two then it just becomes one of the many toys we have, nothing special.
In reality, money works the same way, another day another new toy. Perhaps most people spend more than they earn, and at the end they burden themselves with debt and stress, they actually do not know that happiness can never be bought.
Apparently attaining things like houses, furniture, gadgets and cars only have a temporary effect on happiness. People’s desires for material possessions turn up at the same, or greater rate, than their salaries. Again, this means that despite considerably more luxurious possessions, people end up no happier.
Tricked by that illusion we convince ourselves that satisfaction equals happiness. Unfortunately it does not. Even though we appear to have everything, we are left feeling that something is missing, but are unable to identify what that thing is.
Desire is unending and leads to suffering. Everybody knows that spending more than earning for an extended period of time leads to financial failure.
In the old days people brought their paychecks to the bank, deposited most of the money and pocketed the rest in cash. The cash was supposed to last until the next check. If it didn’t, it was an obvious cue that too much money was being spent.
Fast-forward to these days when paychecks are deposited electronically and we stuff our pockets with debit and credit cards. Beaten-up cash bills and heavy coins never dirty our hands. Unfortunately, it makes it far too easy to bust the budget.
Despite modern conveniences and increased prosperity, happiness individually or as a society, has not increased to the same extent.
Contrary to popular belief, we don’t need to spend more to be happy. In fact, spending less can actually make us happier.
Obviously, living carefully, doing away with the expensive and the unnecessary, may require giving up any number of attractive, comfortable extras such as high-end new cars, excessively large homes, the latest electronic gadget, designer clothing, and branded items.
Further to add, giving up expensive, unnecessary lifestyle choices willingly can actually bring happiness.
Essentially happiness is a state of mind that can be enjoyed, regardless of economic status. There is even evidence that materialism has no guarantee to keep us happy.
Thus the idea that we will be happy when we live in our dream house or drive our dream car just does not work out because in the end happiness is a never-ending goal to be accomplished.
In fact, having positive experiences lead to much more happiness than acquiring redundant things.
To sum up, it is not the mere spending that brings happiness in life, rather moderation and contentment even when there is great success and accomplishment are what lead to happiness and fulfillment.