TED Conversations

Mohammad Mohammadipour

This conversation is closed.

Can Money Buy Happiness?

Maybe more cash does make people happier. Especially salient are analyses done by University of Pennsylvania economists Daniel Sacks, Betsey Stevenson, and Justin Wolfers. In their updated 2010 study, “Subjective Well-Being, Income, Economic Development and Growth,” the three compare subjective well-being survey data from 140 countries with those countries' income and economic growth rates. The researchers find that within individual countries richer people are happier than poorer; people in richer countries are happier than people in poorer countries; and over time increased economic growth leads to increased happiness. “These results together suggest that measured subjective well-being grows hand in hand with material living standards,” they conclude..

Share:
  • thumb
    Feb 13 2013: For me; Happiness is a journey rather than a place. Money can buy the chances to venture forth along different paths, but in my opinion, your heart and mind is where you "feel" happy. So ultimately, money can only buy an opportunity to feel this emotion. Actual happiness is priceless.
    • thumb
      Feb 13 2013: Hi Thomas
      "For me; Happiness is a journey rather than a place".
      I think it is journey and the place..
      "Money can buy the chances to venture forth along different paths"
      Yupe..
      "but in my opinion, your heart and mind is where you "feel" happy. So ultimately, money can only buy an opportunity to feel this emotion. Actual happiness is priceless"..
      So, there is happiness(place) and actual happiness(journey)?..


      .
      • thumb
        Feb 21 2013: hey mohammad.
        Thats an interesting concept. Thanks for that! Perhaps a place, talking metaphysically, can be seen to be happiness itself. Arriving at happiness. Like in the idea of enlightenment. But if we are staying on topic and talking money... Then physically buying your way to a place, whether it be a home, car, new sweater, swimming pool, these tangible objects are not what bring you happiness. Rather the opportunity to be happy. Happiness is in the heart, not in the pocket
    • thumb
      Feb 14 2013: "Remember that happiness is a way of travel, not a destination"
      (Roy M. Goodman)

      I have embraced this concept with the heart, mind, every cell in the body, and every breath I take. For what it is worth, I tell you that it changes the dynamics of the life adventure.
      • thumb
        Feb 14 2013: Hi Colleen
        What make you really happy in this life?..do you mean happinese is a way of thinking..
        • thumb
          Feb 14 2013: Hi Mohammad,
          I believe it is more a way of "feeling" or "being" and how we feel, is impacted by our thinking....yes? Everything is connected....our thoughts, feelings, and how we use that information contributes to our behaviors...how we act/react, and the outward
          manifestation of the life experience, which we then perceive internally....thoughts....feelings....perceptions....behaviors:>)

          I prefer using the word content, rather than happy, because the definition of happy suggests more of a fleeting feeling, while contentment suggests more of an underlying, in depth feeling....more of a foundation in my perception.

          I am content with the life experience. I KNOW that I will face challenges, and rather than be distressed, upset, angry, etc. with challenges, I face them as an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve, while hopefully contributing to the whole of humankind.

          What we focus on expands. Change our thinking, it changes our perceptions and feelings, which may change our life experience....make any sense?

          That's why I asked you in another comment if you think your new educational experience may help take you out of your feeling of "struggle" maybe for a little while?
      • thumb
        Feb 16 2013: Dear Colleen
        "I believe it is more a way of "feeling" or "being" and how we feel, is impacted by our thinking....yes? Everything is connected....our thoughts, feelings, and how we use that information contributes to our behaviors...how we act/react, and the outward
        manifestation of the life experience, which we then perceive internally....thoughts....feelings....perceptions....behaviors":>)

        as far as human behavior is concerned, I think Butterfly affect works more in a Sub-consequence way.. You know nowadays I am in Kuala lumpur.. if you ask me what life is like in Iran?. I would say it is a war. A serious war...yupe..that is why I think about myself as a soldier…It was always there..
        http://www.ted.com/talks/sam_richards_a_radical_experiment_in_empathy.html
        I really like this lecture... this is the true fact in Iran. People in Iran call it soft-war...

        "I prefer using the word content, rather than happy, because the definition of happy suggests more of a fleeting feeling, while contentment suggests more of an underlying, in depth feeling....more of a foundation in my perception..
        I am content with the life experience. I KNOW that I will face challenges, and rather than be distressed, upset, angry, etc. with challenges, I face them as an opportunity to learn, grow and evolve, while hopefully contributing to the whole of humankind.
        What we focus on expands. Change our thinking, it changes our perceptions and feelings, which may change our life experience....make any sense"..

        I have heard about a guy who spent 30 years in prison. Base on a wrong judgment….people of a country are in prison... deprivations... sanctions....and extremists…
        Best Regards
  • thumb
    Feb 5 2013: Happiness is subjective. What makes me happy may be diffirent from what makes you happy. For some people, money can sure "buy" them happiness. They use money to acquire material things. These material things give many people the feeling of happiness. But personally, I still believe that 'the best things in life are free'.
    • thumb
      Feb 5 2013: i challenge you to name a single thing that is truly free
      • thumb
        Feb 5 2013: Hi sir. Love and friendship are things that are truly free. Aren't they?
        • thumb
          Feb 5 2013: You have a good point Kenn, but some people like to have their points exposed and have the last word. They might feel like your answer wasn't quite to their standards and simply argue that love and friendship aren't necessarily free since you must have to invest time or some other valuable asset in order to receive love or friendship. This is not my case, I like your answer.
        • thumb
          Feb 5 2013: not really. they require time, time that you could spend on other things. in a primitive society, you often can not afford love, and many do not get. they can't afford to wait for the right person, or leave the current one that proved itself a mistake. love is quite expensive to find and maintain.
        • thumb
          Feb 5 2013: I LOVE your perspective Kenn and Mykle:>)

          I bet Krisztián will catch onto this idea one of these days....LOL:>)
      • thumb
        Feb 5 2013: Dear Krisztián,
        Happiness is truly free....it is a choice:>)
        • Feb 5 2013: Dear Colleen,

          Agreed (more than just the word itself)

          as Tolstoy says: "If you want to be happy, be" - (as we see here, he didn't mention "...., have"
        • thumb
          Feb 6 2013: it only goes against common sense and scientific results
        • thumb
          Feb 6 2013: Colleen, sorry about your fall.As an active person, you are likely to have a speedy recovery, I know.

          You raise a point with which I fully agree but which can be elusive. A sense of well-being/contentment/satisfaction runs deeper than the specific events of the moment. In fact those attributes are excellent support for determinedly working to improve things that need fixing or to weather challenges and set-backs.
      • thumb
        Feb 6 2013: If we are going to assume that "happiness" is defined as a conscious state of well-being and contentment, you cannot say complete happiness is free. All men require fundamental factors to survive -food, water, shelter... Lack of these things do not lead to contentment nor over-all well being. Money and wealth, though, provide access to these things, with some sort of price. According to the study associated with this post, "within individual countries richer people are happier than poorer", and concluding this, as no coincidence. To believe that happiness comes at absolutely no price, is to truly deny the existence of man's basic needs.

        I believe that happiness is an individual state of being. Not existent by factors such as love or friendship, (though IS influenced by these things). Happiness exists solely within you. Agreeably, "If you want to be happy, be". In my perspective, this means living in each moment. Taking each moment as it is. Nothing more, and nothing less.
        • thumb
          Feb 6 2013: i agree with the first part.

          in the second part, this statement "Happiness exists solely within you" is i believe similar to "what you see, exists solely within you". the sense of vision happens in the brain, so this is a true statement. but it is also true that vision is heavily influenced by external stimuli, and that is the reason of it. so it is not a contradiction. happiness is a mental function tat is dependent on many inside and many outside factors.
        • thumb
          Feb 6 2013: I agree Lorenz....good comment:>)

          I also agree with you Krisztián, that "the sense of vision happens in the brain.... also true that vision is heavily influenced by external stimuli, and that is the reason of it. so it is not a contradiction. happiness is a mental function tat is dependent on many inside and many outside factors".

          You insightfully recognize, Krisztián, that vision happens in the brain...influenced by external stimuli...happiness is a mental function...dependent on many inside and outside factors".

          I suggest that we can use the external/internal influences any way we choose. For example, the reason I stopped commenting on TED yesterday, is because I fell down the stairs in my home.....slipped on the top step and went all the way down to the bottom of 16 steps on my back.

          Although I experienced some physical pain, discomfort and bruising, my sense of contentment was not affected. Three friends stopped in the afternoon, brought me lunch, visited, and offered to do some "chores" for me because I was less able to move comfortabley. The circumstances changed my activity for the day, and my underlying feeling of contentment was not affected. I was VERY GRATEFUL that the accident was not worse....I have some discomfort, but can sill move, so nothing is broken. I am grateful for the help of my friends. I focused on healing (heat, ice, ibuprophen, stretching, etc.), and also focused on the love and willingness to help which my friends offered.

          So, we do not need to allow external circumstances to cause unhappiness or discontent. We CAN experience a foundation of contentment by using the "mental function", as you insightfully recognize in a different way....make any sense?
      • thumb
        Feb 6 2013: Krisztián,
        This is a reply to your statement..." it only goes against common sense and scientific results"

        Which is a reply to my statement.....sorry I couldn't get the reply closer:>)
        "Dear Krisztián,
        Happiness is truly free....it is a choice:>) "

        I respect YOUR beliefs as YOUR beliefs Krisztián, however, to say that my beliefs go against commen sense and scientific results" is not true because LOTS of us recognize the scientific research that is being done on this topic, and there is LOTS of scientific research which supports the idea I offer and experience in each and every moment of my life experience. To me, and a LOT of people, it makes logical, reasonable, common sense, and it's perfectly ok if you choose to not embrace the concept:>)
    • thumb
      Feb 6 2013: Fritzie, A reply to your comment in sequence was not possible.....I copy it here...hope you find it!

      "Fritzie Reisner
      Less than 5 minutes ago: Colleen, sorry about your fall.As an active person, you are likely to have a speedy recovery, I know.
      You raise a point with which I fully agree but which can be elusive. A sense of well-being/contentment/satisfaction runs deeper than the specific events of the moment. In fact those attributes are excellent support for determinedly working to improve things that need fixing or to weather challenges and set-backs."

      Thank you for your kind encouragement Fritzie....I agree that being active helps recovery....being active also causes the body to be more flexible, which I'm grateful for!!!

      I wholeheartedly agree that "A sense of well-being/contentment/satisfaction runs deeper than the specific events of the moment... those attributes are excellent support for determinedly working to improve things that need fixing or to weather challenges and set-backs."

      That is where I perceive the difference between the use of the words "happiness" and "contentment". Happiness, to me, based on the definition, suggests a more fleeting ( specific events of the moment, as you say) feeling. Whereas, contentment feels deeper to me.......and......I agree......offers the support for working/playing to improve and/or weather challenges. Thanks for putting it in those words Fritzie:>) While the feeling is not elusive to me, the way to explain the feeling sometimes is elusive to me, so thanks for clarifying:>)
  • thumb
    Feb 1 2013: There was a quotation that simplifies this.

    "Money can't buy happiness, but happiness needs money."

    An instance, a musician loves his music. But he can not play his music when he does not have money to buy his instruments.
    • Feb 7 2013: I think this is the best answer about the question.
      Money is important to us but it's not enough to buy happiness but necessary.
      Happiness is not related any material things.
  • thumb
    Jan 31 2013: as an amendment to my previous post, I should have stated earlier; since losing everything I 'thought' was important fifteen years ago (money, equipment, and property), along with my first love and children which were by all accounts the very most cherish-able aspects of my existence. I am gaining the wisdom from the pain, wisdom which I think must be the property of the sole-owner, Love, but to often not acquired until we suffer the pain of love, (everything else is knowledge) and this wisdom is teaching me through the understanding of my pain, no amount of money can buy the joy and happiness that I have been fortunate enough to have known at one time, and still lives in my heart and memories.

    Sometimes, in tracing the source of our joy and happiness, the heart is unable to debate against the mind. The mind, operating on past memories and fears of tomorrow has a completely different understanding of joy and happiness. he is only concerned with circumscribing the imaginations of tomorrow brought about by the fears of yesterday. The heart, on the other hand is the one who knows true happiness and joy, the contentment of just living the present, and really being the "being". We must listen closely over the clamor of a fearful mind
    You see, I am completely un-able to say it simply...
    • Jan 31 2013: You haven't wasted your pain.
      Thanks for your story, Tim !
    • thumb

      . . 100+

      • 0
      Feb 6 2013: Hi Tim,
      The heart-mind debate is like a minute by minute committee meeting inside ourselves. The mind usually doesn't have time to hear the heart and sometimes the heart takes off and the mind has to deal with the effects. I wonder if this is a side effect of our speedy industrial growth, which makes balancing the two 'in real time' our biggest challenge. The heart knows "happiness comes only from being the being", while the mind has to figure the sustainability for the conditions that support living and " wisdom certainly is the property of the sole-owner " who acquires it through true expense.
  • thumb
    Feb 9 2013: I think it's up to the individuals perspective I'm sure money can make some people happy maybe truly happy but for others it can't I find my happiness in the constent pursuit of my passion even though I'm broke.
    • thumb
      Feb 10 2013: But your not entirely broke are you Daniel? You have enough to feed, cloth and shelter yourself from the elements right?

      How much does your passion cost each month?
      • thumb
        Feb 10 2013: Your right I'm not ENTIRELY broke. I live check to check and fall behind some months but I have shelter. The cost of my passion varies if I have a good month I'll spend about 120 on my love :)
        • thumb
          Feb 10 2013: Honest answer. I've been there.

          I'm just able to save a few bucks each month, but it grows. I'm not so sure we have to love money but we sure have to appreciate it's worth to us.

          Is there anything more convenient and effective to facilitate trade or transactions between two or more people?
      • thumb
        Feb 10 2013: Couldn't agree with you more John. As for your question I don't know but your question would make a hell of a Ted conversation!
        • thumb
          Feb 10 2013: I think I remember someone broaching such a question a while back. I forget if there were any mutual conclusions. It crops up from time to time on TED.

          It does make one think however. Moneys both convenient and expedient. In fact we don't even need money anymore, just value and a plastic card. The difference is: if you lose your value in a dramatic bank failure you have no net worth unless you can prove you own assets. Money (the paper kind) is a kind of document that lists your value at a moment, usually the amount of money you have in your possession. Without money I guess a persons value is defined by their earning potential to themselves or someone else.
        • thumb
          Feb 10 2013: Barter, which a LOT of folks in this area do all the time. We all have skills, talents, and material goods which we can trade......works pretty well:>)
  • Feb 16 2013: Money has little to do with being happy. Being happy is a choice, it is perspective and the ability to make the best out of what you have, little or a lot. More money can equal more problems, it is only part of your happiness if you choose for it to be. Choosing happiness = happiness. Anyone who is having a bad day I suggest you force yourself to laugh for 5 minutes, right out of the blue, get a few people to do it with you. You will likely end up laughing for real and will feel better. Choose it :-)
    • thumb
      Feb 17 2013: YES! It is indeed a choice, and laughter is good medicine.....well said Mathew:>)

      "Be happy with what you have and you will have plenty to be happy about..."
      (Irish proverb)
  • Feb 15 2013: yes...and no...Money is a small part in the make up of happiness just as knowledge is a small part in the make up of wisdom. On a side note: We are far too obsessed with money in our world. Everyone realizes money is something we as humans created out of thin air.
  • thumb
    Feb 15 2013: Hello Mohammad:

    People with truly real problems like a war, hunger, diseases live with a pain and sadness in their hearts, then a little bit of light make them feel happy, but happiness shared the heart with sadness. With money can improve their status, buying food, take care of theirs ilness, scape from wars etc... as they can eliminate truly worries more place to happiness ... Beware with the money because as it can buy happines it can buy worries too.

    Thanks to share...
  • thumb
    Feb 7 2013: Let's look at Maslow's Hirearchy of needs and satisfaction to determine the answer. First is physiological needs (food, water, clean air, etc.). So on the first level yes money can buy those things. Second stage is Safety needs (housing, clothes, etc.), and money can buy those as well. Third is love and belonging. I think in some cases money can buy this because being in a relationship is expensive and more people will be inclined to hang around you and include you if you can bring money and goods to the table(look at celebs and their friendship rings if you disagree). So, I'd say about 50/50 on this one. Fourth is Esteem. This is tricky because having money does increase self-esteem (this is a proven fact with research studies), but this also has to do with personality so I would say 75/25 money is included in this. Lastly is self-transcendence (go beyond one's ideal self, more of a spiritual thing and very difficult to achieve.) This one has nothing to do with money at all and all has to do with a person. I would say people feel happy when 3 of these things are full so when looking at this I think money can buy 4 of the 5 things in here. So in conclusion, yes money can buy happiness, but it cannot buy complete satisfaction with one's self.
    • thumb
      Feb 7 2013: i think you are oversimplifying the maslow hierarchy. the 4th stage is not "esteem", but more than that: it is status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention as well as strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom, as wikipedia lists. many of those are heavily dependent on money. either directly, or through the time required to achieve these, time that could be spent on earning money.

      and the 5th stage may be expressed in paintings, pictures, or inventions, says wiki, but may i add discovery, creation of something worthwhile, something remarkable. this is directly money dependent in many ways. my previous example was james cameron, who spends huge sums on deep sea expeditions, for example recently visited the mariana trench.
      • thumb
        Feb 8 2013: You are correct, I did just simplify it to make it more easily read, but that is the overview without the technical jargon, but you are right. When we look at this hirearchy money really can buy happiness and I think this is the best measurement of happiness we can find. I do not know how much you know about Maslow, but his research has impacted many fields in business leadership, psychology, and education just to name a few. This is the most accurate, scientific description of this emotion, and I think it proves money can make a person happier.
        • thumb
          Feb 14 2013: Hi Eric
          Do you really think that money can buy happiness?..
          so, the richer you are, the happier you are.?...
      • thumb
        Feb 14 2013: Yes I really do. my family has had times where we did not know where our next meal was coming from and the stress of that insecurity is unbelievable. Anyone who has been in that situation can understand and it is almost unbearable. Now, I am lucky enough to be a little more stable and that relaxed pressure is a completely different world. We can look at this hirearchy all we want, but real world is where it counts and money can relieve a lot of stress. Your worries are less, and instead of deciding how to pay for that box of ramen noodles you need, you can decide which video game to buy. I have a unique point of view because I have seen both sides of the situation and having money really raises your contentment and happiness.
        • thumb
          Feb 15 2013: It doesn't sound, Eric, like you are saying that people with great material wealth are happier than those with less. It sounds like you are saying, rather, that having a certain amount of money so that you don't have to worry about food, shelter, and other vitals is necessary before you have the mental space to be happy.
    • Feb 9 2013: Eric, you stole my idea. About a year ago I wrote exactly what you said but in story-form and in russian;)
  • thumb
    Jan 31 2013: One of my favorite speakers at TED, Daniel Kahneman made the following claim involving a Gallop survey:

    " We found that with respect to the happiness of the experiencing self. When we looked at how feelings, vary with income. And it turns out that, below an income of 60,000 dollars a year, for Americans -- and that's a very large sample of Americans, like 60,000, so it's a large representative sample -- below an income of 60,000 dollars a year.. people are unhappy, and they get progressively unhappier the poorer they get. Above that, we get an absolutely flat line. I mean I've rarely seen lines so flat. Clearly, what is happening is money does not buy you experiential happiness, but lack of money certainly buys you misery, and we can measure that misery very, very clearly. In terms of the other self, the remembering self, you get a different story. The more money you earn, the more satisfied you are."
    • thumb

      . . 100+

      • 0
      Feb 6 2013: " Below an income of $60,000 per year people are unhappy "
      ~ Daniel Kahneman
      • thumb
        Feb 6 2013: Yes, it is $60,000 and not 600,000. I do remember Kahneman making this error, but I copied the text exactly as it was in the transcript. I have edited the comment now since I have explained the correction here..
        • thumb

          . . 100+

          • 0
          Feb 6 2013: Thanks:-)regards.
  • Jan 30 2013: Give this a thought, you see an old lady struggling with her shopping bags,so you feel you want to help her. You then pick up her bags and help her reach her home. She then offers you some money, which will make you more happier taking the money or refusing to take the money? Someone very important once said "there is more happiness in giving than in receiving " in my case I get more happiness in helping someone for nothing than I would if they paid me.
    • thumb
      Feb 4 2013: Thanks for sharing. I used to work at a retirement home a few years ago and there was this one resident with whom I became very close to at some point offered me a large sum of money (around 300 dollars), which came as a surprise to me. Although she had the right intentions (it was to fund for my education) and as generous as the offer was, I had it reported and returned to her for reasons that I would be held responsible for any financial loss that any resident may have in that facility. I couldn't refuse it then because she kept insisting that I keep it. Besides, it was against policy to accept money from residents regardless of what purpose and I can honestly say, I was more concerned about my own safety than future opportunities.

      I, too, would refuse the money if I was given something like $20 just for helping an old lady with her bags. I've had to do that with my previous jobs and considering that I get PAID already, doing that for free is no big deal and it's the least we can do for people we encounter once in a while, right? I don't believe that it's being ungrateful but I do know some people who find it to be incredibly rude to refuse their money as a tip and so at times I had to. I'm glad you brought up this point. :)
  • Feb 16 2013: As a matter of fact, in the current society money does buy happiness. Every minute.

    Whoever says the contrary shall cut down his entire in/out flows of money from his life starting from tomorrow, just to see how much his happiness really depends on that. Oh, you should obviously not lean against anything you purchased with money in the past, of course. That would be cheating: instead of relying on a purchase made today, you rely on a purchase made in the past. Nor lean against the money or possession of other people, naturally.

    Don't want to call it money? Call it possession, acquisition, ownership.

    Of course there are psychological and spiritual aspects to be considered too, since humans with a *certain* level of acquired happiness can start living on a different level of existence. But why does this topic always go so very far away from the real human being who is speaking? It looks like it's so damn easy to forget who we are and what we are doing in our every single day.

    And before pointing out that "what you buy is not true happiness but basilar needs", note that:
    - unsatisfied basilar needs = TRUE unhappiness, I guarantee you by experience.
    - you're just stating that *for you* those basilar needs are no more enough to feel happy. I know people who would be filled with immense joy for several days in your place.

    Naive? Yes. But sometimes one has to be like that, when idealization goes so far away from reality.

    Of course if you happen to have just too much money for your own real need of happiness, then the statement "money doesn't buy happiness" is magically true. But now you should know what to do with your surplus: give it away. Unless you're a penny pincher! ;-)

    >> This post is an intellectual provocation, and should be taken as such. No one really expects human beings from being so pure to really become consistent to this simple truth. And I purposely neglected other important aspects involved, many of which already on this page.
    • Feb 17 2013: However, many people who barely have the means to meet their basic needs happen to be extremely happy. It's a choice, being hungry to the point of pain is uncomfortable, scary, etc. However, the choice remains it's just harder to make. Once basic needs (not wants) are met happiness becomes an easier choice if you want it too.
    • thumb
      Feb 17 2013: Dear Robert,
      I say that money does not buy happiness, and you suggest that a person who believes this "cut down his entire in/out flows of money from his life starting from tomorrow, just to see how much his happiness really depends on that."

      I planned well for retirement, so I would be comfortable, and because of our economic situation, I am now at poverty level. My money "in/out flow" was cut down considerabley because of loss of investments. I'm still very happy/content. I was a happy/content person before the financial challenge, I am a happy/content person in the present moment, and will be a happy/content person in the future because I KNOW it is a choice.

      You say..."It looks like it's so damn easy to forget who we are and what we are doing in our every single day."

      I suggest that if we forget who we are and what we are doing in our every single day, then we can indeed get lost in the idea that money buys happiness. I also suggest that when we KNOW who and what we are, we make choices regarding whether we want to be happy/content in each and every day.

      You say your comment is an "intellectual provocation", even though you present it "As a matter of fact".
      Who would this "matter of fact...intellectual provocation" be for my friend? Yourself?
      • Feb 17 2013: Dear Mrs. Steen,
        I'm absolutely supportive for your own situation and sharing the understanding of the point of view you're proposing. Please, do not be deceived by the sour and pinch tone I've used on purpose, as I said it was intended as a provocation aiming to hit a particular aspect of the topic.

        Reading your kind reply, I would say that you're not so far away from my real (unsaid) point of view, and I like that. At the same time, I recognize that I've failed to make you see through this particular keyhole.

        I doesn't really matter anyway.
        My best wishes for your days to come

        Robert :)
        • thumb
          Feb 17 2013: Dear Robert,
          I do not feel "deceived" at all, and I've peeked through many "keyholes" of understanding during my life adventure:>)

          How about sharing your "real (unsaid) point of view"? It DOES matter Robert....to me anyway....because I enjoy discussing what is "real", and I am aware that our perception of "real" may be different for each and every one of us at any given time:>)
      • Feb 25 2013: Hi Colleen Steen,I do like to see your sincere comments here.A very good conversation between you and Robert here.Thanks:)
        • thumb
          Feb 25 2013: Thank you Edulover:>) Respectful comments, from which we can all learn, are GREAT.....in my humble perception:>)
  • Feb 15 2013: In today's economy, it may appear that money can buy happiness due to the overwhelming amount of people that are struggling financially. However, if we closely examine our happiness, we'll find that material possessions bring only temporary satisfaction. When your iPad is out of sight, it is also out of mind. When your honey, daughter, or best friend is out of sight, your heart feels a yearning for that person. We're social creatures, and we rise depending on our relationships with others. I guarantee you, a person who has no material possessions but is involved in a loving relationship will value his/her life much more than a person who's only "relationship" is with his/her money. We need to be able to distinguish the difference between temporary and lifelong satisfactions. Can money enhance your soul? Not a chance.
  • Feb 13 2013: beeing happy, don't need noney any more, all it need is being in the places you like, with the ones you like, there are person's, whom are happy when feeling pain ( masochist) others when watching TV for example, there is no standard happiness and there is no cost for hapiness we can laugh all the day without paying a pound. as we can spend millions in the day searching for happiness and being sad inside. do you think that all the stars we see daily in TV for example are happy. I think that the most of them are not. We can be happy for so raisons, hapiness doesn't depend on money, but in person's. me I found my hapiness when I am with my family and friends.
    • thumb
      Feb 13 2013: Hi Gaya
      Interesting perspective….
      you know there are too many poems in farsi about that..
      but I think, if you want to be in the places you like, with the ones you like...you have to spend "good money"....?..
      • Feb 16 2013: Hi Mohammad,
        Hope if had been able to understand that poems, your speaking about,
        when I say the place and the persons you want to be; I don't mean that I want to be in Las Vegas or in Paris , all want to have is a safe and quiet place, a place can't give you pleasure the only thing that can really make you happy is the ones with whom you are. if you had seen the movie called "into the wild" you will certainly remember what he sad at the end of the movie, he sad :" there is no happiness without sharing " I really never feel more pleasure than I have when talking with some persons. so do I need to go elsewhere I or beeing with somebody I have to pay to be with me.
  • Feb 11 2013: I think that the way in which you use your money can make you happy. For instance, if you were living in poverty there is a great chance that you will be unhappy about certain things that some money could solve. You would want food, shelter, and clothing. Having money would solve these issues and eliminate that unhappiness. As we accumulate more and more wealth we tend to accumulate more problems. Many of us let it get to our heads and therefore we perceive more problems. Often the people around us can add to these problems to. If you accumulated a great deal of wealth and donated some of it to a family in need this would most likely make you quite happy. If you were to spend it all on drugs and then became a drug addict you may not be happy. It is all about a successful allocation network. Where you put your money to work can really influence how happy you become.
  • thumb
    Feb 10 2013: Money, on itself can never give happiness or joy unless you have a complimenting attitude when it comes to using your money for buying happiness. As it would explain, an unhappy soul cannot be satisfied with fancy dinners, expensive holidays, luxury clothing etc.However, such things might make you feel better for a while. When saying this, I agree with Leo Taylor when he explains the transitory and permanent states of happiness.

    Money with all its powers and magic, is only capable of buying a suitable environment, those perfect conditions and setup for your heart and mind to start feeling happiness. I have personally seen and known people, who have been happy in their lives in the longer run even if many phases of their lives has been a struggle for survival.

    Also, the happiness that comes without any influence of money is far more divine than what money can buy.
  • thumb
    Feb 10 2013: Perhaps we need to better define happiness. As I ponder happiness and the questions of happiness I am analyzing a new way of looking at the concept. It occurs to me that we may be discussing two very different aspects of happiness. One is a transitory state. At any given moment one can be sad, amused, joyous, angry, tired, envious, and even happy. I am beginning to understand that in regards to happiness we, as a society, may be intermixing the transitory state of happiness with the concept of happiness in regards to how we view are lives, or personality as a whole. To say a person is a happy person is NOT the same as saying that person is in an emotional state of happiness at this very moment. Perhaps they are generally a happy person, but at this moment are suffering from a death in the family.

    So, does money buy happiness? You mean the long term general state we would define as a happy life or person? Perhaps not, but will it affect that transitory state we call happiness? Perhaps yes, but then I think we would need to also add other transitory emotions that are affected by using money such as joy, anticipation, buyers remorse, etc
  • thumb
    Feb 9 2013: money buys safety,from the cold,from excessive heat,money buys water,money buys food,money buys a front door with a lock...without these there is little quietness to allow happiness to flow into your life...so in regards to all my wishes for mankinds eventual evolution into a better collective way of being...having to include this undeniable observation....and my extreme distaste for money I must say..money buys the space for happiness to proliferate.
    • thumb
      Feb 15 2013: What you write is absolutely consistent with the research on the matter.
  • thumb
    Feb 9 2013: hello Mohammed,
    I think that when we're talking about society the money plays an important role and has a direct impact on making the population feel the happiness and the satisfaction,it's important to mention that in the rich societies there are a lot of facilities and entertainment and this contribute on reducing the leisure of the population and this lead to the bliss , however in poor countries the life style is always the same and the population don't find ways to spend their time and as you know 'nature abhors a vacuum' so the people in this case are going to fill this vacuum with delinquency violence.
    • thumb
      Feb 10 2013: ..rich societies there are a lot of facilities and entertainment and this contribute on reducing the leisure of the population and this lead to the bliss ...

      I live in a rich society but I can't afford to enjoy the products of that rich society. I make just enough to not be poor. I can't attend the opera even though I love classical music because a ticket cost $100.00. If I took my wife it would be $200.00. That is well beyond my means for us to help support the classics. So who is supporting them? The rich are. Where did the rich get all that money when they don't do any work to make that money? They invest the money they have. How does one get money to invest? They inherit it or their family hires them at a very high salary to perform a job they are not competent to preform. Not always but it happens often enough.

      Capitalism destroys the earth. Socialism maintains it and puts something back.
      • thumb
        Feb 15 2013: I know this is a minor thing, but if you are able to volunteer in some way for the Opera, that may be a way to go to the performances. I know many seniors enjoy shows in the city by volunteering to hand out programs or take tickets.
        • thumb
          Feb 16 2013: You are correct.... the local college is allowing me and wife to attend all plays.

          Very good advice Fritzie.
          Thanks.
          I think I'll call atlanta and see what they can offer.
  • Feb 7 2013: I think everyone realizes money can't buy everything. Health, friendship, family, and community are the responsibility of the individual to some degree. I think many people are discoering the bliss of simple living- less consumerism more self autonomy.
  • thumb
    Feb 6 2013: Happiness occurs on different levels based on the individual. For some it is extremely monetary. The more they have the more things they purchase or do, creating a sense of happiness. For others it is sense of ownership or pride in what they do or have accomplished in their lives. Some people gravitate towards family or religion in search of happiness while others move out to the country in search of privacy and peace. Personally, I believe happiness to be a mixture of several things, money being one of those items. The other major contributing factors for me are enjoying what I do for a living, enjoying the people in my life, and the many different experiences I have had, good or bad, thus far. Obviously degrees of happiness can certainly vary or become more challenging to obtain depending on a person's environment, however, again, happiness to me is like a fingerprint; it is different for each person. Great conversation. Thanks for sharing.
    • thumb
      Feb 14 2013: Hi Nicholas
      "I believe happiness to be a mixture of several things, money being one of those items. The other major contributing factors for me are enjoying what I do for a living, enjoying the people in my life, and the many different experiences I have had, good or bad"

      Q1. How do you classify your experiences? How do you enjoy your "bad experience"?

      Q2.
      "happiness to me is like a fingerprint"..?..could you shed light on your idea?
      Regards
  • thumb
    Feb 6 2013: money may not buy you happiness but it sure pays the bills.
  • Feb 2 2013: money can buy bed but not sleep. it is a tool for recreation and comforts besides entertainment. happiness is not external. it is with in. it is state of mind. happiness is in limitation. it is possible only with spiritual consciousness. one dollar is a bless to beggar, but it has no sense to million ere.
  • thumb
    Jan 31 2013: Depends...
    Are all rich people happy? Nope. Shrinks have a lot of rich clients with stress [some even suicide]
    Would poor people be happy if given money? Yes, as their necessities would be covered and they will be 'happy'

    I say true happiness is in remembering The Creator and spreading love and joy to whole world [It might sound Muslim/Hippie combo but that's what a man would tell you who has lived 80-odd years and is about to die]

    So people don't stress yourself for this world and love your loved ones. This life is a gift! :)

    My 2 cents :P
  • thumb
    Jan 30 2013: Can Money Buy Happiness?

    Money (and Good health) is to happiness, as flower is to cake.

    Although flower is an ingredient used to make a common cake, it is not the only ingredient needed.
    And can make a flowerless cake, just not a common type of cake.

    You can be poor and unhealthy and still find happiness or you rich and healthy and still be unhappy, each of us has the power to find happiness. But sadly too many of us don’t realize that.
  • Jan 30 2013: I think you have to define happiness, for some happiness may be to own a 100 story building in Manhattan - in which case you would need a lot of money to buy your happiness. For others could be the opportunity to say "I'm sorry" to their mother before she died, which there is no money that can bring her back.

    I agree we the need a quantifiable vehicle (money) to exchange goods; but is the capacity to get more goods what make us happy or is the good itself what make us happy?
  • Jan 27 2013: Maybe money can buy happiness, but is it happiness we are after ?
    What is happiness ? Has anybody noticed that the word ' happiness' sounds sad ?
    There is something deceptive about it.
    I guess, what we need is JOY, moments of joy and we can have it for nothing , for 'no thing'.
    If you have it, you have it, if not , no money will ever help you.
    • thumb
      Jan 28 2013: Hi Natasha
      "What is happiness ?"
      Happiness is a mental or emotional state of well-being characterized by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. A variety of biological, psychological, religious, and philosophical approaches have striven to define happiness and identify its sources. Various research groups, including positive psychology, endeavor to apply the scientific method to answer questions about what "happiness" is, and how it might be attained. Philosophers and religious thinkers often define happiness in terms of living a good life, or flourishing, rather than simply as an emotion. Happiness in this sense was used to translate the Greek Eudaimonia, and is still used in virtue ethics. Happiness economics suggests that measures of public happiness should be used to supplement more traditional economic measures when evaluating the success of public policy.
      Wikipedia
      "Has anybody noticed that the word ' happiness' sounds sad?"
      I don't.
      "I guess, what we need is JOY, moments of joy and we can have it for nothing , for 'no thing'."
      If you have it, you have it, if not , no money will ever help you"
      So, Joy is something Intrinsic?
      Regards.
      • Jan 28 2013: Hi, Mohammad !
        Wiki happiness can be bought and it may be quite cheap, it depends upon the expectations.
        Don't take me wrong i don't mean to belittle the importance of having enough money to meet our needs. We all swim in this ocean. But the less needs one has the richer and in this particular sense happier he/she is.

        Is joy intrinsic/ innate ?
        I guess , yes. Children are naturally joyful till the age of 2,3 , no matter how rich their parents are ; all they need is love. But then ego starts to grow and joy is the price for the process of growing up. Some loose it completely, some ( the lucky ) still have it no matter what, some gain it back . It's like coming back to the garden after years of wandering. It's not waiting for the future or anticipating enlightenment , joy is the feeling that this life , this flawed perfection is sufficient and complete in every single moment.
        Something like this ... :)
        • thumb
          Jan 30 2013: Hi Natasha"Wiki happiness can be bought and it may be quite cheap, it depends upon the expectations. Don't take me wrong i don't mean to belittle the importance of having enough money to meet our needs. We all swim in this ocean. But the less needs one has the richer and in this particular sense happier he/she is."
          So, we all agree that money should cover up our wants, but our need?!..
          .Q. Regarding your perspective, what are the needs of a perfect life (that are not related to the money)?
      • Jan 31 2013: I have no idea what 'perfect life ' is.
        Sorry !
    • thumb
      Feb 13 2013: Hi, Natasha,

      Happiness is the short-time feeling of things being a-step-better for keeping our DNA alive.

      (Please see also my comment herein above (Jan. 28, 2013))
  • Feb 27 2013: Money doesn't buy happiness, it buys comfort. When you're not worried about rent or food, you can focus your attention on what really makes you passionate and happy. However, sometimes you become addicted to building a higher living comfortability, and that is when it will never make you happy.
  • Feb 27 2013: Money doesn't buy you happiness. It buys you security, a peace of mind.
  • Feb 21 2013: The thought occurred to me the other day that money allows more people to survive. Most people are very far removed from a homesteading lifestyle that allows them to survive through their direct interaction with the land/sea/atmosphere., so money is the system that sustains their existence. Several comments below speak to individual happiness being a matter of outlook, but first basic needs must be met. There are several theories that relate to the evolution of a well balanced life and happiness (Maslow, Erickson .. to name a couple), and these start with ones meeting basic needs and developing a feeling of security. My initial thought linking money to population increase took me to the weird thought that the money that provides the basic needs and security that form the platform from which happiness can be constructed for the millions of people who work in war related industries brings misery to millions of other people.
    • thumb
      Feb 25 2013: Dear Tom
      I love your perspective...

      "took me to the weird thought that the money that provides the basic needs and security that form the platform from which happiness can be constructed for the millions of people who work in war related industries brings misery to millions of other people."

      Kind regards