Mohammad Mohammadipour

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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..

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    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.
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      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)?..


      .
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        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
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      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.
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        Feb 14 2013: Hi Colleen
        What make you really happy in this life?..do you mean happinese is a way of thinking..
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          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?
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        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
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    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'.
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      Feb 5 2013: i challenge you to name a single thing that is truly free
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        Feb 5 2013: Hi sir. Love and friendship are things that are truly free. Aren't they?
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          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.
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          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.
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          Feb 5 2013: I LOVE your perspective Kenn and Mykle:>)

          I bet Krisztián will catch onto this idea one of these days....LOL:>)
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        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"
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          Feb 6 2013: it only goes against common sense and scientific results
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          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.
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        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.
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          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.
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          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?
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        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:>)
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      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:>)
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    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.
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    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 !
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      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.
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    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.
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      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?
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        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 :)
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          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?
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        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!
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          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.
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          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 :-)
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      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.
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    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...
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    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.
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      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.
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        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.
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          Feb 14 2013: Hi Eric
          Do you really think that money can buy happiness?..
          so, the richer you are, the happier you are.?...
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        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.
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          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;)
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    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."
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      Feb 6 2013: " Below an income of $60,000 per year people are unhappy "
      ~ Daniel Kahneman
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        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..
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          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.
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      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.
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      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 :)
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          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:)
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          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.
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      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.
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    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.
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    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
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      Feb 15 2013: What you write is absolutely consistent with the research on the matter.
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    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.
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      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.
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        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.
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          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.
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    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.
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      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
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    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.
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    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
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    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.
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      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 ... :)
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          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 !
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      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.
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      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
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    Feb 19 2013: True happiness comes from the natural joy that is in all people at birth. As we face more unhappy events, that natural joy diminishes. The negative we face, blinds us to our true joyfull, loving nature and our mind becomes filled with confusion. We can re-find our inner joy by getting free if the past infuences, which is done by focusing on the present, existing as a part of the One Life, rather than all of a temporary self. Peace is now. Love is now. Joy is now.
    An enlightened person, aware of their essence is consciuos present time Being can only be peaceful, loving and Joyful
    • Feb 25 2013: Hi David Hubbard,I agree what u said.Being the things we have now,that's the most important:).
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        Feb 25 2013: "Being the things we have now"

        Is it!...?..
        • Feb 25 2013: yes,and stay in being to enjoy life now.recommend a spiritual book to u:the power of now.wish u like it.:)
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      Feb 25 2013: "True happiness comes from the natural joy that is in all people at birth"

      How?..
  • Feb 17 2013: First of all, we must to talk about resource of happiness. I think, main resource of it is inner peace and emotional calm and they derive from spirituality. If a person gets satisfactory answers to his or her questions about life and death, this provides him resource of happiness. In addition, if he has a good family and friends, they all increase the happines. Then, -regarding the main question- money is a part of happiness. With money, you can buy somethings that make you, family and friends happy, take care of your health and etc. Thus, your happines increases.
    In conclusion, only money can not buy it but it can increase, I think.
    • Feb 25 2013: 'only money can not buy it but it can increase',to some extent,it is right.but money can destory happiness too.So well-educated is the most important.If people don't know where comes the happiness yet.It is the time to push u back to study.
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      Feb 25 2013: what shall we study edulover?...!....what are your educational resources?
  • Feb 16 2013: No! But neither can the lack of money. It's all in how you live within your means. Many here have given you wonderful ans. & I agree with most.
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    Feb 16 2013: An obvious (not obvious?) thing about happiness is that it comes from being interested in things.

    or the corollary unhappiness comes from a lack of interest.

    You might say the world suffers from a lack of interest and too much wanting to be interesting.

    Look at people who are happy and see if there is correlation to interest?
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      Feb 16 2013: I agree Pat!
      I observe that my curiosity, exploration and interest with the life adventure supports more of a feeling of happiness/contentment, just as the feeling of happiness/content supports more curiosity, exploration and interest.....another enjoyable cycle:>)
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      Feb 16 2013: You added to your comment Pat, and your addition reminds me of something I saw as a teenager and embraced:

      Interested = Interesting
      Interesting = Interested

      Perhaps people strive to be interesting without being genuinely interested?
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        Feb 17 2013: Exactly, it is not a small point, which can change the direction of a life in a big way. Do you want to be cause or effect.

        With the media and the government incessantly spewing you are the effect.
        The question is can one control his disinterest and be interested in something. As you say it makes all the difference.
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          Feb 17 2013: I want to be BOTH cause and effect Pat.....I want it all...LOL:>)
          AND.....I KNOW if I WANT it, I need to CREATE it:>)

          I wholeheartedly agree....it is NOT a small point, and can actually form a foundation which contributes to the orchestration of our life experience!

          I observe people seeking happiness/contentment OUTSIDE themselves....with more money and the things money will buy....with relationships.....etc.

          YES, we CAN absolutely control our interest/disinterest, and I know you know that. It is a choice. People often give up their choice to create their life experience.

          There is a great book I read 30+ years ago..."Pulling your own Strings" by Wayne Dyer.
          It very simply reinforces the idea that we can make choices regarding how we think and feel. Although this message has been given to us throughout history by teachers, gurus, psychologists, etc., apparently we (humans) need constant reminders!
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        Feb 17 2013: What happens is that people become addicted to attention or admiration, I think more addictive than drugs.

        You see this endlessly with celebrities with all of their shenanigans they are really saying look at me. There was a move called spinal tap that was a parody of rock stars who functioned like this, very funny. The problem is that when you become interesting you become effect. Being effect is also addictive, people choose to be the effect of drugs, alcohol, TED, etc.

        As you know life is lived at cause.
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          Feb 17 2013: I agree Pat, that some folks draw attention to themselves for the reason you suggest.

          Just as people can be the effect of drugs and alcohol, we can also be the effect of more beneficial "addictions", like TED....can we not? I, for example, am addicted to gardens...I am the cause and effect of gardens.....not so bad is it??? LOL!

          I think/feel life is lived at BOTH cause and effect levels:>)
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        Feb 17 2013: I think it depends why, if you want to have a show garden to attract attention, if you are genuinely interested in gardening then that would be from a more cause point of view.

        Of course you have to be both cause and effect however the difference is in the reason behind the cause and effect.
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          Feb 17 2013: Agree! Why we do something is as important, or maybe sometimes more important, than the action.

          So, with the question....can money buy happiness....the answers may reflect one's intent. If a person truly thinks/feels that money will buy happiness....it may do that.

          However, the "catch" to that, is if people "expect" money to buy happiness, s/he may be very disappointed, and unhappy with the effect?
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        Feb 17 2013: Well the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

        I would urge anyone who is interested (see what I did there?) to look at people who they consider to be happy and look at whether they are interesting or are interested and look for a correlation.
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          Feb 18 2013: Yes Pat, I notice what you did....you are very clever and interesting:>)

          I agree that observing people and behaviors, and using that information to learn, is a GREAT way to explore and expand our heart and mind:>)
  • Feb 16 2013: There is a study by Brickman et al. (http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/psp/36/8/917/) which shows that people who have recently had an injury which led to paraplegia weren't unhappier than people who had won in a lottery before (or to be more accurate: those who had the accident didn't expect to be unhappier in the future).
    So I think that this shows quite well that there are factors which are much more relevant to be happy, e.g. friends and family.
    To answer your question: no, money can't buy happiness.
  • Feb 16 2013: No money doesn't buy happiness, money can't buy you love. You can get temporary fixes of joy from buying what you want but no amount of money can eradicate poor health let alone bring back the dead. Happiness is a choice you make everyday, it's an emotion that you have control over...as Maya Angelou once said (not verbatim) my circumstances may change me but I refuse to let it reduce me!
  • Feb 16 2013: money gives you the option to consentrate your effort on self recreation which will, hopefully, buy you happiness..
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    Feb 16 2013: Yes, I believe Money does buy happiness.
    money allows people to do what they please, to live longer and healthier lives, to buffer themselves against worry and harm, to have leisure time to spend with friends and family, and to control the nature of their daily activities -- all of which are sources of happiness.
  • Feb 15 2013: Hi Mohammad, i had a thought which i wrote down some years ago, it goes somthing like

    "I wish to own nothing but myself, and be free to give myself to those whom i wish to"

    I dont think money can buy happiness, it can certainly buy laziness, stuff, problems, junk.

    What did Tyler Durden say in fight club "the shit you own, ends up owning you"?

    No money cant buy happiness, but it can rent friends, hangers on, etc

    If the objective is happiness, one must decide it, decide to be happy, if not happy, act happy, others around will become happy around happy people.

    Ask anyone who suffers debilitating bouts of depression to the point of suicide, "what makes you happy"?, its because they decide to be happy, broke or rich
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    Feb 15 2013: Mohammad,

    Here is a link to the chart I made. Hope this helps (even just a little bit) to answer your question. :)

    www.bit.ly/YvqGot

    In addition to the chart I made, I want to point out that Gapminder.org has been used before (and to great effect) in TED presentations. Here is a link to one of them which I think you will enjoy and find interesting.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_asia_s_rise_how_and_when.html
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    Feb 15 2013: Mohammad,

    Your question' "Can money buy happiness?" is a GREAT QUESTION!

    Putting aside all other variables besides "money" and "happiness", I am sending you two links to sources which I believe can help to answer your question about understanding the relationship between how much money we earn/have and our happiness/ well being.

    1) The first source i am sending you is an article from the NY times written by ELIZABETH DUNN and MICHAEL NORTON, titled "Don't Indulge. Be Happy" and was published on July 7, 2012 (relatively recently). The article asks what appears to be a very similar question to the one you do, and within the article proceeds to answer that question. I think you will find it very helpful and interesting, and that there is good reason to believe (as others have already alluded to in their responses) that it isn't JUST how much money you have, BUT, it's also HOW you use it and what you spend it for.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/opinion/sunday/dont-indulge-be-happy.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    2) This second source is a "little" relation/ association chart I put together on a site called Gapminder.org (If you haven't heard of or been to Gapminder.org, I highly recommend you CHECK IT OUT because it is a VERY COOL and useful resource! It works by allowing the user to select any two topic/issues (those that Gapminder has) which can be "plugged" into a graph (one topic on each axis). After inserting the topics of your choice, Gapminder then generates a chart which shows the relationship between the two topics you "plugged" in. For the chart I created, I inserted the topics "Income per person (GDP/catia PP$ inflation-adjusted) on one axis, and on the other (because I couldn't find a indicator for overall "happiness and well being", I inserted what I believe to be the next best thing in relation to happiness, "Suicide (per 100,000 people)". I'll post a link to my chart in the comment above because I am running out of room here.
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    Feb 14 2013: "Money Can't Buy Happiness" is a quote often handed down by the Rich to the Poor to make them feel better being broke!
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      Feb 14 2013: Hi Raam
      are you a "rich man"?..
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        Feb 15 2013: Hi Mohammad, Why do you ask that?
        Anyway, my answer would be "Yes, of course!"
        Richness (and happiness) are relative terms. They have different meanings to different people.
  • Feb 14 2013: No. But it sure makes unhappiness a lot more comfortable.
  • Feb 11 2013: Deepak, I love what you said about the divine happiness that comes without the influence of money. This subject is so important, because we all want happiness but the how eludes us, so we try everything but the one thing that will bring us to this greater, divine, happiness. Try this perspective: "It is your greatest happiness and it is your greatest contentment to finally serve the truth.Your past has been frustrated and dismal because you have attempted to serve
    things without foundation and meaning.You have attempted to identify with things without purpose and direction.This has rendered to you the feeling that you have no purpose, meaning or direction. Feel happy now that you can represent the truth and serve the truth, for the truth gives you all that is true. It gives you purpose, meaning
    and direction, which are what you have sought in all of your engagements, relationships, activities and endeavors.This is what you have sought in all of your fantasies, in all of your concerns and in all of your hopes." What's the truth of your life? Is happiness possible for you? Imagine finding out. http://www.stepstoknowledge.com/
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    Feb 8 2013: Hi, Colleen. Happiness may be a choice, of course. I wanted to use 'stillness' just like the opposite to evolve, not like quietness, or restness. It's possible that my bad English (it's a little bit hard to me to write in Engelish) may be the responsible of my errors or misunderstandings. I love quietness and peace, rest and confort, -why not?-, but what I meant was stillness as a kind of resignation. I must be very careful with my expressions, I know, and I must beg the pardon of my friends for eventual misunderstandings.
    I know that my ignorance needs of a great dose of humbleness. The problem is that when one tries to express ideas, concepts or feelings, one can't be very good with grammar. :-)
    No, absolutely not. I do not perceive the adventures as a struggle or suffering, even though may times adventures, struggle or suffering go united or anyway entangled. I agree with you on that point. What I didn't explain correctly is that adventure has a little of risk (may be that could have been the right word...) or something like a certain grade of lack of our loved confort or 'security'.
    i also agrree with you about what means 'struggle' or 'pain'. I could to nuance my opinion about it but I'm afraid my English is not prepared even. Patience!
    And thank you very much for your words. Your so kind and generous!!
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      Feb 8 2013: Dear Sean,
      I wish I could speak Spanish as well as you write and speak English! The understanding in our conversations is not all your responsibility. I ask questions to clarify your meaning so I can understand to the best of my ability. Please do NOT take responsibility for all errors or misunderstandings....please:>) Any conversation is a two way street!

      I love quietness, peace, rest and comfort as well, and those are experiences that money cannot buy:>)

      OK....I understand better your use of stillness to mean resignation, and that helps me better understand your other comment, and I agree:>) You ARE NOT ignorant my friend, and please do not even say that again.

      I agree with you that adventure often has a little risk, which may cause us to feel insecure at times. I thank you for your patience with me as well my friend:>)
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        Feb 9 2013: Thank you very much. I apreciate Ted users worth and I really enjoy participating in their conversations. That provides me a nice input of ideas, opinions, feelings and topics, and lets me also improve my English, a language I love.
        I knew about ted by mean of a friend of mine, she's journalist. To me, TED is a place to enjoy. I I consider TED's friends like good friends. And always is good time for learning. (Really, all the life must be tiem for learning... and you all are a nice happening). Thanks for exist.
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    Feb 8 2013: I was very fortunate to have grown up poor and with some hard work a achieved a modicum of success in the business world. Money cannot buy you happiness!!!!! There are no utopia's. Money if not handled properly can create as many problems if not more than poverty. My opinion for what it is worth is this. What will make you happy in life is you have to be happy with yourself before you can make anyone else happy. Nobody or anything can do that but you.
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    Feb 7 2013: I agree, Colleen. I think that one of the most amazing adventures one can enjoy is to live day by day trying to make a new experience in which to put the best of yourself. And then, to recognize that the struggle was worth it, though one has ever failed. I do not like the stillness of not evolving. I like the struggle and suffering to evolve.
    Greets.
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      Feb 8 2013: I LOVE that Sean..."one of the most amazing adventures one can enjoy is to live day by day trying to make a new experience in which to put the best of yourself". You are saying that happiness is a choice I think?

      I do not particularly like the "stillness of not evolving" either Sean......another good concept from you my friend. I believe that "stillness" provides the opportunity to evolve......or not....depends on how we use and perceive the stillness?

      That being said, do you think/feel we need to perceive the adventures as a struggle or suffering? Personally, I do not struggle or suffer, and that is a perception on my part. The adventures of the life experience are simply that.....adventures. My perception, is that I spend time, energy, focus, learn and grow, sometimes with challenge and pain, and no struggle or suffering.

      Struggle, to me, means I am spending energy which works AGAINST the experience. I prefer to accept the circumstances and move through it. Suffering, means I am holding onto the pain of the experience, which also keeps me from moving through to the next adventure:>)
      What do you think/feel about this idea?
  • Feb 7 2013: Happyness is basically anything that aids power to survive. So of course wealth would buy happyness. If immortality treatments existed how many rich people would take them right away? A hell of a lot, most people don't want to die.

    When we say "happyness" we really mean "power".
  • Feb 7 2013: Firstly I am sorry to hear about your brother, I know what a terrible disease cancer is.
    We are all different in our views and our reactions to situations vary. After writing several paragraphs and starting again I have come to the conclusion that happiness and being content are two different things, I am content but am I happy? Well I have simply managed to confuse myself as I really don't know. Although I am pleased that we agree money is not the answer.
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      Feb 7 2013: Chris,
      This looks like a continuation of our conversation. Are you aware that you can reply directly to another comment, to keep the conversation in sequence, rather than starting a new thread by going to the screen at the top of the conversation? The word "reply" appears in the upper right corner of the comment.

      Thank you so much for your kind words.....cancer is indeed a horrible disease.

      We are in agreement on the fact that we are all different in our views and our actions/reactions to situations vary! I too perceive happiness and contentment as different, although I can also see how the meanings and feelings can overlap at times.

      I feel that I am content all the time, because to me, contentment is a broad, underlying feeling which is part of the foundation of my life experience. To me, happiness is fleeting, and can vary depending on the circumstances. To me, it feels like happiness can be more shallow, while contentment has more depth.

      I perceive confusion to be an interesting, valuable "state" to be in at times, because to me, it means that I am genuinely evaluating information. I am also pleased that we agree money is not the answer, and I do not feel confused by that:>)
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    Feb 7 2013: Colleen: I only wanted to explain that all what I was writing, was my opinion just now, at present, because I'm firmly convinced that life is a continous change, and things one think nice today may change tomorrow. One of the most pleasant feelings of mine is to take a look from time to time, to see what has changed and what things need adaptation, reform or simply act or omission over them. Life as something dynamic. . . That's my point of view... Life as something that needs of the best from you.
    Greets.
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      Feb 7 2013: I thought that was your meaning Sean, and rather than assume, I asked the questions:>)

      I totally agree that life is a continuous change.....for those who want to experience change. Some folks get "stuck" in patterns of beliefs and behaviors and do not want to change. That, to me, is not a very interesting life adventure.

      I also like to evaluate from time to time, and the end result of those life explorations is pleasant. I cannot say that the exploration itself is always pleasant, because sometimes I discover something in myself that is not so pleasant. That information, however, provides the motivation, and facilitates change, which IS pleasant.

      This is the reason some folks DO NOT want to explore, delve into the depths of their "being" to learn. It is sometimes not so pleasant, and it is easier to stay with the patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviors that feel ok on some level. These are sometimes the same people who are seeking something outside themselves. I believe some happiness can be experienced with external stimuli, and true contentment is to be discovered in ourselves. As you insightfully say Sean....life is something that needs the best from you, me....all of us:>)
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        Feb 14 2013: Hi Colleen
        For me, life is like a serious war, and I am a serious soldier..
        kind Regards
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          Feb 14 2013: Dear Mohammad,

          I can understand why you see life as a war, and yourself as a soldier, considering where you live. Do you think your new educational adventure will help take you out of the struggle.....at least for a little while?
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        Feb 14 2013: Hi Colleen
        No... Metaphorically speaking I think, I am a soldier...I like this way of thinking...and, to be honest with you… Life in Iran is quite good…you should come over and see..
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          Feb 14 2013: Oh....sorry Mohammad....I misunderstood your meaning. I would LOVE to visit Iran some day:>)
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        Feb 16 2013: Welcome to Iran….No.. You have got it; you are beyond my meanings…I love to go to Newyork..I love to live there Before my 30...maybe 4 ever..
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      Feb 14 2013: Hi Sean
      I think there is a problem with the way that our brains work..!...?.. How/why do we copare?..How do we come up a with a conclusion about our life?
      ..
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    Feb 6 2013: In this discussion, I think there is a question must be answered first: what is happiness? Or better, what you call of well-being?

    Comfort? Material and social success? Being up with the last trends? Showing off consumption power? In this case, yes - money can buy happiness.

    (Here arrises a parallel discussion: if money can buy happiness, not everyone can have it, as market won't allow it. Is this happiness?)

    Now, well-being can also mean peace, love, patience, kindness. In this case money can create the circunstances for well-being, and also (paradoxically) hinder it. But money is not the only way to attain them.
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      Feb 14 2013: Hi Eric
      "In this discussion, I think there is a question must be answered first: what is happiness? Or better, what you call of well-being?"

      Q1:Is it possible to come up with a definition for happiness or wellbeing?, if so, what is that?
      "(Here arrises a parallel discussion: if money can buy happiness, not everyone can have it, as market won't allow it. Is this happiness?)"

      Q2: As far as I money is concerned, I think there is so much similarities associated with our wants,
      But the question is "what are your needs?".. .what makes you really happy?..what does life mean to you?..
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    Feb 6 2013: Yes, it can. Whith money you can get food, clothes, a home, in brief basic needsl. Whitout them people begin the fight for survival and then lost the humanity because spent all their time trying to survive above all. But it is like a Knife, well used tools can contribute to happiness, bad used money can guide to destruction.
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      Feb 14 2013: Hi Jesus?..
      Don't you think that happiness might be beyond that...?..There are those people who think they have found their happiness when they were at the middle of a serious war, for survival..?..!..
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    Feb 6 2013: I do not think money can buy happiness, but it does free you up to pursue happiness. When you are financially tied down you are in a strangle hold by the world and can never really do the things you want because you are always chasing the almighty dollar. When that money is readily available you have the freedom to go out and do the things you love without worry and regret. Money will never make you happy alone, but you have a much better starting point if it is there.
  • Feb 6 2013: Money can not buy happiness, it can remove certain worries from your life, but what if your partner dies or tragedy strikes your family, what can money do then. It is not the source of happiness that I am afraid is out of our hands.
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      Feb 6 2013: Chris,
      Why do you say that happiness/contentment is "out of our hands"? I believe we have a choice regarding what we experience at any given time. To use your example of someone you love dying....

      My brother died last week, and because I understand and accept the dying process, it does not affect my happiness/contentment. He had cancer, was in pain, and wanted to end the life experience, so I am content that his body is no longer in pain. I certainly am NOT happy/content that he died. I understand and accept the circumstances, however, and am content.....make any sense?

      I agree with you...."money cannot buy happiness" because happiness/contentment is a choice we make for ourselves in each and every moment of the life/death experience.
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    Feb 6 2013: In response to Mohammad's question, I shall accept happiness up to a notion of subjective well being of a person and tend to be skeptical about Income, Economic Developement and Growth being true indicators. In fact, the economist's assessment of well-being/happiness (and the question in the OP becomes very relevant here) for nations/countries/people in terms of GDP is under question now a days giving rise to concepts such as Happiness Index. The whole notion of a consumerist economy, market and growth seems dicey to me when I see it from an environmental and social angle. The 'compete to win' world view appaers to me a gift of the same consumerist capatilist paradigm and this is being slowly replaced by 'co-operate to survive' strategy.
    There can be a debate about the very basis of happiness - whether it is something personal (like the monks, which Pat rejects) or something social, because if we are truly sensistive my personal happiness seems selfish amidst so much inequlity, poverty, hunger, violence and suffering. But I hope we can agree that happiness is something positive in life that make us look forward to tomorrow with excitement and hope. I think money cannot buy that positivity.
    At best, money can buy goods and services that help to create a positivity in society, some hope. It can buy food, healthcare, education, shelter which are essential for feeling happy for us who are not monks.
    Money is actually a trust. A trust that it can be redeemed against some resources that are useful and necessary. I am skeptical about the validity of the trust behind money in the world of near future. I am afraid it might turn into a pauper's promise of a feast in a world of dwindling resources.
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      Feb 6 2013: Happiness is:

      Having a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.

      Being an INCURABLE OPTIMIST.

      These are true wealth.

      MONEY is essential to providing conditions sustaining life and health.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k89u1ATig6w&NR=1&feature=endscreen
      http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_nature_beauty_gratitude.html
      http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_brilliant_makes_the_case_for_optimism.html

      Wishing you a quick recovery with your eyes Mohammad, general wellness & happiness:-)
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        Feb 6 2013: Dear Juliette,
        In reply to your comment, which states:
        "Happiness is having a POSITIVE ATTITUDE.
        Happiness is being an INCURABLE OPTIMIST.
        These are true wealth."

        I copied it here, because I observe that you often delete and/or edit your comments.

        While I think I understand your message, encouraging ONLY positive attitude and incurable optimist, sometimes this suggests that we always "be" in an optimistic state with positive attitude. To me, happiness can be fleeting, and I think/feel that to be genuinely happy/content, it is important to recognize and experience ALL feelings and emotions, which means to explore many different states of "being" on many different levels. Sometimes, these different levels of exploration do not always feel positive and optimistic.

        I agree that an optimistic attitude can contribute to our "wealth", and I also suggest that to truly experience ALL emotions (Know thyself) adds even more wealth. As multi-sensory, muli-dimensional humans, we have the ability to experience many feelings and emotions at the same time. I have learned to be comfortable with discomfort for example. So there can be an underlying sense of contentment regardless of the circumstances in any given moment:>)
  • Feb 6 2013: A Hindu teacher said that the cause of all suffering is the pursuit of happiness. Look around. Think about it. If you are truly honest with yourself, you'll probably recognize that money isn't satisfying people's deeper needs. Our experience of physical existence is predominantly one of suffering and uncertainty and anxiety to get and protect what we think will make us happy. But if you are really honest about it, looking at your own experience objectively, you will have to admit that there is a lot of anxiety to hang onto what you've got and get more of material comforts that may bring momentary happiness, but deep down inside, what are you feeling? Disappointment. Needing more. Acquiring more. More disappointment. More, more, more. A vicious cycle. Truth is? We're here in this life to contribute. To give. Fulfillment and happiness come from a rightness about your life. Being in the right place with the right people doing the right thing beyond your personal agenda. Revolutionary! It's about the need of the soul, not the needs of the body or the mind. That's where the juice is. That's why we're here. Take a look at the needs of the world. Maybe there's a problem with your name on it. THAT will bring you the happiness you're looking for. Your soul will smile.
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    Feb 5 2013: Money cannot buy happiness, but it can certainly make you acquire happiness.
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      Feb 5 2013: what would the difference be between buy and acquire? doesn't by definition acquire with money mean buy?
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        Feb 5 2013: I said make you acquire, as in being an object of ¨aid¨ not directly acquire. I was simply going by the fact which many have brought up: Happiness is a state of being (intangible). Going by that, money can't tangibly ¨get¨ you happiness, but it can certainly ¨get¨ you things that will alter your state of being and make you feel happier.

        In reply to: ¨which sounds like a sophism to me.¨

        Thanks for the compliment!
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    Feb 5 2013: Happiness and contentment are the same thing. I'm always much happier when I have enough money to be at ease.
  • Feb 5 2013: Of course money can buy happiness. But it also must be understood that happiness is not a black or white state of being. There are many shades of gray. The happiness that money can buy can be as simple as security and comfort. Being happy with a comfortable place to live, a good neighborhood, a nice car. These are comforts that money can buy to provide a limited amount of happiness. Money will not buy other forms of happiness, such as a family or a purpose in life. But we can trace these things back to money as well. It is easier to find love and have a family when you have a money. You may not need money to find a purpose in life, but money can provide the education and training to acheive that purpose. Don't believe me? Go try to get a date when you can't afford a shower (Sarcastic, but true).

    Essentially, my point is that money can buy happiness. Money will provide for the basic necessities of life and for comfort. This will reduce stress and make individuals generally happy. Once these basics are obtained, money is then a resource used to obtain other levels of happiness. It is different for each person. Some want to travel. Some may want to work with their hands. Money will provide the plane tickets. Money will provide the tools needed to create. Money is a resource to use for people to earn their happiness
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    Feb 4 2013: Can money buy happiness? Yes, but money can't buy satisfaction, which could be reached only through actions. In my opinion be satisfied of something is more important than be happy, because the first thing is consequence of an act, the second is only a passing sensation that, for exemple, could be generated from the first one. So, chase the satisfaction and you will also achieve the happiness without spending money.
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    Feb 4 2013: I don't have a lot of money but I can see the impact of not having it in other peoples lives, here in the US. It's a sad story, because all they think about is how to get more money. In other countries, I can't imagine having to fight for every meal, every day, so the idea of not having money in the US is very different than that experience in some other countries.

    In the long run, things that help to enrich peoples lives, like the public library, are not available in some countries at all.
    The library is responsible for helping me to get more money and to enlighten myself to understand how to save and use money in a responsible manner. While I don't buy cheap, I still have to save to buy something more expensive of good quality. But, quality has a way of enduring the stresses of time better than cheap.

    In all, nothing in my life would be possible without money, even my happiness. It's a lot easier to meditate and relax, if your not worrying about where your next meal is coming from.
  • Feb 4 2013: Money, by itself, cannot buy happiness. What it can buy is the freedom to find that which makes you happy.
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    Feb 4 2013: This is pretty much comparing tangible with intangible. Happiness is a state of being, not something you can simply get from a store using money. Now the question would be 'Can money buy you the satisfaction you need for the time being?' Absolutely. I bought like 17 clothes in one day worth 100 bucks in total so that I can start a new wardrobe. Having fulfilled that task made me happy in the very least.

    Considering the fact that these days if you had the money, you can buy anything from a house to an education to travelling the world and back to sitting on the couch watching entertainment with hundreds of channels, there are certain things in life that can't never be bought: love, respect, family, morals, values, and beliefs... just to name a few.

    As much as I would like to acquire more money IN ORDER TO pay off my debts in student loans, buy a car, buy all the essential needs like food, clothing, shelter, and have savings to build my career and start a business so that I'll be financially secured some day, I know that being happy is still a choice I have to make regardless of what I have or don't have. I've learned that happiness doesn't have to be this long, distant journey that seems beyond reach like becoming a millionaire or something. Unlike having a stable income, you can make a conscious decision to be happy in life knowing that you can achieve anything as long as you have the discipline for it. And perhaps earn money along the way.
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    Feb 3 2013: Hi
    Many thanks in advance for your comments..
    Sorry, I have just had eye surgery (Lasik) and now, I can barely look at my laptop...
    I will join the conversation as soon as possible.
    Best Regards
    M.mohammadipour
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      Feb 3 2013: Rest, relax and heal my friend....sending you loving, healing energy:>)
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    Feb 3 2013: As I think of the happiest times in my life, they are always linked to a change and opportunity and/or personal recognition. E.g. getting accepted to a university, getting a new job, moving to a new place, getting married, having a new child, etc. In the long run, what these changes bring isn't all happiness - there are also responsibilities, difficulties, etc. But at the time when the change happened, I, definitely, felt happy. What makes us happy is not the change - it's our imagination of the possibilities it brings.

    Another aspect is personal recognition. I think, most people feel good when they do something that makes others happy - be it contributing to community, giving to charity or doing their job well. When we get money as recognition, we feel happy from the recognition and also from the possibilities that come with the money, but not from the money as such. I think, this is why most people feel happy when they win a lottery or get a raise or a bonus. I can't imagine how stolen money can bring any happiness.

    This feeling of excitement when we get money can be compared to a flower. We enjoy it for a short time, but then it may bring a sweet fruit that we will enjoy further or it may produce something prickly and bitter or poisonous or nothing at all. But we do enjoy the flower regardless of what it may bring.
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    Feb 2 2013: From a deeper sense, as I assume the question is meant to be taken from, people who worry too much about money are unhappier than those that don't. Some poor people don't worry too much about money, some rich people worry too much about money. The most depressed person I've ever met was also the richest.
    On the other side, yes, some of the poorest people in the world are still very happy, but there are also those who aren't able to feed their children, and might even have to choose which one lives because they have so little food.
    For those of us lucky enough to live in a more developed country (if you are reading this then I mean you) just ask the simple question:
    What makes you happy?
    For me, aside from love & family, I enjoy watching footy, reading books, surfing the net, playing Fifa on PS3, drinking beer with mates and travelling...a lot.
    To do these things I need money. However, money isn't the direct cause of happiness. It's not like we sit at home cheerfully handling our money, most of the time we never see it.

    Which essentially means I completely agree with the quote posted by Aries Eroles below:
    "Money can't buy happiness, but happiness needs money."
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      Feb 13 2013: .
      You are right, "The most depressed person I've ever met was also the richest."
      Me, too.


      That is why I say:

      (1) Money can buy happiness below or at its OPTIMAL POINT,
      because happiness is the short-time feeling of things being A-STEP-BETTER for keeping our DNA alive.

      (2) Above the point it buys with more and more difficultly, and with more and more INVALID happiness,
      because it needs more and more money for a-step-better; and it makes more and more backfire.

      (3) OPTIMAL POINT depends on its specific conditions.


      (For details, see 1st article, points 1-3, 10, 14, at https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D&id=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D%21283&sc=documents)
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    Feb 2 2013: The obvious answer is no: money cannot buy happiness. However, money can buy you things, it can erase or prevent debts, it can pay for medicine and medical procedures, and it allows you to be able to give to someone else in need presuming of course that your are benevolent in nature. These things may not be able to make you happy in and of themselves, but they can certainly heighten the quality of one's life.

    "Money answereth all THINGS." (Ecclesiastes 10:19 emphasis mine)

    The LOVE of money, greed and avarice, is what makes money appear to be evil and rob one of their happiness. When you keep money in its place, you can be as happy as you want to be!

    I can give you ten dollars to buy your child a Happy Meal and that money enabled that child to be happy. Or I could take that money and give it to the drug dealer on the corner, purchase drugs and addict myself. That money will have enabled me to put myself in bondage and become wholly unhappy. It's how you see the money and what you do with the money that makes one happy, sad, mad, etc.
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    Feb 1 2013: Money can buy pleasure, gratification but happiness, which is more deep and real I think NO. We need money no doubt, but your question implies 'lot of money' if that is so, the answer is money cannot buy happiness.
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    Feb 1 2013: I was thinking that money is happiness until I saw a nomad.

    I was traveling from one city to another when the driver stopped the car due to some technical issue. It was a mountainous place and till the car got fixed I walked around to have the good view of mountains.

    I suddenly saw a tent in a such a deserted place. The residents looked a husband and wife with one or two kids playing and laughing in a lonely place with access to nothing. It looked they even did not have access to basics but so happy.

    We call these people in our language the Kochiss. these people do not have a permanent place they travel season by season from place to another and they usually seek warm weather.
  • Jan 30 2013: The happiest times in my life are when I've been too busy helping other people to think about myself. Is money necessary for that? To a certain extent. It's needed to satisfy your basic needs so you can focus on other things. What you do once your needs are met is up to you, but I believe the greatest happiness a man can find is when he loses his selfishness and tries to make other people happy. Paradoxical, but it's been true in my life.
  • Jan 30 2013: Although everyone desires to be happy, the pathways people choose are varied (and not always successful). People frequently believe that making more money will increase their happiness. However, although the North America economy has grown steadily since the 1950's, happiness levels of North American's have not increased (Diener & Seligman, 2004). Also, after a person's basic needs have been met (food, shelter, etc.), the relationship between income and happiness is quite small (Howell & Howell, 2008). This leads to a simple, yet important question: if materialistic pursuits, those that are embodied by the Canadian or USA Dream, are not making people happier, then are the hours we spend pursuing better careers, nicer homes, and faster cars, in vain? The problem is that people are simply spending their money on the wrong things (literally). People can spend their money in ways which will make them, and others around them, happier—by focusing their expenditures on activities that satisfy their basic psychological needs. I think we as individual's give our own meaning to the word happiness.
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    Jan 30 2013: Speaking only from personal experience, I can share with you that money was unable to buy happiness for me. What it did do, from the back door of the search for happiness, is relinquish many of my sorrows and stresses, which caused my already state of happiness to become more profound. I would classify money in the 'civilized' world to be that of an "enabler." It will definitely enable your present and future path in your search for happiness.
    Speaking hypothetically, now: If, I were living a natural life as opposed to this life of un-natural realities that our predecessors have procured, I would have to answer with a resounding "NO!", Money has no relevance, we do not need it, and we would despise it with our foresight. To me, it is only something else designed which we really never needed at the time of its inception, but now that it is here, we can not survive without it. Like so many of our current technological advances. Who do these many inventions advance? Another good question....
    • Jan 31 2013: "We become tools of our tools"
      Thoreau said it in the middle of the XIX cent !
      As a species defined by our technologies I would say we have been on this path since the invention of the wheel.
      Or even earlier.
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        Jan 31 2013: thanks natasha, Thoreau is timeless, able to see tomorrow from a perspective as if looking back at yesterday. the wheel...what a joke, huh? someone afraid of a little work or afraid of leaving all their junk behind cursed us. my aspirations lie with the many cultures alive, yet today, who still find no useful purpose with the wheel. In our society, we are tools of our tools, benefiting our owners well, though. thanks, again. always refreshing and insightful to share with you, my friend
        • Jan 31 2013: Hi, Tim,
          i was searching for that point in the recorded human history where the humanity went wrong... and came up with the idea, that there was no such a point. "Nothing has independent existence from everything else." there are no points anywhere.
          Human mind started to shape itself during a long, long period of time about which we know so little, if anything at all. And ' wheel' came from the domain of human imagination; it’s interesting, that the imagination is the land of “What ifs”. “if” brakes the flow of reality into two possibilities A or B, or more.
          If not some " cultures alive, yet today, who still find no useful purpose with the wheel " we wouldn't even have a possibility to ask the question : what if..? And would have no idea about the price we payed for a wheel .
          And coming back to timeless Thoreau : " It is the greatest of all advantages to enjoy no advantage at all."
          Thanks for responding ! Genuinely happy to share with you ! :)
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        Feb 1 2013: are you sure you are not "natasha rumi nikulina?:) I love that place your words and message comes from. perhaps, as a small child you may have swallowed a little piece of the meta-physical universe....
        truthfully, I think we were all born with it there, inside us, already.

        uni-verse........................................................................................................................one-song

        a beautiful thought to ponder
        • Feb 1 2013: I have been pondering ...and pondering ...and now i try to listen to the song.
          It's beautiful, it's what joy is all about.
          Thank you for your kind words, but i don't think i deserve rumi as my middle name.
          Actually, what names are ? I love rumi ! :)
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      Jan 31 2013: more precisely, you were unable to buy yourself happiness with money.
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        Jan 31 2013: greetings Krisztian, often accused, and rightly so, of over-elaboration, you have stated my point concisely leaving more time to pursue genuine happiness, which cost no more than a little effort, proper attitude, and a will to make this planet better for everyone who travels behind us. it is a pleasure to meet you
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      Feb 4 2013: It's ironic that with having money in the first place, it simply isn't enough to give you what you were looking for unless you hoped that money can provide you with happiness instead of adding more of what you already have. There is definitely a price in return to having acquired so much. I don't believe that money itself is what robs one of true happiness... it's the love of money and in having accumulated too much material goods that either causes people to lose appreciation for it and even their own lives or cause them to become too self-indulgent.

      You're right about the fact that in its first invention, we really didn't need it except now it's hard to remove it from the equation where everything has a cost and need something in exchange if it's what you really want to have. It's sad what the world has come to and I just hope that more people see that searching for happiness doesn't have to depend so much on money but rather on the choices that they make in life.
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        Feb 4 2013: Less than 5 minutes ago: Hello Christy, it seems so obvious today, or looking from a removed position You are correct in your assessment. I became dependent on its false sense of security. I am afraid this has been part of the plan from whence it received its inception. We traded our ability to provide for ourselves to accept currency for effort , goods, and services provided, which we now must trade for the survival we used to provide autonomously (such as indigenous peoples), in the trade off, self sufficiency for cash, we lost our confidence and ability to live free from fear. I believe when we look at old pictures of indigenous people there is a sense of confidence we recognize but wonder how they have it, all they needed for the survival and protection of all they loved stood within the moccasins on their feet
        The people who believe themselves to be independently wealthy are really the most dependent of others. Their money is traded to a multitude of people to provide their existence and security, their confidence is false, conceived only in their minds, but their fear is real, leaving them to be ruthless actors, hating and judging to justify their selfishness.
        Whether or not, if you have money or you are without monetary resources, we all live in fear of tomorrow, we all worry for our children's future, we all worry for our own future, however, the ones with money have a false sense of security and with in this psychological denial they are out of touch with primal obligations They think they have protection, but in reality we all know anything less than self sufficiency is hope. Don't forget Hope came from Pandora's Box along with the rest of the evil in the world, because hope usually is, and can be evil. It came from the box it belonged in. Hope has never resolved anything.
        I wasn't looking for more, but I was afraid of losing what I had, and it wasn't much; really.
        Thanks for sharing Christy, pleasure to meet you
  • Jan 30 2013: Definition of happiness is unique to each person...................its perceived money can buy happiness but that is a broad question with out a yes or no answer.
  • Jan 29 2013: Everyone is different, so for some money can buy happyness. For others not so much, remember there are rich people that take their own lives. Kurt Cobain for instance wasn't hurting for money.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kurt_Cobain
  • Jan 29 2013: Maybe a more accurate assessment is that lack of money creates unhappiness if ones basic needs aren't met (Maslow). However, after those needs are met (50k/year in the U.S.), the correlation with unhappiness no longer holds true. At this point happiness does correlate with money if one buys new experiences with friends and family rather than just material items. Note, however, that the social element is the key and one doesn't have to fly to Paris to be happy with family and friends.
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    Jan 28 2013: Hello Mohammad.....good to see you on TED again:>)

    No, I do not believe money can buy happiness. All we have to do is observe people in our world to see this. The US is one of the most abundant countries in our world, and we have one of the highest rates of drug use, including perscription drug use, especially anti-depressants, suicides, etc.

    My experience with traveling in remote areas of our world and coming back to the US, is that many people with less materialistic "stuff", are more content, while many people in the abundant US are discontent. I prefer to use the word "content" rather than happiness because "happiness" seems to be a fleeting emotion, while contentment, for me, is very much a part of the underlying foundation of my life experience:>)
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      Jan 30 2013: Hi Colleen.. good to talk to you on TED again
      “No, I do not believe money can buy happiness. All we have to do is observe people in our world to see this. The US is one of the most abundant countries in our world, and we have one of the highest rates of drug use, including perscription drug use, especially anti-depressants, suicides, etc.”

      …It is interesting to know that because we have a well-known holly phrase in Iran… That is called “American Dream!”...believe it or not, USA is the true utopia in my realm…

      “ My experience with traveling in remote areas of our world and coming back to the US, is that many people with less materialistic "stuff", are more content, while many people in the abundant US are discontent. I prefer to use the word "content" rather than happiness because "happiness" seems to be a fleeting emotion, while contentment, for me, is very much a part of the underlying foundation of my life experience:>)”

      ….Q. Have you ever been in middle-east?
      …Regarding my every day experience, I am afraid sometimes money is the true unique solution, and that is the very sad fact in middle-east..
      …Q. I do believe that money talks…?!..sometimes!..
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        Jan 30 2013: Hi Mohammad,
        I've spent time in Egypt and Jordan.

        I am aware of the perception that the USA is sometimes thought of as utopia....the "American Dream".

        The US was one of the leaders in technology and medical advances, which I think may be fading as other countries are catching up to us. The US has been one of the most abundant countries, and unfortunately, people in the US are wasting a lot of the worlds resources, so I don't think people around the world have the same good feelings of the "American Dream" as they once had.
        Yes, I agree that "money talks", and if money, and the things money buys, are used greedily and wastefully, the story it tells may not be for the benefit of our global society......do you agree?
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          Feb 3 2013: Hi Colleen
          I do agree with you, I always am..
          You know I have just finished my 25 and these days are my very first days of 26…I am going to leave the mother land to Kuala lumpur to join the PhD program at UPM university.. And as far as money is concerned this question suddenly come up to my mind…am I on the right track?..!...
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        Feb 3 2013: Congratulations Mohammad, on your "new age" AND your new adventure. I have confidence that you will do well, because I perceive you to be asking questions, exploring, and being fully present in the life adventure.

        When I question myself regarding the path I am taking at any given moment, I clear my mind, stop the mind chatter, and ask the question. Then listen and "feel" the answer. We all function differently, and listening to my heart/intuition/instinct/gut feeling is usually a pretty good guide. Once I "feel" I am on the right track, I wholeheartedly enter into the adventure without question or doubt. The logical, reasonable mind/brain can help with the details of how to acheive the goal.

        Have fun and enjoy the adventure my friend, and I sincerely hope you stay connected with TED because you have a lot to offer and I would like to hear about your journey:>)
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    Jan 27 2013: I don't think money itself can buy happiness, because one can misspend money. I rather think instead that the people who have money are wise (that's why they got the money), and thus they spend the money well on things that really do increase their happiness.
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    Jan 27 2013: hmm.. getting in depth and may need to be discussed in person as these conversations can get lengthy.

    If I understand you correctly I believe we get into the use of money as a tool. The analogy I heard years ago is that money can be like a tool. It can be used to destroy a school or build a school. Having the tool may give you the option, but its use is up to you. Perhaps how you use it will lend to your happiness or detract from it. Maybe a double edged sword.

    So I would agree with you. Its about how you use it.
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    Jan 27 2013: I tend to agree with the notion that money does not "buy" happiness directly. It merely allows us to take care of the basics. It can be rather difficult to be happy and worry about where your next meal will come from. Once the basics are taken care of, such as food, shelter, heat, etc, Then happiness tends to be up to the individual. I Believe in one TED talk the researchers determined in the U.S., an income of about $60,000 was a minimum base point. From there the odds of you being happy were the same as if you made $100 million. So while it may not be the ability to purchase a particular material good, it may be the ability to fulfill a basic human need.
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      Jan 27 2013: what do you think, james cameron is a happier man because he can explore ocean deeps? it is kinda costly you know.
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        Jan 27 2013: hmm. I see that as a question for James. And then perhaps ask "Happier than who?"

        I tend to believe that people are not happier with more choices such as the one submitted (exploring the ocean) Some Ted talks mention research into the options of "Choice" and that too much choice can lead to unhappiness. It makes a bit of sense that with all the choices we might mentally think that one choice is perfect and will make us happy. When we condense those choices we tend to be happier. I find that research interesting.

        These examples I believe also lead to the "grass is always greener" thinking. Also, known as a cognitive trap. We think when we get this item, or travel to that place, or perform that feat, then we will be happy. This is the trap and leads to circular thinking which is more self destructive when happiness is not achieved.

        I love the saying "The secret to happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have" I find this statement to be true, BUT also fortune cookie wisdom. No depth. How do we as individuals train our minds to be happy with what we have?

        Back to the original questions. Perhaps money is needed so that we may reach that point in life that opens up the other choices and confronts us with new opportunities. At which point happiness becomes something else. hmm. Maybe we need a hierarchy of happiness. Level one is basic needs. Level two is social comfort (or something) up to level "?" altruism.
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          Jan 27 2013: happier than himself without the zillions of dollars he made.

          i think the answer is simpler: if you buy drinks and luxury, money won't help. but there are things only money can buy and do make your life better. it is all about the use.

          how about that?
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          Jan 28 2013: Hi Leo
          "I tend to believe that people are not happier with more choices such as the one submitted (exploring the ocean) Some Ted talks mention research into the options of "Choice" and that too much choice can lead to unhappiness. It makes a bit of sense that with all the choices we might mentally think that one choice is perfect and will make us happy.".
          I personally think that "more choices" means "more freedom"…
          "When we condense those choices we tend to be happier"
          Q1: So, is it possible to have a prescription for a happier life?

          "I love the saying "The secret to happiness is not getting what you want, but wanting what you have" I find this statement to be true, BUT also fortune cookie wisdom. No depth. How do we as individuals train our minds to be happy with what we have?"
          Q2: Regarding your perspective is happiness wanting what you already have? Or wanting something that you are getting now (process), or is it something that you will have (in its sensible form)?..

          "Back to the original questions. Perhaps money is needed so that we may reach that point in life that opens up the other choices and confronts us with new opportunities. At which point happiness becomes something else. hmm. Maybe we need a hierarchy of happiness. Level one is basic needs. Level two is social comfort (or something) up to level "?" altruism"
          Q3: could you shed light on your idea?.
          Regards
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      Jan 28 2013: Hi Leo
      "I tend to agree with the notion that money does not "buy" happiness directly. It merely allows us to take care of the basics. It can be rather difficult to be happy and worry about where your next meal will come from. Once the basics are taken care of, such as food, shelter, heat, etc,"
      ..Imagine a life that most of the people (sample group) are living upon the poverty line in different territories…
      "Then happiness tends to be up to the individual"..
      Q1. Could you shed light on your idea?
      .Regards.
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        Jan 28 2013: hmm. This can get really in depth and head into a lot of tangents. I tend to be a neuro-philosopher so my ideas stem from evolution, biology etc.

        A starving human will be in a different mind set than someone that has food. Same thing with someone that cannot breathe. We will fight, claw, scratch, steal etc. from an animal state our amygdala will kick in survival instincts and get us to aggressively survive.

        A level up from that will be probably the poverty level. The stress of knowing where your next meal will come from, or whether you will be able to pay for living puts another level of pressure. At this state the brain has risen out of the animalistic survival state and a person may not steal or hurt someone, but the mental state may not be said to be "happiness"

        Another level (perhaps these are not levels 1,2,3 but more like 1, 3, 7 or such) would be having all of the basics taken care of. Food, shelter, etc. In the Western world (or perhaps it would be capitalistic parts of the world) this takes money. (other parts it may take power, or influence) This gets you to a higher level of happiness, but no further.

        Then money may play a role, but it would have its limitations. Much like taking a starving human and solving the daily challenge of food. You have elevated their mental state, but only so far as feeding that individual food will allow. They may still want for sex, or shelter, etc.

        The questions "does money make us happy?" I believe most people see that it is not money, it is solving needs and gratifying desires. In the Western world it is money, but perhaps in another country it may be pearls, or livestock. Same concept, but whatever the item is, it is used to trade for desires and needs.

        Money helps, but only to a point. Then our minds search for something else. I think we are in a quest to learn what that may be but stick with money for the moment
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    Jan 27 2013: can medicating your children make you happy? heating in winter time? leaving famines behind? a buddhist would argue that these are not important things. but even buddha taught that if you can, make yourself comfortable, so there are less distractions. but for an average man, these things are of huge importance. but it does not stop at this level. who would disagree that having a computer, having internet access, having proper clothing, healthy food, modern health care, car, maybe air conditioning, less work hours, ability to visit places and relax makes your life more enjoyable? again, maybe hardcore buddhists or monks.

    for all those that believe money does not buy happiness, this is my message: if you are not a monk, you are a hypocrite.
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      Jan 28 2013: Hi Krisztian
      Q2. Do you think that happiness is more under the influence of external variables, and, more stuffs will lead to a happier life?
      Q3. What are the main characteristics of your ideal life?
      Regards.
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        Jan 28 2013: if stuff is a vaccine that eliminates the risk of deadly diseases in childhood, then pretty much yes, it does lead to happier life. i'm kind of certain that parents with their children alive and well are happier than those that lost a child due to a horrible disease.

        again, i understand the opposing side. if the dalai lama tells me that this is not the real happiness, i tend to agree that. but let us forgive ourselves for not being a buddhist monk in this life, and get that damn vaccination without shame.
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      Jan 28 2013: Dear Krisztián,
      I do not believe that money buys happiness, I am neither a monk or a hypocrite. That is a bit of a stretch for a general statement.....don't you think?

      I agree with you that medications, leaving famines behind, heating our home in the winter are factors that may make us more comfortable, and no doubt can contribute to our happiness/contentment. Do you think/feel that there may be different levels of happiness? Contentment? How we perceive these comforts?

      To use one of your examples of comfort...
      I am content and comfortable because I have a home, which is an insulated, wooden structure with wood stoves. I have interacted with people in remote areas of our world who have tiny mud huts, with a little fire in the middle, and they have seemed to be equally as content, and appreciate their "comfort" as I am with my comfort.

      Some people think I am nuts for wanting to heat with wood....have to cut it, haul it, stoke the fires constantly if I want to be warm. Some folks think that my choice of "comfort", is WAY too much work, and prefer to simply hit the thermostat, and turn on the oil, gas or electric heat. Then, of course, many people in our world do not even have a home.

      Do you think/feel that what we may experience as happiness/contentment is sometimes based on our individual perceptions, life experiences and/or our choices?
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        Jan 28 2013: " agree with you that medications, [...] are factors that may make us more comfortable, and no doubt can contribute to our happiness/contentment"

        these can be bought with money. hence, money can buy happiness. unless you use doublethink of course.
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          Jan 28 2013: Ok....lots of people buy "medications"....sometimes in the form of perscription drugs....sometimes in the form of illegal drugs and alcohol. Do you perceive these people to always be happy/content?
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        Jan 28 2013: why would that be interesting? as far as i know, the question was whether money CAN buy happiness, not that if everything money buys leads to happiness.

        you yourself agreed that money can buy drugs that heal. a drug that heals can cause happiness. as a consequence: money can buy happiness. topic closed.
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          Jan 28 2013: Oh Krisztián.....you are funny! If it is not interesting to you dear Krisztián, and if the topic is "closed" to you.....so be it......LOL:>)

          My perception, is that money can indeed buy "things" that may contribute to a person's happiness. Money can also buy the same "things" for different people, who do not choose to be happy.

          So, my conclusion, is that money DOES NOT buy happiness, because happiness/contentment is a CHOICE regardless of how much money we have, or how many "things" the money we have allows us to buy:>)

          I realize this may not be of interest to you, and it might be to someone else.....that also is a choice.....in my humble perception:>)

          The only reason I entered in conversation with you Krisztián, is because of your statement...
          "for all those that believe money does not buy happiness, this is my message: if you are not a monk, you are a hypocrite."

          It seems clear that you do not understand, nor do you want to understand my perception, and that is ok:>)
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        Jan 28 2013: let me summarize your position

        1. money can buy stuff
        2. stuff can make people happy
        3. money can not buy happiness

        do you maintain these statements? time for me to leave then
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          Jan 28 2013: Let me clarify my position Krisztián.

          1. Money can buy stuff.
          2. I do not believe that stuff can make people happy.
          I believe that happiness/contentment is a choice that is not dependant on how much stuff a person has.
          3. Money cannot buy happiness because happiness is a choice regardless of how much money or stuff a person has.
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        Jan 28 2013: so you revoke that of your statement:

        "I agree with you that medications, leaving famines behind, heating our home in the winter are factors that may make us more comfortable, and no doubt can contribute to our happiness"

        it is false
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          Jan 28 2013: Krisztián,

          My comments are pretty clear. I did not "revoke" anything and I think you know that.

          It serves no useful purpose to try to confuse the issue, or label people "hypocrite" when you disagree or do not understand a perspective other than your own. This behavior only demonstrates a very narrow view on your part.
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        Jan 28 2013: i narrowly accept logically consistent views only. my bad.
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          Jan 28 2013: It is very logically consistent to me that happiness/contentment is a choice that cannot be bought.
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    Jan 27 2013: What is the definition of happiness?
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      Jan 28 2013: Hi Pat
      "What is the definition of 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
      Regards.
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        Jan 29 2013: Psychology and the scientific method are mutually exclusive.

        Life is about having and achieving goals(it is not about having an elevated level of endorphins). Those goals are aimed at survival. Much/ maybe everything can be explained by this simple point. All goals are geared towards greater survival (note this is not a yes or no proposition).

        Why do women want to have babies? It creates more survival of the species and more happiness.

        Why do students want to gain new skills and get good grades? It creates better survival for the student and his family and more happiness

        Why do people want to make more money? Better survival and more happiness

        Yet why are the idle rich miserable(they are read up on it)? Because they have NO GOALS and consequently no happiness. They will probably survive either way but you still have to have goals.

        Why do professional athletes cry like babies (extremely tough men) when they have to retire? They can't play the game that was their goal anymore.

        Why is death abhorrent to many? It is the opposite of survival

        Why is a new born baby loved by all? Survival of that family

        Why is smart admired? Survival

        Why is strength admired? Survival

        Why is kindness admired? Survival

        Why is beauty admired? Survival

        Why do most women try to be attractive? Survival

        Why do most men try to be a good provider? Survival

        Survival = happiness, survival is had by achieving goals.

        You could try to find an exception to this but you will not be able to.
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          Jan 30 2013: Ayn Rand at her best :)

          There is more to life than survival. But perhaps it has not been in your experience.
          People sacrifice their own lives for others on a regular basis. Maybe they are not happy?
        • Jan 30 2013: Re :Why do professional athletes cry like babies (extremely tough men) when they have to retire?
          It's simple, ego creates the image ' i am THAT '.
          ',that' is more important than ' i am ' for ' i am ' is taken for granted without gratitude , when ' that' is removed, the ego is lost and in panic.
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        Jan 30 2013: By definition there is not more to life than survival, no survival = no life.

        You misunderstand my point. Survival is not a yes or no proposition. A person survives though himself, his family, his group, and all of life. And then to varying degrees, depending on his condition through each.

        People marvel at Maslow's hierarchy of needs yet don't even comment on this much more important point. Go figure?
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          Jan 30 2013: Of course there's more to life than survival. People give up their lives because the suffering is too great or the impact of treatment on their family is too great. People walk away from surveil every day and I get to watch that transcendence on a regular basis. Not everyone has this experience so I understand why you would think this way.
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        Jan 30 2013: Have a nice day
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        Jan 30 2013: Natasha

        I don't think so.
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    Jan 27 2013: One TED talk that clarifies the effect of various factors, including wealth, on happiness is Martin Seligman's. There is a certain level of income required to cover basic needs of life where one lives and a bit more. Beyond this, research does not suggest a correlation between income and happiness. Happiness comes, rather, from good relationships, doing worthwhile things, health, and helping others.

    Add that talk to your list of things to watch!
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      Jan 28 2013: Hi Fritzie
      "One TED talk that clarifies the effect of various factors, including wealth, on happiness is Martin Seligman's. There is a certain level of income required to cover basic needs of life where one lives and a bit more. Beyond this, research does not suggest a correlation between income and happiness. Happiness comes, rather, from good relationships, doing worthwhile things, health, and helping others"...
      Q1. What do you mean by "happiness comes from.." Do you mean that there is a relationship between good relationships..etc and happiness?
      "Add that talk to your list of things to watch".
      Q2. I should appreciate if you could add the title of lecture as well, so I can find it..
      Regards.
  • Feb 25 2013: Money is a conduit for engaging in the world. Although happiness itself cannot be purchased, being able to fully engage in the experiences that make us happy will inevitably require money, whether it means being able to afford the time off or the gas to get there or the entrance fee. I don't think this is a bad thing though. I have worked hard to get where I am. And, although I love my job, what I've really worked for is the privilege of giving myself and my family the opportunity to engage in the world, to have the experiences that we want without having to worry about affording heat-electricity-a balanced meal. Money is a way of trading my expertise for summers on the beach, hikes in the woods, afternoons playing hide and go seek. Yes, money can buy happiness, but only if you truly spend it on what matters.
  • Feb 25 2013: I think that money can buy happiness, if you use it the right way. Money can buy security for your future, which is key to happiness. So that is a plus, but if all you do with the money is to buy loads and loads of toys and work all hours to buy new toys, then that is not happiness (unless you really love working). Money used the right way is knowledge that you will be able to eat, don't have to worry about the future, and can take time to look after your family if they need it.
  • Feb 25 2013: Can money buy happiness?In my understanding of life I think money can't buy happiness.Actually the instinct of happiness comes from love.I appreciate the saying:when love appears in heart,all troubles and problems disappear,of course full of happiness in our bodies too.That's obvious:can we buy love with money?Happiness belongs to spiritual issue.Money can reduce your worrying,anxietyof being hungry.But can't make your spiritual world rich.Being happy is a lifelong studying.Being content in the every moment you enjoy.Being gratitude to all u have:parents,family members,friends...you will feel happy always...none business with money.If you don't understand what I meant,it means u need to keep on studying:).
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      Feb 25 2013: "If you don't understand what I meant,it means u need to keep on studying:)."



      ....
  • Feb 25 2013: In order to respond that question, you must ask yourself, what is indispensable for any human being to be happy... I know people how is happy without a house, a car, an iPad, a fridge, a washing machine, and I pretty sure any one can give us an example of someone who is happy without whatever material object I may think of, so let's go to the really basic: food and health. I do not think anyone can give me an example of someone how is happy and at the same time hungry. I also don't think anyone can give me an example of someone who is happy and at the same time suffering of a bad pain.

    Money won't buy me happiness, but it will buy me food and it can ensure health for me and my family. I thing the worries about not being able to feed you family and provide it with health is what prevents most people from being happy. So an increase in your income obviously reduces you worries about food and health so you can spend more energy on happiness.
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      Feb 25 2013: "I know people how is happy without a house, a car, an iPad, a fridge, a washing machine, and I pretty sure any one can give us an example of someone who is happy without whatever material object ''..

      Do you...
      like?..!...
  • Feb 24 2013: Being the state of mind happiness an absolute subjective matter, even in relation to other's happiness origintated from the subjective action, I risk to say that contributes greatly to the widespread concept of happiness, the acquisition of goods and services converted into comfort and security are a prime reflection of happiness, although success is not directly related always with economic well being. The answer at most is poor due to the subjective nature of the concept, however the issues of health, feeding, protection from nature, and several other goods and services can (almost always) be acquired with the use of currency, therefore happiness is in some way or another achieved through these avenue. Can a person be happy and not have the basic necessities of life? is hard but occurs in some extreme circumstances, however the subjective perception of such happiness is distortioned as of the standard of happiness has become in our times. Historically the concept of happiness has suffered substantial changes and mostly also in the own ethereal nature of the person's mind, happiness can be a state of mind for a second and dissipate instantly. In my humble conclusion: happiness does not exist as a generalized concept that can be defined absolutely or that can be represented in a societal structure due to its economic condition, there is no relation (almost always) with the economic condition but with the acquisition of the basic needs of life, hence having too much money can be happiness for one and a penny can be happiness for another one (if that penny can buy the basic needs of that human for a second or a minute).
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    Feb 23 2013: Money is important to have access to various things considered to be basic needs. When you have theses things and they are secured, more money will not add to happiness level. On the contrary, it can deteriorate it. I think that we should consider the Aristotle's concept of the golden mean i-e the right amount of everything. That right amount of money can vary from people to people because no one is perfectly like any other. And people's need vary. Accumulating money for it's own sake will not make anyone happier but using it to satisfy one's basic and superior needs is a good path to happiness.
  • Feb 22 2013: Absolutely. No doubt about it. Money cannot, however, buy positivity, conscientiousness, love, goodness, righteousness, and kindness. These things also can produce happiness. Share some.
  • Feb 20 2013: Money is not a cause of happiness, but it is an enabler. Money can reduce the number of worries and distractions in life and a healthy supply of it from a source other than hard work does provide time to think and contemplate
  • Feb 20 2013: I am not sure the question makes sense. Happiness is a state of being. Money is symbolically our economic security. So the question should be,perhaps, Does being financially secure make us happy? Hmm. Its all relative. For example, financial insecurity is a distraction and undermines the capacity to be present...it is scary; it causes anxiety. It is worrisome. And this does not mean that being financially secure is the opposite... Rather, maybe financial security is a zero...we are not distracted my financial insecurity. That said, we can track all recent headlines regarding richest of families being embroiled in lawsuits, domestic abuse, addiction...and misery.

    My thinking, therefore, is that money does not do anything. But, the lack of it does alot.
  • Feb 19 2013: "Can money buy happiness?" I personally am not sure about that, but the idea of amount of happiness between developed countries and poor countries. The revolution in technology which began by Internet in 1950 made more connection between people around the world. Expectations of people who live in poor countries, are going to be more than before by seeing the matter of quality of high-level life in rich countries. In fact, welfare loss in societies that members of those societies are dealing with economy issues, while they are working as well as and as much as rich countries is the cause of existing these expectations.
  • Feb 19 2013: Were people ever happy before money was around?
    • Feb 24 2013: Hard to know, money (currency for exchange or consideration in exchange) has been with us since the beginning of times. Money does not entail Jefferson photo in a piece of paper or JuliusCaesar in a bronze coin not even a pack of wheat, means a consideration for exchange of other goods, value in exchange for vlaue, hence money was not invented but iis part of a path to civillized exhange of goods instead of killing each other for it, therefore since ancient times we learned to exchange goods and became part of our way of life, in sum..money..now has people been happy before and after the use fo value for exchange? yes.
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    Feb 15 2013: Νot be bought, but can be rented.
  • Feb 10 2013: Happiness can be a Giver's Happiness and a Taker's Happiness. Most people consider happiness to constitute a Healthy life, Financial comfort, Physical and Emotion security and a Meaningful life. Hence although Money is one of the requisites of happiness so also is giving and leading a meaningful life.
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    Feb 10 2013: More money can help make folks happier, up to a point... By reducing the stress of: "where in my next meal coming from?"...Once all you needs are met, more $$ doesn't mean better unless you happen to be psychopathic.
  • Feb 10 2013: Yes it can
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    Feb 6 2013: I think this platform does not allow replying to comments after third level. This is my attempt to clarify certain questions of my dear friend Colleen Steen.
    "My personal experience is that total contentment is counter productive for creativity whereas my feeling is that total happiness requires a kind of detachment from life which is not my cup of tea."
    Total contentment, to me, is a blissful state of mind, when one feels like his/her life is at perfect resonance with joy, fulfillment and serendipity. I have gone through that state of mind at times and felt there is either no big questions of life or if there are at all, seeking answer to those questions is not the priority of my happy self. Such state of mind dimmed my inquiry, curiosity and expression. I found this contented state of mind incapable of producing poetry, artful expression and critical thinking even. I become creatively alive when life tears me apart, make me unsure and impatient. I may be pardoned, if I am not making any sense but this is exactly my experience.
    Total happiness, to me, remained elusive. I followed spirituality to an extent and glimpsed into the door that opens when mind can be at peace with one's own journey or wanderlust. I felt at heart that this is an heightened state of consciousness where desires die and attachments vanish. I think I am still not ready for that. My immediate surrounding is restless with suffering, deprivation, poverty and unfair inequality; my living energy is more needed here than in pursuit of a peace-heaven. This is also a very personal experience for me.
    I think we all introspect with our experience coloring our vision. That way, both Colleen and Pabitra are saying same thing with different stories.
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      Feb 6 2013: Dear Pabitra,
      Reply on different levels is sometimes a challenge my friend, so we need to be creative:>)

      You say..."Total contentment, to me, is a blissful state of mind, when one feels like his/her life is at perfect resonance with joy, fulfillment and serendipity".

      You also write..."I become creatively alive when life tears me apart, make me unsure and impatient".

      It looks like you are saying that you are creative when you have a blissful, joyful state of mind AND when life tears you apart and you are unsure and impatient? Do you believe the states of being you mention ALL contribute to contentment?

      This is what I believe, and it does not seem consistant with your previous statement...
      "total contentment is counter productive for creativity". Am I missing something my friend?

      You say..."My immediate surrounding is restless with suffering, deprivation, poverty and unfair inequality; my living energy is more needed here than in pursuit of a peace-heaven".

      Do you think/feel it is possible to be aware of restless surroundings, suffering, deprivation, poverty, inequality, etc., AND "spend" our energy in a way that may help change those circumstances in our global community?



      That seems to be where we differ a bit in our perceptions.
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        Feb 6 2013: "It looks like you are saying that you are creative when you have a blissful, joyful state of mind AND when life tears you apart and you are unsure and impatient? Do you believe the states of being you mention ALL contribute to contentment."
        I am saying almost the opposite. I am least creative, almost unproductive creatively when I am in that blissful state of mind that I call contentment. If you go through my comment once again you will find that I have stated that such state of contentment dims my inquiry, curiosity and expression and cannot come up with poetry or artful expression. To be artistically or creatively active I need to be discontent and in crises with my existence.
        Come to think of it, it's not that weird at all. Most artists, poets and thinkers produce the best when they are restless and discontent. Of course I don't claim t be in their league, but I guess the process is same.
        Yes I think it is possible to to be inspired to allocate my conscious energy in contributing solutions when I am aware of the restless surrounding. I also hope that such contribution, however small, are real agents of change
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          Feb 6 2013: I read your previous comment several times Pabitra, which I do with all comments, when I feel like I may not be understanding.....that's why I asked the questions.

          OK....I understand that you feel that "contentment dims" your inquiry....to be artistically or creatively active" you "need to be discontent and in crises with" your "existence".

          In that perspective, we differ, which is what I stated.

          I feel more artistically creative when I am content. I also understand that being restless, discontent, or in "crises" may cause a certain kind of driving force which may facilitate creativity.

          Based on our talks Pabitra, I believe that you ARE indeed an agent of change:>)
  • Feb 5 2013: happiness isn't in money, it is in its quantity
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      Feb 5 2013: that is possibly the weirdest statement. can you elaborate?
      • Feb 5 2013: say you have got one euro. this is money too, isn't it? what can you do with that? maybe something small. will that make you happy? maybe for a short period of time... (you may get a coffee and this will make you to be happy while you are enjoying it). of you can give it to someone else and feel happy by helping the other fellow.

        now imagine you got 1 million pieces of 1 Euro. so this is money too, right? (you may buy 1 million cup of coffee and drink it at once). and it is also possible that you spend it on building your comfort zone during a period of time. and once you will happy with the way your comfort zone is created then you will be happy by your achievement.
        or you can give it to 1 million people (one euro to each person) and again help by helping them.

        I am sure we all walked in the streets and saw one cent laying in the corner or on the pavement, but we ignore it and keep walking away. WHY do we do that? (One cent is money too, isn't it? ) We do not pick it up because we know that one cent wouldn't buy us what we want in order to feel happy.

        you (me ) won't work for 1 Euro per hour , because we value more than that what we can do during that one hour. but when we are paid more than we expected the feeling is different. I believe you had moments like this.
        so the quantity of money that changed your feeling, not the money itself.

        so here comes my statement again. the quantity of money makes us feel different, and that feeling may be feeling of happiness.

        Cheers
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          Feb 5 2013: so you came here to tell us that not the existence of money, but rather its quantity is important? i mean, wow. let me add that only the money you have counts, not the total sum of money in existence. can we state something even more obvious?
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          Feb 5 2013: Edwin, I wouldn't waste time indulging this guy into dissecting every response. He will always want to have the last word. His superiority complex is quite (insert sarcasm here) admirable!
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    Feb 4 2013: First: Please, could somebody define 'happiness"?
    Thanks.
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      Feb 5 2013: Happiness is that state of mind when you feel you want nothing else.
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        Feb 5 2013: That's a good definition, of course. I partially agree. The next question is: Is there -all along the human life- a moment when you don't want anything more? Even a little bit lasting of such moment, for example?
        Thanks.
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          Feb 5 2013: I am no expert but wish to try to explain. I don't know about wanting anything more but happiness is a mental state when all desires die and a person feels he is at an heightened state of joy and fulfillment and has nothing else to want, except may be to be in that state as long as possible. From outside it may appear that the mental state has been achieved for no apparent physical reason so it may be easily mistaken as a mental aberration.
          I think it is possible for a human being to achieve this mental state for substantially more than a moment. I have witnessed Indian monks living in remote mountain caves in extreme cold and frugality, almost naked, perfectly healthy and happy. Strangely some of them freely talk about their previous life as successful, educated and civilized men. They are aware about the worldly events, engaged in interesting discourses but with abject detachment as if the world is a movie and and they are no more involved with it than a spectator.

          This extreme and total happiness is manifest in their remarkable health, amiability and a sense of peace around them which is almost palpable.

          I can say with reasonable authority that I did not imagine this as I have many witnesses with same conclusion.
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          Feb 5 2013: Pabitra

          While I think the Buddhists have interesting philosophies that are useful, a life of self abnegation is not one of them.

          People are happiest when they are in control, when they have goals, like a game. Have you every seen someone who is happy when they lose control? Yup the monks have learned how to be content with nothing but they are not living life and they are fooling themselves and their followers into an idea that apathy is the answer.

          Nope gotsta disagree.
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          Feb 5 2013: Pat,
          Could it be that sometimes we simply "think" we have control, when we do not? Could it be that giving up the idea that we can control everything may lead to contentment? Accepting life doesn't necessarily lead to apathy (lack of feeling or emotion; impassiveness; lack of interest or concern; indifference).....IMHO:>)
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        Feb 5 2013: How long does this contented state of mind last?
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          Feb 5 2013: I think I have answered you in above comment.
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          Feb 5 2013: I LOVE using the word contentment rather than happiness:>)

          In my humble perception and experience, the state of contentment can last forever....in every moment of the life experience:>)
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      Feb 5 2013: Dear Sean, Pat and Pabitra,

      Happy: "favored by luck or fortune; well adapted or fitting; enjoying well-being and contentment; characterized by a dazed irresponsible state; impulsively or obsessively quick to use something; enthusiastic to the point of obsession..."

      Content:"satisfied; to appease the desires..."

      Because of the accepted definitions, it appears that "Happy" includes the element of "contentment" AND elements of "dazed irresponsible state"; impulsively or obsessively quick..." and "obsession".

      I much prefer using the word "contentment" rather than "happy", because the definition of "happy" seems a LOT more subjective and more difficult to understand....maybe even contradictory?
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        Feb 5 2013: Hi Colleen :) Nice to see you around.
        I am neither fully happy nor fully content; like many other I go in and out of both. My personal experience is that total contentment is counter productive for creativity whereas my feeling is that total happiness requires a kind of detachment from life which is not my cup of tea. But I trust myself capable of identifying deep happiness in people.
        If you allow me to respond to Pat here (because I cannot reply directly to his comment at this point of thread), I note with interest his disagreement. As to his question: I have seen whole bands of people who have let go control on others and external situations rather happily. May be they are in control of themselves, their lives, their minds and they have goals too - goals like living the rest of their lives without as less meddling with others as possible and being happy to be like that. I do not think that is self-abnegation, even though life of an ascetic is not mine.
        Lest I should be off-topic, I would like to add that these happy people have NO money. They live on provisions of nature and small gifts of friendship.
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          Feb 6 2013: Pabitra

          I hear you and agree that the virtues the monks pursue are valuable. The ability to be in the present cannot be overstated and I would estimate a minority of humans ever experience this to any degree. I would also say that a big part of contentment comes from being able to view things as they are. In fact the point that you realize you are not a body is the epitome of spirituality and is something I agree with Colleen on.

          If everyone did become a monk that would be the end of the species. One of the main joys in life is making goals overcoming barriers and succeeding. Another one is getting interested in something and developing the skills required to participate in that thing. Another one is exchanging with one's fellows in products and ideas. Another one is serving your fellow man by producing a product that raises his standard of living. Another one is making enough surplus that you don't have to live hand to mouth and a slave to the environment or an economic slave to a government. I could go on but you get the idea.

          So yup I reject the specious ideas of the monk or as you say the ascetic.
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          Feb 6 2013: Hi Pabitra, Nice to see you as well:>)
          You say..."total contentment is counter productive for creativity whereas my feeling is that total happiness requires a kind of detachment from life which is not my cup of tea".

          I do not understand this statement. Do you have an example of how contentment is counter productive for creativity? Or how happiness requires a kind of detachment from life?

          For me, contentment is an underlying feeling which is part of the foundation of my life experience, and happiness/contentment for me, means being fully engaged in every moment of the life experience, so I really do not understand your statement...help me with understanding please?

          Nice to see you again too Pat:>)
          I agree with Pat that "a big part of contentment comes from being able to view things as they are". I believe the feelings/emotions of contentment/happiness include the perception of acceptance. I do not agree with rejecting the idea of monks because I accept the fact that they have chosen that particular path for their own learning, growth and evolution:>)
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        Feb 6 2013: Colleen, Pat, Pabitra. . .

        Dear friends: your opinions seem to me very interesting and very instructive. In the current state of my life, I think that one way closer to what we might call happiness or contentment is to start each day with the following ideas:

        1. My mistakes of yesterday are not so important. I regret having committed, I will try not to make mistakes again, but I won't torture me because I made them.
        2. Life is very, very nice. I'll try to enjoy it. Yes, (as usual) at the end of the day there has been, tomorrow I'll try again. Nothing will change that.
        3. People are wonderful. It is true that there are bad people, but I can't avoid that. I will try to be a good person with good people and good person (but not silly) with bad people. If it doesn't work, nothing happens.
        4. The things that it is worth making them, it is worth to do them well.
        5. Humility, listening to the others, serenity, clear view, brave heart, mind quiet.
        Oh, and good luck also!
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          Feb 6 2013: I wish you best of luck. I notice your mention of 'current state of life' with interest because that underlines the whole narrative. Amongst many things that money cannot buy (apart from happiness) is the resonance of mind.
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          Feb 6 2013: Sean and Pabitra,
          I agree that the statement and concept of... "current state of life" may underline everything. It suggests that we are "being" in the moment? Was that your intent Sean?

          I also agree that money cannot buy "the resonance of mind". I perceive that to be a choice:>)

          Personally, I do not think/feel that using the words, or expressing/experiencing the ideas of "mistakes" or "regret" are very usefull. I believe life is an exploration, which offers all kinds of opportunities to learn, grow and evolve. So, how can there be "mistakes" and what is the purpose of the feelings of "regret" if we can learn from the experience?
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        Feb 6 2013: Colleen

        Sorry to hear of your accident, I hope you have a speedy recovery.

        Content and Happy in this case are not interchangeable definitions.

        But regarding your disagreement about the monks I will agree to disagree. Once again your disagreement and agreement are duly noted.

        Simply put life is best viewed as a game, which will bring you happiness. I don't see much of a game in self abnegation.
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          Feb 6 2013: Thank you Pat......just another speed bump in the life experience! I was rushing to go downstairs and meet a visitor......one lesson I was reminded of, is that I need to slow down, and be more careful! It really could have been a lot worse, and I'm grateful that it wasn't! I'm also grateful for your encouraging words:>)

          I thanked my visitor SO much for being here to help, when I fell down the stairs, and he reminded me that if he hadn't come to visit, I would not have been rushing down the stairs to greet him........LOL:>)

          I don't honestly perceive many situations where the words "content and happy" are interchangeable. The more I explore the meaning of "happy", the more I do not like to use it to express a certain feeling, which to me is more "contentment".

          We all probably experience the fleeting feeling of being "happy" (very joyful, enthusiastic, excited, etc.) and I really think it is the underlying feeling of contentment that people are seeking?

          Regarding the monks.....yeah....I agree to disagree. I am content to accept their life choice, and I do not need to engage in a judgment of what it is, or is not for them:>)
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        Feb 7 2013: The time frame from when one is "content" because he has accomplished something and the moment he yearns for he next goal is very short.

        The reward is the journey, of pursuing the goal, which is the very definition of happiness.

        I know you don't think so but I'm not opining here.
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          Feb 7 2013: Hi Pat,
          I believe the time frame from when one is content because of accomplishment, and the moment s/he yearns for the next goal can vary quite a lot depending on the person and the circumstances. We are all different....different thoughts, feelings, ideas, goals behaviors, opinions, etc., so our perception of "time frames" are different, just like humans are different:>)

          I believe the reward can be the journey AND/OR the end result....depending on how we, as individuals use information. I believe happiness/contentment can be a way of travel, not just a destination:>)
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        Feb 7 2013: Duly noted

        In the general public at a quick glance who is happier the guy pursuing goals or the guy without any?
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          Feb 7 2013: Pat,
          The only one who knows if those "guys" are truly happy or content is the guys themselves.

          I've observed people driven to pursue goals, who are not happy/content with the journey OR the end result....you've seen those folks haven't you?

          Then there are lots of people, (like me at the moment), whose only goal at this time, is to live every moment of the life experience with open heart and mind:>)
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        Feb 7 2013: Duly noted. Agree to disagree.

        The epitome of life is achieving goals. Without it is less life. This is the very substance of Survival.
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          Feb 7 2013: Pat,
          I think I understand your belief that "survival" is the concept underlying all of the life experience. While it is a very important factor, and still very much in the forefront for many people, in general, I believe humans have evolved beyond "survival", and we are able to focus on different aspects of the life adventure.

          Goal: "the end toward which effort is directed"

          I personally, do not think every day about survival, nor do I observe that happening consciously with most people in our culture, although I know it is an underlying factor of our (human) life. Unfortunately, I am aware that many people in our world, do indeed face survival every single day, as their goal.

          In some respects survival may be the substance of life, or life the substance of survival, I do not perceive survival to be the epitome (a typical or ideal example) when the topic question is:
          "Can Money Buy Happiness?"
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        Feb 7 2013: You still do not understand the survival is not a yes or no.

        You teach prisoners because you care about their well being (survival)

        You care about your children (survival)

        You advise people on TED to help them survive better

        You exercise on your bicycle to help yourself survive better

        You recognize that having an accident on the stairs is not good for your survival

        And each of these areas vary in condition from chaos to very successful.

        Again survival is not a yes or no proposition.
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          Feb 7 2013: Pat, it appears to me that we are agreeing, and stating our perception in different ways:>)
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          Feb 13 2013: .
          Yes!
          All in all, “survival” is to keep our DNA alive.

          (See my Jan 28 2013 comment below herein)
  • Feb 4 2013: money itself no, the pursuit of money yes.
  • Feb 3 2013: What good is happiness, it never bought me any money!? -- Henny Youngman
  • Feb 2 2013: Can Money Buy Happiness?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSIkdWxotKw
    Worth your time
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    Feb 2 2013: Sometime money can buy horror and destruction if that is your desire. No one will willingly give you uranium to enrich and turn into nuclear weapons, which will enable you to destroy your neighbors, unless you have some money in your pocket.

    Money is just a medium of exchange. If you want to exchange money for power, it is done everyday by people all over the world, Including Iran.
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      Feb 3 2013: Re: "...which will enable you to destroy your neighbors,..." or deter your neighbors from destroying you.

      Perhaps, we all can be happier if we stop thinking that everyone else's desire is to destroy us and spending money to do it first. "Do unto others before they do one to you" is not exactly the golden rule.

      "Everybody's worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there's a really easy way: stop participating in it. " --Noam Chomsky
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        Feb 3 2013: I prefer peace through superior firepower myself. But, if those who have expressed intentions of harming their neighbors would put away their weapons, I would be for such a mutual endeavor. I will not, however be so naive to put mine away first? Would you?

        Where do we go from here?
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    . .

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    Feb 2 2013: When it is spent constructively and pro socially yes.
  • Feb 1 2013: Only if your 55 or older.
  • Jan 31 2013: It all depends. zinc sulphate from Rech Chemical Co.Ltd
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    Jan 31 2013: It depends on what makes you happy and how much it cost.
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    Jan 30 2013: I do not know. Why don't you give me some money and I'll tell you.
    • Jan 30 2013: I agree with you, Pat's description has a hard swallow in the very beginning : idle rich have no happiness, since no goals to reach but they are placed in the perfect position for survival.
      Actually , it is not ' true' or ' untrue ' picture , it is not a picture, it's an interface. Click an icon and it starts to unfold.
      What is survival ?
      Who/what is striving to survive ?
      Survive for what ?
      ....and it's only the beginning :)
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        Jan 30 2013: Do you agree with Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

        Survival of an individual is a yes or no? Who is surviving? the individual. Real simple?

        The individual can choose to survive through a family, a group, animals etc. One of the individuals Linda is talking about is very concerned about continuing the family name. Some choose to see that their group survives by participating in group activities such as politics or helping with the community. Some choose to see to that animal survive through PETA or similar. Some want to see the earth survive and are concerned with environmental efforts.

        Sounds like I bumping into a lot of memes?
        • Jan 31 2013: Indeed ! I am glad you you are paying attention :)
          In fact, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, is memes' breeding place, one of them.
          It shows how social structure realizes the power of its own possibilities. According to this masterpiece , a human is a 3D animal inside a social structure. And maybe you are right, the idea of individual happiness fits to the hierarchy of needs of an individual, by its own definition of individual.
          And 'individual' is...?
          The same Ego, it's dressed better.
          The word ' individual ' was coined in early 15 c. and meant " one and indivisible " What ???
          Just think about it , if it is not 600 years old meme, i don't know what it is .
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        Jan 31 2013: You and Linda continue to miss my point.

        All but the most obtuse realizes that the individual does not prosper at the expense of another.

        "Social Structure" is built from the bottom up by the individual, only government allows the opposite which is really an illusion.

        Maslow's observation is rather perfunctory in comparison to what I'm pointing to.

        The individual is an aggregate which includes other life. The individual who survives better (again not a yes or no) is connected to all life.

        When push comes to shove what is the one thing that all life absolutely does above ANYTHING else? IT SURVIVES and not just for itself.

        Why so much interest in sex? survival

        Why avoidance of pain? survival

        Why so much interest in money? survival

        Why is the worst crime a crime against children? survival

        Why are doctors so well paid? survival

        Why so much interest in species on the verge of extinction? survival

        Why is mom the most endearing? survival

        Why so much interest in food? survival

        Do you see a pattern here?
        • Jan 31 2013: OK, what are you pointing to ?
          Happiness is acquired on the way while achieving your goals. Your goals is the way you choose to survive. No goals to achieve, no happiness , no will to survive.
          Did i restate you right ?
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        Feb 1 2013: The fellow gets a raise he is happy, why? a goal is met the goal is towards better survival

        A woman has a baby she is happy, why? a goal is met the goal is toward better survival as a family

        A war ends, a nation is exhilarated, why? because a goal is met which better survival as a nation

        A student is accepted to a college he is happy, why? because the new skills will be more survival for the student and his family

        A nation is saddened by the death of JFK, because it is less survival for the nation.

        Man lands on the moon the whole world is happy, why? because this is better survival for the whole world.

        The Bengal Tiger is brought back from the verge of extinction everyone is happy why? because of more survival for the animal kingdom.

        A fellow invents a way for crops to be grown more rapidly and of a better quality, people on the verge of starvation are happy, why? because they will survive better and the goal of keeping a nation's people alive is met.

        ALL GOALS ARE AIMED AT BETTER/MORE SURVIVAL of the individual, his family, his group, mankind, plants and animals, the earth, spirituality, and God even though the last 2 survive no matter what.


        Even Hitler wanted better survival except his ideas were insane.
        • Feb 1 2013: "The Bengal Tiger is brought back from the verge of extinction everyone is happy why? because of more survival for the animal kingdom."

          For the majority of human' successful survivors " tigers exist in abstract, why not to be happy ? Frankly, i don't think they care.
          Those few who really can entertain this kind of happiness are not in the major league of the ' survival ' sport.

          "The individual is an aggregate which includes other life. The individual who survives better is connected to all life.
          IT SURVIVES and not just for itself."

          What is " all life" ?
          Isn't " the individual who survives better " a glorious conqueror of nature ,destroyer of the planet ?

          It's funny, you think, that for some reason i deny the obvious; i think that , if only i could explain properly my point you would agree ... maybe :)
          let me try ...
          What i mean by 'ego' is not a mean selfish greedy person, it is much more than that.
          Think about ' Ego' as the operating system in our common brain computer, we are all using. It supports everything you've listed from sex to food and much more . We have been in the business of up grating our hardware for the millennia of human history.It's made our ego-system stronger and more powerful. And now we approaching the edge, if new operating system is not installed, all human enterprise will go down the tube.
          You hear here and there : we need a paradigm shift ' , it's become a media cliche, but it's true, it is not strongly enough put. We need to get out of the current operating system, to crack the code , if you will.
          Social structure is a mass hallucination ; "the individual who survives better " imagined itself being two with 'all life'. It's neurotic entity inside a neurotic culture, who cuts the tree it is sitting on. Successful people is primary evidence for the need for a major paradigm shift in the whole way their mentality does ' survival ' business.
        • Feb 1 2013: I sound angry, i don't want to. I didn't mean to say, that ego is bad absence of ego is good. It's a kind of a single minded idea.
          Let me try again ... :)
          Your life is not quite yours, it's ' all life' that goes through you. Birth and death are just the formalities of existence, we shouldn't bother too much about our personal survival.
          We are here to celebrate LIFE, 'all life'. What makes individual is fear to loose the illusion of separate life that may come to an end and sure, will, but if you feel like being all over the place , you have no chance to loose life, hence no fear.
          I know it sounds like a pie in the sky, but it's actually the practical pattern for real survival. I think, we should try to feel that way. Computers have this blessed button " SAVE " Ta- daaaa ! :) Everything will parish, what will survive is our human capacity to love, to care, to experience joy and gratitude for being, just being.
          Btw. i am not religious, have never practiced any religion.
          I am not preaching ...or am i ?
          Anyway, hanks for your time and attention ! :)
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        Feb 1 2013: Natasha

        I read your post twice. As near as I can tell you are talking about the mind?

        With it's attendant memes and other mechanisms of which there are many more, I don't disagree that 2.0 does a lot of good, but the psychs are not the vehicle, based off of the empirical evidence of their handy work. However that is a different subject.

        I'm talking about natural law that transcends the rest.
        • Feb 1 2013: Pat,
          thank you for the effort, i do appreciate it .
          If i tell you that the ' natural law' was not given, but was developed on the way, you won't believe me and sure, you shouldn't. :)
          Thanks for the conversation!
          Best to you !
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        Feb 2 2013: That would be tantamount to saying survival was developed along the way as well, non sequitar.
        • Feb 2 2013: What is the natural law ?
          Matter is primary, brain is tissueary ...the information is secondary.. (.? )
          Actually, nothing is primary neither secondary, it's concrescence.
          The medieval mind was perfectly familiar with ' as above so below', hence the alchemical law : the form shapes the essence , the essence dictates the form.
          There are no basic fundamental laws, they were developed on the way. Mind creates reality with all its laws. Maybe what is really real is 2D field of information or maybe it's the last sanctuary for a rational mind and doesn't exist either.
          Having ' natural law' in mind, we inhabit the universe which we are not supposed to understand and which cares nothing for us , we simply should be damn lucky to be here and SURVIVE .
          I don't think so :)
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        Feb 2 2013: Here is the rub:

        I said earlier that man is an aggregate. Part of the aggregate is the soul. I don't believe as the Christians that we have a soul, I believe we is one. And that we are cause and the universe is effect. For evidence of this look at how man creates in the universe we were not conceived by mud.

        I also believe that the universe is an illusion, and that the only truth is us and God and we are not a part of this universe we are just visiting.

        And this is where your psychobabble fails you.
        • Feb 2 2013: I had no idea that i was psychobabbling :)
          Pat, may i remind you, that reading is an act of rapid guessing and when typing you don't express your thoughts, you describe them.
          Anyway, sorry for missing your point.

          "...we are not a part of this universe we are just visiting."

          I would say,
          we are the universe we are visiting.

          Maybe here is the rub ? :)
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        Feb 2 2013: At this point it is clear you and I inhabit 2 different universes and there is no way to communicate between the two of them. I'm done.
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    Jan 29 2013: Yes it can in some ways. But clean money that you have worked hard to earn, save and invest in your happiness.
  • Jan 28 2013: Money can buy excitement or satisfaction.
    It may give you good feelings.
    It may make you obsessed with it.
    It may make you mean or a coward.
    Even if it doesn't buy you happiness, quite often you can't help pursuing it.

    Money.... it's also overrated.

    Can money buy happiness?
    I have no idea.
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    Jan 28 2013:
    Yes.
    However,

    (1) Money can buy happiness below or at its OPTIMAL POINT,
    because happiness is the short-time feeling of things being A-STEP-BETTER for keeping our DNA alive.

    (2) Above the point it buys with more and more difficultly, and with more and more INVALID happiness,
    because it needs more and more money for a-step-better; and it makes more and more backfire.

    (3) OPTIMAL POINT depends on its specific conditions.


    (For details, see 1st article, points 1-3, 10, 14, at https://skydrive.live.com/?cid=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D&id=D24D89AE8B1E2E0D%21283&sc=documents)
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    Gail .

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    Jan 27 2013: Money doesn't buy happiness directly, but it CAN buy opportunities for a life without stressors that cause unhappiness. With enough money, you could buy a banana plantation on a mountain in Costa Rica and retire to a self-sufficient lifestyle where you have the opportunity to contemplate your own existence, and in that lifestyle, find true happiness. There are those who have been VERY wealthy who never found happiness. There are those who have defined happiness as the ability to make others poor and miserable. What does happiness mean to YOU? Answering that question honestly can lead you to happiness whether or not you are wealthy.

    Peace Pilgrim (sometimes called the American Ghandi - who died in the 80s or 90s) found happiness by giving up all material wealth. Ghandi found happiness by eschewing material wealth.

    I have found that self-awareness brings great happiness. Self-awareness is free. For me, self-awareness includes the knowledge that I am a being of great power, and am not therefore victimized by wealth or social expectations. If I want something, I manifest it. Curiously, the older I get, the less I want and the more I want to get rid of.
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      Jan 28 2013: Hi Ted lover
      .."Money doesn't buy happiness directly, but it CAN buy opportunities for a life without stressors that cause unhappiness"…
      Q1: Regarding your life experience, what are the prominent stressors that cause unhappiness? And, in what way(s) money can help us to get rid of them?..
      .."With enough money, you could buy a banana plantation on a mountain in Costa Rica and retire to a self-sufficient lifestyle where you have the opportunity to contemplate your own existence, and in that lifestyle, find true happiness." ..
      Q2: Do you think that happiness is more under the influence of external variables or it is something internal?
      "There are those who have been VERY wealthy who never found happiness."..
      Q3: How come?..
      .." There are those who have defined happiness as the ability to make others poor and miserable. What does happiness mean to YOU? Answering that question honestly can lead you to happiness whether or not you are wealthy.."
      . Q4: Do you think that individuals might have their own definition(s) of happiness?
      .."Peace Pilgrim (sometimes called the American Ghandi - who died in the 80s or 90s) found happiness by giving up all material wealth. Ghandi found happiness by eschewing material wealth.I have found that self-awareness brings great happiness. Self-awareness is free. For me, self-awareness includes the knowledge that I am a being of great power, and am not therefore victimized by wealth or social expectations. If I want something, I manifest it. Curiously, the older I get, the less I want and the more I want to get rid of"…
      Q5: Regarding your real life experience, could you shed light on your perspective?
      Regards
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        Gail .

        • +1
        Jan 28 2013: Q1: Going to a job I hate in order to earn a pay check that I spend most of supporting myself was a great stressor. Then going to a job that I loved but which took too much out of me but I stayed with because I was making so much money was a real stressor. Deteriorating relationships because of consequences of money as a goal is a great storessor. Looking at the news every day is a stressor.

        With enough $$$, I can hide from the world and in that way, set them aside.

        Q2: Happiness is a choice. Thus it is an internal decision. You can be living in the most dire of circumstances and still choose happiness.

        Q3: I have "learned" that I am happy when I am learning. It makes little difference what I am learning. I learned how to earn a lot of money, but it was not the money that made me happy. It was excelling at what I did. The "things" I bought with my money never made me happy. In fact, I am at a time in my life when my possessions are an imposition. I am happy when I am learning science, or how to improve a piece I play on my piano, or drawing, or experimenting with some new-found knowledge. These are times when I am happy.

        Q4: Yes - to a point. But underlying all definitions comes an awareness of the truthfulness of those definitions - and that comes with time/experience. Happiness at age 20 was very different from today (age 62)

        Q5: I'm not sure how to do that other than to say that I know who and what I am. I practice perfecting my abilities (discovered in the process of learning about myself). The delight that comes with success or improvement leaves me feeling very satisfied, motivated. This leads to inspiration - which for me, combined with my awareness that I can accomplish anything that I want to, is happiness.

        It makes no difference what is happening in the outside world. I can CHOOSE happiness any time I want because I have experienced it and can therefore replicate it.

        Happiness is a choice.
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      Jan 28 2013: Hi Ted lover
      .."Money doesn't buy happiness directly, but it CAN buy opportunities for a life without stressors that cause unhappiness"…
      Q1: Regarding your life experience, what are the prominent stressors that cause unhappiness? And, in what way(s) money can help us to get rid of them?..
      .."With enough money, you could buy a banana plantation on a mountain in Costa Rica and retire to a self-sufficient lifestyle where you have the opportunity to contemplate your own existence, and in that lifestyle, find true happiness." ..
      Q2: Do you think that happiness is more under the influence of external variables or it is something internal?
      There are those who have been VERY wealthy who never found happiness.
      Q3: How come?..
      .." There are those who have defined happiness as the ability to make others poor and miserable. What does happiness mean to YOU? Answering that question honestly can lead you to happiness whether or not you are wealthy.."
      . Q4: Do you think that individuals might have their own definition(s) of happiness?
      .."Peace Pilgrim (sometimes called the American Ghandi - who died in the 80s or 90s) found happiness by giving up all material wealth. Ghandi found happiness by eschewing material wealth.I have found that self-awareness brings great happiness. Self-awareness is free. For me, self-awareness includes the knowledge that I am a being of great power, and am not therefore victimized by wealth or social expectations. If I want something, I manifest it. Curiously, the older I get, the less I want and the more I want to get rid of"…
      Q5: Regarding your real life experience, could you shed light on your perspective?
      Regards