Satisfaction is the ultimate luxury and the key to happiness

Isaac Mostovicz writes that that our inability to foresee the future honestly leads to our inability to find real happiness...

Is money the key to happiness? Is losing your job always an unhappy event? New research in psychology and economics has revealed the seven secrets of a happy life.

The psychologists who conducted the study explored the reason behind why many people struggle to find real happiness. According to the study, we overestimate the emotional impact that events will have on our lives, preferring to linger on the most salient features of an experience, without taking into account all the repercussions. That means that when we chase a dream, say, of living on a paradise island, we only anticipate sunny weather, beautiful beaches and pure luxury. Instead, we might find ourselves homesick, without our friends and feeling displaced. Our inability to honestly conceptualise a new experience will leave us unsatisfied when we arrive there.

Instead of continually looking to greener pastures, the new research suggests that the secret of happiness lies in what we already have. It cites the value of friends over wealth and shows the brighter side to divorce and losing your job.  The most important finding, is that to achieve happiness, you should be satisfied with that you have.

This contradicts research that was released last month that offered the sum of $75,000 as the benchmark for achieving happiness.  The concept of buying happiness is, as I said in my post reflecting on this previous research, irrelevant to the nature of happiness itself.

The research also brings up the question of what luxury really is. Luxury is not a need – no one needs a diamond, for instance, but instead diamonds are a want. To desire and to want is key to giving us a purpose to live for and aspirations to target. If we reached the level of happiness in the way proposed in this research, whereby we should be satisfied and not yearn for more, we may fall into despair, because our goals had already been reached leaving us no further journey to take. Instead, luxury tells us that we do have a purpose by accentuating the difference between a must and a want, enabling us not to sink into constant pursuit of need with a false hope for happiness.

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