That's what it's really worth to spend money on ...

August 07, 2017

None of us has infinite financial resources. And no matter how much we earn, we will always want something else, something new, better, more expensive ...

Start spending money on something that really matters. What brings happiness. Not an emotional surge from a new pair of shoes, which the next day passes, but what you will remember once in a lifetime.

So, if the basic needs are met (food, necessary clothes, medicines, bills), what should you spend the remaining money on?

The question remains: where to spend the "surplus" money that remains after you buy all the food and clothes you need, pay for housing and transportation?

Most people prefer to spend it on buying things. It seems that this is the logic: it is better to buy something that will bring joy again and again, every day, and not something that can be used only once (for example, a movie ticket or a concert).

But one important study conducted at Cornell University showed that such logic is completely wrong.

"The main enemy of happiness is adaptation," says psychology professor Thomas Gilovich, the author of the study. He studies the relationship between money (and how we spend it) and happiness for two decades.

"We buy expensive things when we are successful, because we think that they will make us happy. Indeed, most often the effect is achieved. But only for a while. New things seem exciting when we use them for the first time. But then adaptation reduces the entire positive effect of expensive things to nothing: you get used to them, you start to perceive them as a reality - and everything, happiness goes away, "says the scientist.

In general, the next time you want to buy a new iPhone or a new BMW, think carefully.

Gilovich offers more reasonable ways to get rid of a serious amount of money: art exhibitions, outdoor activities, learning new skills or traveling.

He discovered a phenomenon that was called the Easterling paradox. It says that the things you buy will eventually lose their value in your eyes. But the value of previously acquired experience (travel or entertainment) after the time has only increased! Those. Your memories of past pleasures will make you happier every time you turn to them.

"The Easterlingo paradox" contradicts common sense, but it works.

"Our experience is a part of ourselves, and this is much more important than material values," Gilovich concludes.

Gilovich's conclusions, which is important, are confirmed by the researchers from San Francisco.

"You can really like the things that you own. You may even feel that they are part of your personality, but this is obviously not the case. But your experiences are really part of you. We are the total sum of our experience. "

One of Gilovich's research has even shown that negative experience can have positive value. The main thing is that you can talk about it to others, and they were interested.

When you tell an interesting story, it makes you an excellent companion. And this, of course, affects your self-esteem, and it is a key factor that influences the feeling of happiness.

Another reason for such conclusions of the scientist is that the new experience, as a rule, we get with other people, and the pleasure from things is most often obtained alone. Clearly, if you spend a vacation with someone in Colombia, you will feel a greater connection with this person than if you watched a movie with him on your new 4K TV.

"We get important experience for us in direct interaction with other people. So stories are born, which we then enthusiastically tell each other for a long time. These stories make us happy, "Gilovich said.

These studies, of course, are of great importance for ordinary people, businessmen and politicians. If all of the foregoing is taken seriously, it becomes obvious that employers should not buy us new equipment, but give us an opportunity to take a vacation more often. And politicians should create for us more recreational spaces.

Think about which of the politicians of the past people are more often remembered with a kind word: the one with whom salaries and real estate prices grew, or who built or ennobled a couple of parks in your area?

Think about it again. What will you remember about in five years with a greater probability: about how cool your iPhone 6 Plus was or what cool week you spent in Egypt?

Life - these are bright moments and memories, and not diamonds.

Or do not you agree? Tell us what you think about this! Let's discuss in the comments!

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