Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another Way

Consider a Gallop poll on money and happiness reported by the Wall Street Journal . Apparently, $75,000/year is the sweet spot salary. "After that, it is just more stuff, with no gain in happiness". What does this mean? The $75,000 statistic was based on "day to day happiness". The poll also measured "overall satisfaction with life" and this continued to increase all the way up the income ladder. Choose for yourself what to make of the $75,000 sweet spot, but the connection between overall satisfaction and income is unambiguous. In other words, you can't make this Gallop poll into an unequivocal argument for a less materialistic life. To the contrary, the poll may even suggest that people are more satisfied when they have more money and possessions.

Obviously, this poll does not give the whole picture on happiness, but it does give us a picture, a picture we should not ignore: the average person appears happier with more money and stuff. The corollary is that life with less money and stuff must be intrinsically less happy and satisfying.

From our observation and experience, however, life with less is actually more happy and satisfying. We are not here to say that wealth and possessions pave a poor path to happiness and satisfaction. We just think there's another, perhaps better way. That's the way we are walking. That's the way we hope to share on this blog.

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