The money-happiness relationship

People aren’t entirely sure how much money they need to be happy. Some studies have pointed to $30,000. Others have pointed to $75,000. Yet others have pointed to $120,000.

But ask a monk meditating in a cave if he’s happy, and you might get very same answer as from a hedge fund manager. The relationship between money and happiness is not so clear, and resists being pinned next to a salary level. It is clear, though, that each new thing money can buy brings a new source of unhappiness.

My comfortable new couch will eventually need to be moved. I can no longer easily move through the world without the burden of also moving my couch.

My adventurous trip overseas convinces me that I need to continue traveling to have a happy life. If I can’t afford to travel, I’m tempted to think that I can’t be happy.

My smartphone makes communicating with others instantaneous, even though most of those communications aren’t necessary, draining me of the precious time I have in this world.

Couches, traveling, and smartphones. Grocery stores, gyms, shoes, and chairs. Everywhere you look you can find a modern luxury that brings a new source of unhappiness.

Freedom is being aware of how you relate to your things.

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