What makes you happy?

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In the present competitive world, “MONEY” has emerged as the dominant factor. One of the most persistent debates in human well-being research is the relationship between money and happiness. Can money, more money, bring happiness? This is being debated by psychologists and economists. Money brings an improved lifestyle, better status, a good home, car, gadgets, enhanced nutrition, travel to various locations, luxuries, and status in society. Safety and security are also enhanced. But can money alone bring happiness? Let’s understand in simple terms what happiness is.

It is an emotional state characterised by feelings of pleasure, gratification, and realisation. It also involves generating positive emotions and a sense of life satisfaction. Empirical research both in psychology and economics shows that the correlation between income and happiness is small, and this evidence has been used to mean that money alone does not matter for life satisfaction. This raises an important question: if money does not buy happiness, why do most people chase money and material pursuits? This apparent conundrum is known as the Easterlin Paradox (happiness increases with income). However, too much accumulation of income does not promise happiness. Giving that extra income to charity increases happiness.

The rich and affluent classes with worldly comforts may not be happy as they may lack love, care, affection, and homely feelings that are beyond the realm of money’s purchasing power, and psychological factors are very important for well-being.

What brings happiness?

  • Good health, better working relationships with colleagues, caring for children, cordial family relations, empathy, friends to share thoughts with, a safe place to live, and a secure place to leave them all contribute to happiness, not just money. The transfer of money to the needy by governments has also created happier homes.

It could be concluded that money is essential in this materialistic world and generates happiness. But money can’t purchase empathy, belongingness, and sleep. It could be concluded that the combination of money with psychological factors like love, affection, compassion, and better working relations brings happiness.

Dr. Pramod N. Sulikeri, Ph.D

Sr. Transplant Coordinator, KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital & MRC, Belagavi.

contact: [email protected]

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