Surprising results came from a study of lottery-winners and Paraplegic: though the former rated themselves as happy upon their change in fortune, and latter considered themselves devastated after their misfortune, things changed in the months ahead. Six months later there was no significant difference in happiness between the two groups. How is it that events like these can have little impact on our mental well-being in the long run? Where can happiness be found if it is not in material things.
Our brains are not designed to be constantly stimulated by any emotion, whether it is positive or negative. What we need is normal happiness to survive on a scale of well-being. When a change occurs such as winning the lottery or acquiring a new possession, we adapt to that feeling of happiness and we consider it to be the new average. The surge of happiness from people having more money or a new gadget is short lived. Soon that feeling is no longer out of the ordinary, and we don’t feel happy anymore. Wether it Is winning the lottery or becoming a Paraplegic or any other change in well-being, eventually we will adjust to the situation.
Despite this reality, when we have to deal with material thing we almost always overestimate the effect a certain event or outcome will have on our overall happiness. We are all working to achieve happiness but, we prioritize incorrectly. The idea of greater wealth must lead to greater happiness, we prioritize money-making endeavors over all else, when in fact things such as taking a walk in nature or spending time with friends and family, will lead to true happiness more than superficial wealth.
Yes, we all need to work to provide for our families. But if we work our lives away or true source of happiness fades away or suffers. We should have a balance between The Lord, Our Families and work.
So why is it that we think money will make us happy? This is a misconception, though increased wealth is associated with increased wealth is associated with increased happiness to a certain point. People who can afford to have the shelter of a house are generally happier than people on the streets, this changes after once someone has reached the level of wealth in which they don’t have to worry where their next meal is coming from. Income does not makes substantial difference in overall mental well-being.
The Grass Is Always Greener On The Other Side
Too often we find ourselves working not for personal improvements, but instead measuring ourselves against those around us, and using the well-being of others to determine how well off we are. I took a class on sociology when I was in college and learned this comparison of others and consequent judgement of self in know as relative deprivation and it is very detrimental to happiness. The effect of relative deprivation, comparing your own feelings and actions of others-is that you believe you are much worse off than your neighbor and you deserve more than you have.
We are not supposed to be jealous or compare ourselves to anyone. It only takes away our happiness.
God made us all different for a reason. In proverbs 14:30 it says “A heart at peace give life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Mark 7:21-22 “ For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornication, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, and envy, slander, pride and foolishness.
How can we have happiness If it takes all of this to make us successful. Trying to be like someone else, we eventually lead us here.
I am happy knowing, I live a happy life with what I have, I can pay my bills, I have a vehicle to drive, and know I have a little extra to help my children or someone else if they need it.
Where do you find your true happiness. Are you looking in the wrong place?