If I told you “money can’t buy happiness,” you probably wouldn’t argue. It probably wouldn’t even occur to you to argue, it seems like such an obvious truth.
But what if it weren’t actually true? What if money could buy happiness? What if it’s just the way we’ve been using it that doesn’t work?
That’s what research over the last few years has been pointing to. One of the people behind that research, Harvard Business School professor Michael Norton summarizes it this way:
We conducted a number of studies…in which we showed that money can buy happiness, when people spend that money prosocially on others (giving gifts to friends, donating to charities) rather than on themselves (buying flat-screen televisions).
So it’s not how much you have, it’s how you spend it.
Norton goes on to point out that you don’t have to be rolling in the big bucks to benefit from this. It’s all about how much you give relative to how much you have:
We found that it was the relative percentage of their money that people spend on others—rather than the absolute amount—that predicted their happiness.
Which means wherever you lie on the scale of personal wealth (or lack of it), you can take advantage of this double win!
So next time someone tells you money can’t buy happiness, tell them it can – if you spend it right!
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Brought to you by Curt Rosengren, Passion Catalyst TM