Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Have money? Want to be happy?

Can money buy you happiness?

No, not if you earn it and greedily spend it on yourself.

But, there’s a way you can buy happiness with money. Just, give it all to me.

That's the insight into the secret of happiness by HBS professor Michael Norton and two colleagues from the University of British Columbia, Elizabeth Dunn and Lara Aknin. Their article, "Spending Money on Others Promotes Happiness," appeared in the March 21, 2008 issue of Science.

And, it’s not the absolute amount that matters, but the percentage of what you have. So, don’t worry about the actual figure. Just send me 50% of whatever you have in your bank. There will be a demonstrable increase in your level of happiness, trust me.

You have lived all your life struggling with the paradox that having more money did not necessarily make you happier. I am glad that I would be putting an end to your misery, through this insight. Subject to receipt of your money, of course.

I can hear some of you state cynically that, if I then kept all your money with me, I won’t be happy and I ought to spend it on others, going by the same logic.

Luckily, I have no less an authority than Professor Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick to fall back on. He says that there is a direct correlation between financial windfalls and happiness and that the more you get.. the cheerier you’ll become. Large sums are better than small sums.

So, by allowing you to give me all your money and then not sharing the windfall with anybody else, I will ensure that both of us are happy.

2 comments:

Ottayan said...

Good idea. Send the windfall to me.

Raj said...

Ottayan, didn't you read what Andrew Oswald said?