Thursday, May 16, 2013

Happiness...and Experiences

My best friend packs parachutes for a living.  The job has an obvious perk: it allows him to jump out of airplanes.  He loves talking about it and it's rare that any of our conversations are completely skydiving-free.  Skydiving makes him happy.  Just look at those two on the right: how could it not make you happy?

When I think about what makes me happy, I recall the things I like to do and have done, not the physical objects I have.  But a cursory look at our consumer landscape shows that retailers are meeting our desire for possessions more than trying to sell us experiences.  I see more stores filled with stuff than places simply selling experiences.  Where is the disconnect?

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happiness...and Debt

I was surprised to see Sonja Lyubomirsky reference the same old testament verse that I've long associated with Dave Ramsey: the borrower becomes slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7).  But Lyubormirsky's conclusion is based on two decades of psychological research that just happens to align with biblical wisdom, showing that we feel the sting of the negative more than the lift of the positive.  From Lyumbomirsky's book, The Myths of Happiness:

Friday, May 3, 2013

Happiness...and Thrift

From zieak at Flickr Creative Commons.
I am reading more lately.  A book I stumbled upon at our local library, The Myths of Happiness, by Sonja Lyubomirsky, is providing some life changing insights as they relate to my happiness.  It seems a lot of the things I believe about happiness (e.g. - married people are happier than singles, or parents are happier than non-parents) are not true.  They are myths.  So I'm trying to take the lessons of this book it a bit further than I typically do...which involves me thinking, "That's interesting," to myself, then telling my wife and friends an anecdote or two, and then pretty much forgetting everything I read.  Instead, I'm going to apply some of the happiness advice from Lyubomirsky's book to my day to day life over the next few months, and write about it here as I align my financial goals with my emotional goals.