Thursday, April 5, 2018

Does Money Bring Happiness?

Does Money Bring Happiness?

Does money bring happiness? To many, it does, especially if they have experienced the lack of it!

The poor little rich girl

Barbara Woolworth Hutton was one of the wealthiest women in the world during the Great Depression. She experienced an unhappy childhood with the early loss of her mother at age five and the neglect of her father, setting her the stage for a life of difficulty forming relationships. Married and divorced seven times, she acquired grand foreign titles, but was maliciously treated and exploited by several of her husbands. Publicly, she was much envied for her lavish lifestyle and her exuberant wealth; privately, she was very insecure and unhappy, leading to addiction and fornication. She died of a heart attack at age 66. At her death, the formerly wealthy Hutton was on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of exploitation, as well as her own lavish and luxurious lifestyle.

Barbara Hutton was the unhappy poor little rich girl! She was widely reported in the media, and her story was even made into a Hollywood movie.


The love of money may entice many people to engage in many get-rich-quick schemes, high-risk investments, or compulsive gambling, leading to debts and many financial disasters in their lives.

There was the story of a fool who was told that to satisfy his hunger, he had to eat four buns; he ended up eating only the fourth bun when he thought he could take a shortcut instead. In life, you have to work hard to earn your money, just as you have to eat all the four buns to satisfy your hunger, and not just the fourth one.

Buying lottery tickets is also like eating the fourth bun—another get-rich-quick mindset that many people embrace and entertain.

According to some psychology studies, the overall happiness levels of lottery winners spiked when they won, but returned to their pre-winning levels after just a few months when the thrills of winning wore off. In terms of their overall happiness, the lottery winners were neither significantly happier than the non-winners, nor were they happier than they were before their winnings. Research has shown that affective forecasting, which is predicting human future emotions, often makes humans overestimate the duration of their future emotional reactions.

Stephen Lau
Copyright© 2018 by Stephen Lau

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