(just a little humor to kick off this discussion)
Money Can't Buy Happiness! Or CAN It?
Money tends to be subject to the law of diminishing returns. More does bring you happiness; but only up to a certain point. Beyond the point where you're not stressed about money and can easily meet your material needs, added income has little impact on your happiness. After that, more money is just more. However, how you spend your time tends to contribute more to your happiness than having material wealth*. That's why we'll be considering your time as a valuable resource in this project.
A natural conclusion is that how you also spend your money can be channeled into activities that enhance happiness. Hence, how you spend your money does have an indirect impact your happiness. Research shows that most people are happier when they're doing one of the following activities:
- Socializing and improving relationships (including sex)
- Relaxing and actively engaging in hobbies
- Helping others
In his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience psychologist Mihayli Csikszentmihalyi concludes that we're also happier and more relaxed while we're experiencing Flow - or that state of enjoyment that causes you to lose all track of time. Flow also involves challenge. In order for it to be truly fulfilling, it must present some level of difficulty and/or concentration. Flow is usually classified as active engagement (such as reading) - not passive engagement (like watching TV). The reason why most people choose low-flow activities is that they require less motivation to start. However, high-flow activities are more rewarding in the long-run. It's the reason why you should stop pinning all those get crafting ideas on Pinterest and start making them. The former is easy and enjoyable, the latter is rewarding and enjoyable. :)
While money technically can't buy happiness; it can be directed in such a way to improve your enjoyment of time. After you've paid off debt and are relatively secure, you can direct it in such a way as to enhance your use of time. You can spend more money on babysitters so you can strengthen your relationship with your spouse. You can buy that new Cricut to enhance your scrapbooking hobby.
Assignment: Make a list of 10 WAYS you can direct your time to improve your life in the ways listed above. Make a list of 10 WAYS you can use your money (within your means, of course) to improve your enjoyment of your time.