Can you buy happiness? Apparently so according to new research!

Aug 1, 2017

It’s now proven that you can buy happiness, but this author proposes a more sustainable approach to longer term happiness.


Can you really buy happiness??


The University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School recently published an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America stating that their research has shown that money can buy happiness!


It is based on the premise that as wealth increases, time becomes more scarce. In fact, so scarce that they describe time as being in a “famine”. This has led to a decreased sense of well-being, anxiety and insomnia in countries where incomes are rising or high.


The study set out to establish if spending money to get more time – by outsourcing chores had a positive impact on the people outsourcing, and covered almost 4,500 people in the United States, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.


What the researchers found was that working adults, regardless of how wealthy they are, found greater happiness in spending their money on a time saving purchase, than on a material purchase.


In other words, they were buying time in order to buy happiness.


Find time freedom to do the things that are important to you…


If this single dimension of buying happiness through having small amounts of increased free time, already creates a positive impact, imagine how much happier you could be if you could spend time with your loved ones, or doing what is truly important to you, in an unfettered way, rather than just going to work to earn a living.


That is something I’ve managed to do. I was a corporate lawyer in Singapore for 20 years. To say that I was in a time famine would be an understatement. I could afford to outsource all my chores, and had live in help. I would say that without the live in help, life would have been unbearable given the sort of hours I was working.


Did I buy happiness by having all that help? No. I still hardly saw my family or had time for the truly important things.


I have since reskilled for the future. I learnt what I needed in order to run an online business. I did the education from home, without needing to go back to school, and drew from the network of entrepreneurs, my classmates, that are all a part of this community.


I started my online business while taking this education, and within 6 months, was not only profitable, but had replaced my lawyer’s income.


But what’s better, is that this business has given me back my time, and the freedom to do the things that are truly important to me.


Don’t buy happiness, don’t buy time, get educated


So, rather than buying happiness by buying time, I urge you to buy an education. Getting educated for the digital economy is something that we will all have to do, sooner rather than later. And once you get that education, you’ll find that you can run a business, which will give you far more than the time that you can buy from someone else.


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