Stuff won’t make you happy, experiences will

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

A new study conducted at Cornell University and reported in the January 2010 issue of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that experiences bring greater happiness and satisfaction than buying and owning possessions.

The study revealed that people often feel buyer’s remorse, stress, and a sense that they may not have purchased the best or right product after shopping. In contrast, after a vacation, hike, bike ride, or game of softball in the park, there are rarely negative feelings or associations with these experiences.

At one point the conclusion of the study that:

… satisfaction with material purchases tends to decrease over time, whereas satisfaction with experiential purchases tends to increase.

Over one’s lifetime, it is his or her experiences that are more valuable than any product ever owned or purchased.

If you are worried that getting rid of clutter will have a negative impact on your life, this study shows that that is not likely to happen. Clearing the clutter will make room for you to have more experiences, which will ultimately make you happier.

From many angles, the pursuit of experiences over possessions seems to be the firmer path to happiness.

Such and similar studies from other sources have shown the same; that possessions do not make people happy and neither does the permanent pursuit of the “more, more, more” to which we are even encouraged by our governments.

One can but wonder how much this academic research has cost, yet again, to prove only something so blatantly obvious that a blind man with the cane would see it.

I must say that the more I see those research results the more I am wondering as to whether those academics need something to research in order to get grants, however silly and obvious the research might be.

I mean the recent discovery that elephants are “four-wheel drive”, proving something that the eye was telling them, is an example in hand, aside from the ones done in the UK to discover – yet, statement by the government – that waste wood can be burned and that inland waterways and canals can be used for the transportation of freight.

Is it me who is mad or the scientific world?

© 2010