Do you know someone with first world problems?
Like people who hate their job but not enough to find a new one.
Or people who complain that their iPhone 5 maps can’t locate their house with 100% accuracy.
Sometimes I want to drop kick them in the forehead.
Why are some people so unhappy while others are so happy they’re contagious? One reason is based on how they spend their money.
Let’s start with a group of people who spent their money lavishly and are totally miserable: athletes.
In this ESPN article, we learn that some athletes buy houses, cars, new wardrobes, etc. and family and friends start to come out of the woodworks for a piece of the action. In turn, they don’t know who to trust and they become victims to greed, euphoria, and ignorance. They end up with less friends and greater unhappiness than before they went pro.
Another famous study done by the National Academy of Sciences said that life satisfaction rises with higher incomes up to a household income of about $75,000 and levels off afterwards.
So Can Money Buy Happiness?
Yes, hell yes.
But the answer requires you to change your perspective, to change your thinking, to change the game.
You probably know some people who are successful and always happy – to the point that they never “turn off” because they are so happy. These Game Changers may have figured out the secret on their own, but recently studies have been done to prove this point:
You Can Buy Happiness – You Just Have to Spend it the Right Way
Researchers conducted an experiment where they gave people an envelope containing money ($5 or $20) and a note saying that they were to spend the money on themselves or on someone else by 5pm.
Later that night, the researchers spoke with the participants and asked them how they spent their money, how much they spent, and how happy they felt. What did they find?
People Who Spent on Others Got Happier
The amount of money also didn’t matter. What mattered was that people spent something on someone else, not on themselves.
This is great news because it doesn’t mean that to be happy, you have to come up with some mind blowing idea to change the world.
No, you could simply buy Justin Bieber a haircut and you’d feel great. Sure you’d crush millions of little girls’ hearts, but I’d give you a slow applause.
A Gallup Poll was conducted to identify the most charitable nations in the world (money, time, helping strangers) and the United States came in #5 – clearly giving is core to our culture.
More data from Gallup was collected on measuring people’s happiness to find the relationship between giving and happiness.
The results are a positive correlation worldwide except one country (Central African Republic). But for the most part, the rest of the world feels happier when giving money to help others.
Taking this idea to the business world, the researchers got jiggy with it. They found teams who worked together in sales and conducted a similar experiment to the one mentioned earlier.
On one team, each member was given $15 and told to spend it on themselves however they’d like and on another team, they were given $15 each and told to spend it on their teammates. The result? You guessed it, the teams who spent it on each other sold more.
Think of it like this: the $15 that went into each person’s pockets didn’t motivate them to perform any better but the people who spent it on their teammates, performed better so there’s a huge win on investing money in this way.
The lesson is therefore not what product you should buy in order to make you happier. It’s in fact that you should stop thinking about what to buy for yourself and try giving something to someone else instead.
Or maybe give a coffee gift card to that person with first world problems and ask them to give it to someone else instead of using it themselves.
So how do you change your game? How can you use this personally and professionally? I want to hear what you did, what you gave, and how it make you feel.
Do it, do it now.