Monday, August 17, 2015

What is True Happiness?


Can Money Buy True Happiness? 

I have mentioned on one or more occasions that I was moving. In my move to my new home, I discovered how rich I was in material possessions. As I sorted my trash, donate, and keep piles, I could not help but ask myself these questions. Did all this stuff make me happy? I discovered I had a lot of junk. I wondered why I believed it was going to bring me joy. I also asked myself why I even bought it!  In today’s post we will look at how materialism does not always equate to happiness and how to discover true happiness.

Happiness is defined by the site, This Emotional Life, as freedom from suffering, flourishing, well-being, joy, prosperity, and pleasure. Sounds great right? I want me all of that! As I reflected on this definition I wondered where all my acquired junk fell in this definition.

As I think about freedom from suffering that material things can provide for me I can honestly say material things may help for a brief second with the suffering. Are material things flourishing and provide a positive well being? Not really! Do they support prosperity and pleasure? Health prosperity sometimes, and pleasure for a short period of time.

Now when I focus on the non-material things, like family, friends and love the answers are much different. My friends and family can provide me support from suffering in a long term. They are always there to support me. They also help me flourish and help with my positive well being. Their unconditional support gives me long lasting pleasure.

In answering these questions I discovered that materialism does not bring long lasting meaningful experiences. If it had, I would not be giving it up! Just in case you were wondering what pile was the biggest it was my junk pile. I was in awe of all the, things I bought that was just that, “stuff,” no real substance or purpose.
See the difference in happiness due to material things vs. happiness in human interaction?
Disclaimer, I am fully aware of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and understand that if our basic needs are not met, money or the material things are essential. With that said, I hope that you can see that your spirit is yearning for self-actualization which comes from the experience of true love, contentment and happiness. Material possessions are beautiful and I do enjoy them very much. Yet, I learned that they can be easily dumped and can become worthless. Human interactions are life experiences that stay with us for a life time.  How about you? What do you value? Ask yourself the same questions and see what you really hold dear to your heart. I have learned to value what truly matters in my life and it's not the, “things,” I am throwing away! I hope you have a wonderful week until next time, Believe. Change. Become!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with you Nancy, that possessions do not always equate to happiness. However, some materialistic possessions such as a bed, a refrigerator or simply a car as possessions that can indeed help feel security and might equate to happiness for some.