The Art of Sharing: How Mutuality Breeds Happiness

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By Staff Reports

(DGIwire) — Does money buy happiness? While the typically accepted answer to this age-old question is “no,” it’s difficult to deny that money offers a certain amount of flexibility in life—which may in turn make way for happiness. While Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s name has nearly become synonymous with young money in America, he believes that happiness is not achieved by having the latest gadgets or having the biggest house on the block, but rather by helping others and ideally doing it alongside the people he loves.

In a recent interview with Business Insider, Zuckerberg said he thinks lots of people confuse happiness with fun. He added that he didn’t believe it is possible to have fun every day, but that it is possible to do something meaningful that helps people every day. Zuckerberg may be onto something here. According to a recent article in TIME, money can only “buy” happiness if used in certain ways. As the article explains, these include the following:

  • Buy moments, not stuff. According to Dan Gilbert, a Harvard University psychology professor, the key is to spend your money on experiences rather than material things. Material things, even if you’ve had your eye on something for a long time, tend to lose their allure after a while. Memories of people, places and activities, however, never get old.
  • Spend on others. In a study published in 2015, Harvard University researchers conducted experiments and found out that spending money on others boosts people’s emotional and physical well-being.
  • Buy in small splurges. Dropping a ton of cash on something extravagant doesn’t give you the same bang for your buck because, no matter how special it seems at first, you get used to having it and over time it becomes just another object.
  • Buy what you like. Buying things simply to “keep up with the Joneses” isn’t going to make you happy. There are a lot of reasons someone might buy something, but if the reason is to maximize happiness, the best thing for that person to do is purchase a life experience that is in line with their personality, said Ryan Howell, an associate professor of psychology at San Francisco State University, in a Forbes article.
  • Spend with others. You might think spending money on things or activities you do by yourself will make you happy, but a recent study in Psychological Science says this tactic can backfire. Sharing your experiences with others will improve your relationships by establishing a common ground.

“Even though I grew up in a poor neighborhood, when I think back to my youth I remember being happy every day,” says legendary financial analyst and soon-to-be-published author Harry Edelson. “It’s the memories of my friends and family that stick with me after all these years.”

In his upcoming book, Positivity: How To Be Happier, Healthier, Smarter, and More Prosperous, Edelson explains how he came to be known as “Happy Harry,” and details how his readers can reach the same degree of happiness.

“Some people who have achieved a certain level of wealth find it difficult to bounce back when setbacks occur,” adds Edelson. “Developing a positive mindset will ensure happiness through all of life’s ups and downs, no matter what your annual income is or what challenges life throws in your path.”  Positivity is due out in late September 2015 and is currently available for pre-order at Amazon.com.

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