The fact is that happiness is as much genetic as anything. So being rich or poor may have nothing to do with one's state of mind. That said, I have been poor and am comfortable now. At times as I have made much more than I am making right now, but that came with a huge price.

1). Being poor sucks. There is no doubt about.
2). Being well-to-do may or may not be a great thing. It depends in part where the money comes from. Having at least enough money to live comfortably makes life pleasant and beats the heck out of being poor. But if the price of money is your life - you have to dedicate your life to making money - which is often the case, then imo the value of wealth is limited. If on the other hand you win $100 million, your life may or may not be better, but given a choice, I'd take my chances with the$100 million.

http://articles.moneycentral.msn.co...oney/8lotteryWinnersWhoLostTheirMillions.aspx
But in your wildest dreams if you could work your perfect job would you rather get paid a respectable $70,000 a year of$3 million a year. All other things being equal.

mgb_phys
Homework Helper

But it does give you a better class of misery

drankin

But in your wildest dreams if you could work your perfect job would you rather get paid a respectable $70,000 a year of$3 million a year. All other things being equal.
I might take the 3 million for a sucky job. :)

But in your wildest dreams if you could work your perfect job would you rather get paid a respectable $70,000 a year of$3 million a year. All other things being equal.
Hypotheticals give no insights. What if I could get $3 million just because I'm that awesome? I might take the 3 million for a sucky job. :) Like Siberian forced labour camp participant? One only needs to find a single counter example (which would take one like half a second) and it's disproven. I can give you several examples of people thinking they improve their happiness by killing other people. If there is no correlation, the statement is moot. Correlation is not even sufficient for a causation. A counter example can only be valid to disprove a law, which is a limiting case of perfect correlation. The keyword for basic science is statistics. I can give you several examples of people improving their happiness by killing other people. If there is no correlation, the statement is moot. The correlation is not even sufficient for a causation. Yes and because of the existance of such people the statement "killing people can't make you happy" cannot be considered to be correct. drankin Like Siberian forced labour camp participant? I think I could hang for a few months, and then afford to take a vacation for a few years! I think I could hang for a few months, and then afford to take a vacation for a few years! I wonder how wealthy Solzhenitsyn was. drankin I wonder how wealthy Solzhenitsyn was. I had to google that. He wasn't wealthy. Yes and because of the existance of such people the statement "killing people can't make you happy" cannot be considered to be correct. All I am trying to help with is to reconsider the definition of happiness as a goal, If you like another definition leading to absurd statements such as "reading can make you hungry", it's up to you, I do not wish to argue. Ivan Seeking Staff Emeritus Science Advisor Gold Member But in your wildest dreams if you could work your perfect job would you rather get paid a respectable$70,000 a year of $3 million a year. All other things being equal. That is a bit rhetorical, isn't it? If pigs could fly, would I still own a car? The implicit fallacy is "all other things being equal". There is no such beast. All choices come with their own set of ramifications. One cannot discuss the concept of wealth absent the means. Would everyone love to win the lottery? Sure. All I am trying to help with is to reconsider the definition of happiness as a goal, If you like another definition leading to absurd statements such as "reading can make you hungry", it's up to you, I do not wish to argue. Well look at the title of the thread dude. What's the point of happiness anyway? It can't even buy money. :tongue: BobG Science Advisor Homework Helper But in your wildest dreams if you could work your perfect job would you rather get paid a respectable$70,000 a year of $3 million a year. All other things being equal. There's a point of diminishing returns. Once you're making enough to be secure - i.e. enough to eat, dependable transportation, dependable medical care, etc - extra money only raises your happiness a little bit. I think that's true even for those that are unhappy even though they make a lot of money. They were probably at least a little bit unhappier before they started making enough money to give them a new regret - that their money didn't allow them to escape an unfulfilling life. There is an exception. I think the$3 million a year might be a fairly unhappy experience if it happens all of a sudden. A life changing increase in income can be as stressful as a life changing decrease in income.

There's some keys to winning the lottery and living happily ever after. Be happily married, for one thing (imagine how excited lawyers would be to help lottery winners divorce). Be happy to move to a new town, for another (the names of lottery winners are public information and you don't want to be a sitting duck for every PIA scammer in the state). Don't completely change your lifestyle - just enjoy doing the same things at a higher quality (buy Dijon ketchup for your maccaroni and cheese).

turbo
Gold Member

One of my nieces won a nice jackpot in a NY state lottery. It wasn't huge, but it allowed her and her husband to start their own deli (he had been in the restaurant business for years) and work their tails off to make it succeed. Still early days yet, but they are young and they are hard workers. When they got that winner, they were struggling a bit, and their relationship was rocky, but he insisted that the winnings go under her name, so that if something happened to him she would have clear claim on the money that would go to supporting and educating their two young sons. They have rented a cabin in Maine for this week, and I am about to meet him for the first time. I'm excited. My niece is a beautiful and intelligent young lady, and her kids are a hoot - I fully expect to like her husband. He has always been tied up working when she has been able to travel here to Maine - Poughkeepsie is a long haul with kids.

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OmCheeto
Gold Member

It's when you open your eyes in the morning with the will to get out of your bed for another wonderful day.
Thank you humanino. I'd forgotten that feeling. I know I've felt it before, but it has been gone for a bit.

I've never had much money, though I'd been offered a lot. So like Ivan, I've generally turned down the offer of more money, as I could see it would lead to fewer mornings where I actually look forward to the day.

One day, someone shoved a piece of paper in front of my face and said;"You wanna be the boss? Sign here.". I said sure. 10 years down the road, I realize, it was the worst mistake of my life. But hey. I'm making more now in 3 years than it used to take me 10. Something must be right....

But tomorrow, I think I'll wake up looking forward to the day. I know I can do it. I'm sure it's just like riding a bicycle.

Apparently on Bob Marley's deathbed his last words were, "Money can't buy life". I guess that is close enough to happiness. I agree although money can help make happiness achievable without as much work.

Moonbear
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

There's a point of diminishing returns. Once you're making enough to be secure - i.e. enough to eat, dependable transportation, dependable medical care, etc - extra money only raises your happiness a little bit.

I think that's true even for those that are unhappy even though they make a lot of money. They were probably at least a little bit unhappier before they started making enough money to give them a new regret - that their money didn't allow them to escape an unfulfilling life.
This point makes the most sense here. Too often, I think we just look at the "after" in the picture, and forget to look at the baseline condition as a control to determine if we really can assign causality correctly. The person who works non-stop and appears constantly stressed out and can't or won't take a vacation to just relax because they feel their absence would lead to disaster in the workplace, or who does take a vacation, but still doesn't relax, constantly calling in to the office, checking on progress on a project, etc., might not be "unhappy" as a consequence of the job, but may have always been an unhappy person who constantly works because s/he doesn't know how to relax, which may have been the thing that led them to get promoted to that higher paying, higher responsibility job in the first place.

The problem that arises, though, is in determining if that person IS happy or unhappy. What exactly does that mean? Why would one assume that taking a vacation, for example, equates with happiness? If someone gets all their self-satisfaction from feeling needed and useful at work, and taking vacation leaves them feeling stressed out that they are not there, or perhaps they don't feel sufficiently confident about the skills of their coworkers and only anticipate returning to a big disaster after the vacation, maybe their happiness is more tied to being at work than being on a vacation.

I tend to think that if someone is truly miserable with their situation (job, marriage, location of residence, educational level, etc.) they are highly motivated to change their situation. They change employers, change careers, or up and quit and decide to figure out what else to do after they get out of the miserable situation. They get a divorce, or get married, or get remarried, or find a boyfriend or girlfriend, or dump a boyfriend or girlfriend. They move...out of their parents' house, out of the dumpy apartment, out of the bad neighborhood, to a new town, a new state, or back home from away. They take some classes...toward a degree, or to advance their career, or to change their career, or to learn a new hobby.

If someone complains a lot, and doesn't do anything to change their situation, I become more skeptical that their complaints are legitimate. Some people simply enjoy complaining, and sometimes it's just to temporarily let of steam, and once it's voiced, that minor annoyance is out of the way and they realize that overall, they are content with what they have.