Happiness is everyone’s right, not just anyone’s, and you and I have no right to it alone.
Happiness is the greatest success, and sharing is the greatest joy. If we truly want to be happy, we must spread happiness widely.
How to be happy without money?
According to research, people with money are generally happier than those without, and people in countries with high per capita incomes are also slightly happier. But there are many contradictions to this.
In the United States, real income per capita (net of price increases) has doubled and a half since the 1940s, but happiness levels have not changed much, with those who consider themselves happy fluctuating around 30%, with no upward trend; the average happiness level fluctuates around 72%. Japan’s real income per capita has increased even more over the decades, but its average happiness fluctuates around 59%, with no upward trend either. In China, the situation is similar; our overall income levels have generally increased, but the happiness index still leaves a lot to be desired.
Why is this the case? This has to do with people’s fast optimism and the essential nature of happiness. For example, the phenomenon of the “pleasure paradox” can be explained in a certain way from the perspective of the adaptability and comparability of pleasure. The adaptive nature of pleasure means that once pleasure is satisfied, it will lose its original attraction, which is determined by the natural physiological immune system of human beings, and is also in line with the principle of diminishing marginal benefits in economics. At the same time, in a way, pleasure is relative, not only to one’s past, but also to others.
Although his income has increased, it is possible that others have increased faster and more than him. And there is a phenomenon that because of excessive expectations of happiness, people tend to believe that others’ income increases are always more desirable than their own, which may also contribute to the lack of a significant increase or even decrease in happiness. Also, people’s sense of happiness is a complex and variable sensory system. Money and wealth increase, and the possible resultant health conditions, stress, environmental degradation, fairness and order, interpersonal and family relationships, etc., become more pronounced. To increase our happiness, we need to pursue wealth scientifically while establishing the right values of happiness, and focus on adjusting our mindset to achieve a harmonious inner balance while positively adjusting the comprehensive balance of objective externalities.
If money does not equal happiness, why do we struggle to make money?
First of all, people do not really accept the scientific happy values of “money is not equal to happiness”, or at least will believe in it. 2010, Shenzhen Foxconn employees jumping from a series of buildings must have its complex deep-seated reasons, but the lack of happy management and happy education is also its behind-the-scenes reason. The “murderers”, those young employees who lacked a proper understanding of happiness and mistook money for pleasure and everything else, worked frantically overtime to earn money in pursuit of more material rewards, eventually leading to mental breakdowns and suicide jumps. This is a classic negative case of happiness education. Even if people understand that money does not equal happiness, they may still struggle to make money.
For one thing, it is argued that as the economy grows, people may also raise their expectations. When income levels are low, absolute income is important; when income levels are high, relative income becomes more important. Therefore, people will also race to earn more money.
The second is the limitation of personal choice.
A person can choose to make more money, but it is difficult to choose to make less money and consume less. More money may be more production, but as an individual often will not consider these, the evil effect is personal development, happiness is reduced.
Thirdly, people’s ignorance, short-sightedness and irrationality make them desperate to make money. There may also be biological reasons for people’s irrational desperation to make money. For generations, humans and other species have faced the problem of scarcity, and one of our genes has given us the instinct to accumulate goods, just as ants and squirrels accumulate food. In a monetary society, this instinct is to scramble to make money, which Keynes called “animal nature”. However, when there is no scarcity of goods, which can no longer significantly increase our probability of survival and the level of happiness, it is irrational to make money desperately at the expense of our family and friends, to the detriment of our conscience and to the detriment of society, which is certainly harmful to ourselves and others.