Things or Experiences – Which Makes Us Happier?

How often have you looked at that shiny new thing in a store or on line and thought about how happy it would make you to have it? Things are cool. They are new and intriguing. They capture our attention. They entertain us. They distract us, often from things we want to be distracted from. When we love someone one of the most common ways we convey that love is to give them things. (We call those gifts.)

I challenge you to consider however what is more likely to bring you lasting happiness – things or experiences. Our attics, basements and garages are full of the “things” we just had to have a few years ago. Our children’s toys, new and shiny and exciting last Christmas are now stuffed at the bottom of a closet, largely ignored.

Things are not bad. We need some things and we benefit from many of them. They can make life easier (automobile), more productive (dishwasher) and expand our ability to interact with others (computer or smart phone). They also cost a lot of money, they have to be stored and serviced and maintained. In the end they lose their novelty, they wear out, they eventually disappear. Any happiness we get from things is fleeting.

Experiences on the other hand are forever. They connect us to other people, they build relationships, they are the fondest and most enduring memories.

The next time you think you need or want that new “thing” it is worth thinking about how important they really are. When you decide how to spend your limited discretionary dollars, consider what will do the most to bring you happiness and contentment – more things, or more experiences.

Experiences can be expensive. But in the end they may well be money better spent. 

Wishing you success and prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy
Helping People Learn to Build Wealth

Wishing you Success and Prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.