Money Matters

My Struggle With Money, Depression & Anxiety (Does Money Buy Happiness?) The Hedonic Treadmill

QUESTION: Does Money Buy Happiness? The short answer: It can. The long answer? It can – but if you’re not careful, it can have the opposite effect.
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It’s a scientific fact that spending money on material things doesn’t make us happy. However, using your money to buy back your TIME allows you to spend more time with friends, family and pursuing hobbies.

This means spending money on things like:

Hiring a cleaner
Hiring someone to mow the front lawn
Having a chef prepare your meals
Hiring a nanny to take care of your kids

Buying back our time allows us to focus on the things we truly LOVE. And this has a direct, positive impact on happiness.

QUESTION: Why Do Billionaires & Athletes Get Depressed?

This can be explained using the hedonic treadmill as an example. You see, this is the scientifically observed tendency where all of us quickly return to a stable level of happiness. For example: If you won the lottery tomorrow, you’d get a HUGE boost of happiness. You’d be super happy. But eventually, you’ll return to your previous, baseline happiness level. Long-term it doesn’t matter.

Most athletes and entrepreneurs fall into this trap. After reaching a goal, they enjoy the rush of happiness and achievement. After a while though, that goal becomes normalized, so they try and reach bigger goals to achieve that sense of happiness again.

What we’re really doing (without realising), is associating success with happiness. And this is where we get trapped running our own hedonic treadmill.

This is dangerous. You may have noticed that in the entrepreneurial community, there is a LOT of peer pressure to be always working. Always hustling. HOWEVER, this mindset can eventually result in something that is the total opposite: BURNOUT.

A Swedish study showed that when we work, we fire different neurons in our brain. So of course, the more work we do, the more we engage them. However, doing this too much leads our brain to try and work more efficiently. So, it goes into survival mode and starts to rewire your brain so that your neurons start fire TOGETHER. This means it becomes harder to access different parts of your brain, such as the parts involved problem solving, focus, and emotional reasoning.

QUESTION: How Can You Experience Happiness Every Day?

While we get a big dose of happiness when something big happens, science has also shown that little things make us almost just as happy.

For example:

Eating a nice apple
Giving someone a hug
Exercising and treating your body right
Drinking a nice cup of coffee

The difference though, is that the happiness boost from these little things doesn’t last as long as the big ones. So, the key is to add lots and lots of these nice, little things into your life every day.

Indirectly, this is also a sense of gratitude: The quality of being THANKFUL. And is an awesome way of experiencing genuine happiness from the INSIDE OUT. Rather than the outside in.