actually read this article first before part one, read both articles, they are short and informative.
When purchases go wrong
The researchers used three experiments to examine this question. In the first two of these participants were randomly assigned to groups in which they recalled material and experiential purchases that had either turned out well, or that had turned out badly. They were then asked how happy (or otherwise) these purchases had made them.
The results suggested that, just like Van Boven and Gilovich’s research, experiential purchases (e.g. a meal out) beat material purchases (e.g. clothes) if each turned out well. But, for some people whose scores were low on a measure of materialism, when the purchases turned out badly, it was the material goods that left them slightly happier. In contrast the highly materialistic were left less happy when their material purchases went wrong.
In a third experiment participants actually made a small experiential versus a small material purchase and then their happiness over time was measured. It was found that when participants made a material purchase that turned out badly it was easier for them to forget about it than an experiential purchase that went wrong.
Across three experiments, then, Nicolao and colleagues found evidence that when our experiential purchases go wrong we are likely to end up slightly less happy than if we had chosen a material purchase. But, as in previous research, when our purchases go well we are likely to end up significantly happier if we choose an experiential rather than a material purchase.
I suspect there might not be. One reason why I think I’m happier now than when I was younger (despite the U-shape in happiness over the life cycle) is precisely that I’ve stopped giving a damn what anyone thinks about me. If you care about your reputation, you end up worrying about things you can’t easily control. You become like Heather Mills, ranting hysterically about the press.
This is pretty much the exact opposite of Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s recipe for happiness – flow. He says we maximize happiness when we lose ourselves in an activity – playing music or sport say – when we are in control, and yet oblivious to our own ego.
Happiness is that thing that I yearn for and actually try to find. I haven’t but all good things take time. What am I trying to do to find happiness? Here are some:
-Trying out new thing. This includes hobbies etc. I am trying to skew towards activities that do.
-Connecting with people. Trying to interact with people and increase my circle of friends. This also include improving connections with my friends now.
-Connecting with your family. We tend to take our parent and siblings for granted. I try to smooth things over and try to maximize my time spent with my parents.
-Self Improvement. A most overused word but its overused for a reason you are never perfect. What you can be is a person that is totally comfortable with yourself! The best way (for me) to be comfortable with yourself is to face the harsh realities of life and your rough edges head on. This means being honest to yourself with the things taht are painful for you, the things that irk you, things that give you joy, the activities that gives you a lasting joy. The good thing about being honest to yourself is that when you do it often enough it becomes a habit thatbrings you closer