If someone asked you what would be the one thing that would make you happy what would it be?
For many people it might be winning the lottery, after all money - or lack of it - is widely thought to be the cause of many of lifes problems. However, a study from 2011 by the American Psychological Association found that in fact, money can't buy you happiness.
The aim of the study was to find out what was a more defining factor in people's wellbeing: money or the right to freedom and autonomy. The sample included data from 420,599 people who lived in 63 countries and took place over nearly 40 years and found that although money can sometimes lead to autonomy, it’s freedom that leads to happier lives and higher levels of satisfaction.
The researchers commented:
"The effect of money on happiness has been shown to plateau – that is, once people reach the point of being able to meet their basic needs, more money leads to marginal gains at best or even less well-being as people worry about “keeping up with the Joneses.”
Other studies have also found that as you become wealthier, it becomes more difficult to keep “buying” more happiness. We’ve all heard this before though right - that money can't buy you happiness so what do we really want you to take from this article? Obviously earning a high salary or scooping a lottery win may not be an option for all of us, but making a choice about what’s important is. If you have a choice to make soon that could lead you on a path to more freedom in how you run your life - take it! Or more so if you are responsible for letting others have freedom in the choices they make too, then consider yourself lucky as you have an opportunity to give a gift! After all, you can't put a price on freedom.