How does materialism affect happiness?


Materialism's impact on happiness can be quite complex. According to insights from and , there appears to be a psychological phenomenon where individuals constantly believe that having slightly more (about 20% more income or wealth) will make them happier. This suggests an unresolved human ambition, where satisfaction is always just a bit beyond what one currently has, indicating a sort of permanent discontent regardless of actual wealth levels 1.

Furthermore, found in his research involving wealthy individuals that happiness could be augmented through spending on specific passions or "freedom inducing events" like private jets or specialized hobbies. This highlights how directed spending, rather than general materialism, may enhance happiness. Additionally, giving money to causes one cares deeply about was identified as another significant source of happiness, underscoring that meaningful engagement and generosity can impact well-being more positively than mere accumulation of wealth or goods 2.

Thus, while materialism (in the context of accumulating wealth and possessions) might offer transient happiness, it often fails to provide lasting contentment. True increases in happiness more often stem from experiences, meaningful engagements, and actions that resonate more deeply with personal values and passions.

Wealth and Happiness

Michael and Sam discuss how wealth affects happiness and the unfilled nature of human ambition. They explore the mindset of people with different levels of wealth and how it affects their emotional balance. The grass always seems greener on the other side, but sometimes having more can be a burden.

My First Million

Behind The Scenes Of The Billionaires' Mastermind (TIGER 21) | Michael Sonnenfeldt Interview