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World, Lisa Kamen, What Is Your Happiness

World, Lisa Kamen, What Is Your Happiness

By Lisa Cypers Kamen

At first, it may seem easy to say that money cannot buy happiness. Is this true? It may also be said that money can buy a measure of happiness and that this happiness is only temporary.

Income may not be the most important contributor to how happy most people are, and there are good reasons–psychological and moral. But money matters, if only a bit. As Mae West once said, “I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor; believe me, rich is better.”

There are some data implying that as nations become richer, the happiness of their citizens does not rise.

Consider: money can buy happiness, so long as the money is spent on someone else. The amount of money people spent in gifts to others or gave to charity was positively associated with general happiness, even when overall income was controlled. If you gave people $5 or $20 and told them that they had to spend the money on someone else, would they be happier? It seems that this would be the case given what we’ve already said. It wouldn’t matter what the amount was, happiness would be increased.

What many people consider happiness — positive feelings — is much more strongly affected by factors other than cold, hard cash, such as feeling respected, being in control of your life and having friends and family to rely on in a pinch.

day-to-day positive feelings depend a lot on other things, which also turn out to be fairly universal and therefore help clarify what makes people content,

Independent filmmaker, author, happiness coach and speaker Lisa Cypers Kamen creates these blogs to entertain, enlighten and educate us as we each undertake our own personal search for happiness.  Happiness is an Inside Job. To contact Lisa, email her directly at and check out her website at

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