Basically, Adrian has looked around and seen some people enjoying material riches (a Cooper, an EC etc) and maxing out their credit cards, and this has led him to muse as follows:
We feel that it is wrong as it is against our mindset. But these group of people just want to enjoy what they reaped and some wants to enjoy it in advance via credit.There are a couple of things I want to say, but because of my bad habit of excessively lengthy posts, I'll just focus on one angle. That's the nature of the relationship between happiness and money (or material items). Adrian says that life is about happiness, a statement I won't argue with. But he then wonders whether we should splurge once in a while and "make ourselves really really happy by getting, say, an EC".
You can't really say these kind of people are wrong.
The only "wrong" here is the credit amount gets out of control, banks begin to sue and you become bankrupt. Even then, they had already enjoyed material items that most people with my mindset won't even had the chance to.(I'm sure I won't get to own a Cooper in this lifetime)
So in living a life that I've always preached that we only lived once, is it entirely wrong that we MUST be financially prudent and have savings? Should we not let our urge take over once a while and make ourselves really really happy by getting, say a, EC?
Life is about happiness after all.
Well, Adrian, listen carefully to what Mr Wang wants to tell you. Money doesn't buy happiness. That's an old cliche - but it's true. And here are the scientific studies to prove it.
(A) People in Bangladesh and India are happier than people in the US and the UK, despite the much greater wealth of the US and the UK.
(B) Professor Ed Diener discovers that the Masai cattle herdsmen living in dung huts in Kenya are approximately as happy as the 400 richest people in America.
(C) A study of 7,167 students across 41 countries showed that those who valued money over love were less satisfied about life than those who valued love over money.
(D) Personal income in the USA has nearly tripled since 1956, while the number of Americans who say they're very happy has remained the same year after year — about 30%.
(E) Empirical data demonstrates that it is untrue that an increase in wealth brings an increase of a sense of well-being.
There's a lot more, of course. Adrian, if you plow through the literature on happiness, you will discover subtler points. But I'll give you one last point to ponder. The remarkable adaptability of the human race will always prevent it from finding happiness in material things. Like monkeys which quickly get bored with the same old toy, we're just too smart for our own good. We get used to our material possessions so quickly that any happiness we derive from them is necessarily short-lived.
You can verify this for yourself, by looking at the material possessions you do have. Perhaps your digital camera; your handphone; your 19-inch monitor; your most expensive shirt; your watch. Did they bring you happiness when you first purchased them? Quite possibly, yes. Do they still bring happiness now? Nope. The novelty has worn off.
Why do you think it would be different with an EC? Or a Cooper?