This placard was recently spotted in a “home-style” restaurant storefront: “Don’t spend so much time making a living that you forget to make a life.”
We’ve all said it, “Money doesn’t buy happiness,” but does that vary by degrees? Studies have found that income does affect our positive feelings about our lives, but it is not effective to the same degree for people at different income levels. For instance, at an income of about $75,000, people can enjoy a comfortable life. Above that level, they may enjoy the “rush” of accumulating more possessions, financial assets, or types of recreation, but, they are not necessarily happier.
This is not a new concept. In 1943, Abraham Maslow published a paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” proposing that needs motivate humans to seek satisfaction and happiness. His theory is depicted in a triangle with the broad base representing basic human needs – water, shelter, air, food – and the apex representing what Maslow called “self-actualization,” reaching and realizing a person’s full-potential .
And, perhaps, the Beatles said it best, “All you need is love.”