What can make one happier than winning a lottery? Many things, it turns out.
The video above, made as an add-on to a TED-Ed lesson, examines this question. As it turns out, while most of us will be overjoyed and run around in ecstatic circles if we do win big bucks, the answer in the long run isn’t quite simple.
A study on lottery winners revealed that, months later, their average levels of happiness had increased no more than those of another group that didn’t win anything. Some were, in fact, not as happy as they had been before winning the money.
Later studies have confirmed that human emotions don’t seem to improve with wealth beyond a certain point. It’s important to understand that we have a strong ability to adapt to new situations in life.
Believe it or not, most of us have a base level of happiness that stays constant throughout our existence. (That’s both disappointing and reassuring.)
Sure, a shiny new car or a lovely beautiful home can make us overjoyed at first, but the novelty wears off. The bottomline: it’s not accumulating material wealth that provides a hotline to happiness. Experiences like a trip to an exotic destination, or helping others instead of spending all one’s money on oneself goes a long way towards making one happy and content.