In recent decades thousands of books and countless articles and research reports have been published exploring the essence of authentic happiness and myths related to it.
One such myth is that money brings happiness. In fact, there is no scientific and proven positive correlation between money and happiness; multiple research studies have shown that an increase in money and wealth does not produce greater happiness. This is not to deny the significance of income and wealth to fulfill our daily needs and well-being. However, to assume that the accumulation of possessions and money correlate with a higher attainment of joy and happiness is false.
Research studies in recent decades show that amassing wealth and riches leads to a sense of isolation and loneliness, because wealthy people feel they do not need others. According to the Harvard Business Review, wealth is more likely to make people less generous. (Harvard Business Review, Raj Rajhunathan, “Why rich people aren’t as happy as they could be”, June 8, 2016)
The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life
Conventional wisdom holds that if we work hard we will be more successful, and if we are more successful, then we’ll be happy. If we can just find that great job, win that next promotion, lose those five pounds, happiness will follow. But recent discoveries in the field of positive psychology have shown that this formula is actually backward: Happiness fuels success, not the other way around.
This does not mean that rich people can’t be happy or generous; some wealthy people who contribute to worthy causes and help the poor report elevated levels of happiness achieved through their philanthropy. However, a sense of isolation and loneliness, especially among the wealthy, is very common in North America, partly because of a competitive and stressful lifestyle focused on success.