US academic, Tim Kasser, from Knox College,
Illinois has done a study1 on what makes us
happy. Surprisingly, rather than making us happy,
he found that material prosperity has the opposite
effect. He found that those focused on materialism have
a greater risk of depression, physical irritations, drug abuse and poor
personal relationships. This was true whether they were successful at
acquiring wealth or just motivated by acquisition.
So where do we find happiness and a sense of personal well being? Another
study by Professor of Psychology, David Meyers2, says the answers can be found
in four areas. Meyers says;
1. Be sure to have good friends and build deep personal relationships.
2. Reach out to those in need, look beyond
3. Find work that engages your skills
Look after your soul.
Meyers says it’s important to look beyond the physical to the spiritual,
to take time to reach out to God. A personal relationship with God is the best
investment you will ever make.
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep...
whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find
pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that
they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John chapter 10, verses 7-10.
- Psychology and Consumer Culture: The Struggle for a Good Life in a
Materialistic World, Tim Kasser. American Psychological Association,
- The Pursuit of Happiness, David Meyers. Harper Paperbacks, 1993