Social scientists Elizabeth W. Dunn, Daniel T. Gilbert and Timothy D. Wilson study happiness. After surveying research conducted around the world, they reached some conclusions about the nature of happiness. They published a paper last year titled If Money Doesn’t Make Your Happy, You’re Probably Not Spending It Right, they spelled out a simple formula for emotional well-being.
Buy experiences instead of things; buy many small pleasures instead of a few big ones; pay now for things you can look forward to and enjoy later.
It occurs o me that this is what wine drinkers do all the time. We buy a lot of good but not dearly expensive wine, we hold it for a while but ultimately consume it ourselves, and we share the experience of that wine with others.
So we’re happy. Or, at least, we tend to be happier than people who don’t do stuff like that.
Hat tip: David Brooks, of all people.