by on 2016-08-23 15:53:06
If you type, “money can’t” into Google it will magically complete the sentence with the following words, “buy happiness.” Even a computer knows the old saying, “Money can’t buy happiness!” Few would argue the truth of the phrase. Yet, how does this sentiment reconcile with the predominant occupation of our time, namely, the pursuit of money.
Can Money Buy Some Happiness?
In order to see why, we need a little more background. Recent studies have repeatedly shown that what makes us humans happy are experiences and not things. Further, what social scientists are finding is that what leads to ultimate contentedness is the memory of the things we’ve done, or put another way, the memory of experiences we’ve lived.
In this way, happiness is deeply linked to memory. This is a very powerful statement, because what Dr. Kahlmann says is that the experience itself isn’t even the most important thing, rather what matters most is the memory of the experience. This is true even for things we haven’t done yet!
This means that money actually can buy happiness, because it can allow us to have experiences. We can buy a trip, charter a boat, go to school, any number of things. But when we do these things, it usually isn’t alone. People are social animals and continuing research shows that the long-term contentedness we receive from these memories is deeply enhanced by experiencing them with others. That’s to say, it isn’t the bigger house that makes us happy, it is living in that house with our family, or inviting our friends over for drinks, maybe BBQ’ing in the yard. It isn’t the bigger car in and of itself that makes us happy, although maybe for a few weeks we can enjoy the smell and appreciate how much better it is than our old car, but rather taking a road trip with people we care about. It is experiencing and sharing something new that ultimately make us content.
Why Studying in China Is the Best Investment You’ll Ever Make?
So what does this have to do with studying in China? Everything! It is clear that what ultimately leads to happiness in our lives are the memory of all of the new experiences we enjoyed with others. And what better source of new experiences and life changing events is there than studying in China? At its very core it is an adventure into something new, something different, a world outside the one we already know, a voyage of discovery, encountering new people, cultures, and developing an understanding that life can be lived in countless different ways. Every step of studying abroad is a new experience!
Long Term Pay Out
That means if you’re sitting at home wondering whether going abroad is the right choice for you, make sure to put your short-term worries in the context of your entire life. Imagine what you will think back on in the future, will you be happier with memories of a life in China–encountering all the fresh things. For those who take the plunge, remember that experiences are what you make them, that in the long-run what makes us truly happy is moving out of our comfort zone, meeting new people, and trying new things.