The problem with this approach is that a decade of research — conducted by us and our colleagues — demonstrates that our intuitions about how to turn money into happiness are misguided at best and dead-wrong at worst. Those televisions, cars, and houses? They have almost no impact on our happiness. The good news is that we now know what kind of spending does enhance our happiness — insight that’s valuable to consumers and companies alike.
Money is important but it’s not the key to fulfillment. The “safe” choice, the most monetarily rewarding one, can carry enormous psychological and spiritual pain. As Ralph Waldo Emerson put it, “Sometimes money costs too much.”