According to a new research, Aristotle was right when he said ‘men fancy that external goods are the cause of happiness [but] leisure of itself gives pleasure and happiness and enjoyment in life.’
The research by psychologists from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York has “proved the Greek philosopher right, by confirming that splashing your cash on designer clothes or the latest gadgets might give you instant gratification, but it’s experiences that will make you happier in the long-run,” MailOnline reports.
A collection of studies have revealed that even unpleasant experiences, such as getting lost in a wood, or a rainy camping holiday, are later valued more than material possessions.
This also confirms the long held notion that, experience is the most valuable thing in life—and not all the expensive things we work hard to buy. In fact, if anything at all, we should invest more in having experiences—such as travelling, spending quality time with friends and family and learning new things.
The website added that, “Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University, told Fast Company that new things are only exciting and pleasing at first, while learning a new skill or travelling is more rewarding overall.
In an experiment, people were asked to report their happiness after buying new products or experiences. At first, happiness levels were about the same, but over time, their satisfaction with products slipped, while the memories of the experiences they had, made them happier.
The experts even found that experiences that made people unhappy at the time, such as an uncomfortable camping trip for example, still gave them happy memories.
Dr Gilovich said this may be because stressful, unpleasant or scary experiences can be turned into funny stories with time, or reviewed as valuable learning experiences. They also found that shared experiences connect humans more than shared material goods, such as a flash new car, which a whole family can use.”
Now if you want to be happy in life—go for the experience!