Photo: Flickr / wallyg
One of my favourite quotes on happiness has been attributed to Pablo Picasso:”I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.”
Opaque? Perhaps. But I think what Picasso meant is that when we don’t have much money, little luxuries excite us. I can still remember the first time I bought brand-name Ziploc bags at the grocery store, rather than the generic sandwich bags I’d grown up with.
If you’re a poor graduate student, the mere experience of going out to eat can be blissful. When you get more money, you stop viewing restaurant meals as anything outside the norm. So you start complaining that the service is slow, the meat is too salty, and so forth.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to go out to eat all the time, and still think it was the coolest thing in the world?
Humans have a difficult time thinking this way — most of us are on the “hedonic treadmill” to some degree or another. We get used to things, and it takes more and more to excite us.
See the full post at CBS Money Watch.