where is happiness to be found?

Although I’m happy working alone, it’s nice to spend the day with others who come along for my occasional spoon carving workshops.  I had a very interesting conversation with a course participant recently who’d heard about some research in to what makes people happy.  He said the study had shown that people who spend their money on things/objects were not as happy as people who tended to spend their money on experiences.

The idea is that experiences become memories which in turn lead to a sense of living a full life and thus to a sense of contentment.  People who try to get this sense of contentment from buying more and more objects end up becoming less and less content.

”…experiences bring more joy than material goods because they are more open to positive reinterpretations, are a more meaningful part of one’s identity and contribute more to successful social relationships…” (to read more go to these links)

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/12/041219182811.htm

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/02/090207150518.htm

It’s an interesting idea and makes sense to me.  I know from feedback that people take away a lot more than a wooden spoon when they’ve come for a spoon carving course.  Using simple hand tools to fashion useful items from freshly cut wood is far removed from the ‘daily grind’ and seems to connect people with something which is sadly lacking in life today.  Being in a peaceful woodland environment with the birdsong and the breeze for a day whilst practising a traditional craft has certainly been known to make people smile…

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