Pat Dodson wrote: ↑
Thu May 25, 2017 7:53 am
Many studies have shown there is a moderate correlation between wealth and happiness just as there's a moderate correlation between long term heavy smoking and lung disease.
Really? Can you name some of these (scientific!) studies?
We should distinguish between "happiness" one one side, and "contentedness" or "satisfaction" on the other side. You can be "content" with your life, you know you are successful, you passed all exams at university, you have a great job, a great family, and everything is -from a rational point of view- perfect. You are "aware" that your past, your presence, and your future, are all in good shape. This makes you satisfied of yourself and you have a feeling of contentedness". So "contentedness" or "satisfaction" typically has a rational root cause like a successful life, and there is an obvious correlation.
But "happiness" is different, at least the way I understand it and I define this term. "happiness" is just a feeling that doesn't require a rational background. You can feel happiness when there is no (rational) reason to be happy, and you can feel sadness when there is no (rational) reason to be sad. Our rational thinking is almost completely decoupled from our emotional thinking (a psychologist might give more details about this). There was a goal keeper in Germany, he played in the national soccer team, he was healthy, rich, had a wife, children, and everything looked perfect from a rational point of view. I'm sure he was "satisfied" with his career and his life in general. But he felt such an "unhappiness" that he committed suicide. You can be unhappy with millions of dollars on your bank account but an unexpected smile from a good friend can give you a feeling of happiness.