David G and Carol P. Myers. Wealth and Well-Being.
New York: 1992
This may be a surprise, but in the University of Michigan’s national surveys what matters more than absolute wealth is perceived wealth.
Money is two steps removed from happiness. Actual income doesn’t much influence happiness; how satisfied we are with our income does.
If we’re content with our income, regardless of how much it is, we’re likely to say we’re happy.
Strangely, however, there is only a slight tendency for people who make lots of money to be more satisfied with what they make.
It’s true: Satisfaction isn’t so much getting what you want as wanting what you have.
This implies two ways to be rich: One is to have great wealth. The other is to have few wants.
“Peace in a thatched hut—that is happiness,” says a Chinese proverb.