Article Details

Making Memories

What you will get: Reflection on money and happiness.


“I am going to use the money to create a lot of happy memories.”


Wise words indeed.


And where did I hear them?


On a TV gameshow. (I know – TV gameshows and wise words don’t normally go together.)


OK, so I confess…


I was watching a TV gameshow one afternoon last week, and the host asked the contest and what he would do if he won the £25,000 on offer.


Now normally…


When asked that question, people say things like…


“I’m going to get a new car” or “I will get a new kitchen.”


But this particular contestant didn’t.


He replied with…


“For £25,000 I can create a lot of happy memories. Memories for my family. Memories for my friends. Memories for the people I love most.”


Like I said, very wise words.


Words that are backed up by a number of studies into happiness.


For example…


In the best selling book “Happiness” written by Professor Richard Layard, the author talks about the “Hedonic Treadmill”:


“When I get a new home or a new car, I am excited at first. But then I get used to it and my moods tends to revert to where it was before. Now I feel I need a bigger house and a bigger car.”


In other words, if you focus your life on material possessions, you enter the hedonic treadmill which means you have to keep getting bigger and better things in order to keep your happiness levels at the same level.


Think about it…


Are you any happier now because you have the iPhone 6 instead of the iPhone 5?




But the thought of going back to the iPhone 5 would for sure decrease your happiness levels, right?


And the thought of not having the iPhone 7 when it comes out is a tough one, especially if all your friends have one.


And of course advertisers understand this.


You see…


Each time you buy a new material thing you get a rush of dopamine and you feel a surge of happiness for a very short time. But dopamine is the main chemical of addiction.


So to feed your addiction, the advertisers tempt you all the time with bigger and better.


And then one day you wake up…


And it’s too late!


Your life has become distorted by your dopamine fix. You believe that it’s all about working more, to earn more money, to buy more things, to get more dopamine, to feel happy for a short period, to work more, to earn more money……………and so the story continues.


So, back to the wise gameshow contestant.


You see, when we share experiences with those we love, and “make memories”, we get a serotonin rush. Serotonin also increases feelings of happiness, but unlike dopamine it is less addictive. And the feelings last longer.


And what’s more…


Each time you think back on those happy memories, you feel happy again, and again, and again…


So I’m off to create some happy memories today sharing some wonderful experiences with my loved ones.


How about you?


To your success







Steve Neale
“Europe’s Leading Expert on Personal and Professional Growth”


Psychologist, Executive Coach, EI Practitioner, Award Winning Trainer, International Author, Psychodynamic Therapist, Hypnotherapist, Mindfulness Instructor, International Speaker, Creator of the LPS, Creator of the Accredited Masters in High-Performance Leadership

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