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KCWolfman
04-17-2005, 12:48 PM
Not an economic thread.

Dr. Daniel T. Gilbert of Harvard has researched studies based solely upon the subject of happiness. What he found (which is generally no surprise) is that those who are happiest are those who do not function to gain material goods. Another interesting find is that 90% who earned over 40,000.00 a year had a consistent answer when asked how much more money they needed to earn to be happy. The answer is 20,000.00. If the person earned 45,000.00 or 75,000.00 or even 150,000.00 they believed they would finally be happy if they earned 20,000.00 more a year. It gave me the image of a hamster running on a stationary wheel.

The law of diminishing returns is an economic one which I will not detail in this thread. I am applying the law to human happiness instead (erroneously, I am sure). I have a simple question:

When did you get first or worst experience of the law of diminishing return regarding something you owned? Buyer's remorse so to speak.

I remember begging for a bow and arrow set as a 12 year old kid. For months and months I cried, pleaded, bargained, and pouted for a simple bow and arrow. I even tried making my own from string and sticks and only ended up with a scratched cheek and punctured hand for my efforts. My mother (much wiser than I ever gave her credit to be) denied any sort of gift involving BB guns or other WMD's in our house. So finally, I collected enough coke bottles (we could return them for a nickel back then), mowed enough lawns, and saved enough birthday change to spend $24.92 on a simple bow and arrow. Not one of those toy things you get at Christmas, but the real deal.

I probably shot my quiver of 7 arrows about 4 or 5 times in the nearby swamp before the wash of disappointment came over me. This is what I begged for? This is what I busted my butt for 5 months to get? It doesn't even really do anything special. I mean, yeah it is a cool thing to look at, but it didn't improve my lot in life as I expected it to do. People didn't raise up to cheer me in my newfound glory. I didn't feel wiser, stronger, or smarter for owning it. And while it was a good bow and arrow set and did exactly what it was supposed to do, it did not fulfill my expectations in the least.

Irony of the above: a great lesson for a kid, but one we just keep repeating.

go bowe
04-17-2005, 12:54 PM
waxing so profound so early in the day?

(well, it's early for me, i slept in with my slight hangover...)

what, do you expect us to read this long post?

who do you think you are, ringleader? :p :p :p

KCWolfman
04-17-2005, 12:56 PM
waxing so profound so early in the day?

(well, it's early for me, i slept in with my slight hangover...)

what, do you expect us to read this long post?

who do you think you are, ringleader? :p :p :p
Ouch.

Naw, it was just a topic at the lunch table and one in which even my 12 year old has experienced. I just thought it was hilarious that I still experience that same emotion after 28 years.

mcan
04-17-2005, 01:04 PM
interesting subject, that "happiness." I've a whole philosophy about emotions and happiness is a big one. One day I'll write a book about it. For now I'll just say that it's important to make a distinction between "Happiness" and "Joy." The other part of my philosophy deals with how people often times attribute what is actually "joy" to being "happy" and what is actually "happy" to being in "love."


As for buyer's remorse and diminished returns, I see diminished returns in everything in life. If I decide that I'm going to moderately exercise, then I'll improve my life tremendously, but once I'm an exerciser, it takes a whole crap load more work to become what is considered and "athlete." Another great example (from the guitar store I used to work at). A crappy guitar costs $100.00. A Pretty decent guitar costs $300.00. A great guitar costs about $1,000.00. A really awesome guitar costs $3,000.00. Then to get one just a little bit better, you have to spend TENS of thousands of dollars.

Demonpenz
04-17-2005, 01:06 PM
that law was in effect today at pizza hut's buffet. I ate one slice it was awesome. The next was good, not as good as the first, the next was alright i was getting full. The next one was just about the same. Then i got to the point where i was so full i gained no pleasure eating another slice. Then i ate one more and it was downright painful

go bowe
04-17-2005, 01:06 PM
Ouch.

Naw, it was just a topic at the lunch table and one in which even my 12 year old has experienced. I just thought it was hilarious that I still experience that same emotion after 28 years.hilarious?

maybe...

but lucky...

when you get older, a lot of the good things begin to fade from memory...

well, at least that's the way it has worked for me...

of course, the good part of that is that the bad things are fading too... :D

as far as your topic is concerned, yeah...

when i was making the big bucks and had "nice" things (during my second marriage), i was constantly disappointed that those things never seemed to make me happy, they just took up more and more room...

hell, lots of the toys i bought i never played with because i was too busy making more money so i could buy more things i couldn't really use...

i hadn't learned anything from my experience at yale with sad, disturbed and deeply disappointed rich kids who expected their wealth to make them happy...

but once i gave up the material thing and moved to missouri (and married my current wife who is just happy being with me and doesn't need or want "stuff" to be happy), i began to enjoy the little things in life...

i guess i reverted to my hippy refugee undergraduate days when material things did not hold much sway in life...

but whether it was a reversion or not, i have never been so happy as i have been with this woman for over 25 years now...

despite financial difficuties arising from my forced early retirement, we are as happy as we have ever been...

even less "stuff", but more appreciation of the time we have in this life...

overall, life has been berry berry good to me...



*edit* yes, this is relevant to wolfie's question about dimishing returns...

the more stuff i acquired when i was wealthier, the less happy i became (because more stuff doesn't make you happy and that disappointment leads to more unhappiness)...

Demonpenz
04-17-2005, 01:09 PM
One thing that i think sucks is having a nice boat. They are expensive, take so long to get ready for the day then you only get like 5 hours to go out and run them. Then you pack it up and spend another 2 hours cleaning it and go back to work monday exhausted

Bob Dole
04-17-2005, 01:21 PM
That first shapely young lass sure wasn't everything Bob Dole had dreamed of...

PastorMikH
04-17-2005, 01:21 PM
One thing that i think sucks is having a nice boat. They are expensive, take so long to get ready for the day then you only get like 5 hours to go out and run them. Then you pack it up and spend another 2 hours cleaning it and go back to work monday exhausted



That's why you go for the old, run-down boat. You haul it to the lake - you don't bother cleaning on it because it really wouldn't help the looks that much. You run it all day long. Then, put it on the trailer and take it home - you don't bother cleaning it up because, after all day in the water, a lot of the dirt that was on it when you started off has washed away so it's actually cleaner now.

Then you go to work monday with a bad sunburn because you spent ALL day in the sun.


:)

|Zach|
04-17-2005, 01:31 PM
http://www.angela.essenhigh.ukgateway.net/images/Photos/Archer.gif

KCWolfman
04-17-2005, 02:25 PM
http://www.angela.essenhigh.ukgateway.net/images/Photos/Archer.gif
The HELMET!!! OF, COURSE. The key to happiness was just having the helmet as well.

|Zach|
04-17-2005, 02:26 PM
The HELMET!!! OF, COURSE. The key to happiness was just having the helmet as well.
What a fool you were.

Baby Lee
04-17-2005, 02:32 PM
One thing that i think sucks is having a nice boat. They are expensive, take so long to get ready for the day then you only get like 5 hours to go out and run them. Then you pack it up and spend another 2 hours cleaning it and go back to work monday exhausted
What's the saying?
2nd happiest day in your life? - the day you buy your boat.
Happiest day in your life? - the day you sell your boat.

KCWolfman
04-17-2005, 03:04 PM
What's the saying?
2nd happiest day in your life? - the day you buy your boat.
Happiest day in your life? - the day you sell your boat.
A boat is a hole in the water that you throw your money into.

Mr. Kotter
04-17-2005, 03:22 PM
that law was in effect today at pizza hut's buffet. I ate one slice it was awesome. The next was good, not as good as the first, the next was alright i was getting full. The next one was just about the same. Then i got to the point where i was so full i gained no pleasure eating another slice. Then i ate one more and it was downright painful

I seem to go through that one, WAY too often. If we could only learn to stop at "good." :banghead:

Mr. Kotter
04-17-2005, 03:25 PM
...but once i gave up the material thing and moved to missouri (and married my current wife who is just happy being with me and doesn't need or want "stuff" to be happy), i began to enjoy the little things in life...

i guess i reverted to my hippy refugee undergraduate days when material things did not hold much sway in life...

but whether it was a reversion or not, i have never been so happy as i have been with this woman for over 25 years now...

despite financial difficuties arising from my forced early retirement, we are as happy as we have ever been...

even less "stuff", but more appreciation of the time we have in this life...

overall, life has been berry berry good to me...

the more stuff i acquired when i was wealthier, the less happy i became (because more stuff doesn't make you happy and that disappointment leads to more unhappiness)...

A lesson way too many of us have to learn through life's experiences...

elvomito
04-17-2005, 03:31 PM
do any of you know of maslow's hierarchy?
self actualization should be everyone's goal right?

Mr. Kotter
04-17-2005, 03:35 PM
do any of you know of maslow's hierarchy?
self actualization should be everyone's goal right?

Yeah...but somewhere along the line, many of us are deluded by the culture of conformity, consumption, and material pursuits...OR OTOH by drugs, alcohol, and other mind-altering experiences are seen as necessary to reaching self-actualization.

Either way, we end up in trouble--and have to learn the hard way. :banghead:

Mr. Kotter
04-17-2005, 03:36 PM
do any of you know of maslow's hierarchy?
self actualization should be everyone's goal right?

Dude....that sig is hideous; funny, but hideous.

elvomito
04-17-2005, 04:21 PM
he seems happy though :)

Dave Lane
04-17-2005, 04:27 PM
he seems happy though :)

He must be at Maslow's hierarchy top level!

Dave

Rain Man
04-17-2005, 10:46 PM
This thread kind of worries me, because I've been working my rear off these last few months so I can buy a bow and arrow.

KCWolfman
04-17-2005, 11:14 PM
This thread kind of worries me, because I've been working my rear off these last few months so I can buy a bow and arrow.
Take my advise, don't get it until you have enough money for the helmet.

wazu
04-17-2005, 11:24 PM
Another interesting find is that 90% who earned over 40,000.00 a year had a consistent answer when asked how much more money they needed to earn to be happy. The answer is 20,000.00. If the person earned 45,000.00 or 75,000.00 or even 150,000.00 they believed they would finally be happy if they earned 20,000.00 more a year. It gave me the image of a hamster running on a stationary wheel.


Wow. I am one of those hamsters. This psychological fact must be the what drives corporate America. $20,000 more per year is always in reach if you are willing to bust your ass for it.

I always thought if I could jump that far and maintain a similar lifestyle that I could just retire early. Now that I realize I'm just one of the hamsters on the wheel, I guess I can stop working so damned hard.

KCWolfman
04-17-2005, 11:39 PM
Wow. I am one of those hamsters. This psychological fact must be the what drives corporate America. $20,000 more per year is always in reach if you are willing to bust your ass for it.

I always thought if I could jump that far and maintain a similar lifestyle that I could just retire early. Now that I realize I'm just one of the hamsters on the wheel, I guess I can stop working so damned hard.
The problem is that no one maintains their lifestyle when the jump - they merely add on.

Logical
04-18-2005, 12:26 AM
Maybe I am easily pleased, but I find myself happy most of the time. Buyers remorse is limited to the times I find something I bought for less money elsewhere, it is truly rare when I find I am dissappointed with something I bought.

I suppose it all relates to expectations, as you have seen with my discussions of the Chiefs my expectations are usually low, so a large, large percentage of the time things exceed my expectations.

wazu
04-18-2005, 12:48 AM
I suppose it all relates to expectations, as you have seen with my discussions of the Chiefs my expectations are usually low, so a large, large percentage of the time things exceed my expectations.

See, this is where we are different. I bitch and bitch and bitch, but somehow manage to demand a Superbowl Championship every year. Which of course leads to more bitching when it doesn't come close to happening.

KCWolfman
04-18-2005, 12:49 AM
Maybe I am easily pleased, but I find myself happy most of the time. Buyers remorse is limited to the times I find something I bought for less money elsewhere, it is truly rare when I find I am dissappointed with something I bought.

I suppose it all relates to expectations, as you have seen with my discussions of the Chiefs my expectations are usually low, so a large, large percentage of the time things exceed my expectations.
I don't get the impression you are pleased or happy about the games afterward.

Logical
04-18-2005, 12:53 AM
I don't get the impression you are pleased or happy about the games afterward.


I believe I return to happiness far quicker than the average fan. I did say most of the time.

Rausch
04-18-2005, 12:56 AM
What's the saying?
2nd happiest day in your life? - the day you buy your boat.
Happiest day in your life? - the day you sell your boat.

Yeah, but I'd trade a lot for "boat-drinks"..