Invest in Adventures
Studies have shown that experiences make us happier than simply investing in “things.” People gain a sense of purpose when they can look forward to experiencing something. They can dream about how it will be, plan what they will wear, and who they’d like to take along with them. They can build a mini-narrative around the event or experience.
People rarely get the same amount of enjoyment out of something they bought. The only exception is when the item will be used in an experience, like a new skateboard or a new set of golf clubs.
Buying a brand new, state-of-the-art TV doesn’t have the same appeal. This is because of the social nature of people. Experiences are more exciting and enjoyable than “things” simply because you know you’ll most likely be enjoying the experience with other people.
This is why going out and investing in a fancy new watch when you’re feeling depressed is likely to be a big waste of money. You’ll admire the functions of the watch and be impressed by how it looks on your wrist. You’ll also silently hope others notice the watch and comment on its ‘wow’ factor. But buying the big TV and the expensive watch is just adding to your trophy case. They offer only fleeting happiness and little to no memories.
Experiences are also often much cheaper but more valuable than trophies. Even a week-long trip with your friends or family to a place you’ve never visited before can cost much less than some of the trophies you fill your home with.
Next time you feel a little depressed and feel like you have nothing to look forward to, give yourself something. Plan an experience you can look forward to. It’s guaranteed to help raise your mood. It’ll also be a much healthier way to live and provide memories and enjoyment to others.