Despite the popular saying, “money can’t buy happiness,” many people still acquire certain items believing that they will bring them joy. While there are indeed material things that lead to genuine happiness, most of what people typically buy doesn’t result in long-term happiness.
1. The Latest iPhones
Apple releases iPhones every year and we always see enthusiasts lining up to get their hands on these latest iPhones. However, the excitement of owning the latest iPhone is typically short-lived and I believe many of you reading this can relate. Technological advancements continually introduce newer models, making the previous version obsolete and diminishing the initial thrill of ownership.
Initially, drinking might offer relaxation or social enjoyment, but this feeling is usually temporary. Prolonged use can lead to addiction, impacting physical health, relationships, and mental well-being. People who drink alcohol for happiness tend to have underlying issues that they should rather resolve than masking them with temporary happiness from alcohol.
3. Gaming computers
If you’re a gamer, you know how exciting it is to own one of the latest gaming computers or consoles. These feelings are usually temporary and fade away in a couple of days. Of course, gaming is fun, but excessive engagement in it might result in isolation and depression instead of happiness.
4. Expensive clothes and accessories
While designer items may enhance one’s appearance and excitement, this joy usually lasts a couple of hours or a few days at best. Also, the constant pursuit of expensive attire can foster a sense of inadequacy due to comparison or feeling the need to maintain a certain image.
5. Big houses and fancy cars
Owning a house and a fancy car is every young person’s dream. These possessions signify success in the eyes of society. However, their maintenance costs and societal pressure to display affluence can often lead to unhappiness and stress.
6. Gadgets and electronics
These include laptops, VR headsets, sound bars, and more. The novelty of the latest gadgets can be alluring, but excessive use can lead to addiction and detachment from reality. For instance, people using VR headsets might find themselves increasingly absorbed in virtual worlds, distancing themselves from meaningful connections and experiences.
7. Luxury vacations and exotic travel
While enjoyable, expensive vacations might create unrealistic expectations for constant excitement. The pressure to create picture-perfect moments for your social media followers to see can lead to stress and disappointment, detracting from genuine relaxation and fulfillment.
8. Jewelry and expensive accessories
These items are often viewed as status symbols and many buy them thinking they will make them happier. However, expensive jewelry only creates a superficial sense of worth and doesn’t lead to genuine long-term happiness.
9. Designer handbags and shoes
Despite their appeal, designer items like handbags often fuel a sense of comparison and competition, which doesn’t lead to long-term happiness. It is also common for some people not to feel inadequate if they don’t possess the latest or most expensive items. This feeling leads to a never-ending pursuit of validation through possessions.
10. Tickets to exclusive events and parties
While exclusive events provide a sense of privilege, they can also create feelings of exclusion or inadequacy if one doesn’t consistently gain access. Such events may prioritize social status over genuine connections, which doesn’t lead to long-term happiness.
11. Memberships to expensive clubs
These memberships might result in financial strain and pressure to conform to a particular social image. The pursuit of acceptance into exclusive circles can overshadow authentic personal values.
12. Yachts, and private aircraft
While symbols of wealth, the costs of maintaining and showcasing these possessions can outweigh the joy derived from ownership. These items will excite the owner for a moment, but the happiness will fade away in a couple of days after owning them.
13. Large homes in expensive neighborhoods
Owning your first can be exciting, but the expenses associated with such properties can become overwhelming, leading to unhappiness in the long term. It is also important to note that maintaining a particular social status can overshadow the pursuit of genuine happiness and contentment.
14. Lavish parties and events
While lavish events like an expensive wedding can provide momentary excitement, they often lack meaningful connections. Such events usually leave individuals feeling empty or dissatisfied, as the focus is often on material displays rather than genuine interactions.
15. Designer furniture and home décor
Expensive home decorations can lead to a constant desire for updates and renovations, creating a perpetual cycle of materialistic pursuits over genuine contentment in one’s living space. Over time, the excitement of buying designer furniture and décor fades away, so it is not worth buying them for happiness.
16. Artwork and collectibles
Getting an art piece from your favorite artists can be exciting in the moment, especially if you have followed them for many years. However, the focus on their monetary worth might overshadow any intrinsic joy they provide.
17. Thoroughbred horses and exotic animals
These animals are usually very costly and many people buy them thinking they will get happiness. However, the costs of care and maintenance for these animals are also very high, making them a pain to own if you’re not stable financially.
18. Private islands and vacation properties
Many people dream of owning properties on expensive islands like the Bahamas and Maldives, with the hope of getting happiness from them. However, an expensive island and vacation house is just like any other property, so the joy of owning them is usually short-lived. Private islands and vacation properties are also very expensive to maintain, which might bring about stress instead.
19. Extreme fitness regimens and cosmetic surgeries
Pursuing an idealized physical appearance through extreme fitness routines or frequent cosmetic procedures may initially boost confidence and overall joy. However, an excessive focus on external appearances can lead to dissatisfaction, body image issues, and sadness instead. Of course, it is good to take care of your body, but it shouldn’t be solely for happiness.
20. The constant pursuit of professional success and recognition
Continuously striving for career success and recognition can bring short-term achievements and feelings of happiness. However, an incessant pursuit of professional success without a bigger “why” may lead to burnout, strained relationships, and a lack of genuine happiness.