Oprah: How Much Money Do You Need To Be Happy!

Can money make you happy?Well, The Oprah Show gave us a number!  On one of Oprah Winfrey’s shows, Dan Buettner, researcher of Blue Zone communities and author of  Thrive: Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way, said when it comes to experience happiness, happiness maxed out at about $75,000 a year for a family of four! Studies from Princeton University, showed earning more than $75,000 a year doesn’t increase happiness.

Dan Buettner explained when you reach $75,000 a year, you shouldn’t need to spend any more time trying to make money, but should spend more time on authentic ways of gaining happiness.

How did they came up with $75,000 as the magic figure? Why not $100,000 as Oprah thought?

Dan pointed out that when it comes to happiness, we first take care of our basic needs like food, shelter, health care, and a means of transportation.  After that there is something called the “Hedonic Treadmill” where we only think that having bigger and better will make us happier.   However, the feeling of happiness by acquiring new stuff over and above what you need is short-lived. The reality, in America, is that the guy making $75,000 a year is experiencing the same amount of happiness as the guy making a over million-a-year!

I think I would be happy knowing how it feels to make over a million-a-year!

But Tom Shadyac knows something about that. He’s Giving Up His Wealth! The popular screen-writer and director of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, Liar Liar, The Nutty Professor and Bruce Almighty, recently appeared on a different Oprah show episode where he shared why he traded in his multimillion-dollar career, mansion and cars to live a more austere lifestyle.

He said early in his carreer when he was writing jokes for Bob Hope for $50,000 a year, he was happy. He said he thought that it could not be any better than this! But he did succeed and acquired wealth and he said “I was struck with one very clear, very strange feeling: I was no happier.” Learn more about Tom Shadyac’s Oprah interview and his recently released documentary I Am.

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