…income is an accurate predictor of well-being when it raises someone from, say, homelessness to a janitorial job, because the jump up the economic ladder brings basic needs like food and shelter. With increasing wealth, however, extra money doesn’t buy much extra happiness, according to most of the 150 studies. Instead, happiness comes from social relationships, enjoyable work, fulfillment, a sense that life has meaning, and joining civic and other groups.
Most interestingly, the studies do confirm a correlation between being happy and going on to make money. If you are content, you are likely to get married and stay that way, to be healthy and productive, which leads to earning more. What we should really be striving for is happiness. “Fitter, happier, more productive…”