Several research groups have tried to figure out how much money it takes to be happy. The answers tend to be surprisingly small, even in studies by establishment researchers. One of the most recent studies, from a Nobel Prize-winning economist and a past president of the American Economic Association, concluded that even in consumer-oriented America today, income beyond about $75,000 a year doesn’t make people any happier. [Kahneman & Deaton (Princeton): pnas.org]
So what does? Basically all the stuff that spiritual leaders and good parents have been telling us about for years: meaningful relationships, exercise, positive thinking, work that makes a difference, and anything that engages us deeply in the present moment. A sustainable future—one that can truly last—will not only be good for the planet, it will be good for the human soul.
[good stuff list]