A few of these myths have some truth behind them. For two or three billion people in the world trying to eke out a living on a dollar or two a day, money would buy some happiness. If you can't feed your family, money makes a big difference. But in America, research suggests that once your income reaches $50,000, more money won't make you happier. People say they'd be happier if they "just made 20 percent more," but "happiness researchers" tell me that such happiness quickly fades. A survey of 49 of the Forbes richest found they weren't any happier than the rest of us. One expert put it this way: "Even though no one can be blessedly happy without external goods" -- such as money and the things it can buy -- "we must not think that to be happy we will need many large goods." It was Aristotle who said that, and he was right.
But what I really like is his take on marriage and what you do with your life.
What does bring happiness? Marriage (not always, obviously, but on average, married people rate themselves happier than singles), deep friendships, belief in God, and purposeful work. Aristotle was right again: So long as you have the resources you need to take care of yourself and do good deeds, it's your own actions, and particularly the noble ones, that make you happy.
I can say that my marriage to Jane has definitely made my life happier. What do you believe?