Miss out on the huge Lotto win and looking for happiness?

Miss out on the huge Lotto win and looking for happiness?

If you're looking for happiness despite not winning millions in Lotto the other night then read on…

I've written many times before about the very weak link between money and happiness. But I'm sure many of you are feeling just a touch disappointed that you didn't win the massive Lotto prize a few days ago!

Well, just in case you still think wealth leads to happiness keep reading this article to see the other side and hopefully, to question a few of your assumptions about the hows and whys of happiness and wealth…

Tycoon for a day – Amanda Bryan (SMH

Who wouldn't want to be a billionaire?

Kevin Roose, a US business reporter, for one. He lived the life of a billionaire for a day and found that a ten-digit bank balance didn't guarantee the freedom that most of us imagine.

In an article he wrote for the New York Times, he described the experience as stressful and confusing psychologically. This reaction is not atypical, according to research.

Yet Roose's big day out – which was funded by the newspaper – was not short on luxury. He was chauffeur-driven around for the day, starting with a power breakfast at “Core” in New York's Midtown, a gathering place of “ultrahigh net worth individuals”.

He also flew via private jet to a luxury island resort, had a session with two of the city's top personal trainers, saw Macbeth at the Metropolitan Opera and wound up at a burlesque-themed nightclub called the Box.

So where was the problem? For starters Roose wrote that he discovered that when you're a billionaire, you're never alone.

“All day, your life is supervised by a coterie of handlers and attendants catering to your whims. In the locker room alone after my workout, I feel unsettled. Where's my bodyguard? Where's my chauffeur? Why is nobody offering me an amuse-bouche while I shampoo my hair?”

He also said that he felt stressed by the cracking pace of his billionaire-style schedule, which left him little time to appreciate uber-rich indulgences like his $45,000 Chopard watch, the lamb's wool floor mats in the Rolls-Royce, VIP access to several elite enclaves and yoghurt parfaits served aboard a Gulfstream IV.

The owner of this jet, a hedge fund manager who spoke to Roose on the condition he remain anonymous, said this of his billionaire lifestyle:

“Look,” he says. “I think all it does is make things easier.”

“I don't think it changes you that much,” he said. “The happy guy who makes tons of money is still happy. If somebody's a jerk before, he's a jerk when he's got a billion dollars.”

At the end of his big day, though, Roose, reported experiencing a sensation that psychologists have dubbed “sudden wealth syndrome”. In his article, he describes the feeling as “cognitive dissonance: a quick oscillation between repulsion and attraction”.

“I'm drawn on one level to the billionaire lifestyle and the privilege that comes with it. But the lifestyle is so cartoonish, so over-the-top flamboyant, that I'm not sure I could ever get used to it,” he wrote.

The psychological aspect of wealth recently hit the agenda with the launch of Abbot Downing, a new wealth management unit of Wells Fargo, which caters to clients with more than US$50 million in investable assets.

Abbot Downing has a group that addresses family psychology and governance to help clients manage this side-effect of their wealth, according to Reuters.

In a white paper, Abbot Downing has also identified family conflict as another potential peril for the very rich. Though every family has its tensions, wealth can “turn up the volume in such matters”, it writes on the topic of family meetings. “Powerful voices among different generations can heat up a family meeting”, it writes.

The uber-rich have even more worries to contend with, however, according to research by Boston College's Centre on Wealth and Philanthropy which was published in US magazine The Atlantic.

It studied 165 households with assets in excess of US$25 million and found wealth could contribute to deep anxieties about love, work and family.

Here are some of the key pitfalls of being super-rich that it identified…

…keep reading the full and orginal article HERE and take note of the "pitfalls" of being rich! 

And then let us know whether or not you've found happiness despite not being super-rich and if so how! Share your thoughts HERE on The Happiness Institute's Facebook Page