The Art of Spending Money and Letting Go: Maximizing Happiness and Finding Inner Peace

Esteban Tala

Hatched by Esteban Tala

May 10, 2024

4 min read


The Art of Spending Money and Letting Go: Maximizing Happiness and Finding Inner Peace


In our relentless pursuit of happiness, we often find ourselves searching for the key to everlasting joy. Surprisingly, the answer lies not in extravagant purchases or seeking revenge, but in the simplicity of everyday pleasures and the power of forgiveness. By understanding the psychology behind happiness and adopting a mindful approach to life, we can unlock the secret to maximizing our well-being and finding inner peace.

Part 1: Small Pleasures and Experiences

Research consistently shows that frequency beats intensity when it comes to happiness. Rather than relying on one big, rare event to bring us joy, it is the small pleasures in life that have a lasting impact. These unsung, miniature heroes of joy are less likely to be taken for granted, as we continually find delight in them. By splurging on a string of small delights, we give our mood a constant, gentle nudge upwards.

Moreover, material possessions are prone to being quickly taken for granted. On the other hand, experiences tend to be savored and remembered more, allowing us to derive more enjoyment from them. By transforming material purchases into experiences, such as using a new TV as the centerpiece for an awesome Super Bowl party, we can amplify the happiness they bring.

Part 2: The Joy of Anticipation

In the pursuit of happiness, our brains often play tricks on us. While we anticipate future pleasures with excitement, the actual enjoyment of these pleasures often falls short. To combat this, we can extend the anticipation period and cultivate a life where we are always looking forward to something. By structuring our lives in a way that allows us to anticipate future events, we can heighten our enjoyment.

Additionally, considering how our purchases will affect our future use of time and day-to-day lives can lead to greater happiness. By thinking concretely about the future results of our purchases, we can make wiser choices that align with our long-term goals and values.

Part 3: Shared Joy and Altruism

Often, the secret to happiness lies not in seeking esoteric experiences but in embracing the shared joy of humanity's greatest hits. Research shows that the best way to predict our own happiness is by observing how much other people enjoyed something. By embracing experiences that fulfill deep emotional needs, such as competence, relatedness, or autonomy, we can tap into a wellspring of happiness.

Furthermore, giving to others through prosocial spending not only improves our relationships but also increases our own happiness. The act of altruism is like an express lane on the happiness highway, allowing us to experience the joy of making someone else's day brighter. By buying something for someone who is not ourselves, we contribute to a positive cycle of giving and receiving.


To maximize our happiness and find inner peace, we must shift our focus from material possessions and revenge to the simple joys of everyday life and the power of forgiveness. By incorporating small pleasures, cultivating anticipation, embracing shared experiences, and practicing altruism, we can create a life that is rich in happiness and fulfillment.

Actionable Advice:

  • 1. Embrace the power of small pleasures: Treat yourself to a string of small delights that bring you joy on a regular basis. Whether it's enjoying your favorite food or indulging in a hobby, these small moments can have a big impact on your happiness.
  • 2. Cultivate anticipation: Plan events and experiences that you can look forward to in the future. Whether it's a weekend getaway or a special gathering with friends, the anticipation of these events can enhance your enjoyment and overall happiness.
  • 3. Practice altruism: Find opportunities to give to others through acts of kindness or prosocial spending. By making someone else's day brighter, you not only improve your relationships but also increase your own happiness.

By incorporating these actionable tips into your life, you can unlock the true potential for happiness and find peace within yourself. Remember, happiness is not found in possessions or revenge but in the simple joys of everyday life and the kindness we extend to others.

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