One of the biggest enemies of happiness is adjusting to the present situation. In other words, the object we once bought with zeal (that we sometimes even arduously saved money for) no longer makes us happy because we’ve gotten used to it in a short amount of time. Whereas if we purchase an experience, rather than an object, its ability to make us happy increases daily. Acts like traveling, learning a new language, or watching a performance possess the capacity to not only make us happy in the moment but also prolong the feeling for longer periods of time. In short, as possessions lose their value, experiences gain more value.
When we buy things we also face obligations such as making space for and maintaining them. Whereas an experience doesn’t carry such obligations or any risks. That amazing vacation we took last year can’t be damaged during a fire or become outdated. Just as the shared memories of an experience become more valuable over time, single experiences can also give way to mutual excitement. Sharing stories about a play you saw or an exotic destination you vacationed in with someone who has done the same is a cause for happiness. That’s why from now on when you need to buy yourself or someone around you a gift, buy an experience rather than a possession. You’ll see that you’ll all be using it with much joy.