Sunday Read: Wanting Things Makes Us Happier Than Having Them

Okay, I am doing it. I am outing myself as a materialist (apparently). What’s the story behind this?

My Sunday read for this week comes from The Atlantic (a fabulous magazine, by the way). I posted the article on Twitter the other day. In short, studies seem to show that “materialists” are prone to have more excitement about upcoming purchases than actually owning the stuff they buy. I couldn’t help but make a connection to my wine purchases. It has definitely happened to me in the past that I get so excited about the shipment of a box that I feel a certain emptiness when it finally arrives. That does not mean I will not enjoy the wines once I open the bottle. But I sometimes do get a “Ah, so that’s it?” feeling.

I am currently (actually today!) expecting a mixed case from Germany that will contain wines from my beloved Kurt Hain winery, two 1989 gems of an auslese (that my friend ManSoo considers his current favorite wine), von Hövel wines and more. I am SUPER excited about receiving this package that a friend is bringing over the pond from Germany straight. But having read this article made me remember similar moments in the past. One of my maxims, for example, is that a wrapped gift is better than an unwrapped gift because then I can at least imagine it is what I truly want (whatever that may be…).

How do you feel about this? Do you know that feeling?

The Atlantic: Wanting Things Makes Us Happier Than Having Them

Anatoli over at Talk-a-vino suggested in our Twitter conversation that I should start a p0ll. So let’s try that out. I am curious how you feel about this. Please also use the comments section if you have something to say about it. Thanks for playing! And have a great Sunday no matter what.

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8 thoughts on “Sunday Read: Wanting Things Makes Us Happier Than Having Them

  1. For some reason (I don’t understand these things), your blog fell off my email. So I missed a bunch of posts (well, and besides that, I was in transit and out of commission).

    This is an interesting take on materialism and happiness — I love the poll. Guess which way I voted.

    • That happens to me with the WordPress Reader once in a while…it’s hard to figure out what you would go for: on the one hand you live in the moment so actually having it could be key. On the other hand I can see you get very excited about something and hype that in your head, so the “disappointment” (or disillusion) can set in when it actually happens…I don’t think you’d go for answer C because that in its essence meant not bothering about A or B. And that seems not like you. :)

      • It shows how totally unpredictable I am–and I don’t try to be unpredictable, but people find me really hard to typify.

        I hadn’t thought of it as “not bothering” about A or B. I picked C because A isn’t accurate about for me. I’ve given up anticipating, because I hate disappointment. If I don’t anticipate, I don’t feel the disappointment. (So maybe I am essentially a materialist?) B isn’t work accurate about me because of the word bottles (plural). I thought of the relinquished wine cellar, how I’ve given up stockpiling or relying on the pseudo-comfort of acquisition to satisfy a deeper hunger for contentment. And C sounds like the philosophy I’m trying to live by now, which is–

        Be grateful for and enjoy now, whatever is in the glass (or in the moment), now. Not that I always succeed, but I’m consciously trying…

  2. talkavino says:

    Thanks for mention, and I think you have a very successful poll :)

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