Many people think that the key to their personal satisfaction lies in their material possessions, “I won’t be satisfied until I have a Ferrari in the driveway of my million dollar beach house and $20 million in the bank.” While that is a satisfactory way to live life, it isn’t what actually satisfies people. According to a study at the University of California, what really satisfies people is something completely different.
This study found that people who have children are more satisfied and happier than people without children. Perhaps the reason is simple: Kids give you the freedom to forget you are an adult from time to time and allow you to let your inner child out to play. When you let your inner child out to play, you are lowering your stress levels and upping your level of satisfaction. However, people who have a strong group of close friends and family members are also more satisfied with their lives than people who are antisocial.
People in this study were asked what makes them happier: Life experiences or material possessions. The group largely answered that their life experiences make them happier. Of course, that Ferrari in your driveway is going to satisfy you, but in a few years when a new one comes out, you will be unsatisfied with your current one and want a new one. However, you will always be satisfied and happy with the memories you created when you took the family on a great vacation.
People who have jobs are overall more satisfied than those who do not (I have to think that people who are able to pay their bills are definitely happier than those who cannot, even if they hate their current job.). However, the study probed a bit further and discovered that people with a college degree who work at a job they went to school for are more satisfied than others.