The WSJ wealth blog recently featured an article about Wealth Fatigue Syndrome. This problem occurs when people spend more and more money on “things” and find that they get bored with their things and need more things.
Unfortunately, this problem is not limited to the wealthy. It’s a problem for everybody. If your focus is on things and not people, you will always be bored and will constantly be searching for bigger and bigger thrills. For the wealthy, that may simply mean that they trade in one toy for another. For the rest of the world, this can mean catastrophe, as people get more and more into debt in order to try to satisfy this need for things.
The good news is that there is a tried and true remedy for this syndrome. The remedy? Service. Serving other people and focusing on how to help other people, whether it be our family members, church group, or favorite charity, is the key to happiness and fulfillment. And, it doesn’t cost anything but our time and effort.
The other day, I had the great privilege of working on a Habitat for Humanity (http://www.habitat.org) housing project in Guadalupe, Arizona. Guadalupe is a predominently Hispanic neighborhood and historically has been a very low-income area. Habitat for Humanity is building 4 homes in Guadalupe now for needy families.
At the house I was working on, there were over 25 volunteers from various walks of life. All had come to dedicate their time and energy to helping this family build their home. And all were very happy to be there.
Serving others is the great privilege and joy of this life. The more we are focused on helping others, the smaller our own problems become. So, get out of the Wealthy Fatigue Syndrome that often comes during the holiday season and go out and help someone. You will be happier and so will they.