One reason why great experiences are better than material items

New Years Day 2015 and I had the usual “Happy New Year” call from my mum. Although this year it had a nasty sting in the tail! Mum also had to tell me that she’d been diagnosed with cancer (again). Her amazing spirit and positiveness somehow made it a bit easier and I am forever in awe of her for that.

It got me thinking about what really is important in life and work. We all need money to live and some of us, me included, like the finer things in life. However, what makes me smile long after they’ve happened are great memories. Seeing your child coming into this world, great holidays, great family/friends moments are all worth so much more than a new house, car, the latest iPad etc. Material items bring temporary happiness, great experiences bring lasting happiness.

Dr Thomas Gilovich, a psychology professor at Cornell University has been studying the question of money and happiness for over two decades. According to him “We buy things to make us happy, and we succeed. But only for a while. New things are exciting to us at first, but then we adapt to them...Our experiences are a bigger part of ourselves than our material goods...You can really like your material stuff. You can even think that part of your identity is connected to those things, but nonetheless they remain separate from you. In contrast, your experiences really are part of you. We are the sum total of our experiences."

From a personal point of view, I’ve made it my mission to create experiences that will bring happiness to my family and I long after the event that we can reminisce and laugh about.

It also got me thinking about things from a professional point of view. Mitingu is in the business of giving event organisers the tools to make their lives easier and to help them to deliver a great experience for the attendee. It’s incredibly demanding organising an event, so anything that enhances the experience for the organiser can only be a good thing.  An attendee that has been given a great event experience will remember that for a whole lot longer than one who has had an average experience, but walked out with a goodie bag full of giveaways!

Happiness...that’s my main driver and the one reason I believe a great experience is worth so much more than any material item.