Blissful Dog in Snow

There’s a recent article in the NY Times called, “But Will it Make you Happy?” which describes people who’ve cut way back on their consumption and focused on paying down their debt and living for experiences and not for material possessions. In buying a possession we get only a momentary “buzz” when we first use the item, but then over time we become acclimated to it and need to buy something else to get our fix. For this reason, the article postulates that experiences provide us more happiness in that they,

provide a bigger pop than things is that they can’t be absorbed in one gulp — it takes more time to adapt to them and engage with them than it does to put on a new leather jacket or turn on that shiny flat-screen TV.

A few year ago I read a lovely book called, “The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World” (disclaimer – this is an Amazon Affiliate link) in which Eric Weiner travels around the world in search of the happiest place as well as looking into the growing field of the study of happiness itself. Probably one of the best insight’s provided is that one of the secrets of happiness is not thinking about it. Which in a lot of ways is exactly what the NY Times article is referring to – stop thinking about what might make you happy and get off the couch and go do it. Personally, I love to ski, preferably in several feet of fresh Utah powder, but in any case that is certainly a time and place where I most certainly am very happy.  I could worry about getting a new set of skis each year, or new boots or a new helmet but those are only tools to help me find the joy I have when I’m sliding down the slopes.

I wonder if ski resorts could do a better job of appealing to this side of our visitors in our marketing efforts? After all, a ski trip is definitely an experience that people will remember and yearn for well after they return home. There are many tools available to do such a thing ranging from social networks to more traditional CRM techniques. In the meantime, ask yourself this, what = happiness for you?

Photo credit: Flickr user Martina Rathgens