Positive psychology is the real science of what makes life worth living. Psychology has taken up the disease model of the human condition and neglected relatively untroubled people and their personal striving to become happier, more fulfilled, and more productive - creating a gap. Simultaneously, entrepreneurs have been more than happy to rise to the occasion and help people out, but for a price.
It is a sure bet that the majority of society indeed strives to improve their lives and is constantly searching for the next purchase to do exactly that. So what has filled this gap left by psychologists throughout the years? Well, where there is a demand, supply will rise to meet it. Entrepreneurs have effectively taken the curtesy to provide us the goods and services that promise to meaningfully enhance our life. Sadly, over time, some have gotten increasingly better at simply offering novelties and creating needs where there were none before, rather than really addressing what would empirically improve well-being in the long term.
The means (money) have insidiously become shorthand for the end (happiness); the focus changed from increasing gratification and satisfaction to cultivating an economy built on a money-hungry ideology. Believing happiness would inevitably follow suit. As the paradigm gradually shifted, so did some of these entrepreneurs. Many of today's 'self-help' profiteers filled the gap and can now be easily found in YouTube ads offering their 'secret' rags to riches steps (next to an impressive albeit untouched book collection, oddly enough placed in their Airbnb garage next to what they would like us to believe is their Lamborghini). And all a person needs to do to achieve this dream is 'like and subscribe'.
As a society, we are now coming to terms with the decreasing marginal utility of money as it forces us to re-evaluate our previously held notions of what makes individuals successful. Below you can find a graph displaying GDP increase next to well-being. As we are becoming more wealthy as nations, it has not only failed to result in an increase in reported well-being, well-being has actually decreased. The picture is stark and should help one think 'what are we really trying to accomplish here?'
Money is a means to an end, and that end is well-being. Watch Martin Seligman’s great Ted Talk right here and start to ponder the question: 'what will actually make me happy?'