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Anything that contributes to a person’s satisfaction or happiness can be considered a “resource.” Thus, a spouse, car, musical instrument, that trip to Hawaii, your job or even the mother of all resources — money — can be considered a satisfaction or happiness resource. Each contributes in some way to our overall levels of satisfaction and happiness.

Based on our buying behavior, you’d think that material things are the single largest and most important source of satisfaction. And for many they are. We’re buying all the time. Buying is very satisfying. It feels good. It stimulates and rewards us both physically and psychologically.

But it may not be our most important resource. That’s because resources related to purchasing are usually expendable. They don’t last long. Take the trip to Hawaii. You’re there for a week and the trip is very satisfying, with the lapping waves, the breathtaking sunsets and the cool Mai-Tai on the veranda.

But then it’s over and so is the trip as a source of extended satisfaction. We have our memories, but it’s not the same. And unless we have unlimited or outstanding wealth, another trip to the islands is going to be awhile. And even if we go back, it may not be as satisfying as the first time when everything was new and fresh to us.

Perhaps our greatest satisfaction and happiness resource is not a purchase but our mental ability — the ability to think, dream, act, create, feel, manage and even control. Our minds are the ultimate satisfaction and happiness resource. Even a purchase starts with a mental act. How you think, what you think, and even why you think it have a greater impact on your overall satisfaction and happiness than perhaps any single source at your disposal. If you are not satisfied or happy, you might start looking there first.

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