Studies are proving we’re not really driven by the idea that “money buys happiness.” Somehow I think we all knew that as we connected the dots and came to the reality that more money didn’t really give us true happiness.

So what does motivate us to buy more, spend more, flaunt more.

It turns out it’s even darker than we originally thought. A new study shows that we’re really not that concerned with whether we make $50,000 or $150,000 as long as we make more than our friends, colleagues and people we went to college with. It’s not the money we’re really after, it’ status.

According to THIS ARTICLE the higher we rank above the people in our circles the greater the sense of happiness and self-worth we tend to have.

The higher a person ranked within his age group or neighborhood, the more status he had and the happier he was regardless of how much he made in dollars (or, in the study’s case, pounds). “What we’re trying to do is understand and explain why, over 30 to 40 years, the large economic growth we have experienced hasn’t made us any happier,” says Boyce. “If absolute income matters, as we increased our income, everybody should get happier at a national level, but we don’t seem to. So what we are showing is that in terms of life satisfaction, rank is a better predictor than absolute wealth.”

In our blinded desire to to beat the person next door we have absolutely secured the reality that enough will never be enough.

We’ll always find someone…

living in a bigger house

driving a newer car

obtaining a larger bonus

I think in some ways I’ve fooled myself into thinking I’m doing “really good” because money doesn’t matter to me. However, the truth is I’ve still given “rank” too much importance in my life.

At some point I’ve got to decide. When is enough, enough?

At some point I’ve got to come to grips with the fact that my identity is not based on what I earn, what I have, or where I rank.

At some point I have to realize this game is doing immense damage to my ultimate goal of Christ being formed in me.

Anyone else struggle with this?