When what one has is enough: Mindfulness, financial desire discrepancy, and subjective well-being

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Research has associated financial desire discrepancies (the gap between current and desired states) with poorer subjective well-being (SWB). Because acquiring more wealth appears ineffective in decreasing financial desire discrepancies, we examined whether a theoretically meaningful psychological factor, termed mindfulness, would close the aspiration gap by “wanting what one has,” and thereby enhance SWB. Study 1 revealed that mindfulness was associated with a smaller financial desire discrepancy, which helped explain a positive association between mindfulness and SWB in undergraduates. Two further studies with working adults showed that these results occurred independently of financial status and changes therein. A final, quasi-experimental study with mindfulness trainees extended these findings. Reasons why mindfulness may help to promote the perception of having “enough” are discussed.


Institute for Positive Psychology and Education

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Journal Article

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