Dave Wann is author of many books, including Affluenza and the new Simple Prosperity: Finding Real Wealth in a Sustainable Lifestyle.
From a Q & A at his website:
Q. You write that happiness depends on how well basic human needs are met. So if needs like social connection, stimulating work, and creative play are not met, you’re saying we resort to consumption instead?Read the full Q & A.
DW. Absolutely. Over-consumption is an addiction, and addictions arise when we’re off-balance and insecure, as our society now is. Because we feel empty, we want something to want, but consumption can’t really fill us up unless we’re consuming something of real value in moderate, sensible amounts. On the other hand, when we are healthy, active, and stimulated by life’s many adventures, we don’t need or want to buy as much.
I make a clear distinction between gratification and true happiness. Gratification is about infinite and often insatiable wants, while happiness is more grounded in meeting achievable, satisfying needs. For the past fifty or more years, the hidden mission of the marketers has been to deliver dissatisfaction guaranteed, because real happiness is not as profitable. As a result, we aren’t meeting needs for nutrition, efficient cars, the respect of our peers, sufficient leisure time, as well as the skills and habits that can use leisure time well.
The Page 99 Test: Simple Prosperity.