04/18/2012 04:29 pm ET Updated Jun 18, 2012

The High Cost of Living in a Material World

Happiness is not be be achieved, it is to be experienced

Twenty years ago, a man from a primitive tribe in South America came to New York City and was asked, "What do you think?"

He replied, "They don't see the sky."

He recently returned and was asked the same question.

This time he replied, "They don't even see each other."

Transactional myopia -- i.e. get the deal, do the deal, next deal -- may bring you fun and excitement, but it will never make you happy or bring you joy.

How important are the presence of the following in your life to your feeling happy?

Little = 1; Somewhat = 2; Very = 3

  1. Warmth
  2. Tenderness
  3. Lovingness
  4. Intimacy
  5. Kindness
  6. Joy
  7. Acceptance
  8. Trust
  9. Patience
  10. Satisfaction
  11. Fulfillment
  12. Meaningfulness
How present are the above in in your life?

Little = 1; Somewhat = 2; Very = 3

If there is a gap, when are you going to begin to close it?

Why not talk to the people closest to you about the first steps you and they should take to do that?

If you are willing, please share your two scores in the comments section.

For more by Mark Goulston, M.D., click here.

For more on mindfulness, click here.