Power, status and wealth - why don't they make us truly happy? Or do they?

Perhaps those things are not valuable in themselves.  Sometimes they can be a cheap buzz, an easy distraction from more constructive and innovative activities and objectives. 

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I doubt there is a magic formula that makes everybody "truly happy". The items you described are signals/proxies of achievement - the need for which we all obviously posses - and will certainly make some people very happy, specifically those which value such things. On the flip side, having no power, status, or wealth tend to make most of us unhappy. It is not necessarily thus that if that which makes us unhappy is added we become happy, or vice versa that if something which makes us happy is removed we become unhappy. In motivational theory a very intuitive model which explains this is the Hertzberg two-factor model, in logic it is related to the fallacy of affirming the consequent.

I couldn't tell you. I haven't accumulated much in either of those three things.

I don't know, give me a few hundred million dollars, and make me king an I'll let you know.

Thanks for your replies.  Of course, this question isn't closed, but maybe we've moved on a little. 

It's true that we need a certain amount of power, status and wealth, biologically

However, first and foremost, those qualities have to come from within.  Perhaps that is one necessary requirement for true happiness.  If we don't feel them within us, then we can never get enough from external sources to fulfil our needs for them. 

take out wealth in any equation and no matter what you'll be sad/depressed although you can't be happy with wealth alone, it needs to combine it with something else.

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