It can be a common misconception to think that, in order to be happy, you have to be successful and wealthy. Indeed, money is a fundamental part of life that is needed to pay for the necessities but in modern day society it can be easy for us to assume that the more of it we have the happier we will be.
Indeed, money can buy you an abundance of material goods and that, in itself, can increase an individual’s happiness to a certain extent. Being able to indulge ourselves in things we want or that “we can’t live without” such as the new iPhone, can make us feel good about ourselves. It is this feeling of pleasure, I think, which can lead to a false belief that money therefore buys happiness. In some ways with more money we end up continuing to buy more of what we already have. Yes, money can buy you things, but those things don’t necessarily bring joy and happiness along with them.
Instead we should be investing into new and exciting experiences that we can remember for a lifetime. As author Megan Watt states “experiences are how we truly grow as people and can push us to lengths that material goods can’t”. It can be these experiences that bring us pure joy and happiness, whether its spending more time with loved ones or getting involved with charity work.
It can be easy to fall into the trap of always comparing ourselves to others and what they have. This can cause us to feel a sense of jealousy and discontent within our own lives. By becoming fixed in the mind-set of always wanting more or wanting what you don’t have, you will never be fully satisfied or happy with what you DO have. Be grateful for everything that you already have and focus on the positive things happening in your life. If you are constantly comparing yourself with others or worrying about money, you miss out on so many amazing opportunities and you are not truly living your life to the fullest.
I think that money can be seen as being a temporary source of happiness, what it buys only lasts for a certain amount of time and cannot provide you with eternal happiness. Happiness is a complex emotion that can come in all different shapes and forms but it is one aspect of life that no amount of money can add up to.
There is no perfect instruction guide on how to be happy but I think these are some important things to remember.
- Spend time around the people you love and cherish those moments you experience with them.
- Gratitude and appreciation – It can be hard to remember how lucky we are and be thankful for all the positive and amazing things happening in our lives instead of dwelling on what we could have or want.
- “Go where you are celebrated, not tolerated” – Spend your time where you feel appreciated and loved, not where you feel the opposite.
- Find and do something that you love (regardless of how much money it will make you!)
Author: Annelise Thurley