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Can Money Make You Happy?
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Can Money Make You Happy?

I think this question, “Does money make you happy?” is a question most of us ponder upon when it comes to happiness. I think the reason why that question even exist is because most people tackle that question from a materialistic side. Most people only associate money with having more materialistic things. But I think there’s a lot of misinformation about money and happiness, and I’m going to touch in on this topic.

Now, I hear some people say, “Money doesn’t buy happiness,” and I do think there is some truth to that statement. I think what determines whether or not money makes you happy is HOW you make your money and what you do with your money after you’ve made it. For example, if you make your money by working in a job you hate and you spend your money on materialistic things (excessive materialistic things, that is), in that sense, no, money will not bring you happiness. And I’ll elaborate more on that.

Most people I’ve noticed who make that statement, “Money doesn’t buy happiness;” are people who are unhappy anyways, people who’ve never had much money and will try to justify why they‘re broke by making that statement, or people who were born into rich families and have never been broke themselves, so they’ve never experienced what it’s like to be broke and don’t know how much it sucks.

Some people will also say this statement, “Money can’t buy love.” Well, you’re right; money cannot buy love to some extent. I will agree with that. But then, there are certain things, however, money CAN buy that love can not. For example, if your child gets sick and needs some medical attention, yeah, you may love your child to death and give him or her all your love, but all that love will not make your child’s illness go away. But having money to help pay for services to get the proper treatment that child needs WILL make that illness go away.

Another example: If you’re getting robbed, that robber will most likely threaten you with a gun or a knife. Again, just like this last example, you can give that robber all your love, but all the love in the world will not save you from getting threatened by the robber. In fact, it may even get you killed. But giving money to the robber, which is what most robbers demand most of the time during robberies, WILL make the robber leave, and save your life in the process. You see what I’m getting at? I could give some other examples, but I think you guys get the gist of what’s going on, right?

Me, personally, money is very important to me, but HOW I make my money and what I use it for after I’ve made it is even more important. Let me give you some examples. If I was a vegetarian and I work in a slaughter house for a living, guess what? I would not like to make my money that way. I would feel terrible inside, consciously and ethically (although I’m not a vegetarian, I still wouldn‘t work in a slaughter house). Another example: If I’m a non-smoker (which I am a non-smoker in real life, also) and I work for the tobacco company, I wouldn‘t feel good making my money that way. In short, if I sell products, in which I don’t ethically and morally support, to people, that’s going to harm them negatively, in order for me to make money, again, I would be very unhappy making my money that way.

An another example: If you work in a job that requires you to work long hours, to a point where it robs you from having time with your family & kids and jeopardizes your health, even if you do make great money, that would be unhappiness because of lack of time freedom. And I think lack of freedom, as well as lack of money, is the major cause of unhappiness among most people. One day, I’ll talk about that more in depth.

So it’s not money itself that determines happiness, but HOW you make your money. However, if I’m making my money by providing value to people that’s going to help enrich their lives (like writing this article, along with a bunch of other articles, and selling products that relate to these articles, like I‘m doing right now), then, yes, making my money through these means makes me feel good. It’s more of a gem to me and for other people.

Now, as far as buying materialistic things go: Materialistic things, in most cases, are things that bring only temporary happiness. Have you ever bought a brand new car and felt very excited and joyful upon buying it? It’s very much like Christmas time when you open your presents. But then after a while, that happiness wanes down, the excitement dies. Have you ever had that feeling? This applies with other materialistic things as well, such as houses, TV sets, video games, other doodads and so on.

Materialistic things are very much like drugs, sugar, cigarettes, and caffeine: they are addicting, and too much of them are bad for you. They make you feel great upon using them, but after a while, they make you feel terrible, so you know what? It’ll cause you to buy more again and again to feed that addiction. Now, I’m not saying this problem applies to every single person. But this kind of thinking is prevalent among the majority of people, though.

Another reason people spend money on materialistic things is because they work in jobs they despise that leaves them unfulfilled, so they buy things to help pacify that emptiness inside, the same feeling that drugs have on you. So if you constantly have this pattern in your mind, you’re in a bad situation. Because you are constantly going to buy things to fill that void, and it just creates a vicious cycle. Unhappiness doesn’t just correlate with excessive materialistic things, but also excessive drug use, alcohol consumption, overeating, these things in which people spend money on as well, that only bring short-term happiness.

Another problem with being materialistic, it’ll cause you to want to buy more expensive cars, not because it’s the right car for you but because you want to impress other people. And when the sun is down and the people are out, you want to show people what you have. The same thing goes for fancy clothes, bigger houses and so on. When you buy a bigger house, you’re buying that house not because it’s the right fit for you and your family but because you’re thinking, ”Man, when my friends come over, they’re going to treat me like, ‘Wow! How did you guys do it?’” Watches! Some people wear huge, shiny expensive watches. When people walk around them, they’ll yawn and stretch their arms out just to let people know they have on this watch.

But let me tell you something: All this is a very shallow way of thinking. If you constantly need attention from other people, then that’s something you need to go to therapy for. Because if you’re using money for these means, then, yes, you’re going to be a very empty person inside.

Most of the time, you’re not living for yourself. You’re living for other people, some of whom may not even like you to begin with. In fact, all they’ll do is talk behind your back. Because here’s the thing: If you have these things and they don’t, this one thing is going to happen: Jealousy! Now, they’re really going to talk behind your back. “Oh, he thinks he’s this, he thinks he’s that.” But when they see you, they’re going to smile. Because people don’t like being showed up.

There are lot of celebrities, athletes, music artists who make a lot of money and imitate this type of behavior I just mentioned, but some of them are unhappy as hell. Why is that, you might ask? You’ve probably seen magazine cover pages of People, National Enquirer, Star, where they show headlines like, “Lindsey Lohan in Drug Rehab” or “Nicholas Cage on an Alcohol Binge” kind of deal. Basically, people whose lives are bombarded with unhappiness. These people make a lot of money, they own a lot of materialistic things, drive fine cars, but they spend everything or more than what they make. Then they wind up broke later on. These are people who look like they have it all, but, ironically, some of these people are the unhappiest. You don’t see these guys on the Forbes list and there’s a reason why. Because they’re spending money on things that depreciate in value. They’re using their money the wrong way.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with having materialistic things in general. I’m not trying to advocate minimalism here. That’s not what this topic is about. It’s good to have a few things here and there, beyond the basic essentials. I, myself, have certain materialistic wants and needs to a certain extent. But what I’m talking about is excessive materialism with this whole story.

Now that we got the negative stuff out of the way, let’s get into the aspects on where money DOES bring happiness. If you are making your money legally, morally, and ethically, and you spend your money on life experiences that‘ll bring long-term, not short-term, happiness, then, yes, money will bring happiness (I’ll elaborate more on that). Not only that, I look at money as a tool to take away problems like, “Guess what, I have my bills paid for.” “Guess what, I don’t cringe when the telephone rings from bill collectors or when I go to the mailbox just to receive overdue bills in the mail.” Not having to worry about how you’re going to pay your bills, having the ability to maintain your health and so on. Because money problems is the number 1 cause of divorce and stress, both in which create unhappiness obviously.

Money frees you from unwanted things that enslave you, like working a job you hate (and that‘s a whole other topic I‘ll talk about in future articles), freedom from being stuck in one place constantly, freedom from health problems, having the freedom to do things that you love and not worrying about getting paid for them, and so on. So, yeah, that’s happiness right there.

I’m going to talk what kind of life experiences where money can bring happiness. Life experiences would be traveling the United States, or the world, going to amusement parks with friends and/or family. Going camping (which doesn’t cost much), living anywhere you want, giving to charities or organizations you support. So, yeah, in that sense, money DOES buy happiness.

Another happiness that money brings is better health. For example, if you have a bad tooth ache, but you don’t have the money to take care of that tooth ache, that’s unhappiness. Or if you have a bad backache but don’t have the money to pay for a chiropractor, again, that’s unhappiness.

So, what can you do to change your situation about happiness or unhappiness on money? It starts with telling yourself the truth first. Ask yourself if buying materialistic things makes you happy or not. Ask yourself this question, “Will buying this item make me happy in the long run, not just in the short term?” or anything else you’re spending money on just to fill a void. So the first step is to acknowledge the situation. Then find out what your passion is in life and what makes you happy, in which money can buy. Ask yourself, what is it that would make you happy if you had more than enough money to do things? Would it be traveling? Starting a charity? So these are questions to start asking yourself, honestly.

The second step is, stop digging yourself into that financial hole that’s hurting you. Dig your way out, and never dig yourself into that hole again. And take small steps toward digging your way out of that hole. It’s not going to happen overnight. Hell, even though I’ve stopped digging myself further into debt, I’m still in the process of digging my way out, also, as I‘m writing this.

Just to recap, acknowledge the situation, stop continuing to dig yourself further, dig your way out, find out your passion in life, then go from there.

So, just to summarize this whole story: Money, if made the right way and used the right way, CAN bring a lot of happiness. It can be used to reduce the normal stresses in life. Because, believe me, not having money is by no means a wonderful thing, and I say this from personal experience, also. So just some food for thought. Hopefully, this article will help change your context about money when it comes to happiness.


Street Talk

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