Life Reflections: Money Doesn’t Bring Happiness

I look around at many of the people I interact with on a daily basis and it seems many are stuck in jobs they do not enjoy because they’ve allowed a paycheck to serve as the leash of their life. It’s really quite sad when you think about it. Long story short… money doesn’t bring happiness.

Yes, everyone has bills. Yes, student loans can cause an issue. Yes, a person can grow accustomed to having a certain level of income. But all of these things are just noise. It’s noise that distracts us from living our true purpose. I understand that these, and many other, issues can change life’s plans. But I also believe we all have to prioritize certain things over the material.

For me, my happiness and fulfillment is the most important thing. A lot of  people believe money will make them happy, but it won’t. Of course, money can purchase items we desire such as a new car or a plane ticket which in turn can make us feel some level of happiness. But that type of happiness is short-lived. The happiness you feel from purchasing a new car or from being able to afford a plane ticket will go away quickly as you become desensitized to the concept of actually being able to afford these items. Overtime, many of us fail to appreciate our ability to have these experiences and take them for granted. As a result, our focus is ever shifting to the next big thing. 

In a way, the act of earning or making money can become addicting. As your ability to make money increases, you may feel a rush each time. Of course, there are those who cannot make enough money to support themselves and their families…this is a very unfortunate circumstance. Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong with making money to feed yourself, take care of your family, and even enjoy your life in whatever way you see fit. However, the delusion begins when people equate money with happiness  because money doesn’t bring happiness.

The thing is…money will never make anyone truly happy. Instead, work is what makes happiest. Work doesn’t necessarily mean a career or a job. It means building something or working towards a goal (though, certainly a career can factor in). Through work we improve ourselves, evolve our vision of ourselves, and improve our perception of the world around us. 

The key to this type of fulfilling work is to live! I have spent the majority of my adult life earning higher education degrees. I have a Bachelors and two Masters. For me, it was a thorough process of love as I earned these degrees. However, I am realizing more and more these degrees won’t actually bring me happiness. If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t stop myself from earning them (despite the stress and debt of it all) but I’ve realized what actually makes me happiest is when I am working on something meaningful to me. I earned the degrees in another mindset and through the process developed a healthier state of mind about these things. Those old goals aren’t necessarily my goals anymore…and that’s OK.

That’s why I started this blog. I wanted to work on something that matters and hopefully make it my life’s work. This is also the reason Alfred and I started our company. We want to make a positive impact on the world around us and we plan to do it through our designs. I won’t make a lot of money for a long time…but I’ll be happy. 

So, in order to find true happiness, abandoned the notion that money should be associated with success. They are not one in the same. Find your happiness in something that fulfills you. Money will always be needed but it does not have to define your happiness. In fact, it can’t because money doesn’t bring happiness. 

J. Harvey

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