How often do we hear “money can’t buy you happiness”? A lot, right?
Before we analyse the relationship between money and happiness, we first need to better understand what ‘happiness’ is. That’s a biggie – and let’s be honest, we are not likely to get to the bottom of that question in the next few hundred words of this article. But, the following might give you some insight into what is making you tick.
You are likely recalling something that gave you a sense of self-worth.
There was likely some kind of obstacle or challenge that you had to overcome.
And the end result probably felt a lot like our friend, happiness.
Dr Adam Fraser, a peak performance researcher, describes happiness as counterintuitive. In a recent speech, he said that lying in a hammock with a cocktail isn’t happiness, it’s pleasurable, and I recommend doing it, but that is not happiness. Authentic happiness, he adds, comes from overcoming a challenge that seemed outside your reach.
Often, we think we will be happy when the XYZ struggle is over. You know the situation, “I will be happy when I finish studying my degree”, “I will be happy when I can buy a house of my own”, “I will be happy when I have finished renovating said house” etc.. But if happiness comes from a period of struggle, and accomplishment, then perhaps there are moments to savour along the way.
If you look at happiness as a product of struggle, does that change the way you view your current situation? Can happiness be planned for? Can you direct your money in a way that leads to more happiness? Or are you spending your money in a way that is eroding your happiness?
Keep these questions in mind… the next article in this series talks about how you are using your money and whether or not it is being used in the best way.
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