Close your eyes and imagine the first mouthful of that ridiculously expensive, inordinately delicious dessert you have been eyeing for a while and finally told yourself you have earned. You are not sorry to pay the bill afterwards.
Because that instant is something you can classify as that most elusive of states of mind –happiness. It is ironical indeed that you can also have a hit of the same feeling – happiness! – sipping cold, bland coffee with your friend while having a blast talking about everything under the sun. Which brings us to that brooding question: does money make you happy?
Of course it does!
If you have to worry about where your next meal is coming from or how to pay off the bill after a medical emergency, chances are, happiness is not one of the defining characteristics of your life right now. Studies have in fact deduced the amount of money you need to make you happy: it is somewhere between $70,000 and $80,000 a year.
At that level of income, your basic needs are met, you own most of the material possessions you aspire for and still have enough ambition to spur you forward. Beyond this point, apparently it is just more money. And that excess does not do anything to make you happier than you already are.
But what are the things money can do to make you happy?
Regardless of how you look at it, the following are some of the things money can do to make you happy.
– It eases off the anxiety of paying bills and taking risks
– It gives you the satisfaction of buying what your heart desires, travelling wherever you fancy, eat what you crave and pamper those around you.
– It allows you to think about, indulge in and nurture your passions or causes you care about
But can it, really?
Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel does not think it does, which is why he turned down a 3 billion dollar acquisition offer from Facebook. He considered it a short term gain’ compared to the lifelong pursuit of building up a company he was proud of. Of course it helped that he already had enough money to have tasted all the happiness that money could bring him.Being in command of yourself, finding purpose in life and steering that life towards your goals, in a manner that builds up your self-esteem can make you far happier than the figures in your bank statement.
Consider these factors:
– The rich, especially the salaried rich, need to keep working themselves to the bone to stay rich.
– They have as many insecurities, failures, jealousies and negativities as anyone else.
– Their entire sense of self-worth may be linked to their ability to keep adding to their wealth
Here’s how to grow your happiness, with or without money
Whether money is involved or not, your happiness can still grow if you nurture your relationships. Indeed, there is nothing that brings more happiness than the feeling you are at peace with everyone that matters to you.
You may also need to invest in life experiences that will always be a source of satisfaction – it can be anything from planting a tree in your garden and watching it grow, to travelling the world.
And to that old-age adage, try to make someone else happy. Happiness is a mutual affair and as long as someone, especially those near and dear to you are happy, then you will no doubt be happy.
At the end of the day, it is safe to surmise that it’s not about the amount of money you have but about the expectations linked to the money you have. Keep them realistic and don’t allow money to define who you are. Because smiling and making someone else smile, costs nothing.