- Mental Health»
Money makes me happy!
Smiles for sale
Anyone who has ever bought a lottery whether they admit it or not believes that their life can be improved by a substantial win. Whether it is by removing the burden of debts, facilitating vacations or paying for college for their children, why else would we play?
Only those that have great wealth are in a position to tell us whether they are happy or not and if it is indeed their financial state that furnishes them with that happiness. History has shown us that the wealthy are no more or less immune to mental illness and depression than those of us whose bank balances are perhaps somewhat less healthy.
So why do we dream of great wealth? Will a nicer car and a bigger house remove those clouds that hover above us that prevent us from really being truly happy?
How can money make you happy
Part 1. The Spectre of debt.
Debt plays a part in most of our lives, it is a constant that most of us live with day to day. Be it a mortgage or gas bill or even a credit card debts that was mounted up by purchases we knew we should not have made but did so anyway. How much is this cloud of debt responsible for our low moods and lack of smiles? If your are losing sleep at night and a loss of appetite because these debts weigh so heavily on your very soul, then yes! Surely the removal of this burden would increase your happiness or at least your ability to relax and enjoy other aspects of your life.
Part 2. The Freedom to enjoy life.
One of the most frustrating aspects of a lifer lived without an excess of funds is the inability to manage your own time. If you work to pay bills (as most of us do) then that work demands your time. Be it 20, 40 or perhaps 60 hours plus per week, that time takes a tole and the free time you have will often be spent recovering and resting in order to regain the physical strength or mental well being to allow you to do it all over again. Is it this lack of freedom in our choices that prevents some from being truly happy? Have you raised enough money for the vacation of a life time, a trip around the world but do not have the time to enjoy it because that would require time away from earning and paying for the daily essentials of life, food, heat and shelter? Then once again perhaps the answer is yes, more money would perhaps make you happier.
Part 3. A future for our children.
Would we work less hard and manage on less money if it were not for the desire to provide a better life for our children? Do we work hard so they can go to college and get better jobs than the ones we ourselves perhaps have in turn giving them greater financial security than we enjoy? Have some of us accepted that in this life we are to manage without many luxuries in the hope that our children and perhaps grand children will enjoy them. If this is the case then money would certainly make you happier, wouldn't it? Knowing that your children can choose their own path unencumbered by the certain knowledge that they can pay for it or that you can on their behalf.
Part 4. Those little luxuries.
Or not so little as the case may be. Is the only thing preventing us from being happy the car we drive or that we do not have that luxury boat we so crave? Luxuries are just that, luxurious items or experiences that are not necessary to our survival. Would any of us argue that our lives an inner sense of well being would be significantly improved if our clothing cost ten times more than it does now?
Money and Happiness
Most of the time unless we are personally acquainted with those with great wealth or at very least financial stability we have no means of knowing if they are happy. It would be a clumsy and inarticulate example to discuss celebrity suicides as proof that wealth and happiness are not natural bed mates. Be it Kurt Cobain or Ernest Hemingway, their sad ends paint a picture of a life they felt was not worth living but no one has suggested they should have felt better because they were wealthy or even famous.
The human condition
The human condition is such that regardless of our status and our wealth we find equilibrium where ever we may find ourselves. Which is why someone who earns minimum wage will greatly enjoy a small increase in earnings and someone who is accustomed to millions year would find it a great struggle to manage on perhaps a few hundred thousand. Whereas those of us accustomed to much less would consider ourselves well off or even rich if we were to earn such a sum.
Movie stars and pop stars or even members of royal families around the world may argue that they would happily trade their wealth to be able to enjoy a burger in Mcdonalds without the gawping eyes of passers by and the ever present cameras which blight their lives. It is of course hard to offer our sympathies as most of us will never experience their plight whereas many of them Royalty excluded were not born wealthy and understand ours better than we may think.
Money it seems can make life easier and allow us the freedom to enjoy a broader and richer range of experiences and luxuries. But would the loss of a loved one or even pet sting any less for having more zeroes on the end of our bank balance? Did great wealth prevent Steve Jobs from succumbing to cancer or from suffering any less than you or I would in his shoes, sadly no.
I like you hope to be one day a wealthy individual for selfish and for selfless reasons, but in the certain knowledge that it is far more likely that I will never achieve it I remember the following.
- Jokes are no funnier when your rich.
- Grief is not lessened by money.
- A great movie is just as great regardless how much your TV cost.
- When out in the cold a warm coat is better than an expensive one.
- Tragedy strikes us all rich and poor.
But I will still be buying a lottery ticket this weekend and if it comes up I will be buying a big car and big house but I will probably still be quite grumpy. You know why, I just love to complain.