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Money doesn't equal happiness

Updated on January 12, 2012

It’s all about the money – as Jessie J would say. I must admit for a very long time I chased money. Everything was about the money. Unfortunately the world we live in sends out this message daily. In the form of television, radio, our friends our peers. All over the place it’s money money money. People with money get treated better than those without it. Not because they demand it or maybe some do but because the people who treat them better have decided it. Because they too want the money so that they can be treated better too.

I was miserable without it. Money sure does help and makes life easier but it should never be the source of our emotions. Money can and never will make us happy. It’s impossible for a piece of paper to make you happy.

What is money to me?

It’s a piece of paper that is useless until you give it meaning. The money you carry around with you has no value whatsoever. It’s you who gives it value by using it in exchange for goods. If you were trapped on an island, with no shops, no internet, that money would be useless. The only person that can give it power or meaning is you. I give this example because I had to adjust my thinking. I had to look at money for what it is. It is a piece of paper that can get me things if I choose to do so but nothing more.

The first time I realised that money doesn’t make me happy was when I bought myself a designer handbag. For a few days all the ooohs and aaahs I got were great. They did make me feel a little happy but only for a short while. After everyone had gotten over how lovely the bag was, the feeling vanished. The feeling wasn’t permanent. To experience that feeling again I had to get myself something equally extravagant. Why? Because I was looking for my source of happiness outside myself. I was looking for it in money. I thought that having nice things would make me happy. It would make people want what I had and for a temporary moment I’d feel happy, but it never lasted.

So why do we think money equals happiness.

It was so hard for me to realise this. The need to be seen and be admired by others is what drives people to buy things they don’t need or can’t afford. It took a hard lesson to finally realise that happiness came from within. After my divorce my income went down drastically. All the expensive things had to go. It was a really humbling experience. As time went on I began to realise that money played no part in how I felt. I was totally in control of my feelings and how I chose to feel was in my power to do so.

I stopped worrying about what other people thought about my second hand car, or the fact I bought my handbag at Primark. I didn’t care what the top of the range mobile phone was and didn’t worry that I didn’t have digital TV. It was hard in the beginning because when you tie happiness to money you do the same with sadness. I felt sad and upset that there wasn’t enough money; money basically controlled my every emotion.

You’re not going to be happy everyday, but you can choose how to feel. Just because it’s raining outside doesn’t mean you have to get wet. Put up an umbrella. This goes for emotions, there will be outside influences going on around you but you can learn to put up your own emotional umbrella.

Now that my life is better and money has started to come my way. It is no longer something I attach myself too or identify with. Money is not me, it’s not who I am. Money works for me, I don’t work for money. Money makes my life a lot easier but it doesn’t bring happiness. When I do buy nice things, there is still a sense of happiness but I no longer seek out to feel happy from buying things.

Once you stop identifying with money and stop giving it so my meaning and allowing it to control your emotions. Money will begin to flow towards you. And when you have it you will acknowledge it but it will not determine your emotions.


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    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Absolutely, some stars have the money but they are miserable. We see it in the media a lot. Thanks for commenting MarloByDesign

    • MarloByDesign profile image

      MarloByDesign 6 years ago from United States

      So true - look at all of the stars like Demi Moore and Mel Gibson - they have a lot of money, but are not necessarily happy. Great point.

    • kehussy profile image

      kehussy 6 years ago from Houston, Texas, USA

      That's right.

    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi kehussy and thanks for your comment. It's so true that happiness derived from buying new stuff is short-lived. It can become an addiction, espcially if trying to hold onto that happiness. I'm just glad I stopped it and learnt how to be happy from the inside out. This way it never matters how much I have as that always fluctuates.

    • kehussy profile image

      kehussy 6 years ago from Houston, Texas, USA

      I totally agree with you. We think that money is responsible for our happiness but the truth is money can only help us buy material stuffs. Money cannot buy happiness or love and affection of other people. Some people may argue that when they buy any new stuff, they get happy. So they conclude that money can buy happiness. The truth is that the happiness derived from buying one's own new stuff is not a real happiness but a short-lived one.

    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      hecate-horus thank you for your comment and for the vote up. @rLcasaLme thanks for the comment, you're right that happiness is the after-effect of what money has done but never the source and I'm glad I learnt that. So whether I have alot of it or not how I feel shouldn't be affected. My happiness should always come from within regardless of how much money I have.

    • lin8t profile image

      lin8t 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you SuperheroSales for your comments and thank you for voting up. You're right money is only temporary and should serve us and not the other way round. :-)@kschang, money can definitely by free time to do the thins we would like to do. That's what money is, something that serves us and not the other way round that I've had to learn. I'm glad I went through what I did because now I can enjoy money without being the reason for my happiness.

    • rLcasaLme profile image

      rLcasaLme 6 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

      Happiness is the after-effect of what money has done but never is the source of happiness.

    • hecate-horus profile image

      hecate-horus 6 years ago from Rowland Woods

      A good reminder for me. My motto is, "More money, more problems" Voted up.

    • kschang profile image

      kschang 6 years ago from San Francisco, CA, USA

      Money can buy admiration, as well as free time so you can do things that you would LIKE to do and derive happiness from that, but money itself is not happiness.