Money can’t buy happiness. We’ve all heard the universal phrase and tend to generally agree when it’s said. But do you really believe that deep down? Would an extra million in your bank account not make you feel so much happier with your life? Think of all the things you could buy and all the places you could visit.
Understandably, it’s very difficult to believe that money and fame won’t make you any happier, especially if you don’t have them. People would look up to you and you would get the approval of so many people as you lived out your dream life. That would make you happy… right??
To lay the foundation, I believe that happiness comes from 2 places. External Stimuli and Internal Fulfilment. The vast majority of people, through no fault of their own rely heavily on external stimuli to make them happy. This involves going out clubbing, watching tv, video games, playing sports, drinking etc. Typically the things that you would have more access to if you had more money and fame.
Internal Fulfilment is the happiness you get after achieving a tough goal or doing something you know was morally right. The joy you get from being grateful about everything in your life and that you have the chance and ability to experience it.
Often times, people base their happiness on some external goal in the future such as buying a house or earning a certain amount of money. “Once I get that, then I’ll be happy”. It’s as if the extra money will complete your currently incomplete life and you’ll become happy once you get what you want.
However, as you may have experienced yourself, when happiness depends on something external like money or possessions, it is always temporary. After the pay rise at work or the brand new car, you may feel a boost in happiness and feel joyful for a while but this is fleeting. You lose your interest and begin chasing the next thing, the even better more expensive car. The cycle of continuously seeking short-term highs through external stimuli is a trap which many people fall into during their life. Inevitably ending up in an unfulfilling lifestyle revolving around materialism.
By focusing on inner fulfilment and drawing your happiness from within, independent of external things you can truly begin to lead a happy life. The great thing about this is that you can start right this very moment. No need to wait years to be happy by saving up for a house or just being happy when on holiday and never else. Stop allowing your happiness to depend on external things and begin to enjoy a fulfilling life regardless of how much money you make.
As a final point, this article is in no way, shape or form bashing the ambition to be rich or become famous. If you want to become a millionaire, I fully support your ambition. Why not cultivate money and fame in your life? But my opinion is that it should not be coming from a place of neediness. Chasing after money to be happy and wanting to earn more as an ambition is an important distinction to make.
If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to discuss it with you so feel free to leave a comment. I hope you gained a new perspective on what it means to be happy.