Can money bring happiness?
The situation is more complicated than yes or no. Not having enough money to live beyond a certain level is certainly stressful to most people. Living below the poverty line often leads to unhappiness due to stress, reduced self-esteem, anger at inequality in the world, etc.
But just because one thing is true does not mean the opposite or inverse is false. Money can fix certain problems brought on by poverty. In that case, yes, it can bring happiness. But after that, it depends on the person and their mindset.
Once you’re looking at people who live comfortably, them getting richer doesn’t necessarily cause them to become happier. In fact, it’s often the opposite.
So we see a strange, horseshoe-like dynamic in the world, where the most poor and most wealthy people often have similar issues psychologically. They both desperately want more money, and predicate their happiness on that, just for different reasons.
Let’s discuss more.
Happiness is an inclination we, for the most part, look for outside of ourselves, for example, with material wealth. When you don’t desperately need money to survive, any materialistic comfort bought with money can make life somewhat more intriguing for a moment.
For the average person living a comfortable life, however, genuine satisfaction originates from the long-term arrangement between reality and what we expect from our lives. On the off chance that somebody figures he can buy happiness with money, at that point, he better get a bulk deal, since it won’t last. Individuals give extraordinary significance to wealth, and basic things that give us genuine joy, and are simpler to get, frequently go disregarded. All things considered, it’s a wide subject for conversation; however, I can give three areas where money usually can’t bring happiness.
1) Good health is commonly required to have peace of mind. Money can buy tools to stay healthy, like decent food and exercise equipment, but once you’re in a bad health situation due to neglect, fixing those problems becomes a lot more difficult and expensive. And since they haven’t corrected the behavior problems that led to the health issue in the first place, the treatment won’t even last. Money is literally incapable of making you live a healthy life, that’s a decision you have to make.
2) Fond memories and acknowledgment of the past are important to being happy. One common catch-all for this idea is ‘mindfulness’. The better you are at maintaining perspective, remembering good times, and dismissing bad ones that no longer affect you, the better off you’ll be, and that has nothing to do with how rich or poor you are.
3) There is a different kind of happiness in living with someone you love. You cannot buy love with money, and there are many rich people who can attest that money only makes their attempts to find love more difficult, as the people around them become more superficial.
The definition of happiness varies from person to person. For some, it’s about excitement and novelty, where for others it’s about security or even personal growth. I have a strong belief that money can’t buy happiness, only rent it.
Even people who have climbed out of poverty, unfortunately, often still don’t allow themselves to stay happy. Instead, they stress out and live in a scarcity mindset, focused solely on working and earning more to never fall into poverty again. I relate to that goal, but no one needs to make that kind of sacrifice all the time.
If you’d like to see a deeper take of mine on these concepts, I welcome you to check out my article: The Homeless Millionaire: How Making Money Is Only Half the Battle.
In conclusion, the happiness that money brings is momentary, whether it was desperately needed or just another lump of cash added to a wealthy man’s bank account.
For lifelong happiness, one should resist the greed for money, desiring it for its own sake, and instead, focus on what about their life and goals actually require more money than they currently have. It’s fine to want to be rich, but don’t forget why you want that.
Please feel free to reply to me if you have any questions or thoughts.