For The Love Of Money! Cash – A Tool To Boost Our Happiness?
“Money, it turned out, was exactly like sex, you thought of nothing else if you didn’t have it and thought of other things if you did,” says James A. Baldwin. So true and so to the point. Because with having money, we only have two options: we have it – what do we do with it? and – we don’t have money – what do we do without it? So, we all care about money because we can’t actually survive without it. But is it cash an instrument to boost our happy life?
I will cut to the chase and get right into the subject. For most of us, money is the center of our lives – those pieces of paper that make our life easier. That’s why we finish school and we get a job – to have enough money to afford to live a decent life. That’s what our parents advise us when we are little. Remember the “If you don’t go to school, you won’t be able to get a job and you won’t have money” mantra? Yeah, I got that too! I was one of those lucky kids that grew up in a decent family and had a normal life. We weren’t rich, but we weren’t poor. That’s why I got rooted the idea that money isn’t everything in life because I had a loving family first to show me what’s important. So, I’m somewhere in the middle, I think. I know happiness without money, but I need it to survive.
So, as I’ve pointed out already, there’s a middle category where most people on this planet fit right. Besides that, there are two other categories of people: those who have so much money they don’t know what to do with them (you’ll see at the end of this post what I mean with this!) and those who don’t have enough money or don’t have at all.
Let’s say it: the rich and the poor.
Living a prosperous life, having everything at your feet, will teach you that wealth can buy you anything and everything whenever and wherever. True, but just like Ayn Rand said “Money is only a tool. It will take you wherever you wish, but it will not replace you as the driver”. Most of these people won’t understand the fulfillment of earning something by yourself and that’s because they always have a “little” help. I totally agree with Rand, money actually gives you the opportunity to experience many things that most of us (normal people) don’t get to taste, but the experience is lived only by half, because it’s always taken for granted, as something that’s supposed to happen.
With this tool missing from the picture, a not-so-lucky-person will experience and will feel actual joy to the fullest when he or she is achieving something like that. Why? Because it demanded hard work and because, despite those tough moments, the reward eventually came by (being it a job, a diploma, a winning contest, an exotic holiday, a new car, a new home, anything). Or, there are cases, when a not-so-lucky-person won’t experience such things. This is the reality we’re living, unfortunately.
That’s why we shouldn’t let money run our life, instead, we should use them to make our life better.
Money can buy us happiness?!
Arnold Schwarzenegger joked about this, saying “Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million”. No comment from me!
True or false? This debate goes way back and each individual has its own personal opinion. Yes, money can ease our lives and the more we have, the better. That’s why we have the constant run for a better-paid job. To have a better life. Because we want to afford more than we already have. It’s in our human nature to want more. We’re never satisfied with what we already have, including our finances. I agree. But this desire of wanting more is based on where we are with our lives in that moment.
I found this quote from former US president Barack Obama who said that “Money is not the only answer, but it makes a difference”. It’s the main idea of what I’m trying to say here.
I’m one of those people being raised up to know, believe and think that money isn’t everything. What’s the point of being rich, if you are alone and you can’t share that with someone else.
Money always brings around fake people. We are happy with material things, that’s true (a new handbag, a new car, a new pair of shoes), but it’s a short-term happiness. And it’s been demonstrated that one can find happiness on life experiences rather than on material possessions. So, keep that in mind!
What’s the point of having a nice car and living in a big mansion, if you ride it alone and you sleep alone at night? And those life experiences are impossible to savor when you’re all by yourself. Most important than money are a close family, real friends, a loved one and being healthy. Speaking of which, let’s say you have all the money in the world, but you’re suffering from an incurable disease. It can’t help you get back your well-condition, no matter how much you pay the doctors, witches, shamans…
So, no, money isn’t the ultimate source of happiness – it’s a triangle of sources – family, love, and health. These three go hand by hand and they all lead to a truly happy life. But money is necessary.
It was Frank Sinatra that said: “A simple I love you means more than money….”. That and being fine. So, yeah, money can buy some happiness, but it’s not enough.
Besides that, I think it really takes a balanced person to deal with loads of money. Because we’ve already seen this scenario with celebrities – money can turn you into something different, things go insane and life gets messy. Money means power and power can make you lose your mind.
Some will say that money brings no joy, it only gives stability. Others will say that money can bring happiness, but only to a point. The rich will say that they buy it with money, while the poor will say that they know how to live happily without it.
It’s a complicated topic because every opinion depends on every individual, on how he was raised and on what he values most in life.
One thing we know for sure, it’s so much comforting when you earn money the hard way and on your own. You learn how to appreciate it, because you had to push yourself and do something, in order to get it. So you’ll spend carefully too. Coco Chanel once said: “There are people who have money, and there are people who are rich.”. A rich man won’t appreciate what he has unless he loses everything.
A wise person will try and keep or invest the earned money in something good, and I think that’s actually the real challenge. A rich person will only show off in front of others trying to make an impression. Earning money and being successful can be easy, but keeping constant and staying on the line can be difficult. Sure, you work hard, you earn money, you deserve to spend it on things that make you happy, but keep it in line.
The Life of the rich and famous.
But let’s take a walk on the wild side and let’s see some of the most expensive things people actually pay for:
- New York – There is a local called Serendipity 3 that actually sell a fancy $295 hamburger that is kept in place by an encrusted with diamonds gold toothpick. The hamburger also has cultivated beef made of stem cells.
- There is a TV called PrestigeHD Supreme Rose Edition and it’s covered in alligator skin studded with diamonds. Price: 2,3 million dollars
- New York’s Serendipity 3 again – is selling the world most expensive dessert – a mix of cocoas and milk, and is infused with five grams of 24-carat gold: Frrrozen Hot Chocolate costs $25,000
- There is a dog collar called Amour Amour Dog Collar and it’s made of diamond-studded, white gold and crocodile leather. The price? 3.2 million dollars.
- The only feather in the world from the extinct Huia Bird was picked up by someone who remained anonymous for 10.000 dollars
- New York – Algonquin Hotel Blue Bar – you can find the world most expensive Martini at only 10.000 dollars. There’s a reason for that. Every drink it’s topped with a diamond ring and it’s served in a crystal glass
And these are just a few random examples, I won’t mention diamond and gold phones, cars, pens, boats and other accessories. My 5$ breakfast from my local restaurant or my 10$ Cosmopolitan Cocktail sounds really cheap right now. But, hey, I’m happy with what I have. Well, time to end this and I will do it with a short, wise quote – “My favorite things is life don’t cost any money” by Steve Jobs, the brilliant mind behind a successful business.
Just think about it! 🙂