Money and happiness are two concepts that have been debated for centuries. While some people believe that money brings happiness, others hold the view that happiness attracts money. It is a complex relationship and to understand it better, we need to consider the arguments from both sides.
Money brings happiness
Studies have shown that money can bring happiness, at least to some extent. For instance, a study conducted by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that people who make more money tend to be happier, but only up to a certain point. The study showed that once basic needs are met, additional income does not significantly increase happiness. Similarly, research by the University of Warwick found that having enough money to meet basic needs and having financial security is positively associated with happiness.
However, happiness that money brings is often short-lived. Consider a time when you wanted to buy something. Does the idea of obtaining a specific item pique your interest, but once you have it, you wish you had something else? People quickly get used to the things that money can buy and start to crave for even more to maintain their happiness. This can lead to stress and dissatisfaction with life as people focus on constantly increasing their wealth rather than finding happiness from within. Money can bring a sense of security and stability, but it cannot provide long-term happiness or fulfilment.
Happiness brings money
On the other hand, happiness can also attract money. Happy people tend to be more productive, motivated, and creative, which can lead to increased opportunities for career growth and financial success. Furthermore, research has shown that people who are happy and fulfilled tend to have stronger relationships, both personally and professionally, which can help attract abundance into their lives. A positive outlook and good relationships can lead to increased opportunities, career advancement, and ultimately, financial success.
It is important to note that the relationship between money and happiness is a two-way street. Money can bring happiness and happiness can attract money, but it is the balance between the two that brings true happiness and fulfillment. People who have enough money to meet their basic needs and are also happy and fulfilled tend to feel the most content. Pursuing passions, living a meaningful life, and focusing on finding balance and fulfillment are key to attracting abundance into one's life, including money.
When does money bring unhappiness?
In addition to the arguments discussed above, there are other factors that can contribute to the relationship between money and happiness. For instance, social comparison and materialism can play a significant role in how people perceive money and happiness. Social comparison refers to the act of evaluating one's own life and accomplishments in comparison to others. Materialism refers to the belief that material possessions and money are essential for happiness and well-being.
Research has shown that social comparison and materialism can have a negative impact on happiness. People who constantly compare themselves to others tend to feel less satisfied with their lives, even if they have more money and possessions than others. Similarly, people who place a high value on material possessions and money tend to be less happy and more stressed, as they focus on acquiring more and more possessions rather than finding happiness from within.
In conclusion, despite the common perception that wealth and contentment are two distinct concepts, the relationship between the two couldn't be more complex. The pursuit of happiness can lead to financial success, and financial success can lead to the pursuit of happiness, but the achievement of a healthy equilibrium between the two is the key to lasting contentment and happiness. Those who centre their attention on the pursuit of happiness and fulfilment in their lives have a greater chance of bringing abundance into those lives, including money.
"Money won't create success, the freedom to make it will" - Nelson Mandela
A short list of questions to help you reflect on the subject:
- How frequently do you wish for something new for yourself?
- What motivates you to purchase certain items?
- Are you less excited about your purchase now that you've shared it on social media?
- How long does your happiness last after you purchase the product?
- Do you often 'impulse buying'?