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The DRUG that is Money!

How is money is imbedded into the idea of happiness?

When we were younger, teachers, parents and carers would stress the dangers of taking drugs and the importance of saying no. They told us that drugs would make us addicted, ruin our lives, lead us to make bad choices and they did their best to make us fear them, but they left out the biggest one, money. Money can be one of the most addictive and destructive things in a person's life due to the reason it is often the root cause of most people issues and yet, no one talks about why that is.

Why is money important?

From the time we step into school, the overall motivator that teachers would use in an attempt to scare us from doing bad was "you need to get good grades to get a good job" which ultimately translates to, the better your results, the higher your chances of getting a job that pays more money. It is clear that from a very young age, the idea that money is the driving goal in a person's life is instilled within us, which then drives us to want to have it and also judge each other based on their economic situation. Money has therefore been the motivator in majority of people lives because society has constructed this idea that the money takes priority over everything because if you don't have money then you can't live. Obviously, this is true to an extent, without money you cannot afford to buy the basics like food and clothes in order to survive but at what point does a person realise that they have enough money? Is there a number that people have to reach to be happy? At what point does a person decide to focus on something else other than earning money?

The power of money

Not long ago, I was walking to a seminar that I had early in the morning and bare in mind I am definitely not a morning person so was extremely grumpy but I was lucky enough to find some money on the floor which instantly changed my mood. I smiled immediately as I realised that I could now buy a ticket for a club night later in the week. Looking back on it now, it is strange to think that this small amount of money has the power to change my mood instantly, strange to realize that my brain is somehow wired to associate money with happiness, relief and excitement. I understand that being a student, let alone living in a recession, that it is not uncommon to be excited by finding money on the street, but it is crazy to see how this small piece of fabric had such an impact on me.

The definition of addiction is a "medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body."

Obviously, money is not something that can be ingested or prescribed like a normal drug but in term of its psychological effect, it has the power to mirror effects associated to side- effects of taking other drugs.

Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences.

Although it is more subtle, people are addicted to money and trying to make money and a drug becomes an addiction when we no longer have to will power to say no to it. An addiction exists when something has greater control over us than we do. When someone has an addiction, they frequently enter a state of denial and act as though it has no hold over them. The more people try to deny its influence, the more influence addiction has. You reading this are probably thinking to yourself, "I'm not obsessed with making money" but then if you think about it, majority of your decisions are influenced by financial factors and you subconsciously revolve everything you do around making or saving money. You ca can deny it but then I could ask, why are you working right now?, why do you have a job? and the root answer will most likely relate to money.

Like it or not, money is a drug and we're all addicted because it can make us feel happy when we get it, bad when we lose it, worried if we think we don't have enough of it, and forced to work for it all of our lives until we think we've made enough or until we get to an age where we don't have the stomach to put up with the means to earn that money. We are so obsessed with making money that for generations we put ourselves through the vacuum of work that sucks any creativity, energy and joy out of our lives but why do we do it, for the promise of money until one day we realise that the money just isn't worth it. A person will always want more money which is why even earning a lot of money is dangerous because then you will never be fully satisfied. Money is an essential part of modern life, but the way it affects us is so significant and yet we decide to turn a blind eye to the trials and tribulations that come with making that money. Does is matter that I'm depressed if I am earning lots of money? Does it matter that I hate my job? Does it matter that I don't have time for anything else? For many people, this is the reality because the reward of money has been so ingrained into the way we think that everything else is secondary. It is a dangerous way to think because we take for granted what we have and start focusing on the tings we don't have and it is important we begin to alter how we view money. The first step in any drug recovery program is realising and admitting that there is one, and that addiction is money...

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