There is an age-old myth that I hear often. “If I only had more money I’d be happier” or something else to this extent. Now there has been a ton of studies done on this subject of which you can see one here. To me, this is a very limiting belief people tell themselves that I’d like to put my own perspective and experience on. As you see I too thought I’d be happier the more my wealth increased. Do money and happiness correlate?
Will Money Make You Happy?
Now let’s preface this with I am still very early on my journey to financial freedom. I’m also no expert in this field and do not pretend to be.
I have learned a lot about happiness and what It is for me on this journey. I have learned that we all must pursue happiness so to speak. We must figure out what is our own version of happiness and what actionable steps must be taken to get there. This, of course, is no easy task. It takes a ton of self-reflection, trial and error. I have been thinking a lot about happiness lately. I guess the older we get the more we think about what are the important things in life.
The question I keep asking myself is “Am I happier today due to my wealth growing so much?”
For the longest time, one of my biggest financial goals was to hit a $100K net worth. Well, I accomplished this task after about three years of focusing on it, and in January of 2018, I hit my mark much faster than I expected too. Not long after I hit another new milestone $100K in my investment portfolio. Again very quickly to my surprise, that is the power of compound interest. Then something hit me like a straight punch to the face. Should this not make me super happy? I’m not sure if it should or should not to be honest here.
Will Money Make You Happy?
Honestly, I am not any happier due to growing my wealth.
I have come to the conclusion that the numbers have not helped make me happier. The journey and seeing progress on this journey has though. Learning the skills I had to acquire to build this kind of wealth especially so quickly has brought me huge amounts of joy. The new lens I have not only on finances but the world has again had a huge impact on my happiness. I have now learned a great thing called contentment. I have learned that stuff does not bring me happiness. In fact, I have now found out that stuff actually can turn into shackles and chains and basically own you.
Money Does Not Bring Me Happiness
I have figured out what brings me joy in this world. It just so happens it’s typically really cheap if not free. While I type this content I have hit a new high in my net worth and now being worth over $400,000. To some that will be a lot of money. It will even be more than some will save their whole lifetime. To others, it’s but a small drop compared to the wealth they have saved. To me, it’s the start of my journey to financial independence. I encourage everyone to work on their financial picture yet remember also to make sure you are focused on pursuing happiness. I truly believe there is no reason we cannot pursue both and in fact achieve both. It just takes us the willpower to work toward it every single day. It takes us to focus our time on it and not let ourselves waste our time on things that don’t improve either-or.
“Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation, and freedom in all just pursuits.” Thomas Jefferson
To Find Ourselves Sometimes We Must Lose Ourselves.
How often have you asked yourself “Who am I?”. I have plenty of times over my lifetime. More often than not it is in times of dramatic changes in my life. For me, I think more of so low points in my life. The thought of recreating myself comes to mind.
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I’m the type of person that overthinks everything and overanalyzes. Hear me out on this one though. These moments might sound cliche at times, yet I think these moments can be an opportunity. This is where you can truly step back and look at what you enjoy in life. What brings you the most happiness?
I have been homeless as a teenager. Even have lived paycheck to paycheck. I have spent a shit ton of money on items, trips, food, and partying to make myself happy. None of it worked long-term for me. What I believe will though is living a simple yet fulfilling life. Take time outside, walk my dogs, have ice cream, or even slow travel. Money allows me to do these things. Financial Freedom would allow me to do it when I wanted. Having more money than Financial Freedom will not give me more happiness.
I always like discussing both sides of a topic and here is another great read on Money and Happiness.
I hope everyone the best and that you choose to pursue your dreams!
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