Can You Buy Happiness?

According to several recent polls, the amount of money you make actually does determine your level of happiness. Reported in the April issue of Fast Company (p. 25), it seems the way we correlate happiness and money is quite complicated and definitely not easy to define.

Perhaps there’s a correlation and perhaps there isn’t. All I know is that the more you have, the more you have, and the more problems you could possibly have.

Certainly, there is no question that when you have more disposable income, you can afford more of the life you want. But of course, you know how it is – the more you can afford, the more you end up wanting.

There is no limit to what we believe will satisfy us externally so we end up wanting, wanting, wanting without limit. And therefore happiness as we see it becomes ever more elusive.

When I was in college, I fit all of my important belongings into a 13×13 foot dorm room. Sophomore  year, I moved into an apartment with a friend and had so much more space -which, by the end of that year, was overflowing with our stuff.

We inhabit the space we have, plain and simple. Which must mean that true happiness is a figment of our imaginations…and real happiness lurks somewhere deep inside.

Truthfully, as I’ve succeeded more in work and achieved more material goals, I’ve had the distinct feeling of wanting to breathe. Slow down, simplify, get rid of…these are thoughts that float in my head day in and day out.

When I hired stylist Jessica a month ago, and she dumped three-quarters of my closet, I felt this insane sense of freedom. Empty shelves! Only a few things on hangers – and all of them fit, make me feel good and look good! Sweet release!

The simpler our lives, the richer the potential. The easier it is to see success.

Yes, I love to travel, and I have a dream of taking my kids around the world to discover so many lovely locales and communities. And that takes money. 

But if we do all those things, will we by definition be happy?

Of course not.

Happiness is a journey. It’s something we sign on to every morning when we rise and every night as we lay down again on the pillow. It is a constant and renewed state of being every step of the way.

It really doesn’t relate to what’s in the bank. Sometimes that can only lead to headaches.

True happiness comes from knowing what we are supposed to do, embracing our path and seeing every frustration as a powerful mirror designed to make our lives even more glorious.

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