There was a time, not too long ago, when the credit card bills were way higher than the savings account. Those with money or who have never struggled with debt don’t often have grace with those who do. They’ll begin with “just…” and give you some wonderful financial tip, like how you should have invested in crypto years ago (and sold last year at the high) and bought Apple, etc.
So if more money is the solution, why are western nations the largest consumers of anti-depressants? By this logic, suicide should never happen among the wealthy. The more money, the more happiness, correct? Well, it’s more complicated than that.
Because if you don’t have money, or enough money, then yes, money can certainly buy you happiness. Or at least open doorways. Being on a lake makes me happy like nothing else. But I don’t own a boat. So my happiness is either purchased by renting, realized through borrowing, or best yet, completed through going with a friend.
There is a certain point though, where money doesn’t make life easier. Research shows that it used to be around $75,000 a year. For most of the world, this is an obscene number. But if you start reaching that number, what solves the problems that money doesn’t.
Here are some research based ideas to solve life’s challenges.
- Be Generous: Generosity is not always money, but it certainly can be. However, generosity has been found to provide long lasting emotional benefits. Did you know that people who donated an organ to a stranger experience positive emotional benefits from the memory of that donation decades later? Truly the ancients knew their stuff when one said “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” Not for vanity sake, and don’t tell anyone. But take a moment and remember a time when you gave, donated, or did something generous. Measure your emotions. How do you feel? Good, right? Research suggests that the poor give a greater percentage of the income than the rich. Generosity is not about a bank account.
- Have Relationships: The richer we become, the fewer friends you have that you are convinced are truly your friends, regardless of the money. I experienced this once on a different continent. At a conference, a guy struck up a conversation with me, and we spend three days chatting and hanging. I felt I had a friend. Then at the end of the conference, he pulls me aside and tells me he needs school fees for his kids. 3 days is not enough time for me to be convinced he wasn’t working an angle the whole time. A longitudinal (over a long period of time) study out of Harvard claims that adjusting for all factors, the single most influencial factor for happiness in life is the wealth of relationships a person has.
- The Mirror: The hardest thing in the world is taking a hard look at yourself. People with much less than you are doing much better.. yeah butt is the killer of all true progress.
- Experiences. Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy memories. So can a walk. But memories that are shared are richer. We are in an epidemic of loneliness.
My musings for today.
What are your suggestions?