Why Money Can´t Buy Happiness

I am perplexed by the amount of people seeking happiness in material possessions.

I recently posted a list of 10 things money can´t buy. The list summarized 10 priceless, immaterial things, including health, love, intelligence, integrity, education, peace of mind, respect, ethics, spiritual enlightenment, and happiness.

I live in US, so, I can fully understand why some people instantly disagreed, arguing that things such as education and health can easily be acquired with money.

For the sake of clarification though, I must explain that when I referred to education, I wasn´t just talking about scholastic education, and when I alluded to health, I did not mean medical care, but a person’s mental or physical condition.

But, what truly got me shocked was the amount of people who seemed to be firmly convinced that money can buy happiness.

The idea that to attain happiness you must accumulate wealth and material possessions has been ingrained in so many minds through our educational and socioeconomic models. I guess that´s the reason so many people seems unhappy these days – recent studies show that only 1 in 3 Americans is happy –

When you connect happiness to external variables that escape your control, such as the state of the economy, the amount and value of your possessions or your income, you are condemning yourself to a permanent state of worry; you will never be fully satisfied.

Happiness does not depend on what you have or who you are; it solely relies on what you think. – Zig Ziglar

Experiences will always make you happier than possessions. Happiness relies on what you think and the way you react towards the multiple adversities that we all face in life. Happiness is a conscious choice.

The list below provides 10 keys to a happier life. None of them can be purchased with money, I’m sorry.

# 1 Be Empathetic

Do not judge others without knowing what they are going through first; try to discern what other people are going through and how they are feeling; have you ever been exposed to the same plight? Put yourself in other’s shoes, that’s the first step to a happier living.

One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself – Confucius

# 2 Be Humble

See your own faults and recognize the strengths of others; understand that we all have personal limitations.

A meaningful life is not being rich or popular, but being real and humble, and being able to share ourselves and touch the lives of others. – Unknown

# 3 Be Honest (to yourself and others)

Most deception is self deception. Do not blame others for your own mistakes; do not take credit for others success either.

Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones – John Lennon

# 4 Be Respectful

Every person, no matter how big or small deserves dignity and respect; thus, take others beliefs, ideas, and opinions seriously. Labeling and stereotyping are clear signs of ignorance.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you make them feel. – Maya Angelou

# 5 Be Generous

Life is not about taking or having more; it is about loving and sharing what you have; do not think about generosity as an obligation; make generosity fun. If you can’t give money, then share your knowledge, give your help and your time when needed.

You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you. – John Bunyon

# 6 Be Temperate

Extremes are always unhealthy and unpleasant. The reason being tempered is key to a happier living, is because it requires clarity about what we are trying to accomplish and why. About what brings joy to your life.

The golden mean is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess, and one of deficiency – Aristotle

# 7 Be Courageous

Don’t let fear hold you back; ask yourself: what’s the worst that can happen? It is not easy, I know, but it is not impossible either. Stand up for your rights, pursuit your dreams, the worst thing that can happen is that you fail.

Winning is great, sure, but if you are really going to do something in life, the secret is learning how to lose. Nobody goes undefeated all the time. If you can pick up after a crushing defeat, and go on to win again, you are going to be a champion someday. – Wilma Rudolph

# 8 Be Enthusiastic

Throw yourself into fun activities outside your daily routine; push aside your worries for few hours every day; passion is what makes human beings feel energized and fully alive. Enthusiasm and positivism are the most powerful happiness magnets.

All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. – Charles Kingsley

# 9 Be Creative

Reach beyond off the beaten tracks; use creativity to solve problems; tear down self-imposed mental boundaries; Allow your inner child to come out and play from time to time.

Logic can take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions. – Albert Einstein

# 10 Be Humorful

Laugh at yourself and your self-importance; let go resentment and anger; employ humor to lighten up tense situations; humor will energize your thinking; try not to take things too seriously.

A day without laughter is a day wasted. – Charlie Chaplin

I hope you enjoyed the reading. If so, please do not forget to click on “Like” and share it with others who may find it useful too.

I will love it if you take a minute to comment on this article. That´s the best encouragement to continue to write and share knowledge.

You may enjoy reading some of my recent articles.

Jordi Alemany is a creative, insightful, thoughtful and energetic business leader and management consultant, with a contagious passion for humanistic leadership which he instills in everyone around him. He has devoted the past 20+ years of his life to helping businesses and individuals reach their next level and exploit their full potential.

To learn more about Jordi or get in touch with him, please visit his personal site onbranded.me

Best regards,

Jordi Alemany


About Jordi Alemany

I am a multi-cultural and multi-lingual (English, Spanish, Catalan and Italian) executive coach and management consultant, specializing in Humanistic Leadership, Organizational Strategy, and Portfolio Management disciplines. I am an energetic, creative and resourceful, with an innate passion for helping others reach their full potential.
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