Wealthy and miserable: Why being rich does not guarantee happiness
We're all convinced and nothing can change our minds: Being wealthy will make you happy.
We singles are no exception to this belief. In fact, many singles are looking for a rich spouse, positive that plenty of money is the key to a satisfying life.
In America, only a small percentage of people are rich, yet the dream is dangled in front of us that anyone can work their way to success. But that's not the case just where I live. The Internet is flooded with get rich quick schemes from every country on the globe.
What money can buy
Let's be real. Money can do good things. It can make life much easier and much more enjoyable.
Money is the key to quality health care. You can go to the doctor, dentist, and optometrist more often and afford the care and medications you need. Life is lousy if you're sick, and money can prevent and help cure sickness.
If you have sufficient money, you can also pay for better food, shelter and clothing. Most of us take these things for granted, but when you're poor, those expensive areas can suffer. Being able to afford adequate heat in your home in the winter definitely makes life more bearable.
Being wealthy gives you extra money for a reliable car, entertainment, vacations, and the treats of life. There's no doubt. These things are pleasurable and add enjoyment to our existence.
Reasons money can't buy happiness
Money can make life easier, it can prevent misery, and it can bring pleasurable experiences. But it can't buy happiness.
Money can only buy fun. Fun is a temporary, shallow experience and should not be confused with happiness. All the fun in the world won't bring happiness because we need more than fun. Fun is like a steady diet of junk food. There's no spiritual nutrition in it.
1. Advertisers try to make us believe fun is happiness.
We're a thrill-obsessed, fun-loving culture. We're constantly looking for new entertainment and distractions. We can't get enough of things that excite our emotions. Don't get me wrong. There's nothing wrong with movies, video games, music, and concerts. Relaxation is a necessary part of life, but in and of itself, it cannot bring happiness. It's only a component of a happy life. Ask yourself this question: If I can't afford these things, does that doom me to being unhappy? Are these things a requirement of a happy life? Of course not. So use some discrimination. Don't let your happiness depend on things money can buy.
2. Fun doesn't last. Happiness does.
Have you noticed that you have to keep "having fun"? Its effect doesn't last. It's temporary. Being wealthy lets you have more fun, more often, but even so, it takes an active effort. It's hard to just sit in a chair and have fun. Happiness, on the other hand, is a condition. It lasts. Yes, it may come and go, but it doesn't require constant activity for you to experience it. And happiness is a deep-down satisfaction. It brings joy to your spirit. Happiness is a diamond. Fun is sparkly, attractive, and enticing, but it's cut glass compared to happiness.
3. Wealthy celebrities fail in trying to buy happiness
We don't have to look any further than the worlds of entertainment and sports to see wealthy people desperately trying to buy happiness. They flit to exotic resorts, drive outrageously expensive cars, live in mansions, and hang out in nightclubs trying to manufacture a happy life. It doesn't work. They're only buying fun. They get addicted to drugs and alcohol, go bankrupt, get in trouble with the law, and turn into egotistical, spoiled brats. They believe the lie that their wealth can buy happiness, while the rest of us watch them embarass themselves with their overindulgence. We tell ourselves we would be able to handle it better than them, yet at the same time we refuse to learn from their examples that wealth cannot buy happiness.
4. We believe the lie that wealth makes us worthwhile.
When you have to do without because you don't have money, you can fall into the trap of believing that money makes you more valuable as a person. A shallow, greedy society may believe that, but that doesn't make it so. Wealthy people seem to get more "respect," but in reality it's usually a kind of insincere fawning. We can't wait until we're rich to build healthy self-esteem and be happy. Most of us will never be rich and we'll waste our life waiting. Money comes and goes. If you base your self-worth on money, you'll crash emotionally when you fall on hard times. Many (but not all) rich people are despicable, and many (but not all) poor people are living saints. Money is not a factor in your value as a person.
5. True, lasting happiness can't be bought with any amount of money.