Can Money Buy Happiness?

Happiness vs Money

When we think about the contrast between happiness and money, we often come across the question, "What would a fulfilling life look like for you?" Most people reply with the desire to have the freedom to do whatever they wish, whenever they want. However, when you press them to specify what exactly they want, they often fall silent. It appears that they are uncertain about their true desires and aspirations. In truth, many may find themselves attempting to fill an inner void by seeking validation from their friends or family through material possessions or wealth, but this pursuit doesn't lead to genuine happiness.

It's important to remember that true happiness is not solely dependent on the amount of money one possesses. While money can provide comfort and security, it does not guarantee a sense of fulfilment and contentment. Many individuals who accumulate vast wealth often discover that their material possessions bring only temporary satisfaction and fail to address deeper emotional needs.

To truly find happiness, it is crucial for individuals to introspect and identify their genuine passions and interests. Often, this requires looking beyond societal expectations and the pressure to impress others. By exploring our true desires and aligning our actions with our core values, we can begin to lead more fulfilling lives.

In the pursuit of happiness, we must also consider the importance of meaningful relationships and experiences. Genuine connections with loved ones, engaging in activities that bring joy, and contributing to the well-being of others play a significant role in our overall happiness. These aspects of life are not solely tied to financial wealth but rather revolve around emotional and social well-being.


Many people, when asked what they desire most in life, would quickly respond with a resounding "Freedom" It's a common aspiration, and understandably so. But let's take a closer look at how some individuals might approach this idea. You might come across someone who claims they want freedom, yet their actions contradict this desire. For instance, they have taken on a massive 30-year mortgage and are burdened with overwhelming debt. Additionally, they might be spending excessively on a car they don't really need. This seems paradoxical, doesn't it? They claim to want freedom, yet they've anchored themselves down with financial responsibilities, limiting their ability to do what they truly want, whenever they want.This is an intriguing cognitive dissonance moment that calls for reflection.

In a book I’ve mentioned before, Essentialism by Greg McKeown, there’s a part where he talks about Jack Dorsey, the previous CEO of Twitter, who compared his job to that of an editor. As an editor, he constantly reviews and refines his teams, finances, and the company's vision. The essence of being an editor lies not only in adding valuable elements but mainly in removing what isn't contributing positively. This concept of editing applies not only to businesses but also to our personal lives. This is where the idea of Essentialism comes in, teaching us to become the editors of our own lives. One of the key rules it offers is the 90% rule. Whenever we evaluate something, be it a task on our to-do list or a decision to make, we need to consider the most crucial criterion and rate it between 0 and 100. Anything scoring below 90 is essentially a zero, which means it has to go.For instance, when cleaning out your closet, ask yourself if you're likely to wear a piece of clothing again – if the likelihood is below 90%, it's time to let it go. Similarly, for your to-do list, ask how much a task will truly add to your most important goal. 

Let's explore how we can strike a balance between the pursuit of freedom and the reality of life's obligations. Consider an example of someone who is passionate about books. Reading books brings them immense joy and fulfillment. They cherish the touch and scent of each book and take great care in cleaning and maintaining their bookshelf. They actively engage in book clubs, both in person and online, and these literary pursuits form the core of their happiness. However, they've made a conscious decision to forego other luxuries in their life. They might skip watching the latest movies, decline frequent dinners with friends, and resist the temptation of buying new fashionable clothing. By prioritizing their love for books, they are exercising their freedom of choice and investing their resources in what truly matters to them.

Likewise, if someone's passion lies in traveling, they might allocate the majority of their finances towards a car suitable for their journeys or spend it on plane tickets and accommodation. Their focus is not on dining at expensive restaurants in every country or indulging in lavish activities. Instead, their main goal is to experience the culture and environment of the places they visit. In this case, they liberate themselves from unnecessary material possessions and expenses to embrace the freedom of exploration and discovery.


You know, life can be a real puzzle sometimes, especially when it comes to figuring out what truly brings us happiness and joy. But here's a simple truth, that could save you from a lot of unnecessary trouble: focus your time, money, and effort on the things that light up your soul with happiness and joy. That's where the magic lies! All the rest, well, it's like throwing your hard-earned resources into a deep, dark abyss, like a blackhole. And let me tell you, that blackhole can never be filled, no matter how much you pour into it.

Picture this - you've got this limited amount of time on this wild ride called life. Every moment you spend is precious, and you deserve to spend it wisely. So why squander it on things that don't truly matter to you? It's like going through the motions, feeling empty and unfulfilled. But when you direct your energy towards what truly brings you joy, ah, that's when the magic starts to unfold! You'll find yourself happier, more content, and living a life with purpose.

Now, let me be clear. It's not about being selfish or self-centered. It's about understanding what truly nourishes your soul and brings joy to your heart. See, that blackhole isn't born out of insecurity; it's a reflection of how easily we can get caught up in chasing after things that society or others tell us to pursue, instead of following our own path to fulfillment.

The sad truth is that many folks out there find themselves stuck in this blackhole, trying to fill it with material possessions, social status, or fleeting pleasures. That blackhole can never be filled because it's not about external things. True happiness comes from within, and it starts with aligning your actions and resources with what truly matters to you.

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