Happiness and Money. There’s a lot of connotations that come to mind when we think about those two together. I recently gave my tenth speech for my Toastmasters club and I decided to talk about how we can reconcile the concepts of Happiness and Money.
In this video, I explain just how to do that.
What’s the first thought or phrase that comes to mind when I mention Happiness and Money?
“Money can’t buy happiness”, right?
Well, I’m here to tell you I don’t particularly agree with that sentiment and I hope to convince you, as well. We hear it all the time, though, don’t we? And when you hear it, you find yourself agreeing verbally with a “yup” or a “totally” almost without thinking…but deep down, we can’t stop ourselves from thinking “I’d certainly like a chance to test that theory!”
At our core, we don’t really believe money can’t buy happiness. But why?
Before we answer that question, let me ask you another. What is missing from this quote?
_________ is the root of all evil.
This is part of the problem. We’ve been misquoting this passage from the Bible (1 Tim 6:10) for years and
it’s become anathema. I’ll bet you said “money” is the root of all evil, right?
The correct quote is “The LOVE of money is the root of all kinds of evil.”
Do you see the distinction?
I submit to you there is a distinct correlation between money and happiness and I’m going to prove it to you. Ready?
I want you to think about this: what amount of money would it take for you to be happy?
“But I’m already happy, MC!” Okay. How much money would make you happier?
You have an amount in your head. (Yes, I can read your mind.)
It’s more. More than you currently have.
Here’s the problem: More doesn’t equate to increased levels of happiness. I’ve been to homes in an exclusive, gated community in which there are Bentleys and Maseratis parked in the driveway. The landscaping is immaculate. It looks incredible and yet there isn’t a stick of furniture inside.
The house and cars are worth millions of dollars, but what is the level of happiness of the family that dwells inside?
The right “M” word
You see, “more” is the wrong “m” word. Instead, we need to focus on this one: Manage.
It’s not how much you have, but what you do with what you have. If you are mismanaging the money you make, you are creating a disconnect between money and happiness.
Management of your money is the litmus test for your happiness.
This perspective requires of us a paradigm shift. What if I use the word “contentment” instead of “happiness”?
Merriam-Webster defines happiness as “the state of being happy”. It also defines contentment as a “state of being happy and satisfied.” Isn’t that an interesting distinction?
Satisfaction is the key difference, yes?
In today’s culture, we are bombarded with “more”. We, as a society, always want more. But, what if we could discover and harness happiness in the form of contentment?
Coupled with managing what we have, can we not increase the chances of super-charging our happiness?
When my wife and I paid off nearly $78,000 in 28 months, we had a well thought out plan to take control and begin to manage our money. A not-so-insignificant by-product of which was discovering contentment in what we had.
That plan was found in Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps. (For the 7 Baby steps, watch the video starting at the 4:49 minute mark.)
I write this as a contented, satisfied, happy man. All those adjectives became applicable to my life when I started managing my money instead of chasing more.