Does what we HAVE (aka money) lead to Happiness?

If you ask anyone what is the one thing they want in life, most will say “all I want is happiness”! What is this “thing” called happiness and why do we spend our lives chasing it?

What is Happiness?

Happiness is a state of being and can therefore only be found in the present. We cannot chase it; we literally need to feel it in the here and now. To think that we can be constantly happy is unrealistic. Life happens and when we experience pain and suffering, we may NOT be feeling happiness in that moment. But that’s ok because that contrast is exactly what causes us to grow and expand. That contrast also teaches us to appreciate the times when we ARE feeling joy and happiness.

How does Happiness relate to having money?

Although a state of happiness can absolutely be achieved without money, money can have a huge impact on happiness. As I already mentioned, one of the things that can keep us from being in a constant state of happiness, is pain and suffering and this can often be due to the lack of money – “how am I going to pay my bills, my rent, feed my family?” For some it is even more than that; sickness needs money to fix or save a life. How can one be in a state of happiness when feeling that kind of stress? (I am completely aware that there are many other sadness’s, stresses and sufferings that cannot be fixed with money).

Can money buy happiness?

Then there is another factor; they say that money can’t buy happiness. I think it can to some extent. Even though happiness is a state of being and something that is “felt” deep inside of us, that state is often activated by doing things that bring us joy and light up our souls.

Doing the things we love often costs money

For me personally, I get so much joy from riding my bike, camping, being out in nature, listening to a beautiful music concert, being somewhere where there is an awesome energetic vibe, retreats, travelling, a nice meal, giving to others. Well, all those things need money, don’t they? In fact, sometimes bucket loads of it! That still doesn’t mean that I can never be happy without those things but does mean that, through these experiences, I could reach that state of happiness more often.

Change happens when we want More or Better

I understand that we are always wanting more, better, bigger – but that is where growth happens. For a homeless person, they might reach that state of growth/happiness by getting a one room home, perhaps even without running water or electricity. For those of us who already own a nice home, with those amenities and more, we would be striving for something different.

We need to balance wanting to Grow with Gratitude!

To create the balance between happiness and growth, and in order to actually experience happiness, we need to feel gratitude for what we already have. If we don’t, we will always only be focused on what we don’t have, and this will prevent us from ever being happy. We may keep changing, growing and bettering ourselves, but happiness will keep eluding us. This does not mean that wanting more or better will stop us from being in a state of happiness, as long as we balance it with gratitude for what we have.

In order to actually experience happiness, we need to feel gratitude for what we already have.

In Summary:

  • Happiness is a state of being and can only be felt in the present moment
  • We cannot expect to feel happy all of the time
  • Growth/change often happens while NOT in a state of happiness
  • Can having money lead to happiness? YES!!
    • It can reduce the stress that often makes us feel unhappy
    • With money we can HAVE things and experiences that put us in a state of happiness
  • Does having money guarantee happiness? NO!!
    • Not unless we are grateful for what we already have.
  • There needs to be a balance between wanting to better our situations and gratitude for what we already have, otherwise, happiness will elude us completely

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