Mar 012018

As the famous saying goes…

money-can't-buy-happiness

Howard Hughs was a billionaire, you’d think he’d be a credible source. But a lot of people seem to disagree or have confusions on this idea.

The money happiness correlation seems to be a hot topic with a lot of controversy, today.

And the confusion makes sense.

I mean, wouldn’t I be happier if I could pay my bills? Wouldn’t I be happier if I didn’t have to worry about paying rent? Wouldn’t I be happy if I could buy designer clothes or a brand new car?

And then there’s the idea that if you spend your money properly, you can definitely be happier.

Despite the confusion, there actually is a lot of evidence that money itself is not the basis for happiness.

So what is it that actually brings happiness? Some people seem to have a handle on the idea.

Okay, sure. But we all still want money, right?

Money Motivation and the Secret to Having More Money

The bottom line is: if you can’t be happy without money, then you won’t be happy with money. This is a hard truth to accept for most people, because most people these days are in a poor economic state and constantly stress about money.

Even I have trouble understanding why money can’t buy happiness. I want a simple life. I want a small house with a yard that my cats can enjoy, instead of a cramped apartment where they never get to go outside. I don’t care about designer clothes, but it would be nice to have new clothes that aren’t from a thrift store and don’t have holes in them. Don’t I need money for all of this?

Of course, but I can’t let money be what motivates me.

The Drive for Money

The most important lesson I’ve ever learned about money, is not to be motivated by it. When money is what drives you, it diminishes your real accomplishments and goals in life, and essentially makes you shallow.

When you’re motivated by money, your goals aren’t defined. You may imagine that sitting in a pile of money would be a lot of fun. But in the end, it’s just a pile of paper. It’s what it signifies and what’s figuratively “in your heart” that is important.

Another important thing to note: Money flows naturally.

Think of money as a flow of energy or electricity. Without a connection and a conduit, something to conduct it, it doesn’t move. It becomes static.

Do you ever find it interesting that you always have just enough money to take care of the basics? Most people can pay their rent and buy basic necessities, food and some clothes. These are things and goals that are driving the money in and forcing it back out. If you didn’t have these things, you’d have less drive to make money and you wouldn’t have as much of it.

The things that aren’t important or vital won’t necessarily drive the flow of money. For example, think of the bills that get paid last or sometimes not all. These commonly include medical bills and student loans, because these are based on things you’ve already accomplished and no longer reaching for.

The more money you make the more ways you’ll find to spend it and the more money you’ll want. It’s an endless vicious cycle, unless you take money out of what is motivating you.

The Secret to Getting Money

The secret to getting money is being motivated by a higher purpose.

What you need to do is figure out what your real end goals are. What is it that actually brings you happiness? What do you want to achieve? It doesn’t matter if it’s something you need money to do, that’s fine, we all need money. But you have to be motivated and driven by something bigger than money or you will never have enough.

Here are a few simple steps that might help:

1. Make a list of everything in your life that truly makes you happy and doesn’t require money. Don’t include things that don’t themselves make you happy. If you’d be happy for the rest of your life with nothing but a piece of paper that says 100 and has a picture of Ben Franklin, then fine – put money on your list. But if the thing itself is not a part of your happiness, don’t include it.

Some things that truly make me happy and don’t require money include: my husband, my family, my cats, being outside, and the satisfaction of helping others.

2. Go through each item on your list and remember a time when you were happy because of that thing. Don’t do this carelessly or just as an exercise. Really remember those moments of happiness that were created by these things. Remember how things looked, smelled, tasted, and especially how you felt at that time.

3. Create a happiness plan. This sounds complicated, but it’s not. A happiness plan includes simple, everyday things you can do to add pieces of happiness to your life. If cats make you happy, go volunteer to pet cats at a shelter. If air and sunshine make you happy, take walks every morning. The point is to add simple things that you can do now to help you achieve some happiness without being driven by money.

You can do this by physically writing out your plan, or you can simply come up with something in your mind that you can implement. I prefer to write things down because it helps me commit.

4. Create a vision board. Now you get to focus on the material things that you want, but ensure you include the things from your list above as well. A vision board should include photos of all the things that motivate and drive you. Mine has pictures of my family, my pets, my dream home and car, my goal weight, visions of my dream job, pictures of places I’d like to go and things I’d like to do.

Put it in a place where you can see it every day and use it to motivate yourself.

5. Stop talking and thinking about money. Of course, you have to balance you bank account, keep track of your spending, and pay rent. But beyond the vital necessities, stop worrying about ways to make money. Put your focus on things you want to achieve that will lead to money. Add these to your list and plan, and work on them every day.

Example: Building your own online business

The fact is if you’re always worrying about how to get money now, you’re not focusing on the things that will get you money in the future. You need to establish flows for money to work on and this takes time. Too many people focus on get-rich-quick schemes. That’s just money motivation and it doesn’t lead anywhere. Focus on building something step by step and eventually you will see money will naturally flow on the conduits you create.

Create a Money Flow

Once you’ve completed the steps above, you will be in a better place to create lines for money to flow on. When money is not your focus, and your attention is on accomplishing a goal, it will be easier to have the patience, drive and energy to reach that goal.

I would recommend taking a look at some of the ideas and posts on this site. There are all sorts of wonderful things you can do to build your business and make money.

The Best Form of Motivation

The highest level of motivation that you can have is the motivation to serve and help others. This is an innate quality that you’ll find common in Eastern philosophies and religion, such as Buddhism. A Buddhist, by nature, is not motivated by material things and seeks happiness through self-awareness and servitude.

If you put your focus towards helping and serving others, in whatever way you can, you will find happiness. This on it’s own will not necessarily bring you money, but if you can find happiness without money you’re more likely to achieve your money goals and be happy once you have money. You’re also more likely to put money towards things that matter and that will bring you future happiness.

I remember I got really excited once when I found a gorgeous pair of Coach shoes in a thrift store for $30. That was several years ago and those shoes have since fallen apart. While I may have had a moment of happiness in that purchase, it’s not something I was able to maintain without more money.
When I volunteer at my local food shelter, I get a sense of satisfaction that stays with me endlessly. Knowing that I was a part of helping someone survive better or feed their children makes me truly happy, even in my darkest times. It’s a happiness that money can’t buy.

No matter how poorly I’m doing financially, I always manage to give to others who need more than I do. And I always magically have more money come in.

What Makes You Happy?

Let’s start our exercise to get money flowing now, and talk about the things that make us happy. Please share with me in the comments below.

 


Reader Comments

  1. Very interesting way to approach the Affiliate Marketing business. Sometimes, I think, people put too much emphasis on money and it is kind of revealing, some of the comments you have.
    Enjoyed reading your articles, everything on your website is very informative.
    I am one of the ones who believe, you must first find happiness and lending a helping hand to those in need, then the $$’s will follow.
    Best to You!! Wayne

    1. Thank you, Wayne. I appreciate your feedback and support. I wish you all the success and money you can hope for. 

  2. Jaime,

    I haven’t read one article here that isn’t compelling. You’re an amazing blogger! Now that’s off my chest…I love the happiness exercise. It is so easy to get into the rhythm of chasinng money. Contentment is something that causes money to flow much easier because you find activities that are purposeful and connected to a greater destiny. For me, I enjoy taking my family to recreational places and traveling. I have some great memories of my family traveling overseas and locally, and the memories make me smile every time. While they did cost, I could do the same thing in a cheap way and still have great memories. Thanks for writing this article. It’s so encouraging!

    1. Wow, Tiffany. Your words make me so happy. If I can encourage and help one person, I feel like my job as a writer is done. I do believe the experiences we create with each other will be so much more valuable in the end than anything we can buy. Of course it does take money to travel sometimes, but I know backpackers who do odd jobs that carry them all over the world with no money at all. Best, Jaime

  3. I really liked this article and how it challenges the conventional “Money doesn’t lead to happiness” philosophy. You are so right in saying that if you can’t be happy with out money then you can’t be happy with it. Its easy to think money is the cause of our unhappiness but a closer look will reveal core problems embedded by a money driven society. Some even say money is the root of all evil! This is a great article to read for anyone struggling with money issues like dependency, etc.

    Tim

    1. Hi, Tim.  I love your feedback. They saying that, “money is the root of all evil,” definitely has some merit in a money-driven society. I have seen, time and again, how this concept plays out. Thanks so much for visiting and sharing.

  4. That is a very interesting article, thanks for your hard work writing it. There are few things that makes me happy, like playing basketball, talking walk in woods or having fun with friends, however this fun is limited because of constant worrying about finance situation. I will try to use some of your tips, hope it will help.

    1. I completely know what you mean. Worrying about finances can take a lot of joy out of life. If you can take some time to focus on the things that make you happy, I’m sure it will be easier to sort out money. I wish you the best of luck! 

  5. I loved this article…puts the real important things into perspective. Money doesn’t buy happiness for sure.
    Helping others should always be our motivation in life and the best way to ensure that your life has happiness in it. There is nothing like helping others and actually making a difference in the life of others.

  6. How many times have we all heard that? It’s so true.
    We all need money to survive but some of the richest people in the world aren’t “happy.”
    Health and happiness go together and that’s the most important thing in life.
    People who have goals and interests in life are the happy ones.
    I’m not saying that money doesn’t help but people need to get their priorities straight if they can ever have a chance at happiness.

    1. Of course money helps, and it’s not that any of us don’t want or feel the need for tons of it. I am a believer that if you can be grateful for what you already have, you can have all the riches in the world. It’s the Law of Attraction at work. Thanks so much for sharing with me. 

  7. Hi Jamie: I am motivated by money. I don’t believe that money can buy happiness but having enough money relieves stress of how to pay the bills, put an abundance of food on the table, buy medical care and contribute to those less fortunate.

    The less stressed you are, the more positive your attitude is. The lack of worry and a positive attitude tend to bring me happiness.

    The law of attraction works miracles, in my opinion. Have you a miracle you could share?

  8. Hi, Fran. It’s true that money does relieve us of worries and stress so we can maintain a positive attitude. I am personally learning that a positive attitude despite the stress helps bring in money. By focusing on the need for money, it tends to make the stress and worries stick. 

    I actually recently had a miracle experience where I was able to manifest a rent payment within 2 days, simply by pushing aside any thoughts of worry and focusing on what I am grateful for. I ended up getting the exact amount I needed in a way I never expected. 

  9. An excellent discourse on money motivation and the secret to having more money. In reading through the post, I found myself agreeing with much of what you state.

    Indeed happiness is not assured with money. If that is the hope as you mention you are more than likely going to be very disappointed.

    A far better way to experience happiness is to use money as a tool. This way you can afford to bring more happiness to others around you and even those that are not around you.

    This is a far higher level cause and that can motivate you to try to secure more money so you can make more of a difference.

    Also, the point of not obsessing about money is valid from my experience. It will come on its own if you do the things required.

    That also frees you up from the stress of always worrying about making more money or not having enough. One thing that really changed in my life over the last 10 years is this.

    I discovered that my monthly needs and wants were many thousands of dollars apart. I maybe wanted this and that but needed far less.

    Once I had a comfort level for my lifestyle that required far less money, I had more to give away! I also felt better about myself and it is such a joy to help others.

    It has not affected my income either. In fact, my income has increased over time, as I am more relaxed and enjoying the small moments to a greater degree than ever.

    Most certainly you have provided some great advice for people on how to look at and work at getting money, staying motivated, and secrets to getting more money with less stress! Thanks!.

    1. Thanks a lot, Dave. I love your feedback and the fact that you can find so much helpful information in what I have to say. I wish you the best of luck in all your financial ventures. 

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