Money doesn’t buy happiness. The happiness that money buys is superficial and fleeting. When money is the purpose of life or that of any activity, it corrupts it. The purpose of money is to be fuel. Whenever it becomes the destination, it spoils everything on the way.
Does money make you happy? Can money buy happiness?
This question has always been a topic of debate in the corporate world, social circles and families around the world for several years and in this post, we are going to address this in detail.
The right answer to the question is both yes and no. That’s the problem. It is not a yes or no question. It is a yes and no question. That means money does buy happiness and money doesn’t buy happiness. Read on to understand what we mean by this.
We will make the case for both ends of the debate.
1. Money does buy happiness
Yes, of course money does buy happiness. It allows you to buy a house, a car, and various different things that money is capable of buying. You can also buy a plane or a helicopter for yourself if you make that kind of money. You can buy everything that most people can’t buy because they don’t have money.
Do all these things equal to happiness?
Yes, a beautiful house to live in will allow you a lot of happiness on an everyday basis. One would rather live in a mansion than in a cottage. A hi-tech car would allow you to travel wherever you would like to travel in the most comfortable way. You don’t even have to drive it yourself and have a chauffeur drive you around.
Is that happiness?
Yes, it is happiness. However, this is a certain kind of happiness.
The problem with happiness is that it is of several different kinds. Money does not buy all kinds of happiness. A lot of people will flock to you when you have money.
Is that love?
They are flocking towards you because of your money, not because of you. When you won’t have the money, just in case you go through a difficult period in your future they won’t be there.
The kind of happiness that money buys is not deep happiness. It shouldn’t be seen as happiness since happiness is the output of life. In fact, happiness is the only output of life.
Money is the means to the output. Money is the means to attain your happiness. However, money is so important to gaining your happiness, that it is equated to happiness by a large section of the society.
The metaphor of fuel in the car is an excellent one.
Let us say that your life is a journey to a destination and you are driving a car to the destination. Money is fuel in the car. If you don’t have fuel, your journey will stop and you will face awful amount of unhappiness.
Therefore, without money, you will not be able to carry on the life’s journey. It is fuel.
How much money should you have?
You need fuel. You cannot do without fuel. Therefore, you truly realize the importance of money when you don’t have it. When you get that fuel, you are happy. Therefore, the true value of money shows up in the absence of it. It is a resource without which you cannot continue on your journey to happiness.
Also, the more money you have, you can do more with it. Therefore, money by itself is not wrong. Money is means to be deployed. It is a resource. It is fuel. Elon Musk knows how to deploy it to save the future of humanity. A lot of people with a lot of money end up squandering it.
What is the kind of happiness that money buys?
Superficial and short-lived.
Let us take the example of a house again. Does a house make you happy? Would you be happy to live in a big house alone?
The answer is simple.
The kind of happiness we seek as human beings depends on relationships. The source of real and meaningful happiness cannot be money. So, although money does buy happiness in the form of a house, it doesn’t buy a family. You need to create a happy family yourself.
Therefore, the kind of happiness that money buys is not deep happiness. Money remains as the means to creating happiness.
Let us now go deeper and argue why money doesn’t buy happiness. Some of this will overlap and that is why it is such a complicated question to answer.
2. Money does not buy happiness
We will argue here that money doesn’t buy happiness at all. You are on your journey and you have all the fuel that you need.
However, you happen to have a fight with your business partner because your relationship hasn’t been working out lately. The journey stops there. You have to drive back, and find a new business partner and restart the journey. All the happiness of the journey is lost.
Similarly, you may be on a personal trip with your romantic partner who doesn’t really like you. You are going to amend the relationship but things don’t work out on the way. You have an argument, the car jumps over a cliff and it’s the end of the journey.
Happiness is not in the fuel.
You are living in your palatial house and having painful clashes everyday within your family. No matter how big and beautiful the house, it won’t give you any happiness.
That is where the whole debate gets complicated.
Money is the means to an end
If you are the kind of person who finds happiness in materialistic things, you will find that money does buy you happiness. Therefore, you should seek money.
However, if you see meaning and depth as the real source of happiness in your life, then you won’t see money buying you happiness. If you hate your job, no amount of money it makes you will make you happy. If you hate your partner, your house wouldn’t give you any happiness.
Therefore, money does buy happiness and money doesn’t buy happiness. It depends on who we are as people. For a lot of people, in the kind of society we currently live in, money does buy happiness and that’s the reason we see materialism as a theme through the society.
People are living lives to impress other people who are living their lives to impress them. It’s a vicious circle.
Why do so many successful and rich people commit suicide or are unhappy?
It is because of this vicious circle. People build their lives around money and materialistic goods looking for happiness in them. Unfortunately, it’s not there.
Real happiness doesn’t come from things. Superficial happiness does.
You can’t find happiness from a resource, an ingredient which should be creating happiness. Look at it this way. If you are trying to create a dish called happiness, you need ingredients. Money is one such ingredient. Love is another ingredient. Without love, no matter how expensive the ingredients are, the dish won’t be great. You need money, love and time to create a great dish. Money only doesn’t suffice.
People commit suicide because they feel vacant inside in spite of having everything that money can buy.
This is proof that they went wrong in the search for happiness. They looked in the wrong places.
True happiness that touches your soul comes from passion.
It comes from meaning and purpose.
True happiness comes from depth.
If you are looking for superficial happiness, money will buy you that and leave you quite empty in the process.
Money is a resource. It is fuel, not the journey. It is not the destination.
Thank you for reading.
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