Show of hands! Who has ever daydreamed about being so incredibly rich to the point where all of your financial worries were gone? You could buy whatever you wanted, when you wanted, and do so with the biggest, genuine smile on your face. Flashing back to reality, it can be all too easy to associate wealth and happiness in the same categories. After all, it seems like those who have money can buy happiness and live an extraordinary life because of it. Now, there are studies that do show wealth and happiness are correlated to a degree, but the findings are probably not even close to what you might have been led to perceive.
The Reality of Wealth and Happiness
You can easily Google if money can buy happiness, and you will discover countless articles on the subject. However, though being rich can cultivate happiness, it does have its limits. According to MarketWatch, research has shown that there are specific annual incomes that can make people happy. For example, in both the United States and Canada, that number is $105K a year (global average is anywhere from 60-75K). Anything before those amounts may result in financial stress, and the amazing thing is that earning over it can actually stop making you happy as well. Once you hit the peak of fulfilling your basic needs and living comfortably, being too rich can chip away at your mental state. The extra money can fuel more material desires and increase social comparisons, which ironically lowers your wellbeing as a result.
What Money Cannot Buy
Mansions, private jets, boats, cars, diamonds, these are all things that money can buy. But the vital thing to take note of here is that all of that stuff is just that, stuff. And did you notice how happiness was not a primary thing either? That is because money cannot buy the fundamental aspects of your life that can make you happy to begin with:
- Authentic relationships
So yes, money can buy luxuries, but what is the point of it all if you will be miserable as a result? With that being said, it’s time you place less prioritization on “getting ahead” and more on being happy as a whole, as that is what will make your life meaningful and euphoric.
Conclusion – It’s More Important to be Happy than Rich
You do not need a million bucks in order to be happy or live a positive life. Yes, wealth and happiness do go hand in hand, but money is only a small part of the happiness puzzle. It is not some golden ticket to living a prospering life. What really fosters happiness is appreciating yourself for who you are and being grateful for all that you have right now. It is doing all of the things that make you internally harmonized and feeling joyous no matter what your bank account shows. It is loving yourself, forgiving yourself, and building strong, meaningful connections with others who build you up.
In the end, if you value money and being rich is your goal in life, that is fine, but never prioritize it over yourself. In the inspirational words of Tal Ben-Shahar, “Happiness, not gold or prestige, is the ultimate currency.”