Money Isn’t Everything
This is perhaps a difficult concept for most of us to grasp, but I think it is crucial for us to consider. Striving for more money will not make most of us happy. What is more important is to identify the things that make us happy, and then do them. Most of the time, if we do the work, we will find the things that make us most happy (meaningful relationships, service to others, respect of our peers, pursuit of knowledge; to name a few personal examples) often have very little to do with amount of money we have. Of course, in our market-driven society we need enough to provide for our basic needs, and it’s nice to have a little extra for present enjoyment. But it is so easy to get caught up in the fantasy that if only we had more money we would be happier. Especially since we are constantly bombarded with the propaganda that the latest fashion, the newest cell phone, or the fastest car will make us happy, fulfilled people.
The proof of this is easy: Consider for yourself the second-to-last big thing you bought. Which you perhaps lusted over, and fantasized about before buying. Remember how excited you were while you were contemplating the purchase? What you imagined you would do once you owned it? How happy you would be! All of us have experienced this. Reflect on how you feel about that object now. Perhaps you still enjoy it, perhaps you are bored with it by now. However, it’s unlikely that object in itself has been the key to long term happiness in your life. Food for thought.