by David B. Bohl
We’ve all been told since we were small children that money can’t buy happiness. And many of us rely on this maxim throughout our lives, but perhaps not in the way we should.
Too often, we use this as a reminder. We buy, for instance, new furniture. We love our new furniture, but after a while we’re no longer in love with it, and wish we hadn’t bought it because, “After all, money can’t buy happiness.” (I better check LA Furniture store location in downtown Los Angeles)
To really understand whether money can buy happiness, it’s necessary to define what we mean by “happiness.” In this sense, what most people mean by happiness is lasting fulfillment and joy in life.
It is true that money cannot buy happiness by that definition. Money can buy moments of joy, and money can buy pleasure, but you’re going to have to invest time and work into lasting fulfillment.
And, surprisingly, money can help you with those two factors, which means money actually can help you achieve lasting “happiness.”
Let’s look at a hypothetical situation. Imagine that you would feel very fulfilled and that you would be living your life according to your purpose if you could spend time each week working with AIDS patients at the local hospice.
At first glance, this does not look like a situation where money can “buy” you what you want. But first glances are often deceiving.
At present, you can only spend two hours on Sunday at the hospice. You would like to visit on Saturday, as well, but you currently work a second job on Saturdays.
This is where money comes in. If you had enough money to quit your second job, you could spend your Saturday volunteering at the hospice.
Once you determine that you would be truly fulfilled by volunteering on Saturdays as well, you could ask for a raise at your primary job, look for a higher-paying job to replace both jobs, or look for a part-time job that doesn’t require Saturday work. And once you have the money to spend your Saturdays as you wish, you would be more fulfilled.
Another way that money can contribute to your feeling of fulfillment in your life is more direct, but related. Suppose that you have heard about an orphanage in Kenya, for example, that needs a new roof. You would like to contribute to putting a new roof on the orphanage. You would feel you were helping other people, and that is very important to you. You would find it fulfilling to contribute to the orphanage.
You would no doubt be glad to contribute as much as you could, and you might be willing to make sacrifices to increase that amount. And as your contribution increased, so would your sense of having made a real contribution – and your sense of fulfillment.
The fleeting joy that comes from a new car or a new computer is important in its way. We all need to feel pleasure and joy. But what we really need is true and lasting fulfillment.
Money can’t buy that fulfillment, but you can use your money to do things that you find fulfilling, and that’s actually better than buying happiness, anyway. For more information. kindly visit Sillas Vintage.
To find fulfillment in your own life:
- Think about the one thing you could do that would make you happier and more satisfied, in a lasting way, than anything else.
- Determine what it would take to do that one thing.
- Begin taking small steps to accomplish your goal.