How to be Really Happy- Sometimes money is not the issue

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Most people often mistake material wealth as a sign of happiness and life satisfaction. You may figure that if you can afford to buy a house, a car, all the other necessities with enough left over to indulge in luxury brands and trips around the world, happiness and contentment are within reach.

Yet, rich people are often afflicted with ennui -- dissatisfaction, discontentment, and boredom with life. Despite all the material blessings they've amassed, they do not feel happy and fulfilled. What they've failed to realize is that the real happiness that lies within you is not measured by how much money you have, but by the thriving, successful relationships you have with the people around you.

Get out of that rut and discover the real happiness that lies within you with these simple suggestions.

Appreciate the ordinary things.

Most of the time, rich people are so used to living in luxury that they've forgotten just how much happiness they can glean from doing simple, ordinary activities. Caroline works in a huge publishing company and though she loves her job, she realized just how much she was missing out when she came home early one day and saw her kids having so much fun playing with their nanny. "I felt this pang of jealousy, seeing the happiness on their faces," she admits. "They were happy not because of me, their mom; they were happy because of their nanny." Right then and there, Caroline vowed to cut back on her hours at work -- "I put in a lot of unnecessary hours at work anyway" -- so she could have more time with her kids. "Now, my family and I have a tradition of going to the park on weekends and having a simple picnic, flying kites or riding our bicycles," she shares. "Sometimes, we just look at the clouds, trying to see what kind of shapes they form. It's really made me feel happier and more content, doing these seemingly ordinary things."

The bottom line: There is magic in every day. Don't let life pass you by without appreciating it -- all you have to do is go out there and look for it. And looking for it isn't as difficult as you think!

Give back to others.

Jeannette, a 30-something professional who works for a multinational company, decided to take a sabbatical from her high-paying position and flew to a Third World country to do some volunteer work. The reason behind her decision was that she was feeling more and more stressed at work. "I was nearing burnout, even though I really had nothing to complain about at work," she relates. "My colleagues were great, my boss was great, my family life was also great -- but I felt so empty. Then I bumped into an acquaintance who told me about this program of volunteering to live abroad for a year and helping out Third World countries. All I had to do was sign up, inform the people where my expertise lies, and they would match me up with the corresponding village or people."

Jeannette decided to take the plunge. Her decision led her to teach English to African children -- an endeavor that was both challenging and exhilarating for her. "I was really nervous at first! But when I started making progress with the kids, wow, the happiness and satisfaction I felt was completely out of this world!" she marvels.

Because of her sabbatical, Jeannette realized that all the money in the world couldn't buy her happiness -- it came from helping others. "If I didn't have all these money, I wouldn't be able to take a sabbatical and help others," she says. That realization has made Jeannette more determined to work harder so she could "afford" to help others. "What is the use of all these money if I cannot put them to good use? One can only have so many designer bags and shoes. With what I'm doing, I get to travel, which I love, and I also help others. That's two benefits in one!"

Stop competing and comparing.

A roadblock to real happiness is when one constantly competes and compares herself with everybody. Take for example Melissa. "I come from a relatively large family -- I have three siblings," she shares. "My parents are not the type to play favorites, but I still felt so resentful of them and my siblings. It took a lot of soul-searching to realize that I was envious of my siblings' success." It took Melissa a lot of time and effort before she could finally let go of her negative emotions and discover the real happiness that lies within you -- which is not based on measuring up to other people's standards. Be grateful for what you have, take stock of your blessings, and you will find yourself complaining less and appreciating more.

Take time to enjoy your wealth.

Rich people who say they're burned out from work are in such a state because they have forgotten to do one important thing: to enjoy their hard-earned money. Becky, who describes herself as a recovering workaholic, shares her story: "I became addicted to work. I was so addicted that I forgot how to relax -- when I was out with my friends, I was constantly checking my phone for mails and messages that they got so exasperated with me for not being mentally there. Finally, my family was able to convince me to go on a trip without toting my work-related gadgets. We went to the beach, just a short trip, and it was such an eye-opening experience! I'd forgotten how fun being with my family could be, and I really enjoyed bonding with them. Now I have learned the value of detaching myself from work. It's good not only for my happiness, but overall well-being and sanity."

It's simple: You work hard to live comfortably. But once you lose sight of that goal and continue working harder than ever, you will also lose time and focus to enjoy life. So make sure to allot time for yourself, your friends, and your family. Only when you spend time with the people who matter most to you and truly like or love you for who you are -- not by how much money you earn or the benefits you can offer them -- will you understand the real happiness that lies within you.

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#happy #issue #money
  • Profile picture of the author justhumza
    The last part is especially important. Of course in the process of accumulating wealth, we take our health for granted sometimes, it isn't until we get sick that we realize without good health, everything else seems secondary.
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  • Profile picture of the author tobyjensen
    I love Mike Rowe’s (Dirty Jobs) Ted Talk where he talked about all of the blue collar workers he spent time with. These are the people doing manual labor for low pay. They should be miserable but they are not. They are generally happy and satisfied. Ha!

    One of the examples was the pig farmer just outside of Las Vegas. Mike asked him if this was his mission, or purpose in life, or what he always wanted to do. The guy laughed at him. He was just making money. Tons of it. Pig farming was just a means to get there.

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  • Profile picture of the author Aniblow
    Interesting ... but i bet money makes
    everything easier.
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    • Profile picture of the author tobyjensen
      Originally Posted by Aniblow View Post

      Interesting ... but i bet money makes
      everything easier.
      Very close!

      Money expands what currently is happening. If you are having troubles now a bunch of money will get you a bunch of troubles.

      If you have it together now a bunch of money will tend to lead to good times.

      Money can make things easier but it only depends on what you are working with to begin with. Rich people (those that also are able to keep their money) tend to live longer because of access to a healthier lifestyle (including medical care) but they are about as happy as the rest of the population. Money does not equal great happiness. Which is strange because most people think it will. Which is one reason why most people don't get rich. They don't even understand what money is and what it does not.
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      • Profile picture of the author Xiqual
        Originally Posted by tobyjensen View Post

        Money expands what currently is happening.
        If you are having troubles now a bunch of money will get you a bunch of troubles.
        If you have it together now a bunch of money will tend to lead to good times.
        Brilliant process KEY explanation

        Having repeated and steady income only solves survival issues...

        2 examples, freely choosed from many others:

        * Got addictive personality? Wealth only will serve same, new one or multiple addictions...

        * If love life is your wounded knee, an income increase could represent disaster, depending what use you make of money & avaliable time;
        a) lateclubs + booze (and nose candy perhaps) 'cos "makes things easier" + chasing some partner, anyone, only to get company...
        b) getting fit + inner work (meditation/yoga) =>> new improved self-image and self-knowledge will do way better...

        Happiness is an active concept, a burst of well-feeling, a plenitude sensation...
        No money worries is a pasive one... a mostly looked for, I DO agree.

        Just mine 2 cents.
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  • Profile picture of the author tobyjensen
    Just so fascinating this motivational stuff. Science can be freaky sometimes.

    Money is a strangely motivating factor

    -Too much money is a demotivator
    Self-direction is better


    RSA Animate - Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us - YouTube

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  • Profile picture of the author TheMaleRN
    For me who hasn't reached that point in life yet, I wanna first experience what it all feels when I've achieved all that. Because some people are not making money just for themselves, they want to become rich and able so that they can provide for their families, and having to do so would then give fulfillment. but then again, that's just me.
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  • Profile picture of the author dndoseller
    I agree...

    Appreciation

    Stillness

    Quiet

    Peace

    Nature

    Felling good now

    ... all that matters
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  • Profile picture of the author Cray
    I suddenly remember a quote from Desperate Housewives.



    but on a serious note. I agree w/ what OP has said.
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    • Profile picture of the author slingingshot15
      You made some very valid points there.

      A really good book that describes what you spoke about is the Monk
      Who Sold His Ferrari
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  • Profile picture of the author Yair Dolev
    I have to say that money is not what will make you happy but having money would not harm your happiness.

    Unless you have tons of money and you're really rich, because sometimes money make people be diffrent.

    Anyway I believe having money is good, but there are a lot of people that happy without money and there are a lot of people that are unhappy WITH money, so money is not the answer most of the times.
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    • Profile picture of the author hardraysnight
      so who or what is graffox.com, where several of your quotes seem to come from

      i always thought it ethical to reference your quotes
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  • Profile picture of the author Statcode
    I remember visiting a website that showcase pictures of families living in third world countries (countries in Africa and South East Asia) and saw a lot of genuine smile. In fact, some of those people live in a small village but were laughing everyday at the small wonders of life. They have little stress, no worries, rarely blame others, and rarely get angry. In general, they are at peace within themselves and always forgiving of others. They may be materially poor, but are rich in spiritual wealth.

    To outsiders in the Western world, we think those people are poor because they are lazy and have no education/goals. However, that is a false notion based on our ethnocentric views of different cultures.

    I also remember watching a documentary about a man who's father came from Japan and mother from Ghana. In Japan, some work to "death", making tons of money, overtly pressure to exceed 105%, etc - but they are still not satisfied with their life. The rate of suicide is pretty high there. Then when the man went to Ghana to visit his mother, he was surprised to see how happy the kids were there; they were always singing. The rate of suicide is almost non-existent there.

    Contrast this with a generalized American/Western way of life - we work, work, work! Not that work is a bad thing (since there are always great rewards), but here we're starting to lose focus on the meaning of life from a spiritual perspective. We work to seek the prize, but lose our intention for that prize. We think we are only as good as our job title, our income/salary/net worth, our material possessions, our cars, our house, our toys, etc. We limit ourselves by our social circle, our county/city/state that we live in. We identify so much by our religious beliefs, our political views, our beliefs/philosophies, our clubs, our social networks, etc.

    The more and more we attach those those things, the harder it is to let go (think of rich Hollywood celebrity types).

    Life, then, become a series of tasks and goals to achieve, do this, do that. Life becomes SUFFERING. Really, life should really be about inner peace - just to be!

    What's point of making so much money when you don't have time to enjoy them? You become materially rich but are "time poverty."

    In reality, we're not really who we are. We are MORE than that!

    We construct our own personal identity - I am a marketer, I am an engineer, I am a driver, I am a scientist, etc.

    But it's not always our true inner-core...are we not infinite spiritual being having a physical human experience?

    When Rene Descartes said, "I think, therefore, I AM", there are a lot of deep meaning behind that phrase - the I AM is the most powerful part and can be interpreted in many ways. Like, the phrase, "To be or not to be, that is question", is also a powerful statement.

    The point of all of this is, there should be a balance of working hard to make money and developing your inner sense of peace. Everything we do, every work we choose, everything we own, everything we seek to gain, should develop our spiritual growth. Or else, we will lose focus and always end up feeling empty within despite becoming materially rich.

    As entrepreneurs or employees, we should all work "hard" for the money. Eventually, we realize it's not the money we're seeking. We want money in order to seek that "something else" in life.

    "We know too much and feel too little." Bertrand Russell
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  • Profile picture of the author bnorton2010
    To me money means nothing more than freedom, which is my highest value. Freedom can certainly bring you some happiness, but happiness is simply a mindset and anyone can have it. It's a matter of thinking the right thoughts, or not thinking at all. Too often people think about what they don't want instead of what they want, and that causes suffering. Living in the moment and through your 5 senses is the truest form of happiness though. If you're gonna be stuck in your head, at least make sure you're focused on positive thoughts.
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  • Money is just a means to help expand your horizons. But you need to be happy first in order enjoy what money can do for you.

    You can be happy and fulfilled living in one place your whole life but having the money to travel can enrich it. It won't make you happier if you weren't happy to begin with.
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