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Does money make you happy?

Mama Fen

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Jul 18, 2012
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In "The Matrix", Agent Smith explains to Morpheus that the original idea was to have humanity live in utopia... and it failed miserably because human beings expect hardship and turmoil. Given a perfect world, people immediately distrusted their environs. Only by creating an imperfect scenario where humanity was allowed to struggle did the plan work.

I don't think he was that far off, to be honest.

We as a species are competitive, but still very social, creatures. We take a sense of self-worth from our ability to overcome difficulty, as well as our ability to 'keep up with everyone else' as far as economic and social standards go. Competition causes an increase in ability for all concerned, and thus becomes not only a way of generating a 'standard', but of raising the bar for everyone. Four-minute mile, anyone?

Being happy isn't necessarily about having bigger or better toys, or luxurious vacations. Being happy is more about feeling that you are achieving your best personal potential, and are able to compete with those around you in a healthy way... and in our given society, having material things contributes greatly to that feeling. They are status symbols, like trophies, that prove we have overcome adversity and achieved something of value.

Those who, for whatever reason, are unable to achieve their potential according to societal standards tend to feel worthless, ashamed, and angry. These feelings can lead the underachiever to find other ways to 'succeed', by means of trickery or deceit, and thus they can feel that they're 'smarter' than those who struggle because they 'found a way to buck the system'.

IMHO, this is why welfare systems are not as successful as their originators intend them to be - because while they provide the basics, they typically do not provide the sense of accomplishment or ability to compete normally in the recipient. When someone else is providing for you, they are essentially taking your place in society and removing you as a viable person. Over time, this creates a cycle of dependency and resentment much like the 'growing pains' we experience as children. But if we're not able to grow out of that cycle, we stagnate and become stunted.

So... does money buy happiness? No. But the earning of money, specifically in amounts that allow us to compete with society to the standards we set for ourselves, can lead to a sense of fulfillment.
 

Jim Davisson

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Aug 23, 2016
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Happiness comes from within and radiates outward. If you don't square up one day with yourself internally, misery will eventually find you, you can't fool everyone, all the time and never yourself for long.

I have a few passions in life I've been fortunate enough to pursue as I see fit. I clean textiles, cook for my family, working to improve the equipment I use, having a few wonderful close friends and chase trophy fish with them. I'm rich beyond measure for the above and very happy with my station in life.

From the time I could start an outboard, I was on the water at 430 am and was the only kid of 5 who could get a "pass" on missing Sunday morning service.... "Jimmy will get his service on the water". When they came home to a filled out stringer filleted out it never stung as bad.

Finding the things you were meant to do and doing them to fullest has been rewarding beyond measure and way more than money can buy. A bad day doing what you love is still a good day, just like any day on the right side of the Daisy's is!
 
Aug 4, 2019
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Warren Clark
I think stupid people make themselves unhappy regardless of money, people who have no sense of direction and just want to leach of the system and achieve nothing are the unhappy jealous people.

Making money make me happy because it the road to financial freedom. I also think owning a business makes your brain work harder because you need to figure out how to make the cash flow and it would make you happy knowing that your succeeding.
Took the words right out of my mouth.

There have been times I've been very happy without money and times I've been happy with money. But also times I've been miserable with money and without it.

It's move about having a balanced mentality towards life. Having goals. And when the right mentality is applied with money you live a nice life. But one without the other doesn't work to well. Unless you want to be a monk that is.