One of the biggest issues that often keeps us from being happy is money, or rather, the lack of it. We often believe that "money equals happiness." But is that really so? In my book, "Be True, Be Happy: Simple Secrets for a Happy and Meaningful Life," I take a critical look at this issue and the findings may surprise you.
Now clearly, having money does make life easier. In our Western society, we need a certain amount of money to meet our minimum needs, such as housing, food, health care, and our perceived financial security. If we make less than this amount, living can become a struggle. In this case, money does equal happiness.
But beyond this minimum amount, researchers have found that the relationship between money and happiness is no longer in proportion. After some point you will find more happiness from doing activities that fulfill you. You may even feel downright unhappy --despite making tons of money-- if you work a job that you don't like.
So it is not quite true that money always and automatically equals happiness.
In Be True, Be Happy I therefore ask you to figure out your personal financial comfort point at which you can live happily.
I call this "putting a price on your life."
This is a highly individual process that differs for everybody. You first have to figure out what matters most and makes you happy intrinsically. As I show in the book, often this is not at all some material thing but an empowering emotional quality, such as feeling love or self esteem. And unlike a material thing, which you must first work for until you can "have it," you can learn to generate "and be" an empowering emotional quality right away.
After you have identified what matters, really weigh this in monetary terms. What is your life, lived to the fullest, worth to you? How much money and material items do you really need to get to this point? Could you simplify things?
Or, as I show in the book, could you also learn to generate feeling happy more directly?
Some people find they can be happier with less and still live more fully. Happiness can be right there for you, if you only know where to look.
Many people simply have no idea what the price of their life is. Do you?
I invite you to find out, and learn to Be true, Be happy!