You’ve probably heard people around you say things like ‘money isn’t everything’ or using it’s cousin ‘you can’t buy happiness’ at least once in your life. As much as most of us may be inclined to agree, we also tend to feel one thousand times better when we have a good cushion in the bank instead of a negative balance. Attempting to sort out how I felt about these statements after just getting out of a very long period of having a negative bank balance a few things came to mind.
“Money Isn’t Everything”, But Financial Stability Is
There’s this idea that if someone works hard and accumulating money is their main motivation for some reason they are wrong, bad, greedy or focused on the wrong things. A lot of us have been conditioned to associate money and wealth with a lack of a higher purpose and in general with not being a very nice person as portrayed by the evil, greedy character in the movies or TV series. But when did wealth and spiritual fulfillment become mutually exclusive? It’s very possible to be money oriented and still be at peace with yourself, the world and a higher power if you choose to believe in one.
The problem comes when ‘money isn’t everything’ is used as a crutch to justify our current situation. We say ‘money isn’t everything’ to make ourselves feel better for not having the type of financial success we’d like to have and in a weird way portray those who are a bit more stable as money-hungry, evil creatures when that’s not necessarily the case. Yes, money isn’t EVERYTHING but financial stability affords you choices and having choices is very comparable to happiness for a lot of people. You might have a 3km daily commute that you have to do on foot to get to your job or you can have a car and then CHOOSE to do the commute on foot. Having the choice definitely makes a difference.
The “Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness” Scam
If you think of money in terms of financial stability, the gift of having your basic human needs taken care of and therefore having the freedom to think about or pursue our other humanly needs like love, art/beauty and even having the freedom to choose a career path based purely on our interests, on the things that bring us joy instead of having to focus on ‘making a living’, then money starts to look pretty similar to happiness in my book. Not in the direct sense of dollar amount = happiness but more so dollar amount = less worries = freedom to choose.
What You Feel Is What You Get
And this is why I was having a hard time with the way we’ve managed to associate money with something bad or inherently evil. It keeps us away from financial abundance. We attract what we focus on and if you think having money automatically equates to being a bad person you’ll keep money at bay but if you think of having money as acquiring freedom (which might include having a greater ability to help others) then money is what you’ll attract.
It all depends on what you associate money with. Don’t let common convention keep you from thinking for yourself, from stopping and dissecting what is commonly accepted as right and true and finding your own meaning to it. Some of these commonly accepted things like the two sayings we went over today keep us in situations of lack and having less because we create negative associations to things that could actually benefit us. Yes, money isn’t everything, but a person who is financially stable has more freedom to pursue a life of purpose and service to our fellow man. Just make sure those common sayings aren’t keeping you stuck in a cycle of lack and achieving less than you could.