Lots of people play the lottery and try and find other ways of winning money, while other focus on money when choosing their career and planning their lives. This is because people believe that being rich will make you happy. This essay will explore if money does make you happy, and if it is possible to be happy without it.
It is true that having plenty of money provides you with financial stability, and this means less stress and worry in your life. People with plenty of money don’t have to worry about how they will pay the bills or put food on the table for the money, and a lack of these worries is certainly conducive to happiness. Furthermore, wealthy people are able to buy lots of nice things and indulge themselves and their loved ones, spending money on the things that make them feel happiest, be it clothes and shoes, eating out, or nice holidays.
Then you have to consider that rich people may have no need to work, or work as much, and certainly won’t find themselves having to do a job they absolutely loathe just to make enough to live on. They tend to have much more leisure time, and can be stay at home parents much more easily when their children are born, and spend school holidays with their children too if they wish too. Poorer people don’t usually have this option, and feel that they would be much happier if they had more time to spend with their family.
There is much more to happiness than simply having lots of money, even for people who really do love money, and it is the things that we can do with money that is generally the source of happiness for most people, not the fact of having lots of money. It is for this reason that rich people can often be very unhappy, because if they have nothing good to spend it on, their money is pointless. Wealthy people with no friends or family are usually at least as miserable as poor people with no friends or family, and often worse. People who suddenly win lots of money can actually lose their loved ones, as people may not treat them the same anymore, or take advantage of them.
Overall, not having the stresses of poverty and financial difficulty does make it easier for people to be happy with their lot on life. However, wealth is definitely not an essential requirement for happiness as plenty of poor people all over the world are happy, and there are plenty of unhappy rich people. Therefore, being rich could help you to be happy but it is not a prerequisite or a guarantee of happiness.
Sometimes, teaching people how to get rich gets me a bad rap. “You just want to make money,” I’ve been told. Or “money isn’t everything.” These gems, while not particularly eloquent, do have a point. Actually, I’d prefer that these people ask me why I teach people to be rich. It’s important to ask yourself, too: Why do you want to be rich?
Take a second and think about it.
Do you want to have a luxurious lifestyle? Do you want to travel? To eat at nice restaurants? Maybe you want to start your own business.
I believe it’s really important to consciously think about why you want to be rich. If you don’t, it’s easy to get caught up in a race to get more and more money without ever knowing why.
“But Ramit,” you might say, “I’m really smart. I got a 4.0 at Stanford and I don’t really want to take the time to think about this. I just want some cash, playa!!”
After I point and laugh at you, I’ll actually get serious. Trust me–take an hour to write it down and compare your long-term goals to what you’re actually doing on a day-to-day basis. It’s easy to say and harder to do, so I’ve taken my own advice below. And hopefully, I can use these things to explain why I teach people to be rich. It’s not just money–far from it.
Why I teach/learn how to be rich
In one sentence: I never want to have to make a bad decision because of money (e.g., staying at a job I don’t love because of car payments).
Long-term goals of earning wealth (in order):
- Give my parents a retirement where they don’t have to work if they don’t want to
- Comfortable, sometimes gaudy lifestyle (I love pens)
- Make career decisions because I want to, not because of money
- Stay in touch with my friends by seeing them in person often
There it is: an online, accountable list of goals for why I teach and learn how to be rich. What if you made a list like this and checked it every 6 months to see if you were moving towards your goals?
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