Abundance week #48

Dear readers and abundance seekers, welcome back.

Today I want to touch upon a very sensitive topic of Money. Well we all know its power and yet it cannot buy happiness. But money can buy you some peace for sure. Happiness becomes subjective depending on your greed, knowledge and ignorance. The reality is that we all spend money and for most of us it is a limited resource. How can we spend our hard earned dough in ways that will maximize our happiness? Pointed below are connections between money and happiness to consider before you make your next purchase.

  1. Being Rich Isn’t Necessarily the Path to Happiness. Money is important to happiness. Ask anyone who doesn’t have it. Having a higher income, for example, can give us access to homes in safer neighborhoods, better health care and nutrition, fulfilling work, and more leisure time. However, this only works up to a certain point. Once our income reaches a certain level and our basic needs for food, health care, safety, and shelter are met, the positive effects of money—such as buying your dream home—are often offset by the negative effects—such as working longer hours, or in more stressful jobs, to maintain that income.
  2. Doing Makes us Happier than Having. Most people assume that “things” will lead to more happiness than “experiences.” Physical objects—such as the latest iPhone, handbag, or car—last longer than say going to a concert, taking a cooking class, or going on vacation. Buying things does make us happy, at least in the short term. In the long-term, however, we habituate to new things and even though they may have made us excited and happy at first, eventually the item becomes the new normal and fades into the background. The happiness that comes from purchasing experiences, however, tends to increase over time. One reason is that we often share experiential purchases with other people. Even when you’ve driven that new car into the ground, you’ll still be telling stories with your family and friends about that time when you went on vacation to Colorado and you’ll even be chuckling about when the car broke down and you had to spend the night in the shady motel
  3. Consider Spending Money on Others. Most people think that spending money on themselves will make them happier than spending it on other people. Yet, when researchers assess happiness before and after people spend an annual bonus, people report greater happiness when they spend the bonus money on others or donate it to charity than when they spend it on themselves. This occurs regardless of how big the bonus was. One reason for this phenomenon is that giving to others makes us feel good about ourselves

So, before you pull out your wallet or click to order online, think about whether this purchase will really make you happy. If it will jeopardize your basic needs, think twice. If you have some disposable income, considering planning a trip or taking a class to learn a new skill. Finally, in this season of giving, know that if you spend your money on others or donate it to good causes, you may feel better than if you spend it on yourself.

Below is a mindful practice you can undertake before reaching for your wallet.

What we need to know about MONEY

Money is just a tool in our lives that enable us to achieve the first two levels of our hierarchical needs.

The needs are (as ranked from most fundamental to higher-level needs):

  • Physiological (food, shelter, etc..)
  • Safety
  • Love/belonging
  • Esteem
  • Self-actualization

Steps to take to develop the right attitude toward money:

  • Do all you can to make sure your basic needs are being met, and save enough cash to have available in the event of an emergency.
  • Don’t make comparisons to others, instead focus on the positive things in your life. Feel gratitude and show appreciation by writing thank you cards, or giving back to the community.
  • Spend your time and energy on experiences that will create memories instead of stuff. Focus on connecting with your community and nature.
  • Think of financial well-being as the new goal, because most likely you can have it before you have large amounts of money.

The reality is that happiness is internal and comes from a deep understanding of your true self and that takes time for many people to come to terms with understanding what they need and want.

Money can’t buy happiness simply because happiness is an emotional state that we get in to by doing certain things, thinking about situations and even feel in ways that trigger our happiness.

And all of the above can’t really be bought. So if we can’t buy what produces the feeling and emotion of happiness we can’t buy happiness either.

For example the biggest trap almost everybody will fall in to for a period of time in life is the “if-then trap”. If I get this I will feel that or when I achieve x,y,z I will be happy or excited. Unfortunately or not it doesn’t work this way. The reality when it comes to happiness is that we must be able to feel it at this moment, right now!

Money can affect internal feelings, but it isn’t a LASTING effect.

Additionally, happiness comes from within and nothing external, as far as I am concerned we can’t really buy someone’s spirit.

Be happy, for there is no cost, and there is only gain.

Happiness and sunshine

Niddhi

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