Is happiness more important than money?

An online survey by Today Online, of 1,500 respondents is Asia’s most comprehensive psychographic study in terms of the number of respondents, geographical coverage and insights into 16 key topics: Beauty, communication, education, entertainment, fashion, food, health, kids, love, luxury, media, money, sports, technology, travel and vehicles revealed that 75.4 per cent of people feel that happiness is more important than making money.

So would you rather be rich or happy?

I love surveys like this one because they go to re-prove again and again that… money doesn’t make you happy.

Psychologically most would say that they know this to be true, so why are so many of us obsessed with becoming rich? I have been doing a straw poll of those I have met today and my instant findings are that when people are talking about happiness they mean feeling secure with nothing to worry about. We seem to collectively have the belief that if we had money we would the be happy because at a deeper level we feel that it would give us security and that we would then have little to worry about.

Worrying about money

Well, I have worked with many very rich and very unhappy people and very poor and very happy people. I know you can be poor and miserable and rich and happy. But try this for size…

In the present, in the here and now, at any given time or point, we are both safe and secure. Check it out as you read this. Are you safe, are you secure, do you have anything to worry about right now this minute? I find that people with money are more likely to be worrying about it. The questions I have been asked and this things I have heard include,

‘What do I do with it all?’
‘What happens if I lose it?’
‘Who can I trust? Are my friends only friends because I am rich?’
‘Life is so boring and meaningless’
‘People hate me because I have money’
‘Should I give to the kids or do they need to learn about working?’

Bottom line is that the money that you can usefully use is the byproduct of what you do. It is the doing that gives the money meaning. If you have money for doing nothing then the money has no real value, it is just there to be used. Once we start worrying about what will happen next we will forever have an anxiety syndrome. And money gives us a lot to be anxious about from interest rates to thefts. We can then start craving for what was when we were living a normal life before we were distracted by the money. If we keep worrying about the past and craving for what was we will be in a depressive syndrome. If you do both you will be anxiously depressed. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, young or old, healthy or infirm if you live in the present you can find happiness and being in the now at this very moment does not need any money at all.

Anxiety, control and intolerance

One thing that I have observed about people who have anxiety syndrome is their need to be in control in order to manage their anxiety. People who are controlling are very often suffering from an anxiety disorder that they are compensating for. Many rich people suffer from the this ‘anxiety-control syndrome’. The nest step is that to create and maintain control our tolerance of others and our ability to let them simply be who they are and do what the want or need to do diminishes.

I have met and worked with many wealthy but anxious people who cover up their fears by being controlling and in so doing become intolerant and insensitive to the other people around them.

Of course there are people who are both rich and happy just not as many as we might think..

Live in the present and be happy now

Take care

Sean x

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