girl smiling next to a cliff

Can money buy happiness? 7 things to realize about what makes you happy.

Does money equal happiness? In my experience… no.

What I have learned, through my own experience of being broke most of my life, is that money does NOT make a person happy. I’ve been poor, homeless, living paycheck to paycheck  – and have also led a good quality life with a very good living. However, money did not make me more or less happy. I actually was happier at times with no money, hiking in the woods, alone, meditating, and being mindful and expressing gratitude for simply living –  for that which nature is and the people in my life, than I was living in a nice, $3,800 a month loft in Brooklyn.

Money does not make make you happy.

Money does not buy happiness.

We have been programmed to go after money and acquire materialistic things to be successful and happy. If money is part of your motivation to get things that may require one of the four items mentioned earlier (food, clothes, shelter, etc.), money is based on survival. This means after you have acquired x, y and z, then, you can be happy. This to me are more like basic things to live, and this causes me to feel neutral – content. These are things everyone should have access to.

If money is your only motivation, it is based on survival of the fittest. Here, money is based on the economic, financial and social “food-chain”. This means if you acquire money, only then, will you be happy.

Either way, you need to “acquire something” to be happy.

What it comes down to is: when it comes to being happy… don’t chase money.

I’ve learned that chasing money is not who I want to be. Today, the majority of us will likely contemplate that most things can’t be done without money. But I am here to tell you – your biggest dreams can come true and can be done without money.

The only priority should be your happiness, and that comes first. Happiness is now. Be mindful of what you are doing to make money and if it does not make you happy you can change your situation, accept it and live in peace, or remove it completely from your life.

These are 7 important things you need to realize about money and happiness.

Can money buy happiness - woman on street

1. True happiness is found in yourself.

There is no person on Earth who can truly make you happy but yourself. You have to choose to be happy every single day. Happiness should, in fact, be a mantra of constant affirmation. However you choose to go about your life will bring you more happiness than a paycheck. This is something to be read and felt. Happiness may start off as a required habit for some people and may take work to get there, but eventually, the habit of inner happiness will become a natural state of being.

2. You define what success means to you.

The creators of money, generations upon generations behind us, have defined what success, control, and power is to them. Success does not equate to money and this does not mean you need to follow in their footsteps. Be your true self first – and however you want success to play out, it will. Success will come to you based on your character, principles, intentions and will-power.

This boils down to:

1. What do you want to become?

2. Who have you become already?

3. Are you happy right now with yourself?

If you aren’t happy with yourself right now, that needs to change… right now.

If you want to attain abundance, you have to manifest abundance internally. Success is not something you pursue. What you pursue in life you will not need to chase after – it will come to you. The amount of success you seek is already attracted to the person you are right now. Your goals, ambitions, energy and beliefs. Success will be attracted to the person you are to become at that time, as well.

You have acquired some success in your life

True success is written like a code in the inner-workings of your heart, mind, and soul. The more “true” you are with your intentions, who you want to be and what you define success as, as well as your actions that carry out these aforementioned visions, the more real and wholesome those intentions will come back to you in a crystal clear beam and give you exactly what you need at that time. Your reality is a collection of ideas, beliefs, and perceptions. Your reality is a projection of your inner-workings, your inner-self.

When you have that projection fine tuned – your inner-self becomes the projected reality. Your perception, beliefs and ideals, your mind and how it works, the deepest parts of you – healed or not – are your current reality. How you choose to deal with things are your reality. What you say is your reality. How you choose to react to anything – is your reality.

3. A shift in awareness can change your perception.

What are your current surroundings? How can you best make of your current situation? What can you do right now differently?

Use creative measures and take risks by allowing yourself to get out of your comfort zone. This by far is the best piece of wisdom that will change your life completely. There has never been a time where I have not experienced growth unless I was performing actions out of my comfort zone.

4. Be happy now.

No matter what your current situation is – no matter if you are homeless, living paycheck to paycheck, or in a frustrating relationship or situation – you can choose to be happy and either accept the things as they are or change them. Happiness is not living with blinders on waiting to get from here (A) to there (B) – waiting for that moment in the future that doesn’t exist yet (C). It is about being happy during the journey from A to B, and when C happens, it’s happiness, too.

5. Sometimes it takes years to totally understand what purpose is

And sometimes it’s in a moment. And life all along keeps you aware that. There are sometimes many failures before someone understands their purpose. Oprah was fired at age 24 from her first anchor position and was told she wasn’t “fit for television”. Some actors, such as Samuel L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman, did not land a major role until their 40s or even 50s. Madonna lost her job at Dunkin’ Donuts and was a waitress until she fueled her passion for music in the late 1970s. Funny enough, my purpose in life has always been connecting with people on a higher level – purpose. I want to inform and help. It started off on a person by person basis, groups, and now, I choose to write to spread the word of positivity and knowledge, however that may be circulated or taken. How many times have you read an article that has changed your life? Exactly.

6. Why am I not successful?

Happiness plays a fundamental and healthy role in motivation and keeping a determined mindset. Ask yourself this: are you happy? Some people have pursued their dreams – or what they thought were their dreams – and no movement has occurred in their life because there was something much bigger than they could imagine in store. Perhaps little movement has occurred because the thing you want so bad –  the thing you are striving for and frustrated over is because you are unaware of forcing certain things to happen or doing things are are not part of your real, authentic life journey.

Before she became famous, Lady GAGA would sing on the streets belting out her voice because she said it made her feel so good. She didn’t care who was listening, or if she was bothering anyone. She was in her natural state of oneness since she herself was a “force”, and not forcing anything. Stephen Spielberg believed in his work, and originally sent in his manuscript of “Carrie” to over 30 publishers before he threw it out and it was immediately retrieved by his wife who asked him to re-submit it. By submitting it one last time, he took shaped his career and purpose in life.

7. Be Present

When your awareness has shifted into the total present-moment, suffering becomes isolated and dissociates from you. Being present is accepting what is at every moment and not trying to “force” or “control” life. Actions become more concentrated and profound. You make better decisions all around because you act in accordance with your highest and most authentic self.