What Makes Us Happy? It’s Not About the Money (really).

You know the saying, “Money can’t buy you happiness”? Before you roll your eyes at that cliché, there is a reason why it’s been said so many times: It’s true.


Over the years, I have worked with folks from those individuals who are paid absolutely nothing (volunteers), to minimum wage employees, and all the way through seven-figure earners. So who’s the happiest? Hint: It’s not the individuals filling their garages with Aston Martins.


What I’m saying here is that if you don’t have passion for your job, a lucrative salary won’t make THE difference; you won’t magically start to love that job simply because you’re earning seven figs instead of five.


Author Todd Siler (“Think Like a Genius”) puts it like this: “If you don’t love it without the money, you won’t love it with the money.”


That said, don’t let salary be the be-all, end-all…….when choosing your career path, when seeking opportunities for advancement, or when evaluating potential job offers. If you’re doing work that you love, and earning a generous living, the money is icing on the cake — NOT the cake itself!


If money were truly the ingredient needed to assure instant happiness, then you wouldn’t hear about Mr. Big Shot Stock Broker leaving it all to teach yoga at a mountain resort, or individuals steeped in credentials making significant career transitions in search of a better life.


No doubt about it, research shows you still need a minimum amount of money to meet your basic needs and to, in turn, be happy. No one, after all, is happy worrying about where their rent money will come from at the end of the month. But, beyond that, more money brings no guarantee of fulfillment. No more joy will come from the same work duties you hated when you were on a Ramen budget once you can sustain a caviar budget.


So separate the dollars from the desire. Find something you are passionate about and you’ll be rich in a way that money can’t buy. And, who knows? Maybe your drive in that position you love will pave the way for you to make the money to buy the toys – your cherry on top.


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