A lot of people believe they'd be happier if they had more money.
It seems logical... right?
I mean, doesn't it seem obvious that if you won the lotto, or got a raise, or inherited an unexpected windfall of moolah you'd probably be happier? Or, if you had more money in your checking account, or savings account, or less debt, you'd be happier, right?
Believe it or not... if you had more money.
You'd just have more money.
You wouldn't be happier.
You wouldn't be thinner.
Your marriage wouldn't be better.
Your kids wouldn't want to spend more time with you.
You wouldn't find your true love.
You wouldn't be more loved.
You wouldn't be more popular.
You wouldn't be anything other than you... with more money.
It is such a painful belief to think that our happiness resides on the other side of something that's out of our control. Thinking that we'll be happier if we make more money sets us up for mandatory suffering. I don't know about you, but so far, I haven't figured out a way to make the universe behave the way I want it to. So, if I truly want to be happy, I need to figure out a way to be happy in the universe that exists here and now. If I truly want to be happy, I need to figure out a way to be happy with whatever happens to be (or not be) in my bank account.
If I believed that my happiness depends on more money, then I'd be stuck in suffering trying to wrangle the universe into putting more cash in my bank so that I can feel better. And this just never works.
The truth is: nothing can make me happy except for me. What makes me happy is the perspective I take on my life. It's the story I tell myself about the universe around me. My happiness is determined by my discipline to find thoughts that feel good. My happiness is my choice - not my bank's.
Money can't make me feel anything. It can't crawl inside my body and produce emotion. It can't change the way I think. Only I can do that.
And money can't make you feel anything, either. Only you can do that.
Money on its own has no power over your emotions. Money is neutral. The story you have about money can create intense abundance, gratitude, love, and happiness and your story also has the power to create incredible suffering, worry and anxiety. But money... cold hard cash... has zero power over the way you feel.
If you want to be happier... you have to start with you. Don't set yourself up to think, "If I had more money, then..." because the truth is "If I had more money, then I'd give myself permission to believe something that makes me feel happy or secure."
So, if you want to be happy. Then be happy, now. Don't wait for the magic number on your bank statement. Don't wait until the debt is gone. Don't wait for the bonus, or the raise. Don't wait. Think about things that feel good in your life right now. Find ways to feel grateful about the opportunities you have. Find ways to feel loving about the people around you. Find ways to express joy, hope and excitement about your life right now.
Happiness truly costs nothing.