Can you be happy without financial success? In our current time it seems unfathomable that someone could actually be happy, especially if your not a multi-millionare raking in the international vacations, exotic pets, and nice cars.
Though it might be cliche to discuss this topic, I sincerely believe many people are completely hooked into the idea that they need lots of stuff to be happy. I am by no means rich or wealthy, so I cannot attest to the feelings that vast wealth or riches would afford me, but I can attest to a shift in my mind-set.
Over the last few years, I was totally bent on becoming wealthy, on a premise that I would be more happy. However, I had some wires crossed. The reason I was in need of making more money to achieve “happiness” was because many of my problems were rooted in money. I owed a large students loans, car payment, credit card debt, and more. Therefore I didn’t have the freedom to see what really brought me happiness.
People have cited studies that show once someone makes over a certain amount of money, increases in income do not correlate with happiness. It seems quite obvious that money problems are huge source of stress in peoples lives, and when those are alleviated the decrease in money-related stress is going to be welcomed. It seems clear to me therefore that eliminating financial stress will go a long way in achieving happiness, but it cannot be whole picture.
One way to get on the pathway could be to decrease your expenses. I have been decreasing my expenses through paying off debt, renting a room instead of an apartment, and paying off credit cards. Since decreasing my expenses the financial stress has disappeared. However, the happiness associated with decreased stress has only gone so far. Now I am on the hunt for new challenges, and trying to find the next “thing” that will catapult me into intense focus. This has led me to create this blog, record videos, a podcast and more.
I am learning that happiness can be achieved without riches as long as I feel free to pursue my ambitions. When I felt locked into a cycle of endless payments and couldn’t make decisions over my life, I was miserable. Since pursuing my interests under less financial constraints I have seen a huge improvement in my happiness.