This is a question only poor people ask because wealthy people never think these are their options.
When coaching people on wealth creation, it is amazing for me every time to discover how strongly people who are not wealthy believe that this question is valid. Don’t get me wrong. I came from a simple family, where my mom and dad both worked hard, very hard, at more that one job, to provide for 5 children. When my clients discuss this, I know what they are talking about because we had such discussions around our dinner table.
People who do not have “enough” money (90% of our society) have some beliefs that support their identity as “poor”, “struggling”, “cannot have what we want”. Here are some of them:
- Rich people make their money at the expense of poor people
- Rich people were born rich
- Rich people have a miserable life
- Rich people do not care about others
- Rich people are greedy and stingy
- Rich people do not have a life, only work
- Rich people cannot sleep at night
And there are many more.
Now, I have a question for you. How do poor people know what rich people feel, never having been rich to experience it?
Since my field of expertise is happiness, I am most interested in the belief “Rich people do not have a life”. Poor and happy vs. wealthy and miserable?
A research from the University of Virginia, the University of Illinois and Michigan State University of 193 undergraduate students at Illinois discovered that happiness and wealth have only a one way connection. The study found that in general, wealthier students were happier or at least were higher in their own happiness ratings. For most, the measurements of happiness included success in money, employment and relationships.
“Happy people are more likely to get married, are more likely to stay married and are more likely to think their marriage is good”, said Professor Ed Diener, an author of the study. “They are more likely to volunteer, they are more likely to be rated highly by their supervisor and they are likely to make more money”.
“Happy people are also, on average, healthier than unhappy people and they live longer”, Diener said.
Happiness, as you can see, can help a lot in your marriage, your health and with your money. But I could tell you that without the study. The wonderful part of that research is that they found that it only goes one way. While happiness helped people make more money, money did not make them happy.
You see, money is a magnifier. It cannot make you anything you are not already. It only takes the person you are and enlarges it. If you are happy it can make you happier, but if you are not happy, money is going to make you even unhappier.
If you have good relationships, with money, you will have even better relationships but it will not fix any broken relationship you may have.
If you are a caring person, with money, you will care even more but if you are not a caring person, having money will not turn you into a caring person.
If you have a life, with money, you will have more in life but if you are miserable and do not find joy and fun in your life, even lots of money will not help you find them.
Happiness and money are linked only in one direction. Find happiness first! It is the simplest, fastest, cheapest, healthiest way to the bank!