“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and the end of human existence.” – Aristotle
Thanksgiving is the time to reflect on life, time, relationship and family. I asked myself one very simple question that was asked by humans a gazillion times. Can money really buy happiness?
Sure, some of you might say, I can get a boat, an island, an extremely early retirement and be happy. Some of us live according to the belief that if we make more money, we will have a relatively good life. But somehow I am sure that happiness for most of us is not defined by the amount of money we have in the bank.
Money can bring you a feeling of safety, stability and deep sleep at night. Money can definitely be a big part of what we conditioned to think as happiness. However, be honest and answer this (not to me but to yourself):
does your bank account or your 401K really give you the deep satisfaction that your life is accomplished to the fullest?
It might take years and decades for some of us to realize that while we are living our lives in pursuit of money (safety, stability, a better future), we are not living a happy life now.
Things that make me happy are not defined by how much money I have in the bank. My happiness is definitely not pre-determined by my goals such as having a house, a promotion at work, an exotic safari somewhere in South Africa. I would love to achieve all of that, of course. It would bring me a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction. Sometime in the future. But I want to be happy now, even though I have not achieved my financial goals yet or did not experience that African safari.
For me, happiness is a moment in the present time. It is happening now. It is not something that will be achieved in the future.
I am happy now because:
- I know that everyone in my family is healthy. It gives me an absolute peace of mind because I know that no matter what life throws at us, we will get through it. Together.
- My pets are with me. They are my kids. They are my family. They bring unconditional love and devotion that is priceless. I can be very content just by watching them sleep.
- I love creating memories, spending time with my loved ones and experiencing life together. Right now and right here. We don’t need to be in Paris or Hong Kong to create unforgettable memories. I can be at the coffee shop, browsing through books and stumbling upon a friend I haven’t seen for a long time. I can be walking my pug in the park, and watch him chase Beaker in the tall grass in the early summer morning.
- I have just read a good book from my own home library. I turned the last page of this great book with the realization that I understand it differently now, that I am much older. I feel intellectually accomplished.
- I am writing a lot. Writing is a part of me, it defines who I am. I create something that was not in this world before.