Money Matters: Managing Money and Happiness | The business

Money Matters: Managing Money and Happiness |  The business

Having a healthy relationship with money, and deriving happiness, will mean different things for all of us. Underlying this, there are a few universal truths. There are many lessons to be learned from Musk, Diener and others, who have taken the time to critically evaluate what makes people happy. Occasionally, a family member or a student will be at their wits-end nearing hysterics. To refocus them, I ask a few questions:

It is also interesting to see the stock market and home values at peak levels, and yet reported cases of depression are at record levels. Most likely, Musk realized there is a balancing act between benefitting from possessions and becoming a slave to those possessions. As Musk attempts to focus his attention on car company Tesla, space company Space-X and several other endeavors, he realized these material possessions were huge distractions to actually enjoying the things that make him happy.

Psychologist and professor Ed Diener was the first person to scientifically study happiness. Diener compared people on the Forbe’s list of wealthiest people with the general population. He found the richest people were only slightly happier than average. However, 37% were less happy than average Americans. However, as Musk finished out 2020, he liquidated the last of his seven homes. Why?

In building your social network, if you want good friends, be a good friend. Similarly, if you want a good spouse, be a good spouse. Money might buy “companionship,” but it won’t buy unconditional friendship. Who can you call at 2 a.m. and say, “I need help, will you come over?” The person that says yes, without being compensated, is most likely that unconditional friend. They are rare and are more valuable than money. Working from home during the pandemic has highlighted and reinforced how important strong social connections are. A Zoom call simply does not replace dominos with your friends or having a cup of coffee with someone you respect.

Assuming you can say “yes” to these, the remainder of life’s issues are just details to logically sort through. Start each day asking yourself these five questions. Do you have a roof over your head?Do you have food to eat?Does your toilet flush?Do you have access to medical care?Is your life safe?

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