Can Money Fund Happiness?

What Adds Happiness?

Before you decide how money impacts happiness – consider the following:

Were people happier before the financial crisis?

If  money funds your happiness daily choices will reflect that reality. If not, read on …

Survival’s Daily and at Times Grisly

At 14, when my mother died suddenly, I worked tedious jobs to barely survive. Any happiness I found at school motivated me to walk for miles against incredible odds such as hunger when bus money ran out. Unsure how to build a happier life beyond dingy rental room existence, my dry cleaning receptionist job kept alive my dream for a finer future.

Today I ride the bus while at the same time pushing it in new directions. You?

Happiness back then consisted of good grades that offered me an escape route if I hung in.  Armed with incentive, and fueled by hope that things would improve,  I returned daily to musty scents of rental rooms. How could robust happiness fund your dream, in spite of disappointments?

Reframe for Possibilities and Happiness Follows

Homelessness propelled me to wonder how anybody survives against so many odds.  When food ran out, bills arrived to remind me of a zero bank balance, and birthdays zipped past like a roadrunner in spring. Against so many disappointments,  I questioned how any shot at survival could work.

When problems projected on screens at the back of my mind, I sank.  Only when hope for a happier  future outshone daily threats to tank my best shots at winning, could I catch the next wave forward. How could you reboot a brighter narrative to move you past storms and guide your swim successfully to a sunnier shore?

Embrace Today’s Wonder to Let Go of Yesterday’s Woe

These days, as I watch my daughter and son-in-law interact with my treasured  grandchildren, I stand amazed at a human spirit’s strength for happiness.  Nurtured within family warmth that homeless teens crave, these children too will face disappointments that hide their hope at times.

Over time though, I finally recognize how happiness moved me from the streets and Halifax fog, into lifelines I could hold. Some may say that a few good grades likely secured happiness sturdier than ghastly childhood losses. Others claim cold cash could have bought brighter paths.

I’d say contentment came from faith and friends – with support to endure horrific storms.  Happiness found in tiny takeaways back when I was a teen, snowballed into a life-call that many only dream of finding today.

Happiness  Funds a Millionnaire Day

Surprisingly, whenever I translate neuro discoveries into survival tools for others, I’m reminded of my homeless journey. Brainpower tools that work best – came from teenage lessons during my dry clean receptionist days.

People continually remind us how happiness propels innovative ventures along here at the Mita International Brain Center. Along with soul-mate and friend, Dr. Robyn McMaster, we help others sidestep daily struggles by reframing for wealth in robust happiness.

How can cheer’s currency fund your future into an abundance you deserve?

Why bust brains to grab more money when:

1. Chasing  dollars can lead to stress that kills.

2. Financial fears tend to paralyze brains.

3. Money falls short of fixing broken brains.

4. New choices move you from panic to profit.

5. Media lures us to make money a top focus.

6. You’ll pony up 50K to get an MBA degree.

7. Talent for growing $ blocked by Wall St.

8. Experts call for completely new $ system.

9. Wealth requires a radical reconfiguration.

10. Profit takes Simplicity that raises IQ.

5 Comments

  1. Gwyn Teatro says:

    Hi Ellen ~ In my experience money is not part of the happiness equation. I like and enjoy my creature comforts, but life challenges have taught me to look for happiness in simple things. A hot cup of tea. A cold glass of wine. A warm shower. A good joke. A hug. These and other simple comforts and gestures allow me to be happy even in challenging times.
    Thank you for sharing your story and for helping me think about all that I’m grateful for.

  2. Ted Coine says:

    Ellen, thank you SO MUCH for writing this post! I know from personal experience that sharing deeply personal parts of your life journey can be both unnerving and extraordinarily releasing!

    This topic of money and its relationship to happiness is one of my enduring interests. While your experience is more extreme than mine, I too have had significant struggles with finances in a couple of spots, and it does indeed shape your world view.

    Does money buy, or even effect, happiness? I defer to Lincoln on the topic of what makes us happy.

    “Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”

  3. Dr. Weber:

    What a beautiful post.

    I’ve found that money can yield comfort and options, but never happiness.

    Spending it unwisely brings clutter and disappointment. Pursuing it can lead us astray. Having it can be cumbersome, and sometimes it attracts people to us who we’re better off not knowing. Simply stated, it’s a complicator. It’s a thing – a component of life. Have none, and life is like you knew it long ago. Have a lot, and life is different but not much better, unless we make it better through our own focus on what’s meaningful.

    What’s meaningful is for each of us to decide. It takes a lot of thought. What matters? That’s a good thing to ask ourselves every day.

    Great post. Thank you.

    Susan

  4. […] now and the castle you hope to occupy until you begin to outfox frustrations from inequity. As a 14-year old kid alone on the streets in Halifax Nova Scotia, I reframed what to expect as  […]

  5. […] of the neuro and cognitive sciences, work across multiple cultures, tactics learned when left to survive on Halifax streets alone at age 14, and on earning a Ph.D. in topics related to learning and leading with the brain in mind – I […]

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