It’s the wrong question to ask. Flip it around: will becoming happy make you a millionaire?
It won’t hurt, that’s for sure. I wrote about this before in my review of The Happiness Advantage by Shawn Achor. Where, the big takeaway, for me, was that your brain flat-out works better when you’re happy.
And that’s great news. Cuz think about the implications.
First, you don’t have to wait for some milestone, that may or may not even happen, in order to be happy. Nope. You can be happy today, as long as you do the work.
Second, science says you can achieve more – faster and easier – when you’re in a good mood.
Third, if you become happy, first, and then go on a tear and make millions of dollars, the extra money, I believe, will then be more likely to give you a big hit of happiness in the short-term.
And fourth, the “money high” is less likely to wear off. It’ll taper over time, yes. But your baseline level of happiness will be permanently raised. Whereas, if you chase money – and expect happiness to follow – it’s almost guaranteed you’ll be back to your original state shortly after you hit your monetary goal.
Do you see what I’m sayin’? That the whole “does money buy happiness” debate is ass-backwards?
And that the inverse is a much more productive way to think about the relationship between “millionaire” and “happiness?”
You do? Good!
Now, lemme give you one caveat. The trick is to be aware of this, then let it go. Meaning, don’t go through the day asking, “Will this make me happy?” or “Do I feel happier?” or “Is my pursuit of happiness working?”
That’s like trying to get rid of anxiety by obsessively focusing on not being anxious. Ever tried it? Doesn’t work too well, does it? If anything, it makes your anxiety worse.
“Okay Cory, so you’re telling me to ‘go be happy’ to become a millionaire, but yet, I can’t think about happiness at all? How’s that work?”
Good question. Here’s how: you use common sense and you do the work.
And what I mean by that is, we all know what’s probably gonna make us happier. Things like:
Helping others, exercising, eating right, drinking plenty of water, quitting alcohol and drugs, getting enough sleep, spending meaningful time with loved ones, enjoying nature, traveling, learning, improving our God-given strengths, meditation, expressing gratitude, etc.
So there’s the common sense part.
But then you gotta do the work – and actually do those things, as much as you can, as often as you can, without breaking the streak.
Which is a long-winded way of saying: personal development, dawg. Like: you gotta live that sh*t. Urrday.
That’s how you become happy. Not by focusing on happiness, but by focusing on yourself.
And with this level of awareness and this approach, yes, a life you love is within reach.