Would You Rather be Rich or Happy? Guest Column – Mr. Michael Ramon

feeling betterHave you ever thought, ‘boy, I’d love to be rich?’   Most people have and if you are American I know you have.   It’s fun to dream about all the ‘things’ we might have…at least a little.   The problem with this dream comes when we try to make it a reality.

Not all, but many rich people, especially those who made it themselves, are driven, unhappy, and are desperately hoping that money will buy happiness.  Sorry, won’t happen.   Money buys things, it can even buy people…but it does not buy happiness.

One of the problems with our current culture is that the desire for money has destroyed our values.   Its pursuit has become a religion to some, but a religion without a foundation.  I’m not advocating that being poor is better…not by a long shot, but there is a point between being poor and being rich that is the ‘sweet-spot’.  You’ve found it when you can pay all your monthly bills and still have time for yourself, your family and your community.

happy black familyIf you want to be happy it is important to look inside yourself to find your true values.   More important than money is the feeling of purpose.   If you can find a job that answers this need and pays you enough to live on….congratulations, you are one of the few.   If you are the one in a million whose purpose ends up making you rich…wow…just don’t forget your original values when you see how your wealth has screwed up your relationships with friends and family…and meeting new people without questioning their motives will never happen again.

Writer Dominique Astorino recently wrote an article that stated that being happy boils down to four basic things:

  1. People who are more socially connected are happier, physically healthier, and live longer.
  2. Quality is more important than quantity when it comes to close relationships; relationship satisfaction predicts future health.
  3. While high-conflict marriages can be worse than divorce, a “good relationship” doesn’t mean zero bickering. There are ups and downs, but the trust, commitment, and respect are key.
  4. “Loneliness kills.” The feeling of loneliness can be toxic; people who are isolated are less happy, their health declines sooner, their brain function declines sooner, and they live shorter lives.

Her conclusions were based on the results of an impressive 75-year study done by Harvard University.   To read the entire article, which I recommend, go to: http://a.msn.com/05/en-us/BBqQx4a?ocid=se

keys to happinessHere is  another site I would recommend.   It is called ‘Action for Happiness’ and can be found at www.actionforhappiness.org

If you really want to be happy, start with their first key…giving.   And bring your kids with you.    Find a way of giving that is meaningful for you.  And for just this first time, don’t give money.   Instead, give your time, energy and creativeness.   feeding homelessMake sure your giving results in improving the lives of others, especially those in need.   Giving a poor little girl a coloring book or bagging food at a food bank might just make your day.   Once you have giving down, work on the other keys and with each effort your own life will take on extra meaning.

Once that happens, happiness is close behind.

 

 

 

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