Of course you can.
If celebrity culture is teaching us anything, it is that yes, you can have lots of money and still be miserable, so miserable in fact that you ruin your life with addictions, even lose your life to them.
I recently watched an interesting movie on DVD, Meet Bill. Not a masterpiece but certainly entertaining and also thought-provoking. The guy, Bill, married into a rich family. He works in the family business, lives a life of luxury, and you would think he has a great life – except that his father in law, his brother in law and his wife all disrespect him. He’s bored, unfulfilled, miserable, and desperately wants to make it on his own.
Money IS Important
Money may not guarantee happiness, but I’ll never tell you that money is not important, because I know it is. Money helps us ensure that our basic human needs such as food, shelter and clothing are always met, whether we’re employed or not. When you have money, you don’t need to worry about whether you would be able to provide for your family and you are free to pursue what interests you in terms of occupation and hobbies.
Money buys you peace of mind, and this is priceless. The problem begins when we expect money to buy us happiness. This is a problem, because money doesn’t always guarantee happiness, and in fact there are lots of cases where getting a large amount of money has ruined people’s lives.
What Are Your Expectations?
It’s all about expectations. We all strive to have more money – but what do we expect to achieve through that? If you have a very narrow focus on money as something that frees you from daily worries and enables you to do more with your life, that’s great. But if you view money as the ticket to living “the good life” and being happy, you might find yourself bitterly disappointed.
Rich and Unhappy = Ungrateful?
People who have money but are unhappy sometimes seem ungrateful. When I watched that movie, my first reaction was, “Oh, get over it and start being grateful for what you have!” When I read the tabloids as the supermarket checkout line, I often think that celebrities are just spoiled brats. How can they take everything they have and ruin it all? How can they blow all that money off on luxuries and – worse – on drugs and alcohol – and end up so lonely and miserable?
But they often do, which provides proof, again and again, that indeed money does not buy happiness.
Rich and Miserable Beats Poor and Miserable
Whenever I bring up this subject, my husband smiles and tells me that “It’s better to be rich and miserable than to be poor and miserable,” and I guess he’s right. But while being poor and miserable makes sense to me – after all if you’re poor you have a lot to worry about, being rich and miserable seems almost sinful. If you have the money to free you from the daily struggle to survive, don’t you owe it to yourself to make the most out of your life, and to also give back to your community?
How do you feel about people that seem to have it all but are obviously unhappy?