Have you ever known the person who suddenly becomes a vegan, starts spending hours in a gym despite never being away from the couch for more than twenty minutes and loses twenty pounds in a month? They look great. They feel great and other than an annoying habit of talking about animal rights while you’re trying to enjoy a bacon double cheese burger, they seem incredibly happy. A few weeks later, their running shoes are collecting dust, they gained back all of the weight and they are eyeing your bacon double cheese burger.
When you are looking to make a change, the most important thing to consider is how sustainable that change is. Think of it this way. If you are trying to save money, if you start putting away $1 a day, you are probably not going to notice it but after a year you will have saved $365. Now if you go super aggressive and decide to suddenly start putting away $50 a week, you will notice it. But if you are only able to keep it up for a month, you have only put away $200 dollars. The little amount that you can keep doing makes a greater change than the a massive change you can’t sustain.
When you making a change in your life, start small. So small that it is easily sustainable and repeatable. Make it easy to do, so easy that you will barely notice. Once you have secured that change, you can make the change even a little larger. Not much. Over time, these little changes will add up to significant changes over time.
According to this study, money can buy happiness. That is to say, increasing income reduces stress and increases opportunities. Satisfaction with life increases.
I believe that money should be measured in what it can do for you and the freedom it allows in your life. I once met a woman who won an $18 million dollar lottery several years earlier. She paid off her parents home, bought her brother a new truck and took a very nice vacation with her husband. After that vacation, she went back to work. Otherwise her life didn’t change. She didn’t move into a fancy house. She didn’t quit her job. She didn’t lavish everyone wish expensive gifts. She DID decide to stop putting in extra hours on the weekend to strive for that promotion. She did stop worrying about unforeseen events putting her in financial distress. It wasn’t the money that made her happier. It was the freedom and reduction of stress that made her happier. Had she chosen to spend her money on things, the money would have quickly made her miserable.
I just read that the lottery is $800 million tonight. There is a fair chance that no one will win and next week’s lottery would be well over a billion dollars. In other words, it is enough to personally pay to fly a mission to mars. The person who win’s that will be very excited and happy initially. Whether they choose to spend the money trying to buy happiness or whether they choose to simply have the money provide them freedom will decide how happy that money will make them in the long term.
Source: Money can buy happiness, but only to a point