act2create: Why money isn’t everything

We all go through school, college and higher studies for one good reason, “to ensure a good living and a great future“. We do not just settle for the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter but we look beyond them. The Maslow’s hierarchy does a good job of explaining the stage of human needs but everything that we need to add to our lives requires a price to be paid. The price is hard work, sacrifice and departing the hard earned money. Among all the different types of needs, the basic need of food, clothing and shelter is the most important of all for a human to fulfill.

Being the bread earner for my family, I am afraid at times if I won’t be able to fulfill the basic needs someday. What if I lose my job, what if I am no more then how will my family cope up with the huge home loan and my daughters future education. What if ….what if….what if…. and there are many such questions which concerns my mind. The solution to all these questions is to look beyond little money and earning more money. To answer my concerns, I have few investments and insurance policies. Every month, I need to pay the price for them called “EMI/installments/premium” to silence my concerning questions. In doing so, I have to stay away from my family and I head towards my office for a 9 hour heavy duty and 4 hours of daily travelling. In office, my boss expects me to work harder and better than his expectations every time and honestly I do have my own set of expectations which do not match with my existing work profile. Finding the precise work profile isn’t the easiest thing to do in a highly competitive job market today.Thus, my daily living comprises of hard work and sacrifice and most of us have a more or less similar kind of story to earn a salary every month. If you are a business owner or a professional, you too have your unique concerns.

Most of us think and firmly believe that more money could solve our problems. “If I had more money, I would be more happy, I could afford a luxurious world tour, a luxury car, a bigger house, etc……and the list goes on”. The truth however is somewhat different.  More money can help you afford more materialistic things but they do not guarantee happiness forever. Take for instance a digital multi function watch or the smartphone which I bought last year. The minute I got it in my hand, I was feeling happy and it kept me happy for the next few minutes till the next day when my friends liked it as well. The feeling of owning something you love makes you smile. It only made me smile for a day or two. Every morning before I leave for my office, I wear the watch and carry my cellphone with me everywhere but the same smile does not originate. After a year of usage, I am constantly looking forward to a new watch or a cellphone and although I don’t intend to purchase a new one now yet I keep browsing through the online shopping portal. Today, the online shopping sites are flourishing more than before. People are basically looking for things that will make them happy. We buy things at times which we necessarily do not need but we hope that they will make us happy and they will serve a purpose.

If you are somebody like me who’s an 80’s kid then you may remember games like Pacman or Mario. In comparison to the kind of games which we have today, they are very basic. They only had simple navigation and jump function  controls. These games were not very easily available. Hence even if any one friend had a TV Video game, then all of us gathered at his residence and we played them turn by turn. We laughed, jumped and smiled together. Today, there are Xbox, Playstations and Smartphones who have high end graphics and great sounds. Kids these days are busy using them individually and the innocent joy which we experienced is not seen with the new age kids. Parents have substituted time with family by giving their kids more. More does not necessarily mean happiness.

We all know about some famous actors from around the world who gave memorable performances and they committed suicides or died due to drug overdose. They had everything that many aspire for i.e. name, fame, money, respect and you can name it. Yet, they were not happy.They had more, but they were not happy. If money meant happiness, then we would see the richest people on the planet smiling all the time 24/7.

Happiness originates from a fine balance of pain and pleasure, work and play, ups and down, good and bad experiences. Happiness originates from gratitude. Happiness originates from a hug from a friend when you need him the most. Happiness originates from the smile of the girl whom you love. Happiness originates from appreciation of hard work. Happiness originates from knowing that somebody will open the door for you even if you are late from office.

Happiness is not just money, it is in everything. You associate meaning with anything you like and it becomes a reason for happiness. Don’t let the world or the manufacturers of a product tell you what happiness is. Not even me. The decisions and choices you make determine the life you will lead. Decide to be happy and choose to live wisely.

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