I’m always surprised at the vitriolic reaction to my provably true position that money buys happierness. I’m not sure if it’s because people miss-hear me saying “money buys happiness,” which is an absurd assertion that I’ve never made. Some of the unhappiest people I’ve ever known have had far more money than me.
So I’ve wondered if the reactions are based more in envy, class warfare, and income inequality in the sense that Americans, especially now, feel like they’re struggling more than ever, are never going to “make it,” and some feel as though it’s all being stolen from them by the top 1%. If something seems completely out of reach and is also being credited with making someone’s life better, perhaps that leads to extreme angst.
Either way, in light of yet another study in a long line of identical studies being released that once again asserts that having money improves a persons’ life on every level, emotionally, physically, mentally and things in between, I thought it’d be a good time to revisit the subject, especially after my events of last week.
First, let’s review the premise as follows: Everything that life throws at you is easier when you have money. Period. It doesn’t mean you won’t hurt, it doesn’t mean you won’t be inconvenienced, challenged, tested and at times, sad. It certainly doesn’t mean you’ll be a happy person. But it absolutely means that you’ll be happier than if you didn’t have money. It’s that simple, and it’s provably true. Life is a lot easier when you’re not losing sleep over how you’re going to pay your electric bill. Dealing with a devastating illness in your family is still devastating, but not when you get to say “money is no object, give them the best care possible.” Imagine the opposite reality, which so many people live every single day.
Life throws you curveballs all of the time. Not having to ask “how much,” when trying to find a solution makes everything easier…and easier is one less thing to worry about. Thus, less worry, more happy.
Like most people, I spent my Spring Break in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. That was sarcasm.
I was visiting a friend of the gorgeous female persuasion and Pittsburgh was the city that offered us a chance at 5 days together (and, for the record, Pittsburgh is a surprisingly fun and pretty city. I never would have chosen to visit there, but I’m glad I did).
On Wednesday I drove myself to the airport after my friend had gone back to work. Upon arriving, I was informed that my flight home had been hindered by the Denver storms. I could get to Dallas, two hours late, but once there, there would be no plane to fly me to Sacramento since more than 1,000 of them were stuck in Denver. The geniuses at the airline wanted me to fly to Dallas Wednesday night and then wait until Thursday afternoon to “hopefully” get on a plane home (since Thursday was going to be a total fustercluck trying to get the airline grid back on schedule).
Rather than sleeping in the Dallas airport or spending my Thursday wanting to rip peoples eyeballs out in airports, only to perhaps find out I wasn’t getting home until Friday anyway, I didn’t hesitate to make a decision; one that if I had to worry about money I never would have made.
Book me on Friday, when everything will be back on schedule. I’m going back to the five star hotel in Pittsburgh…and renting a car to get there.
Many hundreds of dollars later, I slept Wednesday (and Thursday) in a very comfortable king sized bed and had 5 amazing meals before finding my way back to Sacramento on Friday as planned. Thursday was spent exploring the parts of Pittsburgh I hadn’t had time to over the weekend and enjoying amazing food and even getting a few custom tailored shirts made. For a guy stranded 3,000 miles from home I was pretty damn happy.
And why? Because of money. None of that would have happened otherwise. I would have been sleeping in airports, spending 28 hours trying to get home and having dinner at Chili’s and Cinnabon. No thanks, I prefer to live life by the “hit by a bus rule.” Meaning, I can get hit by a bus at any time and I don’t like to waste moments. Everyone in my life knows my favorite answer to anything that involves spending money: “Why do I work so hard?” When people question how or why I make snap decisions to drop tons of money I say to them “why do I work so hard?”
Materialism is a reality in my life that I’ve never denied. I like my 6 figure sports car, my big house on land, and my designer suits. But what I like so much more is the happierness money buys me. Access, ease, choices, endless opportunities. No matter what you’re interested in; nightclubs or farm animals, first class flights or camping trips, everything is easier and better with money and the endless doors it opens. Fight it as much as you want; you’re just spitting into the wind…and you probably can’t afford a good dry cleaner so stop it.