Often times people are in pursuit of reaching a pot of gold. We sacrifice spending time with our family, our friends, and even our morals and inner self just to make a few extra bucks. Despite this, wealth does not equal happiness. Psychologists have studied this over and over again. While money allows you to have more things in life (a fancy car instead of the junkbox you used to drive), the more you have, the more you have infinitely increased the number of choices at your disposal. More choices tends to be overwhelming (steak, chicken, fish, or pasta for dinner), and this chronically leaves you on edge making you think that you could have made a better choice than you actually did.
Yes, when you are extremely poor, money will solve your problems when it lifts you out of of abject poverty into the middle class. However, once you meet a certain threshold, there is such a diminshing return that you shouldn’t expect it to solve all your problems. For instance, making $125,000 instead of $75,000 isn’t going to make you that much happier as you may think. Even getting millions isn’t necessarily going to solve all your problems.
Most people who are millionaires do not becomes sensations overnight. It takes years of hard work with gradual pay increases. Going from $750,000 to $1,250,000 doesn’t change your standard of living that much. Going from a millionaire to a decamillionaire has decreasing marginal returns in terms of satisfaction. If you become a billionaire overnight, expect your happiness to increase immediately, but it lasts a very short while before it diminshes at a rapid pace. Why do lottery winners usually become depressed? Part of it is because they didn’t earn that money, but another part is because how many possessions can you actually buy? Other factors contribute a lot more to your well-being than money does.
Take a look at the studies here: http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2007/10/14/why-money-doesn-t-buy-happiness.html
We are constantly seeking approval, we are constantly looking to improve. With this neverending satiety, buying more and more things increases your well-being only temporarily. Sure, it makes life easier, but overall, there are far more important things than how big your bank account is. To sacrifice your morals and break laws to get rich is absolutely despicable.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much money you make. What will provide you the most happiness in life is the relationships you have and the impact you have on people. Your relationship with your spouse, your children, your parents, and your siblings will far exceed any paycheck you receive or the possessions you can purchase. The feeling of being empowered in your job and being happy with what you’re doing at work is infinitely more satisfying than seeing a Maserati in your driveway. The richer you get, the richer the people you’ll be interacting with, and “Keeping up with the Joneses” is often more pain than pleasure. Instead of worrying about the pot of gold, try to make a difference in this world. You’ll feel far more satisfaction by making an impact through changing someone’s life than you can by gloating your possessions. Help those who are in need and offer a lending hand. If you can help someone lose weight, do it. If you can be a mentor to a young athlete, sacrifice your time to do so. If you can help an abused kid, what is stopping you? If you can help someone be a better person, you’ve got to do everything in your power to do just that. The impact you have on someone else is the greatest form of happiness you can ever receive