It’s a widely accepted truth that no amount of money, fame, or other material fortunes can grant you happiness. Contentment seems to be a state only achieved through investment in personal and spiritual work, and there’s no dollar sign amount that compares to a lasting friendship or well-developed sense of self. All in all, it’s clear that material success is not the key to happiness, but here’s why I’m still willing to give it a shot.
I’ve heard it said that if you’re anxious, sad, or otherwise dissatisfied with the conditions of your life, you need to look inward. Do you really “hate your job,” or do you hate the fact that you’ve neglected the parts of your life truly nourish you? And I so get that, but at the same time, I do feel like I’m still down to have, for example, a sick job in my dream field that also pays really well and makes everyone I went to high school with jealous (not that I would ever be motivated by something so petty. It’s just like, I can’t help that they’re jealous; that’s an incidental fact of the situation.).
I’ll be the first person to tell you that real happiness can’t be bought, and doesn’t come with a fancy job title or lavish lifestyle. You might be surprised at the results if you spend less time fantasizing about the material conditions of your “ideal” life, and focus on how you want to feel. For instance, I would like to feel what it’s like to travel through the Italian countryside, dining on fresh pasta and local wine, not a financial concern on so much as the periphery of my mind would be like. Perhaps I had a multi-million dollar book deal and now never have to work again. I think there is a very real possibility that, to me, this would feel good.
I fully understand and celebrate the fact that it’s the intangible things in life that bring inner peace. What’s more important than building community? And if I happen to marry a hot, rich celebrity, and then build a community of other hot and rich celebrities, is that not a legitimate path to fulfillment? At the very least, I’m willing to give it a chance.
And that’s why despite my total appreciation for the fact that material success doesn’t provide happiness, I’m still, just like, pretty down for it generally. Namaste.