As a Financial Consultant and Marketing Director in the financial services industry for 17 years, the most important lesson I learned is that money doesn't buy happiness. I have met people who have a lot of money and excellent jobs. Some are extremely happy; others, in the same situation, are among the most miserable souls I have ever met. The opposite is also true. I have met people with little money and modest jobs whose attitudes have varied between being spectacularly content to demoralizingly dreary.
It is how we do our respective jobs, rather than what we do, which determines our happiness. One can be a street sweeper with an excellent attitude and be carefree and content. Another can have an excellent profession, perhaps even be the owner of a prestigious company, and yet be dull and dismal. What, then, is the key to achieving the happiness we desire?
Let me first clarify something. It's better to have money and, preferably, a lot of it! We all have needs which, in one way or another, require money. Nevertheless, it is our attitude towards what we have and do which makes the difference. Some have a special gift which enables them to create wealth and prestige easily; others lack this talent. While it is common to think it is our job or the amount of money in our bank account which creates happiness, this is not usually the case.
One way to achieve more happiness in our lives is by utilizing the scales of justice to analyze our condition. Start by writing all the things you have on one side. On the other side write all the things you don't have. You can include material, physical and spiritual items. Think of all the things to be grateful for which cost absolutely nothing; our arms, our hands, our legs, our feet, our sight, our smell, our touch, the air, the sun, and so much more. This simple exercise reveals we already possess incredible abundance.
It's natural to want more money, have a bigger house and more economic freedom. While these can bring pleasure and joy, these are not what bring the most happiness. Rather, it is our vision and attitude towards the world and life. Our enthusiasm and conformity will fluctuate from time to time. However, those of us who see ourselves as part of something much greater are more able to maintain happiness in the most difficult of circumstance.
Part of the often elusive answer lies in the way we interpret what happens to us day in and day out. If we perceive the world is against us, it is difficult to keep a positive outlook. When we understand the world is neither for nor against us, we can see a situation for what it is and not for what we imagine it to be.
When we believe, "If it is to be, then it's up to me," we determine our destiny. There are many factors which will influence our direction. What is critical is how well prepared are we for those times when opportunities present themselves.
We all know those who are consistently positive and those who are constantly negative, even though they are in similar environments and in the same jobs. It is how we manage and interpret what is happening, not what occurs, which determines our happiness. The dynamic nature of life assures there will be challenge and change in our journey. Those of us who accept what happens as a natural part of life can handle any situation and drive forth with courage.
Our happiness depends on how we flow with what we already have and what we do with that, rather than on what we want to have or what we do for a living. We all possess a magnificent mind which can paint a picture bursting with color of joy and delight. When we choose to be happy with what we have and what we do, we create a fulfilling life.