A lot of us get up each morning to go to jobs that we may not find satisfying. The work itself is unappealing, or the hierarchy and politics are getting to you. What you’re really working for is the pay cheque at the end of the month. Sometimes, we need that money, sometimes; we could do with less money. Then, why do we choose to stay in jobs that may not be letting us do what we love doing? Can money bring happiness is a question we all need to ask ourselves?

Does Money Bring Happiness Really?

The reason lies in the popular notion that we would be happier if we were richer. We see this theme everywhere. Most ads for products talk about how you would be happy if you bought those products. The products surely do not come for free and we need money for everything. Another aspect that fuels this notion is that right from childhood money has been advocated to social status and satisfaction.

Rich-famous-happy

Effect Of This Belief

So, does one actually need money to be happy? It turns money has a ‘transient’ effect on our happiness (Kahneman and colleagues, 2006). That is, money only makes us happy for a short time. This experience is similar to shopping therapy which is effective but not permanent. Having said all of this, yes money brings happiness if one is living in extremes – i.e., extremely poor or extremely rich. In such cases, yes money plays a very big role but majority of the people are not living in extremes. So, for most of forming the middle chunk, it’s actually a food for thought if actually can money bring happiness?

Greed And Need Moulds Life

The greed and need for money keeps us in jobs. Even if office politics kill all the creativity in us (Daud and colleagues, 2013). In order to make sure that the mirage of rich equals happy is maintained and people continue in rat-race jobs, people in positions of seniority are offered perks, increasing competition and envy.

Happy Girl

Result of Chasing Money For Happiness

What would be the result of this? Stress, anxiety, depression and a fall in the level of satisfaction, as counter-intuitive as that may sound. And of course – the carry over effects: pervasive bad mood and workload that you carry home and to friends and which sours life beyond the office.

Solution Lies Somewhere Else

So, what’s the solution? If you like the work type, join a company with a different culture, or a start your own startup! Did you know? Startups are providing and creating the most new jobs globally, compared to traditional companies. Or start over in a different field of your liking! Many people with engineering degrees in India have quit, joining the social or media sector – it’s never late!

So, in a nutshell, if money does not satisfy us, what does? It turns out, that depends on the time spent doing things that matter (Stutzer and Frey, 2004). Happiness is about spending time reading a book, being with a loved one or just being: after all, money is the means to an end – a good life.

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