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How Much Money Do We Really Need

Happiness, Self Leadership and a Better Society

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Happiness, Self Leadership and a Better Society

How Much Money Do We Really Need published by Maura4u
Writer Rating: 5.0000
Posted on 2016-10-02
Writer Description: Happiness, Self Leadership and a Better Society
This writer has written 47 articles.

“Wealth is the ability to fully experience life.”

~ Henry David Thoreau 

Is money the true source of life and happiness?

Have we substituted money for our true wealth, what American essayist Henry David Thoreau describes as the ability to fully experience life?

The question has often piqued my curiosity. It’s also prompted my 100th podcast.

If money were the final arbiter to an abundant life, those with the largest sums would be legendary. They’d claim the best health, the happiest relationships, the greatest joys from personal pursuits, and the highest levels of wellbeing.

But they don’t.

Admittedly, money is a necessary vehicle of exchange. It provides us with access to clothing, shelter and transportation. Money can also connect us with lots of good things, but it has hardly lived up to its reputation for delivering true wealth.

Comparative Life Stories

Growing up in the late ’60s, I discovered the socially hypnotic properties of money. I also learned something about true wealth.

A seminal event occurred one day when a relative drove up to our house in his “new” car. It was actually a used one. He, his wife and their four growing children clumsily crept out of a murky brown vehicle reminiscent of World War II Germany. Our Made-in-America era was typified by Detroit’s sleek and aesthetically designed automobiles back then. So I wondered why he’d buy such an unattractive relic.

An awkward moment arose as we stepped outside to inspect this curious vehicle. A large station wagon or sumptuous new Cadillac would have garnered legitimate raves. Instead, all genuine praise was replaced with odd talk about the car’s sturdiness and longevity.

My confusion turned to clarity when I learned a key fact. This foreign car, known as a Mercedes, was specifically known for its expensive sticker price. In a coming of age moment, I discovered my first elder needing an expensively perceived purchase to compensate for an obvious deficit in self-worth.

The event served as an early lesson in money being used as a replacement for internal abundance. Fortunately, I would come away with other lessons.

Wealth Without Much Money

Some of my happiest — and richest — memories arose through my childhood friendship with Phyllis Fritzlo. The Fritzlos lived a few houses away from us in a ground floor apartment of a modest, 2-family home. Mr. Fritzlo was a handsome, outgoing and jovial family man who worked as truck driver or laborer in New York’s garment industry. He loved bringing dresses home from the factory and gushed over his two daughters’ beauty as they modeled their new apparel.

The Fritzlos were hardly awash in cash but their happiness, hospitality and family wealth remain unforgettable.

Favorite memories include sitting around their kitchen table after school, all of us in rapt conversation. The Fritzlos welcomed company of all ages, including us kids. Most legendary was the Fritzlo brand of homemade spaghetti sauce. I loved watching Mr. Fritzlo cook up an impromptu sauce by crushing fresh tomatoes grown in the family’s backyard.

Another abundantly happy day took place in late spring of 1967 to mark Phyllis’s 9th birthday. Several neighborhood girls were invited to join Phyllis and her dad for a day trip to New York City.

We jumped on a bus, buzzed through the Lincoln Tunnel and emerged in Times Square. That day, we walked the streets of midtown Manhattan, taking in the warm sunshine and feeling quite special.

The highlight of our afternoon was sitting down for lunch at one of New York’s pizza parlors. In magical fashion, the pop hit Groovin’ (on a Sunday Afternoon) wafted through the pizza parlor’s speakers.

Mr. Fritzlo’s monetary outlay that day was likely nominal. But the experience was priceless.

When Money Isn’t Delivering Life’s Riches

If money isn’t delivering us all the things we really want in life, why do we continue to bestow upon it such undue power, awe and respect?

We’re all to blame for this socially mis-engineered condition.

We’ve fallen prey to the belief that we need money in order to live. As a result, we’ve collectively allowed money to rule over our value systems, our institutions and even our critical life decisions.

But when the value of money is placed above the worth of our very lives, we feel the opposite of wealthy. We feel devalued, underappreciated and even drained of energy and joy.

If you have ever pondered why money carries such an overwhelming importance in our lives and decision-making processes, I hope you listen in to my 100th milestone podcast.

If you’ve blamed others for compromising themselves to money or condemned yourself for doing the same, you should find some uplift.

Regardless of past or current circumstances, we can all make room for small adjustments that increase our self worth and deliver us wealthier lifestyles.

Then, listen in to author and tiny house celebrity Felice Cohen who shares with us what makes her happy from the inside out, too.

Listen here or click on the bar below for Podcast 100: What if you didn’t need money to live?

May you get happier discovering ways to live without the burdens of money and find fresh inspiration to create a truly richer life of your own! 

Maura Sweeney is the Trademarked Ambassador of Happiness and an International Speaker on Influence, Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Looking for your own GPS to personal happiness? Check out Maura’s newFoundations of Happiness eCourse.

Follow Maura Sweeney on Twitter:

All sources my own. 

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