Two lessons I have learned in North America

Lesson #1:  Money does not make you happy.

Lesson #2:  Most people in our society don’t realize this fact.

You hear it all the time, on the radio or at your family Christmas gathering.  “If only I won the lottery, I would…”  It could be anything.  “Buy that ferrari”, or  “live on a beach forever”.  Sadly, it is doubtful that that ferrari would keep them happy for very long, and they probably could live on a beach forever if they actually sold their house and moved to a more affordable country.  Perhaps they would if that was actually what they wanted to do.  But I am not convinced of that.  I think if that person won the lottery, they would stay at home and have the same problems as they always had, if not more of them.  Some people even say it straight up.  “If I won the lottery, I would be happy,” they say.  They’ve almost got it…except they’re working at the problem from the wrong end.

There is one small secret that everyone seems to miss out on.  It’s not very difficult.  But for some reason it eludes many of us.  Ready for it?

Happiness comes from within.

It should be your goal.  Your means and your end.  Forget money, cars, beaches…all of those things are a means to happiness.  If you boil it all down to the basic reason you want them, you will find that all you really want is happiness.  Even things like success, prestige, fame – all of these fuel your happiness, your satisfaction that you are getting what you want out of life.  I am not saying to ignore these things, merely that you should recognize that it is only when happiness becomes your means will you be satisfied with your end, whatever it may be.

It may sound like a wishy washy self-help book you browsed through on the shelf at the bookstore…but maybe there’s a reason they are a multi billion dollar a year industry.  Because they are right.  At least on that point.