Can You Really Buy Happiness?

Is There a Limit to What Money Can Buy You?

We live our lives in the hopes that just one more thing will complete our happiness. The ego’s conditioned thought is that something is missing. And so we look for the missing piece to bring us salvation. And yet, no matter how many things we purchase, gather, and collect, we still feel as if something’s missing. Indeed, there is-the unconditional awareness that nothing is missing. We are, in truth, complete and whole already.

Nothing can make you happy if you won’t accept for yourself that happiness rests within you. You see . . . I know people with fancy dishwashers who aren’t happy. I’ve met people with elaborate stereo sound TV sets, complete with remote control, who are absolutely miserable. I know men who wear Armani and still feel inferior. I know women who can afford to buy a dozen Gucci watches but still have no time for themselves.

I have friends who are famous and loved by millions, yet they cannot bear to love themselves. I have friends who can afford a house cleaner, but still, all their life is a chore.I have friends who are married and happy, and I have friends who are married and unhappy.

I’ve counseled people with extreme wealth, yet they feel as if they have nothing. I’ve worked with directors of vast international corporations who are still looking for their first really meaningful achievement. I have friends who hoped parenthood would bring them happiness—to some it did, and to some it didn’t. I know women who wear real diamonds but still have no real sparkle in their lives.

I know men who drive sports cars to nowhere in particular. It is the conclusion of the most extensive psychological and sociological research into happiness, or “subjective well-being,” as it’s termed, that nothing can make you happy.

Just as it’s true that if the pursuit of happiness fails to make you happy, so too does materialism fail to make you happy.

Excerpted from my book, Happiness Now

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