Money and Happiness
I grew up with three siblings living in a small house in the country. I have an older sister Mel, a younger sister Ashley and a younger brother Kyle. My parents worked really hard to provide for us and even though money was’t in surplus — I was happy. When I think of happy moments at that house I think of playing with my siblings. If I wasn’t practicing Jiu Jitsu moves on my younger brother I was acting in a play or singing with my sisters. There may not have been a lot of money growing up but I had everything I wanted.
When I became a personal trainer I started making good money. When I met my wife Chelsea she would laugh at me because she would find money everywhere. I didn’t really care for it. When my wife and I started Free Form Fitness we started a fitness club. Then we realized that only half the people that sign up show up and only a fraction of those people actually reach their goals. That’s when we changed the business model towards accomplishing those goals, it felt like the right thing to do.
Even though under the fitness club model the finances were climbing it wasn’t making us happy. After we built up the confidence and went through the gap money started to come in, a lot of it. We bought the big house, two brand new Mercedes and all the stuff we really wanted. But after a while we realized that all that stuff, those luxuries didn’t make us happy anymore. They provided a short burst of excitements but it never lasted.
Then in 2010 I read this study that said what I always felt but couldn’t communicate. That money makes you happy when you’re not able to cover your basic needs but after you’re needs are covered the surplus doesn’t bring you more happiness.
For me happiness comes as a bi-product of doing the right thing — it’s not something to chase. We think happiness as an end goal and then get depressed when we don’t reach it. Instead listen to your intuition, do whatever that “right thing” may be and happiness will follow. If you’re just waiting for happiness to hit you over the head, it’s not going to happen. You have to take action and that feeling of optimism and fulfilment will follow.
Originally published at Jean-Luc Boissonneault.