The Ten Commandments of Finance – First Commandment

April 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Ten Commandments of Finance:  Speaking to the larger truths, and not simply the facts, about money.

 I love learning about finance, whether it is about business, personal finance, investments, all of this is really yummy to me. But I have found that not everyone feels excited.

1.)  Money doesn’t equal happiness

A recent article in the WSJ (Tuesday, March 15, 2011, pg. D1) entitled ‘Is Happiness Overrated?’ stated what other studies have revealed. Happiness isn’t you having more stuff; it’s an attitude of the heart.  Long-term fulfillment and happiness, according to this article and many others like it, comes from having a life of purpose and meaning: volunteering, getting a degree; being the best you can be and helping others – that brings fulfillment.

Don’t get me wrong money can make life easy – or its lack make life more difficult.  Gallop’s poll of 450,000 people found that our day-to-day moods can be affected by money. With a salary of $75,000 folks feel as if life is working out. At a significantly lower income, according to Gallop – and you know from your own experience- folks feel  ‘ground down’ by financial difficulties.

But you KNOW it isn’t money that brings happiness because we have all heard of sports stars and lottery winners, or those with well-paying jobs right in our community, who are miserable. Recent news stories of particular TV or movie ‘stars’ with such loneliness and emptiness in their hearts demonstrate that money is used, or squandered, to buy friends, companionship or is compulsively spent on things, all in a desperate effort at filling a void.

Happiness can come from things that have NOTHING to do with money: exercising, the simple act of holding a pen or pencil in your mouth in a way that makes a grimace; becoming cheerful when you see someone at the store. In my book there is a chapter on happiness and all the joy beauty brings be it from flowers, color, nature and just being able to see nature from your window. All these things bring happiness.

More money helps. But happiness, life satisfaction, comes from other sources.

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