Money And Happiness

At the beginning of this road trip, let’s highlight two fundamental truths:

  1. Seek to be rich and you will be miserable
  2. Do what you love, follow your (feasible) passion and you will be happy. And then far more likely to be rich

Many of us who work in careers guidance and recruitment have known these truths for a long time. That happy people are more productive, have more energy and are likeable – all of which are likely to increase how much you earn. It is wonderful that finally there is solid, incontrovertible research to back it up.

And even if you do make enough, you will be only marginally, infinitesimally, more content than those who didn’t seek money. This is caused by the gap between your aspirations and your attainments – you want something that only a small number of people can and will achieve.

Three comments:

  • By focusing on money, you are taking your focus off the things that are most likely to help make you successful (and happy). So you change jobs for a higher salary, not because it was a better company, or better mentor (boss) or more interesting and challenging work. The result is that the higher the dollars will almost certainly be transitory, and the work less enjoyable. The paradox is that by making riches your goal, you are much less likely to achieve them
  • If you want greater happiness, lower your expectations – be happy with what you’ve got
  • Job satisfaction and a good family life (which you have to work at) will give you overall satisfaction with your life. Chasing money will just make you miserable

These truths are fundamental and provide the framework for all our advice on how to build a brilliant career