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Money Can't Buy Happiness!

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MJ DeMarco

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You've heard it countless times, Money Can't Buy Happiness!

So i guess, poverty does?

This guy gave away his fortune...

Money Can't Buy Happiness, So Man Gives Away Every Penny of His £3 Million Fortune - Neatorama

My take? Money doesn't buy happiness when it is destructive to freedom. Most people use money for material and consumer purposes which is destructive to freedom -- that destruction causes unhappiness.

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Money doesn’t buy happiness when it’s misused. Instead of money buying freedom, it buys bondage.

“Wealth” and “happiness” are interchangeable, but only if your definition of wealth hasn’t been corrupted by society’s definition. Society says wealth is “stuff” and because of this faulty definition, the bridge between wealth and happiness collapses. If you don’t feel wealth, you’re likely to try to conjure that feeling. You buy icons of wealth to feel wealth. You crave feelings, respect, pride and joy. You want admiration, love and acceptance. And what are these feelings supposed to deliver? Happiness. And that’s the bait. We equate the corrupted definition of wealth with happiness and when it fails to deliver, expectations are violated and unhappiness creeps in.
 
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Icy

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Feb 16, 2009
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This is one thing I've been thinking about a lot lately. I originally came here because I wanted to get RICH and do what I want, when I want, and then I'd be happy (or so I thought). In my head this image is usually the whole stereotypical idea of rich which would be lots of things.

Anyways, since moving out on my own and lacking a lot of the luxuries that were around me at my parents my idea of happiness has changed. All the things I had there kind of had me trapped into thinking more about what I am losing by trying something rather than what I am gaining by experiencing something new.

An example would be traveling by backpacking around. It's something I've always wanted to do, but the idea of losing all the luxuries around me seemed, idk, scary I suppose. We are judged every day by what we have and not so much what we've done. So the idea of travel with only a few different pairs of clothes, without much in terms of things seemed like the perfect way of being viewed by the majority as a failure.

I love waking up each day and doing things that are a challenge and learning something new. Honestly, starting something challenging or uncomfortable each day I need to kind of push myself but once I get started, and at the end of the day I've honestly never regretted it. On the contrary there have been many days in my past where I did exactly what I felt like all day and went to sleep miserable that I wasted that day.

Sorry for kind of just throwing out random thoughts, but I'll connect it all. When we're surrounded by luxuries we're always want to get the next best thing. Even if you have the best thing at the moment, there will inevitably be a new one next year and you'll want it.

Personally once I lacked these items I began to realize the energy\time used with these items never left me fulfilled. I could be entertained no doubt, but at the end of the day I felt like I wasted the day. I've started to make myself do things to improve myself\learn\try something new each day and while getting started each day can be hard I never go to sleep regretting it. I may be uncomfortable while doing it, but I'm always happy and fulfilled at the end of the day by doing it.

tl;dr: Things take up too much time and money and I almost always end up regretting wasting time with them before sleep. I'm happy when using them, but afterward it always feels like a waste of time. On the contrary doing things, even if it's uncomfortable and won't make me instantly happy almost always leave me satisfied.
 

PaulRobert

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You can say that I have grown a "cold" relationship with money. A couple of years ago the sight of money would put excitement in my eyes and I would think of ways to spend it. Now, the sight of money does not take over my emotions, it does not control me. I control it. Money is a tool.You must take that tool and create a better life for yourself.Many people become a slave to money and it controls their lives. They come to think that money will give them happiness and all problems will be solved.

Now as everyone has stated above, money can't buy happiness but without it, you are really screwed.

The big thing that one must learn in their life is that..

Money can not control you and your emotions.

You must be in control of your emotions when dealing with money.

Money can not get to your head.

Money can open doors to opportunities that can give you happiness such as going on a 3 month vacation or getting that adrenaline rush in a nice Italian sports car that rhymes with fettuccine. :coolgleamA:

In conclusion-

Control money and control your life. Don't let anyone or anything control it.
 

rxcknrxll

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The old quote from Zig Ziglar always serves me well, "You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough other people get what they want." If you focus on serving others and creating opportunity for others, it starts being about the mission...you do what you love, and the money is a byproduct. It gets distorted when you set a goal for a specific dollar amount, because then your focus veers to money, not helping others. If you focus on the mission, money takes care of itself. That's my angle on it.
 

LondonLife

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Jan 8, 2010
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Although it's true it doesn't buy you happiness it does remove many of the shackles that bring unhappiness. I've had high stress in the past due to high mortgage repayments, bills I couldn't afford, and debt hanging over my head. This also impacted my social and personal life in a negative way. I had some tricky times without money.

Once you remove those aspects of your life will you be happy? For me, the answer was yes, I am now a happier perosn. But did money buy that happiness? No. I was always a happy person despite the above stressful and somewhat bad times, my life was always more important than the money in it. If you are unhappy with your life and expect money to solve that. It's unlikley it will.

Think of it this way:
- Is a poor, hungry, homeless person happy?
- Is a poor person with a house above their head happy?
- Is a middle class, comfortable, but struggling with money, person happy?
- Is a rich person happy?

Many people will say the first three groups above are unhappy and would be happier with money. But would a homeless person be happy with a house above their head if they were still poor? Of course they would. Happiness is the emotion generated when you achieve or gain something. People without alot of money often see material goods as that aspirational target you gain when you have a money.

Now if you're rich and can afford everything you want... what do you look foreward to?

If you can't think of anything, and think you'll be happy surrounded by your new toys, then money won't buy you happiness. Surrounding yourself with material goods just becomes another way of life. It become mundane, the norm. It is tedious and boring.

However, if you can still think of things to look foreward to. Then money could well make you happier. Whether it's spending more time with family, helping others, or feeling the thrill of the wind in your hair jumping out of a plane, it doens't matter. Money can open doors for you and make you happier, but only by removing the shackles having no money can generate. But you still need that little something to look foreward to. Without an aim, without inspiration, without the desire to do something beyond making money we're incapable of being happy.

Money can remove some forms of unhappiness, but it will never generate happiness in itself.
 
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GlobalWealth

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An example would be traveling by backpacking around. It's something I've always wanted to do, but the idea of losing all the luxuries around me seemed, idk, scary I suppose. We are judged every day by what we have and not so much what we've done. So the idea of travel with only a few different pairs of clothes, without much in terms of things seemed like the perfect way of being viewed by the majority as a failure.
.

The question that comes to mind from your statements here are;
1- who will view you as a failure?
2- why do you care?

This guy had some serious guilt issues to contend with. This likely is due to the world view that wealth is bad and if you attain it you are lucky and you have an obligation to help those that didn't win the sperm lottery like you did. This is bullshit.

If you attain wealth, you deserve it. Money doesn't need to equal things however. As I stated with a blog reply to this guy, you can do much better things with your money than give it away. He could have gone to Brazil and bought land and started a farm. This would have been a productive asset which would have fed and employed people. He could have increased the world's prosperity with acts like these, instead he chose to destroy it.

By this, I mean, when you give money away to a charity, you are hiring managers to determine asset allocation. These are not productive people (usually). If they were, they would be doing something productive. You are paying them a salary for their time which decays the value of the investment. Then, they are giving money or food or clothes (or whatever) to people who didn't earn it. Then, by injecting these free or cheap goods into an economy, you crush the local competition because they cannot compete with free or very cheap. This creates an ongoing reliance on the charity because you have not given them sustainability, only an undeserved gift.

Think about it this way, if I gave you $100k per month, would you still go to work? Whatever you did at work, presumably, was productive, but now has completely evaporated. By giving you charity, I have destroyed productivity and therefore, wealth. Yes, I know this is a simple example, but I am too lazy to type out a long one).

On to your backpacking question. Why not go backpacking? Who cares what others think? In reality, your friends with their nice cars and nice houses will envy you because you will be experiencing more in 6 months than they will likely experience in their lifetimes because they are a slave to their things. They have a car payment and a mortgage. They must work daily doing things they may or may not enjoy to support their debt levels.

Do you need a car to be happy? Do you need a house? Maybe you do, maybe not. Only you can answer that. But what you need to survive is your capacity to think and work. Do you have the financial ability to backpack around Europe/South America (or wherever you were considering)? If it is something you want to do, is there going to be a better time to do it? Not likely.

You only ride this roller coaster once.
 
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MJ DeMarco

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The question that comes to mind from your statements here are;
1- who will view you as a failure?
2- why do you care?

This guy had some serious guilt issues to contend with. This likely is due to the world view that wealth is bad and if you attain it you are lucky and you have an obligation to help those that didn't win the sperm lottery like you did. This is bullshit.

If you attain wealth, you deserve it. Money doesn't need to equal things however. As I stated with a blog reply to this guy, you can do much better things with your money than give it away. He could have gone to Brazil and bought land and started a farm. This would have been a productive asset which would have fed and employed people. He could have increased the world's prosperity with acts like these, instead he chose to destroy it.

By this, I mean, when you give money away to a charity, you are hiring managers to determine asset allocation. These are not productive people (usually). If they were, they would be doing something productive. You are paying them a salary for their time which decays the value of the investment. Then, they are giving money or food or clothes (or whatever) to people who didn't earn it. Then, by injecting these free or cheap goods into an economy, you crush the local competition because they cannot compete with free or very cheap. This creates an ongoing reliance on the charity because you have not given them sustainability, only an undeserved gift.

Think about it this way, if I gave you $100k per month, would you still go to work? Whatever you did at work, presumably, was productive, but now has completely evaporated. By giving you charity, I have destroyed productivity and therefore, wealth. Yes, I know this is a simple example, but I am too lazy to type out a long one).

On to your backpacking question. Why not go backpacking? Who cares what others think? In reality, your friends with their nice cars and nice houses will envy you because you will be experiencing more in 6 months than they will likely experience in their lifetimes because they are a slave to their things. They have a car payment and a mortgage. They must work daily doing things they may or may not enjoy to support their debt levels.

Do you need a car to be happy? Do you need a house? Maybe you do, maybe not. Only you can answer that. But what you need to survive is your capacity to think and work. Do you have the financial ability to backpack around Europe/South America (or wherever you were considering)? If it is something you want to do, is there going to be a better time to do it? Not likely.

You only ride this roller coaster once.

Bump, becuz people really need to read this. Over and over again ...
 

yveskleinsky

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Money doesn't buy happiness...it just frees up the time to pursue it.
 
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Russ H

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I like GlobalWealth's points about killing local competition, initiative and productivity if you just give someone $$$ or fulfill their needs.

I've never thought of it that way before.

But . . . a few points for clarification:

1. He set up his OWN charities. Big difference.

2. He made the choices. It was HIS decision to do this.

Only one other thought:

I think a few folks here would benefit from reading Herman Hesse's Siddhartha:

[ame=http://www.amazon.com/Siddhartha-Hermann-Hesse/dp/1440471045/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1266908710&sr=8-1]Amazon.com: Siddhartha (9781440471049): Hermann Hesse: Books[/ame]


Same story. But explained much, much better.

To use the example of Maslow, Siddhartha worked his way up the pyramid, all the way to the top, and beyond to "peak experiences".

And once he was at the top, he switched pyramids.

Radical stuff.

-Russ H.
 

sharper

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Jan 18, 2010
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Although it's true it doesn't buy you happiness it does remove many of the shackles that bring unhappiness. I've had high stress in the past due to high mortgage repayments, bills I couldn't afford, and debt hanging over my head. This also impacted my social and personal life in a negative way. I had some tricky times without money.

Once you remove those aspects of your life will you be happy? For me, the answer was yes, I am now a happier perosn. But did money buy that happiness? No. I was always a happy person despite the above stressful and somewhat bad times, my life was always more important than the money in it. If you are unhappy with your life and expect money to solve that. It's unlikley it will.

Think of it this way:
- Is a poor, hungry, homeless person happy?
- Is a poor person with a house above their head happy?
- Is a middle class, comfortable, but struggling with money, person happy?
- Is a rich person happy?

Many people will say the first three groups above are unhappy and would be happier with money. But would a homeless person be happy with a house above their head if they were still poor? Of course they would. Happiness is the emotion generated when you achieve or gain something. People without alot of money often see material goods as that aspirational target you gain when you have a money.

Now if you're rich and can afford everything you want... what do you look foreward to?

If you can't think of anything, and think you'll be happy surrounded by your new toys, then money won't buy you happiness. Surrounding yourself with material goods just becomes another way of life. It become mundane, the norm. It is tedious and boring.

However, if you can still think of things to look foreward to. Then money could well make you happier. Whether it's spending more time with family, helping others, or feeling the thrill of the wind in your hair jumping out of a plane, it doens't matter. Money can open doors for you and make you happier, but only by removing the shackles having no money can generate. But you still need that little something to look foreward to. Without an aim, without inspiration, without the desire to do something beyond making money we're incapable of being happy.

Money can remove some forms of unhappiness, but it will never generate happiness in itself.

I think this is spot on for me annway.

I think money can buy short term happniess but long term no....

I think people would need to think about the "now what"

" ive made all this money now what.."
 
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Cat Man Du

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It all boils down to this: Happiness is from the INSIDE ...out. Not from the OUTSIDE ...in !
 

rxcknrxll

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It all boils down to this: Happiness is from the INSIDE ...out. Not from the OUTSIDE ...in !
Agreed. Money certainly has an effect. Everything does. Perception is everything though. I'd be hard pressed to belief that money removes stress. I know many millionaires who are not stressless. It's all perception and what you do with your opportunities. Heroin causes euphoria as well, but does it cause "happiness". I'd argue of course it's unhealthy, but I bet it causes something much more akin to "happiness" chemically in the brain than money does. Bottom line, I agree with your statement 100%. Who wants their happiness or peace of mind to be contingent on money anyway? To me, that's not real happiness. If your happiness is contingent upon outside circumstances, it's not truly substantive.
 

MJ DeMarco

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I know many millionaires who are not stressless.

Absolutely and it is usually because money bought them the wrong things ... money can buy bondage while it can also buy freedom. I'd guess that millionaires are under stress because they have a lifestyle to upkeep; bills, debts, cars -- and it all can come crumbling down with a simple pink-slip or uncontrollable market action ... I'd be stressed too!

The last time I was at the doctor's office he asked me, "How much stress do you have in your life?" He must ask the question to all his patients and probably is used to the typical response ... my answer? "Absolutely none" ... you should have seen the look on his face.
 
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Pinnacle

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The greatest explanation of the definition of the concept of money was explained in this speech--delivered by a character named Francisco D'Anconia in the novel Atlas Shrugged.

Some of my favorite quotes from this speech:

"Money rests on the axiom that every man is the owner of his mind and his effort."

"Money demands that you sell not your weakness to men's stupidity, but your talent to their reason."

Francisco's Money Speech

For most of my life, I have tried to justify why I do not wish to give away my fortune (once I make it) or start a laundry list of foundations. I am a producer, not an altruist. I, like GlobalWealth, do not support the idea of unearned benefits. Thousands of years of human history back my belief that the upward surge of mankind comes from the exchange of value for value. You have no right to something because you need it, but because you earn it. It is the reason I hold the controversial view that charity will never end poverty or hunger: capitalism (the kind that we think we have in this nation, but don't) will. I am supposed to look up to these millionaires/billionaires who give away their wealth as if they are heroes. To me (pardon my passion) they are sell-outs for the very reason that MJ has described: they have a false perspective on what wealth means.
 

Cat Man Du

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The greatest explanation of the definition of the concept of money was explained in this speech--delivered by a character named Francisco D'Anconia in the novel Atlas Shrugged.


Francisco's Money Speech

For most of my life, I have tried to justify why I do not wish to give away my fortune (once I make it) or start a laundry list of foundations. I am a producer, not an altruist. I, like GlobalWealth, do not support the idea of unearned benefits. Thousands of years of human history back my belief that the upward surge of mankind comes from the exchange of value for value. You have no right to something because you need it, but because you earn it. It is the reason I hold the controversial view that charity will never end poverty or hunger: capitalism (the kind that we think we have in this nation, but don't) will. I am supposed to look up to these millionaires/billionaires who give away their wealth as if they are heroes. To me (pardon my passion) they are sell-outs for the very reason that MJ has described: they have a false perspective on what wealth means.


For some reason they.............feel guilty and are trying to assuage that guilt! :talktothehand:

 

GlobalWealth

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Every single person on this forum needs to read this. It is a bit long, but necessary. If I were a college professor, Atlas Shrugged would be required reading. One of my favorite quotes from Francisco's speech;

"Let me give you a tip on a clue to men's characters: the man who damns money has obtained it dishonorably; the man who respects it has earned it."
 
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eloise

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Money does not make you happy period!! I have had times in my life where I had more than I needed and I have had times in my life where I have had not enough to even by a dozen eggs to survive. Your happiness comes from inside of you and no one or no amount of money will make you happy. I have become sufficient and happy with whatever I have at that time. If I do not have enough, and I start to worry and have a pity party, I go out and help someone else in need. This does a couple of things for me, it makes me realize that there are people who are desperately in need and I do not have it so bad and it also shows me the importance of giving and helping others. Just to see a smile or receive a thank you makes me happy for a long time.
 

andy

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May 28, 2010
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What a great thread.

Wealth is not just about money and material goods, but surely about health and well being. Do you need money to be healthy? No definitely not, but it certainly does help.

As it has been stated many times in this thread, happiness comes from the inside, not the outside.

I have to say, although still young I would agree that after moving away from home and having to try and provide for yourself makes you realise how obsolete some of these luxuries can really be, of course they can make you happy, but for how long?

Sharing the luxuries, sharing the wealth and sharing the love on the other hand is something that in my eyes would make me happy.

That is why I will continue on my path to amassing a vast financial wealth, so that I can begin sharing it with the people who make me happy! ;)
 

GlobalWealth

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That is why I will continue on my path to amassing a vast financial wealth, so that I can begin sharing it with the people who make me happy! ;)


I see serious philosophical flaws with this statement.

First of all, if you rely on others to make you happy, you need to reanalyze your life. No one makes you happy, only you can do this. That doesn't mean that others cannot enrich your life, but if you need outside influence for happiness, you have some self esteem problems you need to contend with.

And second, what do you mean by share your wealth? Why would you give your money away to someone who didn't earn it? I don't know the exact statistics, but generally lottery winners end up completely broke within a few short years because they received something they did not work for and had no concept of managing it. In my admittedly controversial opinion, charity (in most cases) is very destructive for society. You are handing money over to people who did not earn it and have no concept of managing it, for the benefit of someone else who did not earn it.

An alternative would be to create economic productivity. Create businesses which hire people. Invest in assets that improve the standard of living for all people (of course this sounds a bit pollyanna, but I am talking in general terms).

If/when you become fabulously wealthy, do you really want to lavish gifts upon your friends? Do you think it's possible their motives may change in regards to your friendship? Maybe, maybe not. But if your buddy earns $35k/yr and you make $500k/yr, guess who is picking up the bar tab when it breaks over $1k?

In reality, if/when you become fabulously wealthy, you will upgrade your friends along the way. Your associations are very critical to your success, and as you raise your level, you will find that some friends aren't really friends at all, and in fact are boat anchors. You may not see this now, but you will. And as you raise the level of your friends, the need for subsidizing your entourage diminishes greatly.
 

LagunaLauren

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On to your backpacking question. Why not go backpacking? Who cares what others think? In reality, your friends with their nice cars and nice houses will envy you because you will be experiencing more in 6 months than they will likely experience in their lifetimes because they are a slave to their things. They have a car payment and a mortgage. They must work daily doing things they may or may not enjoy to support their debt levels.
You only ride this roller coaster once.

Global-Well said. I was at dinner with my family recently. We met a couple who were leaving for Thailand for a year or two. They just decided to pack up and move there spontaneously. I admired them and almost envied their ability to do so. I have the life I want, but kids and mortgages and obligations don't allow for such spontaneous freedom. We decided to spend 3 months in Hawaii or St. Bart's or Monaco next summer, but will return to CA when our kids' school starts...Extended vacations are about as adventurous as we get for now!

And second, what do you mean by share your wealth? Why would you give your money away to someone who didn't earn it? In my admittedly controversial opinion, charity (in most cases) is very destructive for society. You are handing money over to people who did not earn it and have no concept of managing it, for the benefit of someone else who did not earn it.

I agree with helping people become financially independent rather than giving a hand-out, but most charity is not for that. I support children's causes predominately. They don't need to "earn" the right to be cured from a cancer or illness they don't deserve. And because of an experimental and expensive treatment at CHOC (Children's Hospital of Orange County), a kid named Anthony, who got hit by a car and was supposed to be a vegetable for life, now has a normal childhood and future. I'm sure thousands of other kids are now benefiting from this procedure as well. Kids and animals don't have the ability to protect themselves from abuse or neglect so I happily give to these causes. I also verify how much of their funding goes to "administrative costs".

If/when you become fabulously wealthy, do you really want to lavish gifts upon your friends? Do you think it's possible their motives may change in regards to your friendship? Maybe, maybe not. But if your buddy earns $35k/yr and you make $500k/yr, guess who is picking up the bar tab when it breaks over $1k?

In reality, if/when you become fabulously wealthy, you will upgrade your friends along the way. Your associations are very critical to your success, and as you raise your level, you will find that some friends aren't really friends at all, and in fact are boat anchors. You may not see this now, but you will. And as you raise the level of your friends, the need for subsidizing your entourage diminishes greatly.

Amen! Being generous in nature, we used to almost always pick up the tab for some of our friends since we made so much more than them. I stopped doing that when we realized that we are where we are because we worked so hard for our success while they skipped college, partied, whatever. WE got graduate degrees, started companies, invested in RE, etc. WE made the daily sacrifices of studying, reading, investing, working til 2am while others went out constantly, watched TV and drank beer, etc. Those "opportunists" are no longer our friends. Our good, true friends are like-minded, good-hearted, successful, happy people who don't need to look to us for vicarious lifestyle perks.
 

Russ H

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I was at dinner with my family recently. We met a couple who were leaving for Thailand for a year or two. They just decided to pack up and move there spontaneously. I admired them and almost envied their ability to do so. I have the life I want, but kids and mortgages and obligations don't allow for such spontaneous freedom. We decided to spend 3 months in Hawaii or St. Bart's or Monaco next summer, but will return to CA when our kids' school starts...Extended vacations are about as adventurous as we get for now!

Lauren-

Have you read Global Student? It's about a mom/dad who developed careers they could do from anywhere (net based, and writing). They then spent their time traveling-- FULL TIME-- all over the world-- w/their kids.

Story is a bit dense (hard to read). But makes great points.

We also plan (if we can sell the business) to travel all over the world w/our kids, full time-- and give them a global education. Using the internet will be a key part of that.

Our oldest is almost 4-- so we're getting close!!! :banana:

-Russ H.
 
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emorgan

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I can't believe she's almost four! Where has the time gone!
 

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Mar 23, 2010
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Here is my take on the whole concept.

Each individual person is different.

For some people money actually will buy happiness. It will give them freedom and tons of opportunity to improve themselves and others.
If they were happy before the money just because, they will in theory be happy after the money, just because.

But if you have someone who feels bad for them self because they did not grow up with a daddy or mommy. Constantly cries and moans about there own problems with the mindset that there situation is the worst on the planet.

They will find a way to feel bad for them self even after the money. It will then be no body actually likes me, its just because I have money.

There are people who rise above there problems and drive on, and those who will sit and moan about there problems.

in my opinion the people who always rise above there problems will never have these problems that others constantly have.
As Aristotle once said

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit."

Those people who can not relate to that quote are the ones who will always find ways to be sad.

So to me, the famous saying "money can't buy you happiness" is nothing but an opinion.
and one that I do not agree with at that.

I'm not good at explaining things. In my head I picture the thought perfectly and simultaneously but sharing has always been hard for me lol.
I hope you all can decipher my message here.

I'll end this post with one more quote I feel is greatly beneficial to the whole entire human race.

"Only boring people get bored"
 

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