Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Pursuit of Happiness.....

It occurred to me that my posts are quite whimsical these days, no sustenance or substance.

So here’s a substance post.

A recommendation post.

A “Big Up” post to David Bach, Author of “Smart Women Finish Rich.” (He has other titles that cater to older couples, men, and generally anyone aspiring to do more with their money.)

I have gone from living in a society where people stitched clothes once a year for a feast day, and repaired their appliances till it looked nothing like the original model, to a society that upgrades faster than you can blink. We in North America (and slowly the world over) seem to make money to buy things. The wonders of a capitalist nation, if we are depressed we buy new shoes, if we are sad, we eat more Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, we live and thrive on instantaneous gratification.

Most of us have no idea why we want to make money. When asked, we come up with statements like, “I want to buy more stuff.” Most of us don’t realize that the stuff we buy enables in us certain feelings, euphoria, happiness, pleasure....

Happiness according to Aristotle is humanities highest goal.

Money is a medium through which one can achieve a measure of happiness. However in what form do we buy happiness…..? We busy humans never have time to sit down and define what actually brings us happiness.

Think about it, can you articulate what makes you happy?

What makes us happy is constantly changing, what makes me happy today sure would not have made me happy ten years ago.

What Bach does really well in his books, is connect the accumulation of money to your pursuit of happiness. He makes you sit down and think of what actually brings you happiness.

Each year, around this time I sit down and write out my goals for the year/s ahead. Most of my dreams usually revolve around traveling. One of my biggest dreams was to be somewhat independent, i.e. buy my own Condo.

It’s fascinating to review the year that’s passed and realize everything you were able to articulate actually materialized.

Thanks to Bach, I know that a big fancy house would not make me happy, it would make a lonely. I know that buying the Mercedes C-Class would fabulous for a week, but would depress me everytime I had to fix it, or driving a big SUV, would clash with my tame Green ideals. Knowing what your dreams are, is gaining insight into who you are. Knowing who I truly am, is my ultimate goal.

So Big Up to Bach, and Big Up to All of You who take the time out of life’s busy schedule to get to know yourself.


Grant Miller said...

I met who I truly am once. I wasn't impressed.

Abeni said...

A few mths,,heck weeks of wellness will make me indescribably happy

Mad Bull said...

And a great "substance" post it was too. I'm going to have to think about getting an ideas of what will make ME happy too.

Adrian said...

what makes us happy?

well I have long heard money doesn't do it. but it's hard for us poor people to swallow that pill :p

Melody said...

Very insightful post.

Bush Babee said...

Ok.. you're first comment is why I haven't commented much. Not because I think they don't have substance but sometimes you don't want your feelings commented on. With that being said, I like this post.

I agree with all your comments. A co-worker and I were having a conversation about home buying and I said I'm not sure it's the right thing for me now. She was shocked. Buying a home wouldn't make me happy. The thought of being house poor makes me ill to my stomach.

So... knowing what makes you happy may not make the people around you happy either. But I have a saying... Always make the decisions that allow you to sleep at night.

I sleep quite well.

gela said...

Nice post cranky - one of substance as you put it :)