Fame, Fortune, and Happiness?

It’s easy to believe if we had more money we’d be happier.

We tend to envy those who are rich and famous. It appears they’re living the good life. Going out to fancy restaurants. Traveling the world. Working in glamorous professions such as professional sports or acting. They truly seem to have it all.

We tell ourselves “money doesn’t make people happy” but do we really believe those words?

Two very public examples ought to make us believe them.

Aaron Hernandez

The 23-year-old former tight-end for the New England Patriots, who was recently charged with first-degree murder and is under investigation for several other murders. Last August, Hernandez agreed to a five-year, $37.5 million contract extension with the Patriots.

Cory Monteith

The 31-year-old star from the television show, Glee, who died this month of a drug overdose, ironically just two months after completing a stint in rehab. Some reports peg his net worth at $2 million.

Both stars had troubled pasts with family issues.

And Monteith began his struggle with substance abuse when he was just a child.

Both appeared to overcome their troubled childhoods.

Both appeared to be successful… to have it all.

Now one is in jail and the other is dead.

Things are not always as they seem. Fame and fortune don’t necessarily solve all problems.

I wonder how many times we have to witness tragedies such as these to finally grasp that money doesn’t necessarily equal happiness. It doesn’t necessarily make things better. Sometimes, it may just make things worse.

photo credit: gdcgraphics via photopin cc

photo credit: jdn via photopin cc


About Debbie

After spending 32 years in marketing, Debbie now spends her time blogging, teaching online courses, doing volunteer pet therapy, and encouraging others to follow a more inspired path through life.

2 comments on “Fame, Fortune, and Happiness?

  1. Whilst money clearly does not equal happiness, the lack of money very often equals severe stress.

    I really don’t like it when people preach that money means nothing, doesn’t buy happiness etc. Money buys comfort and security, which is a much better place from which to build peace, happiness and joy than poverty and lack.

    When your being is stressed by money issues, it’s virtually impossible to be happy. There is a minimum amount required to feel safe, and then a slightly higher amount to feel comfortable and in control of your circumstances.

    It is possible to have peace, joy and happiness despite money issues, but ultimately it’s going to be easier if you don’t have anxiety and stress about paying your bills. Severe financial distress usually causes pretty extreme stress and anxiety, which further depletes our ability to think clearly and be resourceful.

    Also, it depends on why you want money. I’d like more money to buy me a better lifestyle and better experiences and so that I can be generous to those further back on my path and to my friends. And to secure my financial future, so that I don’t have to worry about the pensions crisis.

    If you just want money for the sake of driving the latest status symbol, then something’s probably already f’d in your psychology anyways. Something which money will never fix.

    I think abundance can make me extremely happy as it will make it considerably easier for me to fulfil my creative purpose and make it easier for me to help the people I want to help.

    Money is just energy. It’s just a tool. I can use a chainsaw to cut wood, to make a beautiful sculpture or to maim people. The tool is the same, but my intention creates a different result.

    So, let’s not get into the cliched trap of “money doesn’t make you happy”. That’s just a very convenient adage foisted upon us by the Church, and then accepted by society at large. It’s another convenient way of keeping us small, instead of encouraging people to reach for their dreams. Thank goodness the world has changed and people no longer feel enslaved by their backgrounds or circumstances.

  2. Jane,
    Thanks for commenting. I’m certainly not preaching that money means nothing. Just that when people believe that an abundance of money, success, or fame automatically means all their troubles will be gone, that’s very often not true. You can be happy with a lot, or a little. And you can be miserable with a lot, or a little. Depends on your mindset. The sad thing is so many people place all their hopes and dreams and happiness in some future time and place when they’ll have more. And in doing so, they completely miss out on today.

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