Money can make us happy, really!

Those who use money correctly as a source of energy are more inclined to be happy, because that energy is not draining other forms of their life energy.

by Todd S. Smith — 

For many individuals, money is a topic that falls beyond the realm of who we are, what we stand for and who, as people, we want to be. In reality, however, our money behavior and money beliefs are intricately and indelibly connected to our greater belief systems. Many challenges we face in life and with our money are tied to this co-created reality we believe to be true. To fully understand — much less, alter — our relationship with money and our money beliefs, we must first examine our greater belief systems.

Our earliest belief systems influence our behavior with money today

Our belief systems are functions of our upbringing, our education, our experiences, and our friends and families. Much of what most people think and accept as reality is learned through repetition from these external sources. While many of us have internal dreams and beliefs disparate from the external, societal dreams, our existing punishment and reward systems — whether at home, in school or at work — further perpetuate the cycle of our automatically adhering to the belief systems created by those who preceded us.

In his book, The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz calls this the domestication of humans and accurately states that “through this domestication, we learn how to live and how to dream. In human domestication, the information from the outside dream is conveyed to the inside dream, creating our whole belief system.”

Isn’t what we believe to be true about money today a function of what we “learned” and incorporated into our communal belief system through our historical domestication as people living in society? We all have money beliefs of some form. Some of the most common ones we have heard, and even believe on some level, whether consciously or subconsciously, are:

  • “Money does not grow on trees.”
  • “Money is the root of all evil.”
  • And the biggest of all: “Money can’t buy you happiness.”

While each of these beliefs may hold a kernel of truth, why do our belief systems tend to suggest money is inherently bad or cannot make us happy? In fact, money can make us happy, if we understand its proper context and use. Thinking otherwise jeopardizes our success, financially and in other ways. People tend to deride things that seem inherently bad to them. Therefore, if we think money is bad, we tend to avoid the successes that can attract it into our lives.

Another, perhaps healthier, view of money is as a form of energy we use to express ourselves and our core values. Misusing this energy tends to lead to imbalance, trapped energy, and frequently, discord and unhappiness. Bad debt, for instance, traps energy and distracts us from moving in harmony through the other areas of our lives. That trapped energy blocks us from pursuing our souls’ evolution elsewhere.

Those who use money correctly as a source of energy are more inclined to be happy, because that energy is not draining other forms of their life energy. People succeed, and generally are happier, when they choose to earn, save, spend, invest and gift money in ways that further their souls’ development and connect them to others. They manage and use money appropriately — and keep life in balance.

It is not necessarily the amount of money we have, but rather, how we use it

Money as a form of energy is neither bad nor good. More money does not, in itself, create happiness, but it affords us the ability to be happier if we use and leverage its power appropriately.

Why is it that some with millions in the bank will never be happy, while others who live paycheck to paycheck are quite content? Is it because those with a smaller net worth do not fall prey to the lack mentality of never having enough, and they use the resources they do have in appropriate ways to develop and nourish themselves?

Could it be that they transfer the energy of money in ways that express deeper meaning and significance for themselves and their lives, rather than assuming that accumulating more and more money will bring greater happiness? Perhaps they have not misused the energy of money and are not limiting their souls’ purpose.

Having more money can, however, provide people the ability and flexibility to develop and nourish their souls’ purposes in ways that those with far fewer resources cannot. Money will buy happiness, but it is not because more money can buy us nicer things or take us to exotic places. These are temporary trifles, none of which ultimately lead to inner fulfillment or satisfaction. Having more money does allow us to free up our spirits and our energies so they are not trapped, constantly worrying over money issues and problems. It frees our souls to do what we are meant to do — connect with others and share our talents with the world.

In that context, how can money possibly be the root of all evil? How could money not make us happy?


Todd Smith, Certified Financial Planner™, is an author, speaker and coach who helps working adults navigate the complex financial landscape to achieve greater economic success and prosperity., or 602-485-3896.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 26, Number 1, February/March 2007.

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