We’ve all heard the saying “Money can’t buy happiness,” yet there remains the common perception that people with money don’t have problems, or at least not serious ones. The truth, of course, is that everything is relative. One might consider financial woes to be the biggest stressor, until they meet someone with plenty of money but poor health or marital problems. For other people of means, the malaise is much more subtle. If you’ve achieved your material goals it may be hard to admit that something is missing from your life. You might feel you “should” be happy, or even guilty that you have so much and still aren’t satisfied. If this is the case, it is time to start pursuing happiness with the same gusto that catapulted you to professional success. Here are a few lifestyle management tips that can help you do so while easing your stress.
- Lighten Your Load. You worked very hard to acquire that second and third residence, the collection of vintage cars, or whatever else was on your bucket list. But if your happiness has faded with your feeling of accomplishment, it’s time to ask yourself how much value these things are really adding to your life. Do you spend more dealing with your property manager than actually visiting the beachfront home? Is the only person who drives your 1955 Corvette the guy you pay to maintain it? If this is the case, take a few minutes to envision selling one or more of your assets and note what feelings come up. Are you heartbroken, or do you feel a rush of relief that it’s one less thing you are responsible for? If so, it may be time to hang that for sale sign. This is not about becoming a “minimalist,” but understanding whether your possessions represent freedom or a set of shackles.
- Examine your relationship with money. As this Forbes article points out, money worries don’t disappear when the bank account increases. In fact, wealthy people share the same concerns as everyone else, such as rising inflation rates and whether they will outlive their money. If this is you, you might want to ask yourself, “How much is enough for me to feel safe?” Don’t be surprised if this opens the proverbial can of worms, including fears dating back to childhood, around finances and lack. Bringing these feelings to the surface may be enough for you to deal with them in a healthy way; it also might inspire you to re-evaluate which assets bring joy to your life, and which are a drain on your energy and perhaps your financial resources as well.
- Share the wealth. This not about writing a check, but sharing your knowledge and experiences. If you truly do not have the time for a regular volunteer commitment, find opportunities that allow for more flexibility, for example, reviewing the business plan or a first-time entrepreneur or speaking to a class of high school students about financial health. These lifestyle management tips can enable you to help the countless people who would like to follow in your footsteps, and you may find that in connecting with them you will also reconnect with your own passion and purpose.
- Use all of the tools at your disposal. We’re living in especially stressful times, but we also have more lifestyle management tools than ever to help us manage that stress – many of them at our fingertips. If you can’t get to that walk in nature or yoga class, pick up your phone and access one of the thousands of meditation apps available. You might also use one of the many all-in-one lifestyle management solutions that allow you to juggle your to-do list and communicate with others in one secure space.
As Zig Ziglar said, “Money won’t make you happy, but everybody wants to find out for themselves.” It’s pretty safe to say that with everything going on in the world more people than ever are realizing the truth in this statement. However, we are also being presented with opportunities to reassess what happiness means for us and start moving toward it, whatever that looks like and regardless of our net worth.