Officially Licensed Smiley Canvas Art
"Money Doesn't Buy Happiness" Money Canvas Art by IKONICK
Money is the greatest drug we humans ever invented. And just like any drug, it can help those in need or it can be abused.
Money has become so central to our lives, sometimes it feels like the guiding force behind every event. Wars are fought over it. Crimes are committed to gain it. It can drive friends apart, change minds, and cloud judgement. Yet without it, we can't afford to live. A dangerous necessity.
It is so important, it has become the measure by which we quantify success. Whenever we talk about people or companies that are prospering, it's always centered around wealth. Even countries are measured by how much value they produce (GDP).
But we weren't founded on "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of currency." When Ben Franklin and the other founding fathers signed the Declaration of Independence, it was in the belief of pursuing happiness. They knew how crucial that non-economic aspect of wellbeing was.
Yet we seem to have forgotten over the last 244 years. We glamorize outlandish wealth in social media, drooling over the picture-perfect lives we wish we could afford. Magazines, talk shows, Instagram accounts, podcasts. It's all a glimpse at a life we think we want.
But the grass is always greener on the other side. Psychologists and economists alike have studied the relationship between money and happiness and found that happiness levels in the wealthiest Americans are barely higher than the Maasai tribesmen of Africa—a nomadic people who live off the land, with no running water.
The truth is, once our basic needs are met (food, water, shelter, safety, love) it is diminishing returns. Wealth doesn't automatically make your life better. As Daymond John put it, "Money just drives you up to your problems in a limousine."
True happiness can never be bought. Building a life you are proud of, making your relationships and friendship strong, exercising your creativity—it's all free. The only cost is the realization that there is more to life than building wealth.
"Money Doesn't Buy Happiness" is a lesson we can all learn from. Money can be ripped, lost, spent, and earned again. It's temporary. Happiness is lasting. The moments of bliss when life’s stresses fade into the background show you what really matters. And it's not a piece of paper with Ben Franklin's face on it.