Time and time again, we’ve all heard it said that money can’t buy happiness. But if someone were to ask me, I’d respond a little differently. Can money buy happiness? Well, I have to say that it depends.
Research suggests that there are two kinds of happiness: there’s the day-to-day feeling of joy, and then there’s an overall satisfaction and contentment with one’s life. Generally, when someone is asked if they are “happy,” their mind quickly assesses a combination of these two factors and distills their response down to either a “yes,” a “no,” or a “kind of.”
Like it or not, when a person evaluates their own happiness, one of the greatest influences on that evaluation is their financial situation. And really, that should come as no surprise. After all, finances are a top cause of marital discord. Finances are a huge source of vocational dissatisfaction, and money is what motivates people to work longer hours, especially doctors.
Now, of course, if your happiness is gauged by the number of things you own, you’ll never be truly happy. That kind of happiness is fleeting, like a high from a drug. Eventually that high fades, and over time, thanks to the law of diminishing returns, it becomes more difficult to reach that high–no matter how much stuff you buy. It’s a vicious cycle, and one I’ve seen happen to friends, colleagues, and even myself.
But, on the other hand, if your happiness is rooted in spending time and having experiences with your family, then it is my humble opinion that, yes, money can buy happiness. When you have a consistent stream of income, especially passive income, you can spend time making memories, and at the end of your life, these are the things that you’ll look back on. Of course, you won’t have to wait until your deathbed to enjoy life. Heck, I’m still young, and I can tell you that every time I think back on some amazing trips I’ve taken with friends and family, it still provides with a level of happiness you just can’t match.
So don’t let the naysayers tell you that you shouldn’t be aggressive in the pursuit of money as doctors. Pursue additional sources of income–but only if it frees up your time and allows you to gain experiences.
Take a moment to think about it right now. What is your favorite thing to do with your partner, your children, your friends? What if you could do that exact thing whenever you want? Whether you agree with me or not that money can buy happiness, you can't deny it can buy experiences, and that’s what makes life worth living. More time with family, well… That’s happiness to me.