Money Jedi: Money vs. Happiness

“Money is the root of all evil.”

“The lack of money is the root of all evil.” — Mark Twain

Trust Mark Twain to serve up some truth.


Money and Happiness, together at last. Image by Tax Credits at Flickr Commons

Money and Happiness, together at last. Image by Tax Credits at Flickr Commons

Sometimes, the reason we don’t have money is because we want to be happy.

You read that right.

We actually push money away from us, in order to be happy. This doesn’t make sense at all. Why do we do this–if, indeed, this statement is true?

I believe it’s true. It’s something I read in T. Harv Eker’s “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.” In the beginning of that phenomenal book, Eker points out that our subconscious mind controls what we experience in our lives.

That’s something I’ve touched on before in the Money Jedi series. What we believe to be true, on deep subconscious levels, is what shows up in our lives. Most psychologists and counselors wouldn’t disagree with this statement. At least, my sister the psychology grad student and counselor doesn’t disagree with this statement.

“We seek out experiences that coincide with the way in which we see ourselves. We rarely go outside our comfort zones voluntarily [even if those comfort zones are uncomfortable]. I see it as a self-preservation thing.”

— My sister the psychology grad student and counselor


I’ve read a lot of books that agree with this. My own experience agrees too.

We don’t receive anything we don’t believe.

So assuming that our subconscious beliefs about what is possible control our experiences, why do we push away money in order to be happy?

Sometimes, it’s because we want to be good people. And on some level, we think people with money are bad (shallow, greedy, etc.).

When you think of very rich people (you don’t have to know them personally) what is your emotional response? Does something within you believe they got their money by stepping on others? Being ruthless in business? Not caring about the needs of others? They probably sacrificed their compassion or ethics on the way to the top. Honestly, who needs that much money? People with that much money can’t relate to normal people. When your biggest problem is which yacht to take out on Saturday, you can’t relate with people who are struggling to pay for groceries.

People with lots of money just don’t understand what it’s like for the rest of us. We don’t respect them. We even hate them a little.

And if we subconsciously want to be good people, and want people to like us, we subconsciously distance ourselves from money.

That’s one way money and happiness don’t coexist.


Here’s another way:

Many of us believe we shouldn’t get money for doing things we enjoy. Money only comes from hard work, right?

People who work for charities shouldn’t have a lot of money. (They should give their money to the charity. That’s what they’d do if they really cared about their cause, right? If they have money and work for a charity, they’re hypocrites.)

Teachers shouldn’t have a lot of money. They love children. They’d do their jobs for free, so why should we have to bribe them?

It strikes me that many of us were raised to think of money as a bribe. We do chores, we get an allowance. We take a crap job at a fast food joint, we get a paycheck. We knock off Danny the dockworker because he couldn’t make good on his debt, and the Boss slips us a nice wad of cash under the table.

How many of us were taught that money is a natural result of doing what we’re good at? What we love?

Not me. I learned that money came by the sweat of my brow. From long hours, hard labor, or at least doing something that made me vaguely unhappy for a significant portion of my day. That’s where money came from, and that’s it, and that’s all.

I love writing. I’ve done it every day for most of my life, and I’ve done it for free. I don’t do it for the money.

So does that mean taking money for my passion is wrong?

Many of us feel bad taking money for doing what we enjoy. We don’t want people to think we’re the kind of person who has to be bribed.

So let’s say, theoretically, we come into a little money. We get a commission for a piece of artwork, or for raising the cleverest sea monkeys on the east coast. Yay! Happy dance!

But our subconscious beliefs about money are: Good people don’t have money, and Money only comes from what I don’t enjoy.

And also: More money, more problems. (Another way money and happiness don’t coexist in our minds.)


More Money, More Problems:

“My taxes are gonna shoot through the roof!”

“What if I lose everything I’ve made? I better save for a rainy day.”

“What if things are weird with my friends?”


Subconsciously, but very naturally, we begin to distance ourselves from our good fortune. We begin to retreat back to our financial comfort zones.

We back out of a commission, because maybe the project is bigger than we think we’re capable of. The client’s check never comes through, or bounces. We let all the money run through our fingers as we buy things we’ve been denying ourselves. We make a bad investment decision. The dog gets sick and needs an expensive surgery.

And we’re right back where we started. And if we’re unhappy, at least we’re in our comfort zones.

This isn’t coincidence. This is the universe, or God, or your subconscious–whatever you wanna call it–manifesting what you believe is possible. No more, and no less.

But I believe it is very possible for money and happiness to coexist. In fact, a certain amount of money is a key ingredient for happiness:

“…Researchers at Princeton examined Gallup poll data from nearly 500,000 US households and found that higher family incomes were related to better moods on a day to day basis. However, the positive effects of money had no effect on people’s happiness and moods after a level of $ 75,000.00 was attained.”

Forbes Magazine (contributer Robert Glattner)


If you’re saying, “That’s not true. Money isn’t that important,” I urge you to read the first installment of the Money Jedi series.

I’m not saying we can just use an affirmation and transform our lives. I think a good place to start is by just recognizing our current relationship with money–how we think about it and relate to it. But I also believe money and happiness can coexist, and that it is possible to feel good about yourself, be a good person, and get paid lots of money.

Next week, I’ll talk more about how.


L. Marrick is a historical fantasy writer and freelance copywriter. She waxes poetic about swords and the Renaissance Faire at her author blog. She looks all professional-like at her copywriting site. She eats too much chocolate and still doesn’t believe downward dog is supposed to be a restful yoga pose. You can connect with her at either of her websites.

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