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Have You Ever Wondered about the Link Between Money and Happiness?

–It's about a beautiful Principle we call service

Serving others to the highest levels will make you wealthy before you start noticing it. When you’re trying to make money, if it begins & ends with money, it will be a short-term victory. But if it’s about transforming lives, then the win will keep going and growing.

~Lisa Nichols

Shall we dig in and try to understand the meaning of this Victory a bit? Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

What is money?

“Come on Myriam! Are you kidding me?

I am not. I thought some history might be interesting! Those are small extracts from a masterpiece going by the name of “Sapiens A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari:

“Money was created many times in many places. Its development required no technological breakthroughs — it was purely mental revolution. It involved the creation of a new inter-subjective reality that exists solely in people’s shared imagination. Money enables people to compare quickly and easily the value of different commodities to easily exchange one thing for another and to store wealth conveniently. Money is thus a universal medium of exchange that enables people to convert almost everything into almost anything else.

Money is based on two universal principles:

  • Universal convertibility: with money as an alchemist, you can turn land into loyalty, justice into health, and violence into knowledge.
  • Universal trust: with money as a go-between, any two people can cooperate on any project.

These principles have enabled millions of strangers to cooperate effectively in trade and industry. But these seemingly benign principles have a dark side. When everything is convertible, and when trust depends on anonymous coins and cowry shells, it corrodes local traditions, intimate relations, and human values, replacing them with the cold laws of supply and demand.”

In this article, I will explore how we can use money with integrity that is without compromising our values and relationships.

Money and our four life dimensions

Money is a contribution to reach and maintain the balance between the four dimensions of life:

  • Physical: healthy body, self-discipline.
  • Mental: continuous learning, growth, creativity, vision.
  • Spiritual: direction, what we stand for, principled legacy.
  • Social/Emotional: learning to own our emotions and regulate them, active listening, building trust, and healthy relationships, passion.

“I am confused, Myriam! Would you be more explicit, please? How is that supposed to be related to my happiness/fulfillment at all?”

If we don’t have money, I would say there will never be room for real happiness/fulfillment despite all the gratitude we could be having in our hearts. Why? Simply because we won’t be able to nurture any of the above dimensions. We will exclusively be trying to survive.

For the sake of clarity, I am not talking about the pure joy displayed by some underprivileged people. Those pure moments we can observe and love are stolen from the universe and will always be instant. When we’re so anxious about how to afford dinner for kids, we can’t find time for self-care… This unfairness is making my heart bleed, but this is a story for another time.

On the other side of the spectrum, if we center our life around money and make it our purpose, what would happen? The more money we’d make, the unhappier we’d be. Why? Because we would never be in peace. We would be unable to feel worthy unless our wealth is continuously growing.

We would have no time & energy left neither for ourselves to grow as a person nor for relationships. We would be worried and stressed out all day long about the risk of losing our wealth and becoming nobody. We would be doing horrible things, harming so many people. We could feel guilty — even though some evil people are simply remorseless. In any case, we would not be able to control our lack of ethics.

What if you are principle-centered?

What happens when you commit to the homework of destroying your limiting beliefs about yourself & the world? You move back to the original Principles Center. You find out what you truly stand for. You start loving yourself instead of being ego-driven. You become confident about the kind, humble, grateful, authentic, principled, vibrant, passionate, compassionate, vulnerable, quick to an apology, and the free & brave warrior you are.

Only then would having money make you happier and more fulfilled. Having enough money to pay your bills and live decently will make it possible for you to start such a holistic transformation in the first place. Then, it gives you access to build and maintain your four dimensions’ balance. The most obvious example of which I can think is being able to afford the gym’s subscription so that you could nurture a part of the physical dimension.

Your new Center will give you such internal security, a clear direction, the possibility of perceiving every single experience as an opportunity to expand yourself and continuously grow, and power limited only by your understanding of the Principles.

Consequently, having money will merely be mean to facilitate executing more easily on your life mission, which is much bigger than yourself.

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Myriam Ben Salemhttps://medium.com/@myriambensalem
A recovered perfectionist. A passionate. A grown kid. A writer. A storyteller. An edutainer. A lifelong learner. A speaker. An unapologetic truth-teller. A stoic philosopher. More details about the story of my life? With pleasure! I am a mentor with a deep passion for empowering whomever I interact with, helping others unleash the servant leader in them and find their voice they would use to leave their legacy. Ice on the cake, the growth happens implicitly through simply modeling it. I spent 9 years working at a high level of consultancy and management in the Information Technology, Human Resources, and Research sectors, only to realize that my perfectionism syndrome was damaging myself and those around me. After three burnouts, an existential crisis, and having almost committed suicide following being harshly abused by a malignant narcissist, I dramatically embarked on a painful journey to drastically transform the miserable individual I was. I was saved at the last moment by the grace of my pure love divinity through an out-of-body experience making me see all the lies of my unhealthy ego, realize this gigantic universe was not revolving around my small self. Most importantly, I was able to visualize I was here for a mission. That was the moment of my migration from being religious to spiritual. The butterfly took time to emerge though. The caterpillar had to heal the very obvious scars, gain some strength to start the most rewarding investment of the whole existence: destroying all my limiting beliefs both about myself and the world, and rewiring my invasive subconscious program I never wrote in the first place! I am deeply passionate about everything life has to offer. I educate through any possible means on the importance of reconnecting with our common birth’s gifts making all of us seeds of greatness only numbed by the life-time conditioning. Writing is my very favorite and most preferred tool deployed for my mission. The topics I explore are in the nexus of stoic philosophy, psychology, neuroplasticity, and epigenetics. Common denominator? The quality of the subconscious program! I am described as vivacious, confident, compassionate, authentic, funny, warrior, vulnerable, grateful, bold, emotionally mature, showing integrity with an abundance mentality, and always seeking the best way forward for myself and every person I get the privilege to interact with.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Wonderful and interesting points Myriam. For most of the “civilized” world, money is a necessity. We are raised to work, pay bills and support our families. We feed our governments in the process. In turn, we help those who are less fortunate through welfare and entitlement programs. Unless that governing body is corrupt – and most of them are – we are giving kindly without realizing our generosity. I would never lecture anyone on how much they give, what they donate or where they spend their money. There are billions of people on this planet clamoring for another dollar. Most of us are not greedy. We operate within the limits and confines of our given ability. Some have earned millions, if not billions… and they give back to their communities. Others have earned the same… yet it is never enough. It just depends on the person. As far as I’m concerned, I love what money can do. I’m a capitalist. I believe in the power of free markets across international borders. However, I am not interested in destroying myself with excessive behavior. I’m cut from working, independent cloth. I’ve developed boundaries and limits through responsibility – spending and using money wisely to facilitate a happier, healthier human existence. They say money is the root of all evil. I disagree. Money is simply a catalyst to trigger our latent human tendencies, both good and bad alike. From there we devour what that money can afford. Greed is in the heart, not in the hand that reaches for it…

    • My dear Aaron! Thanks for stopping by and for sharing your vision with me my dear friend!

      Knowing who you are and your sense of responsibility, I can only respect your preference for capitalism even if I disagree with it; given how imbalanced the wealth distribution is and how many people were born in some underpriviledged environments and don’t even have access to knowledge so that they can become aware of their potential… If I had to choose between capitalism and socialism, I’d definitely go for the latter because I’m being realistic and that I know how corrupted the global world system is… The new educational system I’m imagining below will never have chance to see the light or survive (if a miracle happens and some new leaders with formal authority go for it):
      “What If We Could Re-humanize School Again?” de Myriam Ben Salem https://link.medium.com/oeAn6ELArab

      You said “most of us are not greedy”. I’ll need to argue my friend! The world wouldn’t be that fucked if it wasn’t the case, if the greedy manipulators (Cluster B classification disorders) and the very emotionally imbalanced kind souls whose main distorted center is money weren’t that MANY! And I’m not being cynical here; I-m only stating facts!

      If I had to choose an unrelalistic system, I would go for the very first humanity model: the hunters-gatherers era with some options: cooking and being connected with the purest consciousness and conscientiousness! This would look a bit like the Avatar World of Pandora where ALL THE LIVING CREATURES ARE LIVING IN HARMONY WHICH EACH OTHER AND WITH MOTHER NATURE, where all the connections would be genuine and trust and love oriented, where life would be honored and lived to its fullest without this being at the expense of anyone or anything! 💙

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