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(Spoiler Alert if you have not seen The Social Network)
I have often thought: If I just had more money, I would be/could do _____.
Money is something that can either help or hinder one’s quest to live peacefully. Too much of it makes one feel powerful with a sense of entitlement and too little of it makes one’s life stressful and full of longing to live “the good life.”
Recently, I watched a movie where a kid started from nothing, had an idea, and grew it into a successful business. This kid is now the youngest billionaire in the world; i.e. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. But at the end of The Social Network, Mark sent a friend request to his ex-girlfriend and then proceeded to refresh the page in hopes that she would accept it. This struck me with a profound message: no matter how much money you have, it does not guarantee happiness.
This idea that money can make your life better is not new. Being “successful” is supposed to make one’s life easy so that you do not have a care in the world. But….isn’t caring worth something? I would rather care about the lives of the people I love than pay someone to do that for me. How happy can I be if the only reason certain people talk to me is because I am rich?
What if you start to define “success” by how happy you are with your life? I have a roof over my head, food on the table, a good job, and some money in the bank. Am I successful? Or do I have to be the CEO of a big corporation making billions of dollars a year to be successful?
To me, it all comes down to happiness. If I am happy with my life, I think that I am a success. It doesn’t matter how many friends I have, how many degrees I have, or the balance of my checking account; as long as I am content, I am good and at peace.
How do you define success and happiness? I would love to hear from you!