Would You Rather Be Rich Or Happy (Pt 2)

March 18, 2007

So happy to see all the comments pouring in.. Nv knew so many people actually bothered to read my blog posts.. Haha.. So b4 I proceed, jus wanna say thanks to all who have voiced out their opinions. Appreciated it. Had a wonderful time reading thru every single comment and really pondering and reflecting over many stuffs.

For those who have not read my previous blog post, do read it over here.

Now, the blog post was intended to clear some misconception about money and people who strives hard to be wealthy.

Though the title of my blog post could have been misleading. Just in case some people misunderstand that I actually would rather choose to be rich than happy, just let me clarify. Firstly, I must state that I would definitely choose to be happy rather than rich. Period.

I know money is NOT equivalent to happiness. I’ve seen so many examples of families who live an extremely simple life but yet experience the warmth and happiness which so many wealthy families are deprived of.

That is something which no amount of money in the world can buy. On the other hand, there are numerous examples of wealthy families which are broken apart. While many people admire those who are being born with a silver spoon, I’ve seen cases of wealthy friends who feel extremely depressed and empty inside due to the lack of warmth and happiness in their families. As a result, they resort to crimes and other bad behaviours so as to seek excitement in order to fill the empty space created by their wealthy parents.

Hence, this has led to the belief that being wealthy actually creates more problems. And some people really do believe that wealth and happiness are mutually exclusive.

But is that really the case?

Having read through the comments in my previous post, just would like to bring up some interesting points:

First one is by Rachit:

But the truly happy people in the world live completely in today. They have no worries about tomorrow, no thoughts of the past, they feel good every day … almost as if they are living in a compartment of one day.

And so here’s the irony … we want to be rich … because that money, and the journey towards the money will make us happy.

But because we work so hard to be rich, our attention shifts to the past & future … not NOW. And NOW is where true happiness lies. The ability to be happy despite your situation – to feel a good inside when we are poor, rich, sick, healthy

So, in my case … my ongoing goal is to remain happy without condition … if i’m successful, failing or anything else … i want to be happy with myself. If success, great meaning or riches happen along the way, it’ll be a nice bonus.

I think Rachit made a really good point about people focusing on the past and future and not the present. Certainly the case. True happiness does lie in what is happening NOW.

Hence, we should always strive to be happy with what we’re doing NOW. But my point is, those who are perpetually complaining about their lack of finances and lack of time etc are usually those who end up slogging their lives out for money. It’s because that they do not have this desire to be wealthy and have no dreams & aspirations for themselves that they are forced to report to a job which they dislike and end up being even unhappier.

Coincidentally, these are the people who will tell you ‘I do not want to be rich. I just want to be happy.’

Why do I say that? The friend which I mentioned in my last post has always complained to me about not having enough money. She’s NOT happy. And she WANTS to be rich. It’s just that she has not managed to identify the driving factor to move her out of her comfort zone.

Why is that so?

This brings us to the next comment by Moonaire:

I believe in helping people, and have been doing so since I could remember. Most are pro bono, and once in a while I do get paid (even when I don’t charge them), but either way, each time I successfully provide a solution, it brings a smile to their face, and it is that smile, that ‘customer satisfaction’ that pushes me forward.

Would I rather be rich or happy? I don’t really care about either. I just want everyone else (especially the billions of people on earth in state of poverty) to be happy, and I will do all I can for that smile on the face.

Now now.. Think about it for a second… Do you think Moonaire strives to be wealthy? YES! We’ve just had a short discussion on Friday about some big plans we’re going to launch and we want to be millionaires by the age of 25.

But what’s the difference here??

Moonaire has managed to identify a cause that is so much bigger than himself. You see, when your cause is just YOU alone, you will never find the motivation to work hard. You will never see the need of having big dreams and aspirations because it’s all about YOU alone.

If it’s not for my mother who has to stand and work for 8 hours every single day even though she’s already 55, I will never see a need either. If it’s not for my father who has to constantly face debtors knocking on the door and contemplate declaring bankruptcy, I will never see a need either. If it’s not for the majority of the world’s population who lives on only US$1 a day, I will never see a need either. If it’s not for our Lord & Saviour who has gifted us with our life and a chance to make a difference in others’ lives, I will never see a need either.

So it’s not really about YOU being happy and YOU being rich.

I’m sure many of the wealthiest people do not just work hard for their wealth and happiness. In one of the comments in my last post, I mentioned about the various large charitable organisations in the world being set up by some of the billionaires.

They recognise that the cause is bigger than them. Which is why despite accumulating so much wealth, they still do not stop working. And GIVING.

Here’s a quote from Johnny Wimbrey: ‘When you put money before the cause of helping people, money is your master’.

Then are those so called ‘spiritual’ people who criticize people for seeking wealth. But yet, they themselves are slaves of money and are perpetually unhappy as well. So many people believe that wealth and spirituality are mutually exclusive. I beg to differ. I believe in Enlightened Wealth. I believe in giving first. I believe that our Lord has abundance of good things in store for us, with wealth being one of them. Not for us to enjoy, but for us to help the needy ones.

Alright, if you actually bothered to read this long post, I really thank you for your time. having said so much, bottomline is: Find something that you really enjoy doing. And try to convert it into a profitable stream of income. In that way, you will be able to be happy not only now, but also in the future. And you’ll be able to be rich at the same time. ;) Coincidentally, this is also what is being preached by adam Khoo.
And yes, I do aspire to retire young. Not because I can enjoy for the rest of my lives. But because I can devote more time and energy to accomplish the greater things in life. ;)


17 Responses to “Would You Rather Be Rich Or Happy (Pt 2)”

  1. Jerzy on March 18th, 2007 9:15 pm

    Very good thoughts on the matter. But I do not see the argument over 2 things that cannot be quantified. How do you measure happiness? How do you measure wealth?

    Yes, you can be rich and happy. You can be poor and happy. You can be rich and unhappy. You can be poor and unhappy. You are your own judge.

    For me right now, I’m rich and happy. Be happy guys!

  2. Colourful World on March 19th, 2007 9:39 am

    What a logic-oriented statement you have here. I think you could start a brainstorming session or discussion at forums on this topic.

    For so many centuries, from the ancient greek till now, nobody had been able to justify and quantify clearly the difference between happiness and wealth, simply because the two complimented each other yet at the same time contradicting to each other as well.

    Your post recalled my memory about The Secret. I personally believe with a little more effort, both happiness and wealth can be achieved. Mind is a powerful thing here, you can see the effects of positive thinking on water molecules at http://wanderingether.blogspot.com/

    Anyway, i agree to your point, we need a greater cause to propel us to a greater height. IMHO, family to me is the driving force. I wanted my family to enjoy life, therefore i’ll work hard and work smart to cater their physical needs and demands, and when they are satisfied and happy, i’ll be happy too. So i think this is why i say both elements are complimentary.

    LOL, my current status is: i’m not wealthy but i’m happy. my goal is to switch into a wealthy and happy person, and bring wealth and happiness to people i care. It sounds too idealistic but i will definitely try no matter how. Wish me luck! =)

  3. Calvin on March 19th, 2007 4:35 pm

    Hey Jerzy!

    Yup, great point. Firstly, happiness is a state of mind. You can CHOOSE to be happy. And wealth, is to a certain extent subjective as well.

    Nonetheless, not everyone is able to recognise that fact either. And they are simply pursuing happiness when they actually have the ability to change this state of mind instantly.

    I shall follow up on that in my next post.

    Thanks for visiting! Haha din know u were reading my blog. See ya soon!

  4. Calvin on March 19th, 2007 4:42 pm

    Hi Colorful World!

    Yupz I must admit I’m influenced by The Secret too.

    I’m glad u have identified your driving force. Just constantly remind yourself of your driving force!

    Never doubt yourself or let others’ opinion become your reality. I’m sure you will achieve your goals soon! I wish you all the best sincerely!

  5. Rachit Blogs … » Blog Archive » Would You Rather Be Happy Or Rich? on March 19th, 2007 5:06 pm

    [...] Calvin’s Follow up Post with comments from many ppl [...]

  6. YongSing on March 20th, 2007 2:54 am

    Hi Calvin,

    Money is important. No doubt about it.

    However between money and happiness, I choose the latter any time of the day. No contest.


  7. Calvin on March 20th, 2007 10:07 am

    Hi YongSing,

    yup noone is disputing the fact that happiness shld take precedence over money.

    The point is we need to find a cause that is bigger than us in order for us to realize that we cannot hide inside our comfort zone and just lead an average life.

    Happiness is just a state of mind. And money is just a spiritual concept.

    It’s about cracking your destiny code and making the difference that you were put on this earth to make. Some will never be able to discover this truth.

    For those who have, the blessings that our Lord has in store for us will flow.

  8. Midasethan on March 22nd, 2007 6:14 pm

    [...] I have been reading about being wealthy and happy on my bro’s blog. I think there is a correlation between both. Just understand that you reap what you sowed. Or at least that is my theory. [...]

  9. Walter on March 24th, 2007 12:08 am

    The answer is quite obvious so long as you have enough money to make ends meet and lead a reasonably satisfying life. There is a Chinese saying which is that a similar measurement of gold cannot buy the same measurement of time. Time and tide waits for no man, and at the end of one’s life, what one remembers and recalls most fondly are not the career achievements and material successes. Rather, they are the relationships, friendships and kinships forged, as well as the richness of the memories woven together into an indelible part of one’s consciousness.

    “Good morning yesterday, you wake up and time has slipped away….”

  10. Calvin on March 24th, 2007 10:49 pm

    Hi Walter,

    agree with the chinese saying. Though I’m sure everyone would want to live to fulfil our mission on Earth. Live a purpose-driven life! And as you said, cherish the relationships, friendships and kinships around you! These are something which no amount of money can buy. ;)

  11. Sorry For The Lack Of Posts! at The Insights Of Calvin Woon on March 25th, 2007 2:56 pm

    [...] Would You Rather Be Rich Or Happy? (Pt 2) [...]

  12. Imah on March 27th, 2007 12:41 pm

    Hi Calvin,
    This is a very interesting topic. If you ask me, I will say I do not want to have to choose, I would rather be happy AND rich! :)

    Needless to say, if we do have to choose, most will choose to be happy anytime.

    In my opinion though, why a lot of people think being rich will rob you of your happiness is because of the many examples we see in everyday life where a person strives to be wealthy, and in the process neglected his family and friends, or deprived them emotionally, without even realising it.

    And when he finally reaches his goal he suddenly realises he has no one to share his happiness and wealth with.

    There are two different cases where a son works hard for the sake of his parents, and where a father or a husband works hard for the sake of his family.

    I think it is more difficult for a father or a husband as he not only have to provide financially for his family, but they also need him emotionally.

    In this case, he should always know how to balance and to always set his priorities right.

    I think we should all strive to be wealthy and have a clear purpose of what we want to do with all the wealth when we have it, and be generous with it.

    But in the process of building our wealth we should also stop once in a while to reflect whether what we are striving to achieve is affecting our relationship with our families and friends.

    Sorry this is so long. I don’t know if I said it like what I really meant.

    Thanks for reading anyway, and all the best to you!

  13. Calvin on March 27th, 2007 9:12 pm

    Hi Imah,

    thanks for ur comment! Love reading comments so no comment is too long! ;)

    Anw, agree with your point on stopping to reflect to see if our actions are affecting our relationships with our families.

    That’s why we must always learn to work smart and build for ourselves a passive stream of income in order to free up more time to spend with our families.

    Thanks for ur well wishes! :)

  14. Desmond Ng on March 27th, 2007 10:33 pm

    Very detailed and well explained post. YongSing you should read his post again. You do not have to choose EITHER Rich or Happy. You can have both!

  15. alex on April 14th, 2007 3:22 am

    hi nice site.

  16. A Woman With A Really Big Heart at The Insights Of Calvin Woon on May 14th, 2007 12:57 am

    [...] As she related to me how staying in a more expensive ward makes her feel bad, I felt so guilty that amid her health problems, she has to be burdened by financial constrains. Now, I’ve previously blogged about the 2-part series on ‘Would You Rather Be Rich Or Happy’. And I know for a fact that in this instance, if I had the financial power, it could help ease her burden greatly as I can confidently reassure her to set her mind at ease. So for those who still hold doggedly to the belief that money is not the least bit important, try being in that situation. [...]

  17. Empowering Success on December 14th, 2007 12:15 am

    My whole life has been focused on the money. I took a giant step 7 years ago to work at home, for myself, so that I could make more money and spend more time with my wife and kids.

    The first couple of years were great! The money was coming in, the bills were payed on time, we had a few vacations a year instead of one every other year, and we were working our way up from a tiny trailer to an actual house with land and all!

    We were happy, extremely! We weren’t “rich” in the monetary sense, but we were a family, together, eating together every night and discussing our day and how it went. The more money we made, the more we bought, the more we bought, the less money we had.

    The internet isn’t always consistent, well not as far as I have seen, and so you are always tweaking and fine tuning things to bring in that traffic. Today we have a wonderful house, a couple of horses and a few (used) vehicles, but are we as happy?? More and more of my time is spent working online, getting things back to the way things were those first couple of years.

    A house is not a home, and happiness isn’t in the money you have, but how it is spent, and on whom, my family is my happiness!

    Ron Killian

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