We live in an age which equates financial success with freedom and happiness. Many of us go through life dreaming about being rich and famous but as fruitless as those dreams might be, they still give us hope. We believe that special something might be around the corner, might be able to change everything. But the rich and famous don’t have that luxury. They already have the worldly success that so many of us think will make us happy. And they’ve discovered that it doesn’t.
Money is important for a healthy lifestyle and well-being – especially when it comes to eliminating financial stress. But studies have shown that beyond a certain threshold of income, where people are comfortable and don’t need to worry about paying the bills, money doesn’t have an impact to happiness.
The young and rich are seeking help for anxiety and depression at twice the rate of their poorer peers, according to recent research. Contrary to the obvious conclusion that the rich should be the happiest people living on earth, some of them are actually being consumed by their riches. Which is indeed very sad considering the fact that success is not achieved easily. The old adage that money doesn’t buy you happiness is true.
Here are some reasons the people who “should” be happy are often exactly the opposite. It may be hard to empathize with a wealthy depressed person, but it’s definitely worth trying to understand
One of the major reasons why the rich often become culprits of depression is because they are always working which doesn’t allow them to focus on the simple things. There’s something special and comforting about not being under the spotlight. In contrast, extreme success, and the extraordinary amount of time and effort it takes to get there, can make for a life that feels isolated and lonely. Most of us are all up to the same thing, and there is comfort in that – we worry about taxes, about gas prices, high inflation rates etc. There’s something soothing about everybody being in the same boat. When you start having more money than you can count then things change. There’s a lot of disconnect – from simple things, like sitting down for dinner with your family, where the discussion is about family stuff, like ‘Jim hit me,’ or ‘Billy stole my lunch.’” That’s the stuff that brings texture and joy to life; that is how the rich find themselves depressed after missing out on the subtle and essential life building blocks.
Second reason is pressure, making millions a year in a great job with a lifestyle to match may seem like the fast track to happiness, but that’s not necessarily the case. Experts say that the pressure that comes with wealth or success can be a driving factor in depression, an illness that affects 1 in 10 American adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The pressure can be even harder on successful women whereby you find that women who hold jobs with authority exhibit more depressive symptoms than their male peers. This is because women face prejudice, discrimination, unfavorable stereotypes, negative social interactions, lack of communication and support from superiors and coworkers, and pressure to perform better than men to prove competence.
Thirdly, there will always be someone is richer. Your yacht isn’t as big as the one next door. Nobody is the richest person in the world on every measure – how many billions would Buffett give to be young again? Sad right?
Fourth is the stress that comes with Scams and fraudsters, when one become wealthy, they usually are faced with the burden of finding professionals who will always help ward off the crooks attracted to their wealth. It is funny how nobody wants to be associated with someone when you are bankrupt, but now that millions are parked away it’s a different story. These millionaires can only hope that their financial advisers aren’t swindlers and the thoughts of them being so sends chills down their spines.
Finally, I will end with the obvious reason that actually money doesn’t make you happy. After knowing the definition of being poor or middle class by living it, you will find out that getting more money doesn’t make you happier. Rich people get depressed, just like the middle classes. True, there’s no evidence that money actually makes you unhappy but it could distract you from fixing your real problems. These include your health, relationships and spirituality.
At that point, there are only two conclusions we can come to. One, having achieved all the worldly success they ever wanted to achieve without achieving happiness and satisfaction, they conclude that nothing will ever make them happy. In response, they seek oblivion in drugs or death.
Two, after they conclude that worldly success doesn’t bring happiness and satisfaction, they need to seek true happiness elsewhere.
But whether you’re rich and famous or poor and obscure, remember one fact–extrinsic motivators like fame and fortune don’t make you happy. In fact, they make you unhappy even if you achieve them. Focus instead on the things that really matter–