Money Does Not = Happiness
When I started my second company, I was stressed out and I took a drive alone down the beautiful California coast. I stopped by Carmel and I went for a long walk as I often do to come up with personal and professional goals. I stopped by a beautiful old church and I sat down and collected my thoughts.
A priest was there and sat down next to me. We spoke for a while about what I was trying to accomplish in life. I mentioned that I wanted to make as much money as possible so that I could give my children the standard of living that I wanted them to have. What he told me that day was incredibly prophetic and just what I needed to hear:
“Chris, 50 years from now your children will not look back on you and remember how much money you made. They will look back and reflect how good of a father you were.”
I was blown away by his comment and I thanked him profusely for imparting this incredible wisdom on me. I now know in my heart that money does not equal happiness. Please don’t make it your primary goal. Find your passion in life and the money will come whether you want it to or not! Then you can focus on giving it away and making the world a better place.
I have seen money destroy friendships and families so many times. Money can destroy your relationship with many people including your children. Give most of your money away to charities and only keep enough to keep your family happy as counterintuitive as that might sound.
Personal Gratitude and Happiness
You will be much more successful in business if you have sincere personal gratitude for what you have. Years ago I read The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama. He said that in western society people are so unhappy as we tend to compare ourselves to those that have more than us. By contrast, those that live in second, or third world countries are happier than we are as they focus on what is important in life, like family and friends and a beautiful day!
If we are grateful for at least one different thing in our lives every day and help others that are less fortunate, then we will all lead more fulfilled lives. At night when I say prayers with my 3 wonderful children, I always make them thank God for something different every day.
If we spend more time helping others that are less fortunate, we will all be much more fulfilled and we will be much more successful in life.
All Your Wealth Can't Buy You Health
If you are happy in your life personally and professionally, then you will be much more productive. However, in order to be happy you need to find time to exercise daily (no excuses) and focus on nutrition (no excuses) and get 7-8 hours of sleep per night (no excuses).
I promise you that your productivity and level of happiness will increase materially if you exercise daily. Nothing is more important. Exercising daily helps you think more clearly and be generally happier at work. That positive attitude will remain elevated with exercise.
The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered:
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Wealth = Health + Gratitude + Happiness