Scientific research has proven that money can buy happiness if you spend it the right way. You may ask what the right way is. We will examine that question in a bit.
For now, let us picture Sri Krishna’s standing pose in our mind’s eye. The pose, called Natavarasana, where he is standing firmly on his left leg and his right leg – slightly folded – is over his left, with his right toes just touching the floor and the sole of his feet almost vertical.
One of the allegorical references is that Krishna’s firmly grounded-left leg is a hint that earthly pleasures or material wealth must be enjoyed while at the same time, his right leg delicately perched over his left, points out we must also be in touch with spirituality – even if lightly – as that will help to balance our personality. The reason of bringing Lord Krishna in this context is to break any preconditioning we may have about money and wealth being in conflict with spirituality. Even our Gods have said we must enjoy life to the fullest! Look at Krishna – did he not enjoy his life to the hilt?
Now that we have established money and wealth is not necessarily evil – let us understand what happiness is. Agree it is relative and might mean different things for different people – but what is common in the experience of happiness is a sense of well-being and contentment, represented by a smile that no one – and no situation – can snatch away.
Money does bring about a sense of well-being as it empowers and enables one to acquire material possessions. Such impulse acquisitions or acts can bring about a great sense of happiness but this is only temporary and fleeting as much as the impulse or infatuation. It will be good if we invest in life experiences once we have satisfied our pursuit of material purchases. Investing in life experiences is more rewarding and fulfilling than mindless material possessions.
So, how else do we buy happiness with money?
Turns out the answer lies in two things: one, how we make our money, and second, our choices in how we decide to spend that money. Like Krishna’s right feet, if our spiritual grounding is intact, we will intuitively know whether our method to amass wealth is right or wrong – and if right – where should we put the buck for maximum happiness. A simple guiding principle will be to fulfil our needs and desires first, and then consider helping others once we are past a certain level of abundance. That will give us more joy and multiply our happiness for long-term if we make it a way of life to be of service to others. Not only will we increase our sense of well-being with the service mindset that will naturally bring in more merits and rich dividends, but it will also make us happier long-term.
Give and thou shall receive – this Biblical maxim holds true, as pointed out by a recent Harvard research that studied 4,000 millionaires and concluded how they bought more happiness by giving away their money. Ironic, isn’t it? Think Bill Gates and Warren Buffet who are living examples of making money only to give it away.
How about a different perspective – does being happy make you rich? Seems that the answer is not as complicated as whether riches can make one happy. Rather than pursuing happiness and making it goal-oriented that I will be happy after I achieve a certain milestone, a better way would be to enjoy the experience of happiness right now and continue in that vibration throughout the journey. Not only will the pursuit be more rewarding and enjoyable, in fact, our mindset will attract the destination to us much faster. For as Rumi says, what we are seeking is also seeking us.
So, be happy first, and you will be rich soon!