You need money to survive. It’s a sad fact but it’s true. No money = no food. No food = death. But most people are under the assumption that money = happiness. This is simply not true. Money won’t buy you happiness.

You go to school so you can get into college. You go to college so you can get into university or get a job. Then you spend your life working so you can make as much money as possible so that one day you will be happy.


One day.


Why can’t you be happy right now?


Let’s face it: I think we would all be jumping for joy if we won the lottery. And how miserable can you really be when you’re zooming down a stretch of road in Miami, in your Lamborghini with your super model girlfriend in the passenger seat? But that doesn’t mean you can’t be happy without these things.


The happiest person I know is my uncle David. He hasn’t got a lot of money. He hasn’t got the greatest job in the world (he’s a joiner). He doesn’t live in the nicest area, or drive the nicest car (well a rusty red van to be precise). But what he does have are two great kids and a wife who loves him very much, a great sense of humour, and brilliant mind state. 


Coincidentally, one of the most negative and unhappy people I have ever met was also probably the most well off. I was at a party my family had invited me to and I was aware that “some dude with a Ferrari (I can’t remember the model but apparently it was old and red) and a house in Spain” would be arriving soon. My step dad really wanted to introduce me to him so we could take a look at his car. “The dude with the Ferrari” finally arrived (funnily enough in a different, less impressive car which my Step Dad was disappointed about). But the point of this story was not the car he was driving…

 The point is about how miserable he was. The first thing he did was sneer at somebody who talked to him… possibly my Step Dad for asking where his “other car” was. All night I was very aware of how he complained about everything, acted rudely, pulled faces and didn’t smile once. He reeked of negativity which seemed to be rubbing off on anybody he came into contact with.


When I asked my mum about this she replied “he’s always like that.” And this got me thinking, if a Ferrari and a house in Spain can’t make you happy, what can?


Friends can. Family can. Music can. Laughing can. Dancing can. The weather can.


Actually – that’s not entirely true.  ‘Mr Negative’ I am sure had friends, family, listened to music, experienced nice weather – ok not sure about the laughing bit.


But he was still ‘Mr Negative’.


You see – happiness is not something that happens TO you.  It is a choice.  A state of being.  If you try and be present – try to be ‘in the moment’ which means letting go of past and future things – the things that stress or worry you – then you will be much happier.  The past is gone – nothing you can do about that.  The future will come – whether you worry about it or not and what you are worrying about might never happen. 


The happiest I have ever felt was sat on a rock in the middle of a river in Devon with my best friend in the whole world just discussing life. I was wet, muddy, and had no phone and not a penny to my name. I was content.


I’m not telling you to quit your job, become a hippy and live in a forest somewhere. I’m not telling you to not work hard. And I’m definitely not telling you that you will be unhappy with a Ferrari.


I’m telling you to stop every once in a while to look around and appreciate what you’ve got now. Didn’t get that pay rise you expected from your boss? That deal didn’t go through with a client? It’s not the end of the world. Be thankful you have a roof over your head, food at home and a family that loves you. And remember, the weekend is never too far away…


It’s all about your mind state.


Happiness comes from within, not from your bank statement.


And that’s why I’m going to grin a great big grin when I get handed my apprenticeship wage pay check.


Tom Duffy