Taking some time out and getting away for a few days – there’s nothing quite like it. Leave the chores behind, ditch the work and dive into some new places, or reconnect with some old favourites. It’s the anticipation of stepping out of the daily routine, and I, for one, eagerly look forward to it.
We get it; life isn’t always perfect. But when you are on holiday, there’s a different kind of patience, a willingness to roll with the punches. Maybe it’s the friendly hotel staff, a helpful local pointing you in the right direction (when Google seems to be insisting you go the opposite way), or the sheer delight of accidentally exploring new sights. These are the moments to be treasured and should overshadow the occasional hiccup – be it a delayed flight, a long queue, or a sudden rain shower catching you without an umbrella.
Let me share a slice of a journey I took recently. Picture this, it’s the end of a full day’s sightseeing and hiking, and now I’m relaxing, looking at my photos of the day, on the 45-minute ferry ride back to the harbour. I’m contemplating the rest of the evening and where I was might go for dinner.
I was happily dreaming away, when I unintentionally found myself eavesdropping on a group of much older and well-heeled travellers. They were also heading back after a day of sightseeing they were returning to their colossal cruise ship (I had looked at it with wonder earlier in the day), it looked like a floating palace! Yet, for the entire 45-minute journey, they did nothing but grumble. Not just about the current cruise, but ones dating back to 1998. Rich and Grumpy? Bingo.
Now, the eternal question: does money buy happiness? Depends on where you stand in life. A while back apparently the magic number was $70,000. In today’s world maybe not so much. Money undeniably makes life easier, reduces stress and adds a layer of comfort. But let’s not mistake comfort for happiness – a lesson my fellow travellers clearly missed.
Your ‘happiness bar’ rises with your bank balance, there’s no doubt about that. But here’s the catch – so do expectations. And when reality falls short, happiness takes a hit. It’s the law of diminishing returns.
If you’re a natural grump, no pile of cash will naturally change that. On the flip side, if you’re naturally generous, you’ll find ways to spread that goodness, regardless of your financial standing.
Making money? Absolutely fine. It’s a journey of growth, a canvas to express your potential fully. But where’s the finish line? When do you say, “Okay, that’s enough”? It’s a personal puzzle, changing with every life stage.
So, circling back, happiness is a choice. Embrace the now, let go of the hiccups, and figure out what your version of ‘enough’ while enjoying the journey.
*Lynda Moore is a Money Mentalist coach and New Zealand’s only certified New Money Story® mentor. Lynda helps you understand why you do the things you do with your money, when we all know we should spend less than we earn. You can contact her here.