Friday, March 8, 2013

Choosing Happiness Over Money

When I was at BYU, my favorite writing professor and I debated this topic more than once. He believed that most people live unhappy lives, trapped by their circumstances. I would concede that everyone has to deal with unfavorable circumstances, but that (in our country, at least) our happiness or lack thereof is determined by our choices.

I still believe that. Envy, guilt, fear, loneliness, anger, habit . . . there are probably more bad reasons to make a choice than there are good ones, but I don't think it is ever too late to choose compassion and courage, to lift others, to find something you are passionate about and throw yourself into it. I will probably never have a lot of money, but I am happy. When I was younger, I wanted to be a mother, a teacher, and I wanted to be a writer. There were a lot of other things I wanted to be and do, but those three were important. So, I made choices that lead me to a place where they would always be important.

I have this amazing critique partner named Adam Heine. Adam and his wife foster orphans in Thailand. She teaches dance, he while writes novels and is a designer/writer for computer games. They are making a huge difference in the lives of the children they love, and I believe they are happy.

Actually, all of my critique partners are people who have chosen happiness over money. It's one of the things that drew me to them.

I came across this video earlier today, which was the catalyst for this post. It's pretty awesome.

In the comments, if you'd be willing to share a choice you've made that is still making you happy, I'd love that. And if you'd like to share more than one, go for it!


  1. My main desire was to be a mom, and I have been most happily fulfilled in that one.

    I also wanted to be a writer, and that one has worked out pretty well, too.

    I count myself lucky.


  2. Great post, and a good reminder. I especially liked this line: "(in our country at least) our happiness or lack thereof is determined by our choices." So true.

    And ditto Sue on the happy choices (although sometimes I forget to let them make me happy)!

  3. Well, my two desires have always been to be a mom (check - I've raised two fine sons) and to be writer (still working on that one!).

  4. The choice to marry my husband is still making me happy. He's faithful and hard working and he loves me. :)

    When I was seven I wrote in my diary that I wanted to be a mom and a writer, and that's basically what I'm doing now, so -- YAY! Fulfilled dreams! (Notice my dream was to be a *writer*, not an *author*. ha ha!)

  5. We should always remind ourselves about this because we often forget to pursuit our happiness over money.