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Money Doesn't Buy Happiness

December 20 2010

“The value of a man resides in what he gives not in what he is capable of receiving”-  Albert Einstein

“For it is in giving that we receive” – St. Francis of Assisi

candels need to attribute

Happy  Monday!  It is hard to believe it is less than a week until Christmas! If you celebrate Christmas I hope your shopping is done and you are looking forward to short week.

Last week my office took a little time out and volunteered to ring the Salvation Army bell at our local mall for a couple hours.  I have to say it was probably a little out of my comfort zone and I had pre-judged what to expect. I stepped further out of my comfort zone by agreeing to take ballroom dancing lessons with my wife but that is a different story. I think I was less concerned about skydiving then I am about ballroom dancing!

Despite the weak economy, I was really surprised how many people stopped at our kettle and at the amounts they donated. If you stopped by thank you! It quite frankly restored my faith in people. However, there were still a ton of people that walked by without donating.  It made me start thinking about what makes someone want to give and someone just walk by.  As a general observation, the people donating were smiling and friendly. There wasn’t one person that walked by that couldn’t spare a buck so economic reasons don’t come into play. I think the bottom line is it has to do with attitudes towards money on whether you donate or not.

Image: Chris Sharp / FreeDigitalPhotos.netImage: Chris Sharp /

In real estate, I see different attitudes on money during negotiations all the time.  I have clients that will spend whatever it takes to get a property or that will sell a property at a discount to move on with life. I also have others that will drag negotiations on for weeks to try and save a buck.  I can tell you the clients that nickel and dime and make it all about the money lose focus on the reason they are buying or selling in the first place.  Ultimately, they generally end up spending more or not achieving their goals. Somehow, they feel keeping a few extra bucks will make the difference and make them happy. It is simply not all about  money. I think all too often we make it all about saving a buck without really knowing why. As I am typing this I am listening to Zig Zigler give a speech and he just started talking about money. To quote Zig “money buys a house but not a home, money buys a bed but not a good night’s sleep, money buys a companion but not a friend, money will buy you a good time but not peace of mind.”  I think you get it.

So here is the thought for this week. How many times have you heard “money doesn’t buy happiness”?

Well, let me tell you how you can buy maybe just a little happiness. I learned early on that as a business owner you are often asked to make charitable donations. I think they know I am an easy mark!  But here is the reality. I can think of very few uses of money better the making someone’s life just a little easier. I am a huge fan of the pay it forward theory. The reality is making a donation, sponsoring an event, or sending a random gift helps someone in need. It also really makes me feel good and reminds me why we work as hard as we do. Anyway, with five days shopping days left unit Christmas you may just past a Salvation Army Bell ringer.  

Think about the couple bucks you have in your pocket and make a donation. It could be any charity. I don’t think I know of one not for profit that isn’t facing financial issues this year. It will make you feel good and make someone’s life just a little easier. It is way more fun to donate then to be the guy walking by looking at the floor!

Check out this video from CNN. This guy takes giving to a whole new level. Check out how happy he is!

To view this video, as posted to YouTube, please click hereclick here.

Have an awesome Christmas and rock on!

To read Kevin's original Facebook note and to subscribe to his weekly motivations, please click hereclick here.