Thank you for being a part of our first Worldwide transmission of The Vow of Practicality, where it’s our belief that being happy has a whole lot to do with money.
But, “No” you say… “Happiness is about family and friends, human connections and experiences, personal growth, progress in all we strive for, positive attitude, travel, exploration… it’s not about money!” Why yes, we’re so glad you feel that way. Us too!
What is Money?
Money is Freedom. When one has plenty of money, one may purchase their freedom from societies system. If you had ten million dollars in the bank right now what would you do? You likely wouldn’t go to work to help make someone else rich. You would spend your day doing the activities you enjoy, working on the projects you want to work on, and visiting the places you want to see.
Not being financially independent is a life sentence; having money buys your freedom. A very poor man has very little freedom, and because he is very poor, he is very desperate, and will work for very little. Like a man lost in the desert will pay anything for a glass of water, a poor man will do anything so he can eat.
When we say, “if you have plenty of money you have freedom” we are not saying “if you have a high paying job you have freedom.” You can make a great deal of money, and still not have any freedom at all. This is the sickness of America, a collective mental disorder that has infected us through massive governmental and corporate brainwashing. A disease that tells us we are second class citizens, we can only work for someone else our entire life, that we should be grateful for whatever we receive, and that we should spend every dime of our life energy into creating and buying other people’s stuff to the point that we have nothing left over at the end of every year. Millions of people don’t believe they can do more with their life, and they’re absolutely correct!
“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right.” – Henry Ford
Why the poorest aren’t happy is obvious.
No money, No happiness, No shit! Instantly we can see the connection between money and happiness when we think of the poor. We all understand that living in abject poverty will make you miserable. If you can’t afford basic sustenance, life is hard. There is a clear correlation between money and happiness; buying a hungry person food makes them much happier. In other news: you have an infinitely higher chance of getting lung cancer,,, if you have lungs!
Why the middle class isn’t happy, not as obvious.
So what about the middle class? Ahh, now this is where it is less apparent. These people have more than enough money to meet their basic needs, with what the media loves to call “disposable income” left over for all sorts of stuff that adds no value to your life. We can safely say that for the most part these people are less miserable than the poverty group; but are they as happy as they could be?
Let’s take a look at the average person in the United States. He/She gets up at 6:30 in the morning, gets their kids ready and drops them off at school or daycare, they then drive in traffic for half an hour listening to radio commercials and looking at billboards telling them to buy goods and services, then they work for about 9 hours to make someone else rich by helping create said goods and services, all while constantly checking their social media accounts (on average 2 hours a day) which is actually just a huge advertising network to sell you more goods and services.
After using all of their day’s best brain power, they drive back home listening to more advertising trying to separate them from the money they just made creating goods and services for someone else. Now,,, after a hard day’s work they finally sit down to watch television for the last 4 hours of their day, to… you guessed it… be sold additional goods and services. They do this for about 45-50 years, finally retiring at around age 65. After all of that, they have a typical savings of a little over $100,000. So after half a century of making other people rich they themselves have essentially made less than $2,500 a year… Let us really drive this financial mess home… There are 2080 hours in a traditional work week; making the average person’s lifetime earnings around $1.20 an hour. Doesn’t that sound swell?
This is the life you were sold; this isn’t the life you have to live.
We’re not going to bore you with a bunch of peer reviewed studies about happiness and the middle class. What we are going to tell you is what we’re hearing every day from family, friends, and co-workers. Besides, we were once told by a statistician sitting at a bar, that studies didn’t matter, and that anecdotal evidence was the very best evidence one could present to an audience. (see what we did there?)
An ear to the ground
What we hear from people is that pretty much no matter what they make, they are always paycheck to paycheck. It seems that whether we talk to friends who are making $35K a year or $85k a year; they all seem to be paycheck to paycheck. Now we don’t mean that they are living off ramen to make it to next Friday. Some of them have a little money in a 401K, often they have some equity in a home, and most of them could come up with enough money to get their car repaired if it broke down. But the way we look at things, that is paycheck to paycheck. Interesting isn’t it… if your making $35K today and $85K five years from now… there’s a good chance you will figure out a way to spend every freakin’ penny, every freakin’ month… To the point that somebody making $30 an hour may only be keeping $1.20. We’re Americans, guess that’s just how we roll.
What the hell is going on?
We are often a product of our environment, and it is toxic. It wants us to conform, it wants us to be a part of the machine, it tells us that’s the way to be successful, it tells us what normal is and how to be normal. It tells us that being servants to those we make rich is the only path, it tells us that being a second-class citizen is the first-class route, it tells us to spend all your money on things that don’t actually make us happy, it tells us to make other people rich while we stay poor. Why on Earth would we want a normal life? Why not have an amazing life?
OK, you basically got screwed in Kindergarten.
Believe it or not it all started in kindergarten. There you were, an innocent little lad or lass whose favorite past-times included eating chocolate pudding, running around in circles while screaming, and talking with your friends about poop. Despite being an incredibly awkward creature on the outside, you were a sponge for knowledge on the inside, an amazing ever expanding mind with unlimited potential,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, and then the government came to help.
Yes, the same government that is $20,000,000,000,000.00 in debt (see for yourself) is the one who actively managed your public education, putting into place the very system designed to teach you how to plan for your financial future. What was their wonderful plan for you? Oh it’s just brilliant, to teach you to sit at a desk for 8+ hours a day, becoming a well-trained drone that repeatedly creates and consumes goods and services day in and day out, making other people’s dreams come true. You have become a cog in a machine designed to make other people wealthy, keeping you in an endless loop of production and consumption where you never really net much. That terrible education went on for years and years and years….
No way… the public education system is fine… we’re just imagining things.
Have you ever wondered why so many people think Christopher Columbus was a good person, that diamonds come from coal, or that zero gravity is a thing? Hmmm…
It’s not too late.
That’s where we come in. This is about taking a Vow of Practicality. We are going to teach you what works well, “In Practice” what is “Practical” because the current system of working 50 years for a dollar an hour, just isn’t. We don’t do academic garbage, we don’t facilitate corporate lies, we have no interests in Wall Street, nor do we care about political opinions… we just want to help you take steps toward maximizing your happiness, your wealth, and your productivity.
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C.J. is the blogger behind the Vow of Practicality. “Let’s grow your wealth, increase your productivity, and maximize your happiness.”